The 90th anniversary of Chinese Medicine Day (2019)

Unity, Harmony, Innovation and Development

Jun Hu

President of the American Association of Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

March 17, 2019

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Chinese Medicine Day. “Nine” is an auspicious number in Chinese culture. “Nine” is also the homonym for “long lasting or longevity”. This meaning word signifies the development of Chinese medicine and the spirit of the Chinese Medicine Day will be passed down con-tinuously far into the future generations.

As we celebrate the Chinese Medicine Day, we must also review its history. This is to commemorate our predecessors for their immortal feat in defending the legal status of Chinese medicine and remind the younger generation that the path of Chinese medicine development in the US is not all smooth sailing. On-ly through unity and hard work will there be room for survival for us, and the further advancement of Chinese medicine.

On March 17, 1929, 281 senior Chinese medicine practitioners gathered in Shanghai to strongly oppose the proposal of the then central government health authorities to abolish the practice of Chinese medicine. This quickly led to a nationwide campaign to defend traditional Chinese medicine in the coun-try. In order to commemorate the victory of this protest, the Chinese medicine community designated March 17 as the “Chinese Medicine Festival.” On that day, Chinese medicine practitioners from all over the world will held various forms of celebrations and this has become a worldwide festival. Northern Cali-fornia first began its celebration in 1974. At that time, only a dozen people at-tended two tabled banquet. 45 years later, we have 50 tables and more than 500 people in attendance. The difference is awe inspiring. Here, I would like to thank the senior practitioners for their great contributions. I would like to thank our political leaders and people from all walks of life for their support during the crucial times. I would like to thank the practicing acupuncturists and Chinese medicine schools for their untiring efforts, and thank our family and friends and especially our patients for their support and encouragement. Ultimately, we are grateful to our ancestors for leaving us the treasure – Chi-nese medicine.

Traditional Chinese medicine is wide-ranging and profound. It has accumulated thousands of years of clinical wisdom in internal medicine, surgery, gynecolo-gy, pediatrics and various other specialties, benefiting the Chinese nation. Af-ter going abroad, especially since the legalization of acupuncture in Europe and America, overseas Chinese medicine has developed rapidly, not only becoming an important messenger in cultural exchange but gradually gaining acceptance by the general public and mainstream medicine. This created a situation where opportunities and challenges coexist, providing great opportunities and room for the development of Chinese medicine. At the same time, Chinese medicine and acupuncture also face their biggest crisis since their legalization, namely other health providers trying to encroach on the domain of acupuncture. Therefore, we must not only strive to maintain the rights and interests of our profession, but also actively expand the scope of our practice, enlarge the breadth of coverage and increase the amount of insurance payment. Only this can truly reflect the value of TCM and acupuncture treatment in the current health environment.

Chinese medicine originates from China. When it ventures abroad, it has be-come the wealth of all ethnic groups in the world. In addition to inheriting our tradition, we must also constantly absorb new knowledge to be better integrat-ed into the multi-cultural society. Only by proactively optimizing and strength-ening ourselves can we carry forward the glorious achievements of the older generation. Unity, harmony, innovation and development are the guarantees for our advancement. Let us join hands and continue to work hard for a better tomorrow!