Thursday, June 20, 2024

All you need to know about Eastern medicine in Mexico

Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for 3,000 years since the origin of Taoism, the I Ching, and the ideas of Confucius. It is one of the few millennia-old traditional medicines that have not only prevailed but continued to develop and spread throughout the world. In fact, since 1979, acupuncture (a component of traditional Chinese medicine) has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a treatment for more than 40 diseases.

The United States National Cancer Institute defines Chinese medicine (also known as Eastern medicine) as: “A medical system that has been used for thousands of years to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. It is based on the belief that qi (the body’s vital energy) flows along meridians (channels) in the body and keeps a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health in balance. Oriental medicine aims to restore the body’s balance and harmony between the natural opposing forces of yin and yang, which can block qi and cause disease. Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, diet, herbal therapy, meditation, physical exercise, and massage.”

A foot doctor at work: the male patient is seated on a bench and smoking a pipe. Watercolour by Zhou Pei Qun, 1890. (Wellcome Collection gallery)

Today, Eastern medicine is considered an advanced and complete medical science that uses different therapeutic techniques such as acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, phytotherapy, and qigong. It first arrived in Mexico in the late 19th century due to the influx of Chinese migrants seeking to go to the United States.

The most influential period for Eastern medicine in Mexico came in the 1960s when academic exchanges allowed Mexicans to pursue formal acupuncture studies in China. The first doctors to participate were Tomás Alcocer González and Octavio Ramírez Vargas. Upon their return from China, they proposed training centers to offer acupuncture courses for other doctors. This initiative was developed by the National Polytechnic Institute at the National School of Medicine and Homeopathy from 1986 to 1994.

Where to find practitioners of Eastern medicine in Mexico

An acupuncture chart showing major points on the human body. (Wellcome Collection)

Traditional Eastern medicine is now so popular that you can find practitioners in virtually every state and city in Mexico. We have compiled a selection based on the best-ranked places, as well as those with the most reviews on Google.

Mexico City

Acupuntura China CDMX

Jin Xuan, who offers services in Colonia Navarte, has more than 1,000 favorable reviews with a rating of 4.9.

Monterrey

Dr. Juan Zhang Zhang 

Dr. Juan Zhang Zhang practices acupuncture and moxibustion; his training began as a surgeon and midwife at the University of Monterrey. He holds a certificate of excellence on Doctoralia with more than 100 favorable opinions.

Guadalajara

Acupuntura Yintang

The Jalisco Eastern medicine specialists combine traditional acupuncture techniques with physical therapy and have nearly perfect ratings on Google.

Cancún 

Soplo Divino Acupuntura

Traveling to the beach? Soplo Divino in Cancún is highly rated, with many very enthusiastic reviews about its therapists.

Oaxaca

Atención Terapéutica Integral Oaxaca

Here you can find a combination of holistic services based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, and chiropractic.

Representations of energetic points in millenary acupuncture. (pixabay.com)

Eastern medicine in modern-day Mexico

The relationship between Mexico and Eastern medicine is exceptional. The National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico was one of the first official institutions in the world to teach the specialty of human acupuncture. The Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), one of Mexico’s highest-ranked universities according to the prestigious Times Higher Education list, offers a certification in Acupuncture and Phytotherapy. Students of alternative medicine can also study at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, which offers a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine with a specialty in acupuncture and moxibustion.

However, the enthusiasm and promotion of traditional medicine are not limited to the academy. The Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), a government organization, collaborated with the Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing to create their first acupuncture and moxibustion seminar. Additionally, the Mexico City Ministry of Health (Sedesa) has provided more than 50 thousand free consultations of acupuncture and phytotherapy through the newly established Specialized Center for Integrative Medicine (CEMI) in 2021.

Furthermore, according to Julio César Almanza, coordinator of the acupuncture and phytotherapy certification program at the Metropolitan Autonomous University, many Mexicans have turned to traditional Eastern medicine in recent decades due to chronic health problems like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Out of all of the impacts China has had on the rest of the world, the country’s traditional medicine is arguably one of its greatest contributions, not only for patients seeking treatment but also for advancing a more comprehensive understanding of medicine and disease.

Which traditional Chinese medicine clinic would you add to our list?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or medical advice. The writer and Mexico News Daily assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content on this site. Individuals should always consult with qualified professionals regarding medical procedures, including plastic and/or cosmetic surgery, and medical aesthetic treatments, as well as consider their jurisdiction’s applicable laws and regulations.

Ana Paula de la Torre is a Mexican journalist and collaborator for various outlets including Milenio, Animal Político, Vice, Newsweek en Español, Televisa and Mexico News Daily.

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