To a layman, traditional Chinese medicine or TCM for short may evoke the idea of an exotic and herbal centric healthcare system and it would be correct to understand that it is also a holistic healthcare system rooted in Chinese philosophy and culture. This brings about the understanding that TCM for short encompasses a diverse range of practices aimed at promoting balance, harmony, and overall well-being.
Depending on where we are in the world, TCM can either be referred to as alternative medicine or complementary and integrative medicine. Despite advancement of technology and medicine, the global interest in integrative and holistic healthcare approaches has led to increased recognition and exploration of the potential benefits of TCM practices. Here is where IMU Chinese Medicine (CM) alumni enter the scene as qualified TCM practitioners ready to fulfill the growing demand.
Our CM alumni, Deric Ng Loong Kiat shares earnestly how TCM is beyond a holistic quick fix to health problems. His interest and passion for TCM is evident as he tells us about how TCM emphasizes the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and nature. The very philosophy of TCM revolves around the concepts of vital energy or traditionally known as ‘qi’ and the balance of yin and yang which represents opposing yet complementary forces. When you are seeking treatment under the principles of TCM, you are inadvertently entering the threshold of a balancing act to achieve optimum health.
Deric’s deep appreciation for his chosen field is evident as he briefly shared the principles and practices of TCM. Practitioners of TCM are skilled in using various modalities to assess, diagnose and treat health conditions with a holistic approach.
After an eye-opening working experience with different companies, Deric was firm with his desire to provide excellent patient care alongside a thriving business. In August 2022 Deric took the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship to open STAR Acupuncture and Herbal Centre. He astutely notes that balancing patient care and the business aspects of healthcare practice is a critical challenge for healthcare professionals, though he admits his patients’ best interests weigh heavier on the scale.
Deric places the highest importance on listening closely to the needs of his patients as he carefully structures a customised course of treatment. The satisfaction Deric experiences in helping his patients overcome their ailments and optimising their health assures him time and time again that he is in the healthcare industry for all the right reasons.
As for his entrepreneurship journey so far, Deric takes everything in his stride and credits support from his family. He admits that running his own business has been a fish out of water experience but through the challenges and unexpected curveballs, he personally feels it has made him able to think on his feet and unearth skills he never knew he had. While the security of being employed is tempting, the exhilaration of charting how far he has come with his center makes it all worth it.
From our interview with Deric, we now understand that TCM takes a holistic approach to health as it takes into consideration the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. It aims to balance the body’s vital energy and address the root causes of illness rather than just treating symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, TCM practitioners assess each patient individually while considering their lifestyle. With this personalised approach, it can lead to more targeted and effective treatments.
Furthermore, TCM can be used alongside conventional Western medicine as complementary therapy. As the interest and awareness of TCM grows, IMU is proud to have alumni such as Deric practicing and having a finger on the TCM pulse.