The Hands of Tradition: TCM in Guangzhou

The Hands of Tradition: TCM in Guangzhou

From the east to the west, most would agree that a good bowl of homemade soup is the perfect remedy for the common cold. Why? Who knows. The mysteries, methods and miracles of medicine, both modern and ancient, are vast and while most of us pop those pills without question, the majority of us are also in need of some demystification regarding how it all works. Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is no newcomer to the field of feeling better. Shen Nung, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture and medicine, started the practice of the TCM we know today nearly five thousand years ago. This venerated emperor used himself for experimentation with medicinal herbs and tonics, which eventually resulted in his own poisoned demise. Regardless of whether you choose to remain a sceptic or subscriber, a peek into the world of TCM is one of wonderment.

The Museum…
Guangzhou, for all its modernity, hosts a wide array of places from whence one can seek TCM enlightenment and treatments. There are schools, medical centres and even a museum dedicated to this practice. A great place to begin unravelling the threads of this ancient medicine would be the Guangzhou TCM Museum and Pharmaceutical Factory, located in Baiyun District. Earthy, herby aromas greet you as you enter the expansive premise; a sprawling outdoor garden houses a green forest of herbs, trees and plants all used for TCM tonics and remedies. The flora is labelled in Chinese and Latin, and this vegetation is used to treat everything from backaches to joint problems to kidney function, to even alleviating a fish bone stuck in the throat. One particular plant, though innocent looking enough, was the exact leaf that supposedly poisoned Guangdong billionaire Long Liyuan last month. The Gelsemium Elegans Benth, as it is called, when not used properly can shut down the respiratory system.

The peaceful ambiance of the museum grounds, however, is anything but toxic; it is truly a tribute to overall well-being. Three round golden gates in the middle of the garden represent the walk from the modern to the ancient, and surrounding trees are symbols of heaven, earth and body. Statues of TCM founding fathers, indoor exhibits and even a tree that reportedly dates back to the days of the dinosaurs paint a picture of all the elements that compose TCM. The museum is a testament to the complexities of medicine; balance is essential, and too much or too little of an ingredient could turn a dosage deadly.

Guides are available, (English non-speaking), but solo walkthroughs are welcomed, as well. The museum does not offer treatments, but below are the places to go in Guangzhou on your trek to better health the traditional way.

Guangzhou TCM Museum and Pharmaceutical Factory广州白云山制药总厂 View In Map
Add: 88 Yunxiang Lu, Tonghe Jie, Baiyun District, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市白云区同和街云祥路88号
Tel: 020 8706 3679

1) Shamian TCM Centre  (沙面保健中心)View In Map
Shamian TCM centre, on Shamian Island, is a peaceful sanctuary and a great place to enter the TCM dragon. Everything is reasonably priced, with treatments of all sorts ranging from 48-260 RMB. Pamphlets are in English and provide explanations about the treatments. The facility offers a medicinal food menu aimed at optimising over-all health, with soups, small dishes, teas and juices. There is even a free stewed food menu for patrons, available all day. A 70-minute foot massage coupled with a 60-minute body massage is only 180 RMB; a ginger foot wrap is 48 RMB, and the popular foot massage is 78 RMB. Body charts and brochures illustrate how certain points on the foot and body coordinate and definitions are given for different foods and herbs. Not all treatments have to be hands-on; there are aromatic therapies available to help reduction of pain and to boost kidney function, as well as soothing medicinal baths.

Add: 85-87 Shamian Beijie, Shamian Island, Guangzhou
地址: 广州荔湾区沙面岛沙面北街85-87号
Tel: 020 8121 8383

2) Fu Yuan Tang  (扶元堂)View In Map
Fu Yuan Tang is another reputable and renowned clinic that also has a training centre and rehabilitation hospital. Treatments tackle everything from skin problems to gynaecological issues to muscle pains, organ issues and bone problems. Prices can range from about 80 RMB upwards, and a basic massage and cupping treatment is around that price. The clinic has an English website and patients can register and log-in in order to access their medical records.

Add: Yiqiao Building, 412 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市天河区天河北路怡桥大厦412号
Tel: 020 2886 9888; 020 3880 6168
Website: (lists four other locations in the city)

3) Dr. Sherily XiaoView In Map
As far as private practice is concerned, Dr. Sherily Xiao operates her own private clinic in Baiyun District. With a resume spanning nearly twenty years, she offers beauty and weight loss treatments as well as various other body treatments. Free body cupping is included with any massage and acupuncture. TCM classes are also available in English, and Dr. Xiao is more than willing to answer any questions or concerns. Prices are 300 RMB per class and insurance is accepted.

Add: 1033 Baiyun Dadao, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市白云大道1033号
Tel: 137 1052 6617

4) Hospitals and medical centres
There are also some Western hospitals that offer TCM treatments, such as the Modern Hospital of Guangzhou. Reception and staff speak English and treatments start from 300 RMB, with a top-priced weight-loss package priced at 5000 RMB. The Global Doctor Medical Center doesn’t have an in-house TCM doctor but can arrange for a consultation for 1000 RMB, not including medicine or treatment.

Global Doctor Medical Center (环球医生)View In Map
Add: D1 2nd Annex, Tianyu Garden, 136 Linhezhong Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市天河区林和中路136号天誉花园二期裙楼1楼
Opening hours: 24 hours a day
Tel: 86 20 3890 6699 (24 hours); 3890 6088; 139 2400 1705 (emergency)

Modern Hospital of Guangzhou (广州现代医院)View In Map
Add: 42 Lianquan Lu, Guangyuan Lu, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市广园中路濂泉路42号 
Tel: 020 2222 1111

All of the practitioners in the above facilities are trained professionals who have studied in some of the most esteemed universities focused on Chinese medicine. Do keep in mind that some of the staff and doctors may not speak fluent English, but for the most part a few hand gestures and a pocket dictionary can get the job done.

TCM is both curative and preventative; it is a comprehensive approach to total well-being, incorporating body and diet, flora and fauna, physical and psychological. Perhaps not a cure-all for any and all ailments, it transcends far beyond just acupuncture or foot massage. And regardless of opinion, Traditional Chinese Medicine has a track record that extends for nearly five millennia and is still serving our world today. 

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Keywords: TCM Guangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Guangzhou Medical clinics Guangzhou hospitals Guangzhou


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recently I visited a male hospital in Guanzgou to treat my erectile disynfection, they do scan for 1600 yuan and no give medicine, after say to do therapy as part of treatment say cosat starting from 3000 yuan to 8000, I back without do becasue so expensive also theuy no sure positive result, i heard about chinese Traditional Medicine from my childhood and trsut its a miracle remedy, now I want consult with a TCM doctor In Guangzhou, Please advice me from where I get Good TCM doctor to cure my this sexual disease also in reasonable price

Jun 26, 2012 01:57 Report Abuse