Traditional Chinese culture is on the rise at Thompson Rivers University thanks to the Confucian Institute Club.
On Friday, the club celebrates traditional Chinese medicine with an afternoon of presentations by TRU marketing instructor Warveni Jap and Dr. John Ramsay.
“Chinese culture is 6,000 years old,” said Jap. “But the younger generation from Mainland China have forgotten about traditional Chinese culture.”
Chairman Mao Zedong tried to eliminate traditions after the cultural revolution of 1960s. And it almost worked.
But China is now reviving its old ways and part of that effort is appointing a public holiday in honour of traditional Chinese medicine.
The practice is also gaining in popularity as well established universities like Oxford and University of Vienna begin offering traditional Chinese medicine programming.
The discipline teaches that health is a harmonious interaction of the entities that regulate bodily functions and the outside world while disease is a disharmony in interaction.
“They see the entire body as a micro-ecology so they make sure everything is balanced just like yin yang,” said Jap.
Since the practice is steeped in the spiritual tradition of Taoism, Jap will also share her expertise on the subject.
Ramsay will be discussing the connection between his discipline and Confucianism, an ancient philosophical system that Mao imposed as a substitute after outlawing Taoism.
Ramsay said he was set to become a chiropractor in the 1990s when his mother, who’d received acupuncture for tennis elbow, talked him into checking out the newly opened traditional Chinese medicine school in Victoria.
He walked into the herb room, spotted all the natural substances stored in their various drawers, observed students combining them to create remedies and was hooked.
“It’s the only discipline that has the five main things for health: exercise, diet, massage, external medicine and internal medicine together,” he said. “That’s why I decided to go into Chinese medicine.”
Those in the western world are also increasingly incorporating the practice into their own lives, he said.
“Especially the other disciplines of medicine like naturopaths, myopractics (resistance training), chiropractors, homeopaths, they’re all adapting either Chinese herbs or their acupuncture system.”
The free presentations begin at 1:30 p.m. on the third floor of TRU’s International Building.