The clash between Eastern and Western cultures is no more apparent than in the practicing of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a lifestyle passed down through multiple generations that focuses upon holistic healing through adjusting imbalances in the body.
For all the claims traditional Chinese medicine makes, it’s said to have the practical ability of determining whether a woman is pregnant just by feeling the prospective mother’s pulse.
This has become a point of contention for a popular Chinese doctor of Western medicine who has issued a RMB 50,000 reward to anyone who can prove he is wrong in saying “Chinese medicine is a fake science”.
A popular Weibo personality and burn injury specialist in Beijing, Ah Bao, doesn’t believe TCM doctors have this ability. Using his own money to back up his claims, Ah Bao has challenged TCM doctors to maintain an 80 percent accuracy rate of diagnosing pregnant women in a “debunking contest”..
Ah Bao has encouraged other “amateur scientists and enthusiasts” to add to the reward, an amount that is now over RMB 100,000.
A challenger has emerged to protect the pride of TCM. Beijing doctor of Chinese medicine Yang Zhen accepted the challenge shortly after it was issued.
Both parties are currently discussing the terms of the contest, which will likely include 32 women to be used as test subjects. The challenger will be separated by a curtain from his patients, and will be tasked with determining which of them are pregnant solely through checking their pulse.
With the hype building, this contest may in fact turn into a Mexican showdown with another party willing to join the fray. Not only does Chengdu TCM doctor Lu Jilai want to participate, he wants to raise the stakes and make it into a single-player elimination tournament:
Not only should we have to determine if they are pregnant or not, but we should also be able to determine how many days are left for a woman until her next period.
Having written a 600-page book in 2006 explaining why Chinese medicine isn’t fake, Lu wants to make the results of this contest more authoritative by adding patients to the testing pool with a litany of ailments that include cancer, hepatitis B, and rheumatism.
Lu hasn’t yet been officially invited to take part in the contest, but he hopes it will help people better understand Chinese and Western medicine. Ah Bao also said no matter what the outcome of this contest is, it will be very meaningful.