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Massage Today
August, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 08

China to Host Manual Therapy Symposium

Congress on Traditional Medicine will feature symposia on massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicine.

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

While the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, it also acknowledges the 30th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration, which called on Member States to include traditional medicine in their primary health systems and to recognize complementary and alternative practitioners within these systems.

To mark these significant events, the WHO is holding a Congress on Traditional Medicine Nov. 7-9, 2008 in Beijing.

In conjunction with the WHO, the Ministry of Health of China and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China will host a Symposium on Manual Methods of Healthcare, which will look at the degree of integration of massage, tuina, chiropractic, judo therapy, nuad Thai, osteopathy and other forms of manual health care into heath care systems. There also are parallel symposia covering acupuncture, herbal medicines and self-care.

Speakers from China, Sweden and India will present on the topics of tuina and massage therapy during the three-day event. According to the WHO Web site dedicated to the congress, the objectives include:

  • Reviewing the role of TM/CAM and the associated providers in primary health care, as outlined by the Alma-Ata Declaration.
  • Reviewing the progress of Member States in the field of TM/CAM.
  • Sharing information and experience pertaining to the integration of TM/CAM into health care delivery systems.
  • Sharing information related to research, education and the practice of TM/CAM.
  • Promoting the proper use of TM/CAM by the population.

The WHO has already held two working group meetings in preparation for the congress, one in May 2007 and the other in Jan. 2008. According to the WHO Web site: "Starting in the early 21st century, it was requested of national health authorities to consider ways to integrate TM/CAM into their health care delivery systems. After four years of implementation of the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy (2002-2005), significant progress is evident."

The opening ceremony will be held at the People's Great Hall in Tiananmen Square and hotel accommodations will be provided by the Jiuhua Spa and Resort, Chang Ping Xiao Tang Mountain in Beijing (

China - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this congress and the role massage therapy plays in health care systems in other parts of the world. For more information including speakers, topics and background on the Alma-Ata Declaration, visit the WHO Web site.


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