Back to blog China: A Unique Blend of Traditional and Modern Healthcare Margaret Braginetz February 8, 2013 With its first sizable shipment of the IonCleanse® footbaths to China, A Major Difference meets its first truly international challenge. One can find Neill Moroney, President of A Major Difference, reflecting on and analyzing this milestone with the same intensity he addresses all challenges of this dynamic marketplace called healthcare. Nowhere is the dynamic nature of healthcare more apparent than in China. From 1911 to 1949 Republican China tried to establish a modern state medical system based on Western biomedicine (the medical practice that is based on the sciences of the body, such as physiology – the functioning of the body). During this time, the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was discouraged. After 1949, with the formation of the People's Republic of China, TCM once again became China's national system of medicine. It is, in itself, an elite medical system based on ancient theories and texts. In 1920 a small effort to combine TCM and Westernized medicine was established, and has since grown in popularity. Sometimes Chinese tradition blends with Western-style science, as in the case of the herb commonly called sweet wormwood. The herb has been used for over 2000 years in China to reduce fever. In 1972 Chinese science researchers isolated the active ingredient, called artemisinin (in English), and found it was effective against strains of malaria which were resistant to other drugs. By the late 1990s, artemisinin was regularly used in the World Health Organization's malaria program. So, yes, healthcare is dynamic and, most certainly, in China where practices and techniques of other cultures are embraced and incorporated. For instance, China has combined acupuncture, believed to have originated in China as long ago as 4000 years, with ear reflexology, a tradition from Europe. In China one may choose to use acupuncture as an analgesic for common pain relief (headache) or even during surgical procedures. It should come as no surprise that healthcare professionals in China would find the ionic foot bath an asset to their community practices. Also, it should come as no surprise that they would seek out the world's number one footbath, the IonCleanse® System with its record of safety and reliability. A Major Difference finds itself in an unusual position for a company marketing to a distinctly different culture. The effort made in China need be no different in essence from the U.S. market or any other Western market. It is satisfying to know that beyond translating the user's manual into Chinese, the business of A Major Difference remains the same. Build the best, most reliable, safest detoxification machine in the world and provide good, consistent support to customers. It will be interesting to see how China will find new ways to mix this Westernized technology with TCM.