Traditional Chinese Medicine a New Way to Treat ‘Long COVID’: Japanese Physicians

By Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan
Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.
and Weber Lee
Weber Lee
Weber Lee
August 24, 2022 Updated: August 24, 2022

Although it has been almost two years since COVID-19 first broke out, many still struggle with post-COVID conditions, also known as “long COVID.” Recently, Japanese doctors have shown that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be used to treat both COVID-19 and long COVID.

Ken Ritsugaku is a TCM physician, a member of the Japan Society for Oriental Medicine, and Director of Japanese and Chinese Medicine at Kurashiki Heisei Hospital. He told The Epoch Times that long COVID symptoms include fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, sleep problems, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and depression or anxiety, which interfere with patients’ daily lives.

Ritsugaku offers a new perspective on treating long COVID: traditional Chinese medicine. The strategy is proving to be effective.

He cited an elderly patient with long COVID. She suffered from symptoms such as constant coughing and feeling dizzy, but her health improved considerably after TCM treatments. Since her last appointment, not long ago, she has fully recovered.

Another patient is a young man in his twenties who suffered from fatigue, but after being prescribed the right medicine—tailored to his conditions and lifestyle—he has almost fully recovered.

Traditional Chinese medicine examines the entire body. It treats diseases by adjusting the body’s balance. Therefore, it is important not only to diagnose the symptoms of the disease, but also to prescribe the right medicine according to each individual.

Unlike Western medicine, which looks for causes in organs and tissues, TCM examines the patient’s health and lifestyle, rather than simply focusing on the medicine itself.

Ritsugaku advised that for elderly patients, ingredients such as Bupleurum scorzonerifolium, Pinellia ternata, Magnolia officinalis, Ziziphus jujuba, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis are particularly helpful in treating long COVID.

Regarding TCM’s approach to treating long COVID, Ritsugaku explained that its aim is not just to resolve the illness but to eliminate the causes of the illness itself and strengthen the immune system.

Chinese physician He Xiaoxian, who is currently based in Japan, told The Epoch Times that from a TCM perspective, activities such as meditation, stretching, yoga, qigong, and speed walking are all recommended. These exercises can make one more fit and healthy, as well as help with emotional stress.