The healing powers of traditional Chinese medicine have been used to treat illnesses for more than 5,000 years and form a key role of health care in many parts of the world. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Beijing treats more than 3,000 outpatients each day and has beds for 600 patients who need more intensive care. In recognition of the importance of scientific research to further develop Chinese medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University established the Institute for the Advancement of Chinese Medicine (IACM). The institute is headed by Professor Yeung Hin-wing, a pioneer in the research of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong with more than 30 years experience. Professor Yeung said the IACM's mission was to conduct scientific research and achieve a standardisation of Chinese medicine and establish links with appropriate mainland and international institutions for the advancement of Chinese medicine. The institute's work along with the new degree programme would offer a new force for Chinese medicine in the SAR. On the mainland, the marriage of modern scientific precision with the art of Chinese medicine was on the threshold of opening up a whole new world of medical diagnosis and treatment. 'Chinese medicine stresses a holistic approach and its close relationship with society. It matches Hong Kong Baptist University's whole-person education and the balanced emphasis on teaching and research,' Professor Yeung said. In addition, the IACM has been invited by the Industry Department and two pharmaceutical companies to devise a mechanism for the standardisation and quality control of Chinese medicinal products. Unlike Western medicine, which tests and dissects to determine what is not working in the body, Chinese medicinelooks for why the body is not functioning properly and attempts to use individualised organic herbal formulas to rejuvenate and restore the body to its natural state. Chinese medicine employs a unique system of categorising illnesses in contrast to its Western counterpart. The philosophy behind Chinese medicine is that man lives between heaven and earth and comprises a miniature universe in himself. Illness can be caused by a change in the weather such as high humidity or a cold spell. Other disease-causing factors include an improper diet or mood changes such as grief, fear, surprise and stress. A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will analyse and diagnose the exact nature of a patient's physical and psychological loss of balance and prescribe treatment which will not only cure the illness but also correct the imbalance of the entire person. According to legend, Shen Nung, the father of Chinese agriculture, took it upon himself to test hundreds of plants to discover their nutritional and medicinal properties. Over the years, many Chinese people have followed Shen Nung's methods. This accumulation of experience and knowledge continues to gain interest with modern medicine practitioners. It has resulted in a growing number of professionals trained in both Chinese and Western medical techniques. In 1980, the World Health Organisation released a list of 43 types of pathologies which could be treated effectively with acupuncture. The combination of Western and Chinese medicine has also made a significant contribution to the treatment of various forms of hepatitis, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes and provided an effective alternative for hormone treatment for women in menopause. In the area of pharmacology, researchers have evaluated effectiveness and tested formulated concentrated dosages of Chinese pharmaceutical products for commercial sale. Prescriptions of these drugs are more convenient to use than the traditional method of boiling the prescription as a soup.