“I believe that, one day, Chinese medicine
and Western medicine will perfectly integrate together.”
An interview with Mr. Zhang Yingqing,
TCM Doctor and Founder of Jus-Tao-Lab
In 1995, at the age of 16, Zhang Yingqing entered a special class for gifted young people at Jilin University, studying Theoretical Physics and Micro Electronic Techniques. In 2005, he got a PhD diploma at the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, specializing in space optical remote sensing and payload. In 2008, he joined the solar energy engineering and technological research center under the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology as deputy chief engineer and vice general manager. He has participated in many ‘863’ and ‘973’ basic research projects in China and is an expert in optical, mechanical and electronic integration equipment, new energy resources, silicon material and more. He has been listed in the Shanghai Rising-Star Program and he is Minhang Science and Technology leading personnel, an expert in special fields awarded by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, and an Advanced Individual awarded by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.
Surprisingly, this elite scientist then passed the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination and obtained doctor’s qualifications. As a master in both Chinese and Western medicine, he is especially proficient in TCM and herbs. Since the first day of operation, his clinic has always received an endless stream of visitors. Why does he give up the shining future of science and engineering and dedicate himself to the medical industry? With great curiosity, SpaChina interviewed him.
Why did you change your career path and become a doctor?
At the beginning, I didn’t plan to change my career path. However, during my post-graduate studies, I often got sick because of a weak physical condition. Then I began to learn about herbs and traditional Chinese and Western medicine. In the process, my interest was greatly aroused. Since then, for 12 years, I have been involved in medical knowledge and the study of various clinical cases. Later, I received the invitation from Jus-Tao. The people there shared the same interest and vision with me, so I decided to become a doctor.
But actually, in my heart, I feel guilty towards the university and institutes who fostered me. I should have made more scientific achievements and I could have been a good engineer. I should have made more contributions to the science world. But I selfishly chose the job I am interested in. Nevertheless, I just follow the voice in my heart.
With a solid background in science and engineering, I have a very rigorous logic in my mind. There are still many people who criticize me for not having a TCM mind. In fact, I don’t have a Western medicine mind either. I just care the clinical result. As long as it’s effective, what mind I have is not important at all. Maybe because I shifted to the job half-way, I can jump out of the box rather than being shackled by conventions. The human body is an exceedingly sophisticated system, it is impossible to describe it with a simple theory that is easy to understand. If you can clearly understand all the theories, of course it’s good. But you also need strict and repeated tests. If you fail to deeply comprehend the theories in certain aspects, it doesn’t matter either. You can just study it like studying a black box, observing the input and output and focusing on the result.
Why are you so deeply attracted by TCM?
Because I clearly see the clinical effect of TCM and how it helps me and people around me. Such positive feedback draws me deeper into love with it.
Many people speak badly of TCM because they are not healed and many others speak highly of TCM because they have experienced the effects. Even the best TCM doctor is not able to cure all diseases because medicine is such a profound and difficult realm. If you demand a doctor to be able to cure every patient he meets, this is impossible. No medical branch can do this.
In my opinion, TCM practitioners need to pay more attention to the clinical results because many TCM theories are somehow not put into practice. Though it may be a long way to go, we have to move toward this direction. Meanwhile, the accumulation of practice and experience is very important. Why do people trust elderly TCM doctors? Because they have more experience.
I love to try medicine. I want to see how the body will react after taking the medicine. I had a lot of medicine at home and the record is over 150 different medicine at one time. I have tried most of them. Of course, I don’t advise you to do so because of the high risks. I once got toxication after taking monkshood. My whole body became numb and I was paralyzed for a time. On another occasion, I had an allergy to stiff silkworm. I kept trembling and could hardly even make a telephone call to seek help. Like most science lovers, we are keen on doing experiments and don’t mind trying them on ourselves.
Younger generation have less and less knowledge of TCM. What do you think are the reasons for this?
It is understandable that young people don’t trust TCM because TCM is not explained with modern technical language and so does not conform to the teaching of modern science. Many people become TCM fans not because they have comprehended the TCM theories but because they have met excellent TCM doctors and experienced the benefits. So this is a problem of TCM itself. No one is born to love or hate TCM. Most people are objective. So I believe that the development of TCM will depend on its clinical results, its continual integration with modern science and technology and the further elaboration of medicine theory.
The government is greatly supporting the development of TCM with concrete policies. How do you see the prospects of TCM in China?
I stay very optimistic on the development of TCM. TCM is very effective in healing certain diseases such as chronic diseases like hypertension, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and diseases caused by viruses, as well as many other difficult miscellaneous diseases which modern medicine fail to cure. In fact, the strong points of TCM haven’t been given full play. For instance, TCM is little seen in the area of acute disease treatment at present, but there are great possibilities. A thing with value will surely be created in the future.
Of course, Western medicine also has its merits. I often read the theory of Western medicine and acquire a lot of useful knowledge. I have a lot of friends who study Western medicine and I always consult them.
I believe, one day, Chinese and Western medicine will perfectly integrate together. The rise of gene science might be an opportunity for this integration. I have a friend who got his PhD in Germany and specializes in gene detection. He is recently doing a lot of fundamental research on the integration of Chinese and Western medicine. All medicine branches share the same goal – human health. So we need to have an open mind and keep learning from each other.
After leaving your previous field of technology, what have you achieved?
I left the field of technology in 2012 and participated in the foundation of Jus-Tao, a brand of TCM knowledge and services, as its general manager. At the same time, I opened my own TCM clinic. Until 2017, the clinic’s compound annual growth rate was 30%.
In 2015, based on my years’ of deep study of herbal medicine and love of product development, I developed a skincare product range targeting skin regeneration. In fact, I originally planned to develop drugs, but the requirements for private development of medicine is too high. So I turned to develop skincare products. After being recognized by the friends around me, I began mass production in 2018 and established the skincare brand Jus-Tao-Lab. In 2019, Jus-Tao-Lab joined Wu Xiaobo’s New Maker Acceleration Plan.
Please tell us more about Jus-Tao-Lab skincare products.
The development of this product range is an application of TCM surgery. TCM surgery has almost quit the stage. We can’t find it either in dermatology departments or surgery departments. Few people know or are interested in knowing the effect of TCM dermatology. Most hospitals use hormone drugs to solve skin problems.
But many herbs and plants have good effects in solving skin problems. We developed a product with the ingredients of lithospermum and Chinese angelica which are good for healing skin scald and eczema. Coptis and golden cypress have remarkable effects on skin diseases of heat-toxicity. We use very simple recipes, with at most three plant ingredients. I personally prefer simple recipes. Basically, the recipes with complicated ingredients are ignored by me.
Jus-Tao-Lab emphasizes herbs rather than TCM medicine in order to attract more of the people who are against TCM. We don’t want to give them the feeling of taking medicine, but rather to enjoy pure natural products. Only when they have experienced the effects will they be interested in learning more about TCM.
I think I am born to be a researcher and developer. If I discover a plant with good effects, I will surely make something out of it and let more people try it. This is the original intention of creating the Jus-Tao-Lab skincare products.
We are now mainly developing products to repair skin injury and improve skin health. We don’t work on whitening or acne removal products. Our aim is to make the skin healthier. But amazingly, after using the products for a certain period, the guests find that their skin turns whiter and their acne fades away. That is because when the skin becomes healthy, its metabolism and self-repair ability will also increase and the melanin will naturally decrease. Secondly, the herbal ingredients may have some great effect and potential beyond our imagination. At present, our products mainly target guests over 30 years old or those who sustained skin injuries during plastic surgeries. The price is medium. Our goal is to fulfil the development value and product value, as well as benefit more people.
What’s your development for the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I will keep on doing research & development in order to create more products. But it needs time. Five years is not at all long for R&D work. The present range, from development to manufacturing, takes 4 years and we are still updating some of the products. I hope that, in the future, Jus-Tao-Lab can become a representative of high-quality “Made-in-China” products.