Treating illnesses with Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is like riding a bicycle - while it takes longer, it is sometimes the better way to get to the destination.
This was the analogy used by Professor Hong Hai of Nanyang Technological University on Thursday, as he launched his book, The Theory of Chinese Medicine: A Modern Interpretation, about the relevance of TCM in modern society.
While more scientifically advanced Western medicine should remain the main form of treatment, said Prof Hong, TCM is useful in building up an individual's health, which can help to prevent illnesses and diseases.
It can also help to treat chronic conditions such as indigestion and menstrual irregularities, said Prof Hong.
The 272-page book is published by Imperial College Press and distributed by World Scientific Publishing.
It is available at all major bookstores at $38 (paperback) and $95 (hardcover). The e-book is available at $29.
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, who was guest of honour at the launch, said he visited a TCM physician near his house who treated him each time he was sick, until he enlisted for national service.
Mr Chan added that TCM has played an important role in Singapore's healthcare environment and helped to serve patients on lower incomes.