Henriette Reker, deputy mayor of Cologne, Germany, receives traditional Chinese medical therapy at the fair on Wednesday. Zhang Wei / China Daily
It took thousands of miles for Henriette Reker to experience the magic of traditional Chinese medicine, but she believes it was worth it.
"I found a few TCM doctors in Cologne, but it's never been as good as what I experienced in China last year," said Reker, deputy mayor of Cologne, Germany, as she underwent a series of TCM treatments at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on Wednesday.
Reker attended the fair's first event last year and was given a simple Chinese massage treatment that helped her "feel better for weeks after".
Reker said she has since been a firm believer in TCM and intends to promote it in Cologne, a sister city of Beijing.
"Since my last trip to Beijing, I have been trying to promote TCM in Cologne, and people are increasingly recognizing the power of TCM," Reker said.
On Wednesday, Reker was first exposed to a series of treatments that included massage. To address a frequent sore neck, she underwent a 15-minute acupuncture treatment and moxibustion, a TCM technique that involves the burning of mugwort to facilitate healing.
"I feel much better. TCM is like a secret," she said as she got up from her acupuncture bed.
Last year, Reker started inviting Chinese TCM doctors to visit Cologne to launch a partnership between medical institutions in the city and Beijing.
She also hosted a "China Year" celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Beijing and Cologne.
The city has three TCM hospitals and about 100 TCM doctors, she said.
Wang Qi, a veteran TCM doctor who treated Reker, is pleased with the strides Reker is making to expand TCM's presence in Cologne.
"This will be a new phase for TCM," Wang said. "More people need to feel its benefits to fully understand it".
The second China International Fair for Trade in Services is running from May 28 to June 1.