I wrote in an earlier post my first experiences of Chinese medecine. This time round I was to experience acupuncture and Chinese massage.
10 years’ later and once again I started to notice the same symptoms as before. This time my doctor prescribed an antibiotic – which he cheerfully explained I would have to take for the rest of my life. I wasn’t to sure about that, so once again off I went to a Chinese clinic. Same ying and yang problem and my blood had overheated again. My new Chinese doctor was appalled that my own GP had proposed a rest-of-life regime of antibiotics. She knew enough about Western medecine to recognise that my body would build up a progressive resistance to any long term medication.
This time the “tea” came in the form of a powder but still tasted pretty foul. After one week things had got better, but the symptoms had not disappeared entirely. I went back to the clinic. What really struck me was that the doctor was actually surprised that her initial treatment had not been totally successful.
This time round no more medecine. She prescribed acupuncture and Chinese massage once a week.
Acupuncture involved stripping down to my underpants and lying on my back, while the practitioner inserted 40 or more fine needles into my skin. He started on the top of my head, then worked down on my face, chest, arm, wrist and hands and so on. Occasionally I felt a twinge as he progressed. The practioner nodded approvingly. “Strong is good”. His English was not terrific. Excellent, no small talk.
Once done, I was left alone to relax for half an hour. The lights were turned down and soft Chinese music in the background. Covered in needles I didn’t dare move. Soon it became quite easy to stay motionless. After a while I started to nod off.
After half an hour he came back to remove the acupuncture needles. Then started the Chinese massage. In some ways Chinese massage is not that different from a standard massage, except that it covers every joint and muscle in your body.
However, because of its Eastern origins, it also works with restoring the balance of Chi. Chinese massage presses on certain acupressure points in the body’s meridian system to stimulate the body’s own healing process.
Chi, or Qi, is universal life force energy, which all living forms have. When one’s Chi is strong, well balanced and flowing freely throughout the body, then the individual is healthy, free from illnesses and diseases.
Or so I am told. Actually I did feel quite a buzz after each session.
I followed this regime for the next two or three months. Eventually it struck me that these sessions were becoming more an indulgence than fulfilling any therapeutic need, so I called a halt, and haven’t been since. Mind you if the need should arise I will be sure to try acupuncture and Chinese massage again.
In the mean time you can find a registered practitioner near you from the ATCM website.