Acupuncture in a Chinese Hospital

Acupuncture in a Chinese Hospital

A number of unfamiliar modalities, including fire needles and electro stimulation.

The remainder of the week was very interesting, other doctors include more modalities than Dr. Xia and it was interesting to witness things that are not allowed in Canada.

Dr. Xie is conducting a study on weight loss

On Tuesday we split up into pairs. Two of us followed Dr. Xie, who is currently doing a study on weight loss. His patients seem to be getting fairly good results.  For all of those patients he insists they not eat chicken, cheese, banana and apples.  To us, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the bananas and cheese make sense because they are both damp forming foods which contributes to retention, but we were confused by the chicken and apples.  He says that he cannot explain it either but has noticed a correlation between people who eat lots of them and being overweight, perhaps it is because they grow too fast from hormones.

Fire Needles

Dr. Xie is does fire needling on the majority of his patients. This is not something we know about in Canada and certainly not something we would be allowed to do.  They use a high gauge needle, closer to the size of a an injection needle than an acupuncture needle, and a flame.  It is inserted and removed in under a second and not retained.  He will heat up the needle in the flame until it is red hot and then puncture areas that need stronger stimulation than can be provided by a regular needle.  Dr. Xie used it for the majority of his patients with pain conditions. This included using it for shingles, lumbar or neck pain and facial paralysis!  Most of the patients claim that there is no additional pain, but can you imagine a burning hot needle coming straight for UB 2 (just above the inner canthus of the eye) definitely wouldn’t fly at home!

Rayray (Ruby)

Our scheduled interpreter was sick so Jiulin was running between the rooms, fortunately with Dr. Xie had a 1st year student named Rayray (Ruby if we prefered) following him who knew a little English and she was able to do some translation for us.

The other pair were following Dr. Wang, he has a very controlled demeanor and works at a relatively relaxed pace.  He will still see no less than 14 patients in 1 hour but it seems a more controlled environment.  On the majority of his patients he will do a front and back treatment, usually the second treatment was just quick stimulation on additional point or two before he sends them on their way.  He will also use electro stimulation on most of his patients with pain or paralysis. At this point we had seen quite a number of patients with facial paralysis and he was able to shed some light on it.  He believes it is because of extreme season changes and with the differences in temperature moving from the 30+ degrees outside to the cool air conditioning inside in the summer,  since there is peaks in March and April and during the hot season.

In the evening there was a massive rain storm so we decided to stay in the hotel for dinner. Jiulin introduced us to Chinese liquor — we finally understand what fire water actually is.  It is possibly similar to moonshine but, this is pink and legal, and burns all the way down.  We only had one cup each, but that was definitely enough!  We were ready to call it a night, thankfully it was just a short walk up the stairs.

Four acupuncture students from MacEwan University are learning and traveling in China this month. In this post, they observe