Poking Around the Hospital
The students follow different doctors around the Beijing TCM Hospital, and learn the many surprising ailments that are treated with acupuncture. They also remedy a bit of homesickness with fast-food coffee.
Wednesday we were back together as a group following Dr. Xia, we were once again thrown into the chaos of 30+ people an hour. It is really unbelievable compared to home – working on perhaps 3 people an hour!
In the afternoon we were given the opportunity to speak with Dr. Xia, he had prepared a small lecture about Shen, spirit, and phlegm and the importance of ensuring all treatments encompass the body, mind and spirit. He also talked about treating hemiparalysis using threading techniques. In Canada we are used to our little needles that are often only as long as 3 cun (a proportional inch). I can’t imagine it is used regularly, but he showed us one of his gold needles that could be used in very tough cases.
In the evening we visited Tiananmen square, it is quite something to see. It seemed to get busier and busier as we got closer. We have pretty much gotten used to the busyness of our neighborhood in Beijing, which is quite busy but not overwhelming, but when you finally emerge on to the actual Tianamen street it is although you a being thrown into the gauntlet. In spite of the high traffic in the area it is surprisingly very clean and neat. Unlike other world sights there are relatively few people trying to sell you tourist tack and other things. It is still there, just less, which is very nice.
As you walk up Tiananmen street you come across many fancy international hotels, like Raffles or the Hilton, just around the corner from that is a shopping street called Wangfujin Da Ji, our Forbidden City tour guide called it the Champs de Elysées of Beijing. Even at 8:30 pm there were people everywhere wandering about, shopping and generally enjoying themselves. Tucked in a little corner there is a street food street where they proudly display a variety of different food items, some tasty looking like the candied fruit on a stick and others a little less so, like scorpion on a stick. We were not prepared to try it out that night, but we will be working up our courage for next visit (we will post pictures if I can find some).
The next day, Thursday, we followed Dr. Wong in the morning again and Master Acupuncturist Dr. Xin in the afternoon. By this time some of us had seen Dr. Wong’s patients 3 times so we were getting to know some of them and were looking forward to see if any improvements had developed overnight. It is interesting to see people daily to have the opportunity to really see progression, unlike in at home where it is more likely once a month.
As a Master Acupuncturist, Dr. Xin sees less people in a day, only 8 at a time with each rotation being closer to 45 min. He was very kind and patient with us, taking the time to explain more about what he was doing and why as he went along.
In the evening we went for a relaxed dinner by the lake. We were on the rooftop patio of the restaurant and were able to enjoy the sounds of the market below and the, relatively, cooler(ish) evening air. After dinner we wandered around the market street and bought a souvenir or two.
On Friday we were in the psychosomatic department with Dr. Chen Jie, she treats mostly insomnia, depression and anxiety and the conditions that are caused by and created by them. She uses a very similar point prescription from patient to patient, only altering it to account for the other presenting symptoms. She did use a lot more cupping than any other doctor has used yet. In one case she had her intern be rather aggressive with the cupping it’s pretty shocking to see what was brought out.
Sarah was not feeling well, so she went home at lunch and Jiulin went to Shanghai for the weekend, so just before lunch he left the three of us all alone to fend for ourselves. We are not proud of ourselves, but some of us were really craving coffee and the pictures looked so good (breakfast serves only instant coffee and during the day only premise convenience store iced coffees seem to be available in short walking distance), so we went to KFC. The coffee was fantastic, but we will stick to local fare from now on.
In the afternoon we had a new interpreter Ada, she is an acupuncture student a couple years into her schooling. With a bit more background she was able to translate everything we needed to know from Dr. Mah, another master acupuncturist, in the afternoon. Once again it was nice and quite with plenty of opportunities for questions.
With Jiulin gone and a lady down, we opted for a quiet evening, just walking over to our favorite lake area for a quick wander before an early night.
Four acupuncture students from MacEwan University are learning and traveling in China this month.