Thursday, July 31, 2008
It is said that originally, Chinese doctors were paid when the patient stayed well, not when he got sick. Which makes good sense to me.
Anyway. There is much to be said for Chinese medicine, acupuncture in particular. According to them, when our "chi" becomes unbalanced, we get sick, or experience pain. This can be visualized as rivers of energy (there are 2,000 acupuncture points on the body) that have become dammed up by the debris of stress, etc. Once this stuck debris is freed, the river becomes clear and moves easily through its channel. The pain decreases, or stops.
Acupuncture helps relax muscles and promotes blood circulation to areas where you feel pain, or tension and stress. It appears to work by stimulating the release of natural opiates in the body. My last visit, I walked through doors that said "Shanghai" and "Beijing." I counted 22 needles as they were put into my back--no pain, just a sort of mild pinch. When the needles are in place, the doctor brings out 2 electro-magnetic heat lamps that warm the area up nicely as they release 33 essential minerals which are vital to our cells and tissues. You lay there surrounded by pillows, Chinese flute music or the sound of bubbling brooks, ocean waves, etc, and you feel absolutely wonderful. This lasts for about 45 minutes. Then you are given a warming vial of Chinese magic oil (Wong To Yick Woodlock) to rub on the affected spot 3 or 4 times a day.
They say it's been used for 4,000 years, and they haven't lost a patient yet--at least none they could blame acupuncture as the cause of injury or death. My doctor, Doctor Ding Hai, is a graduate of Shanghai University of Chinese Medicine. His office (one of two--he has another office in Park City, where many of the biggest film stars have homes, where the Sundance Film Festival is held every year, an artsy little place full of art galleries and skiers) in Salt Lake is modest, tucked behind a small cafe called The Eggery. There is a large painting on one wall of a Chinese landscape, various pieces of Chinese sculpture, one with water flowing from Chinese mountains into Chinese valleys. There is also a small TV with a handwritten sign inviting you to watch a small collection of Chinese-American videos. The English is dubbed. One morning when I was there two children watched a western in which every other word was a swear-word. I don't think Dr Ding is aware that his videos sport all this profanity. %&!**$@&*!
Anyway. They didn't seem to notice it, and I was too blissed-out to care. I heartily recommend it! I'm going back in one month, and then seasonally for a "tune-up."
If you do this, make sure that your doctor is National Board Certified, is Licensed by your state to practice acupuncture, and uses disposable needles only.