Ancient medicine new practives(2)

2013-7-22 9:09:00 From: China Daily

Sitting in the pristine offices of their Dongwen clinic, marketing representative and sometime translator for the center Jenna Merrill, says they offer a variety of TCM treatments, including acupuncture, massage and cupping, with doctors who speak Mandarin, English and Japanese.

"It's Chinese medicine but in an environment that is up to Western standards," Merrill says.

Merrill, an American, says most Chinese seeking TCM treatment will visit a public hospital, but foreigners often find the massive, busy institutions overwhelming and also face both language and cultural barriers when seeking treatment.

Public hospital doctors, with a line of patients at the door, rarely have the time to explain TCM to foreign patients who find the rushed experience unsettling, especially if they are unfamiliar with the treatments.

"From the Chinese mindset they think these are the best doctors because they have 100 patients a day, but one of our doctors here has at most eight patients a day, so their idea of specialization is different," Merrill says.

"We think it's important to care for the patient and not only provide services but also spend time to learn their medical background and talk with them," she says, adding that education is also a focus of the center, which also holds tai chi classes.

Merrill sympathizes with foreigners who are wary of some TCM treatments, such as cupping and acupuncture, which can seem intimidating to a first-timer.

"They are really worried about the cupping," she laughs, referring to the treatment known as baguan in Chinese, where suction is applied to the body, leaving large, circular bruises. She says most foreigners are more accepting of acupuncture compared to cupping or moxa, treatments that Chinese patients are more familiar with.

"Even I am a bit worried about cupping."

Has she tried it? Merrill nods. "It does take some getting used to," she admits.

But despite their hesitation, she says the majority of foreigners are open-minded enough to embrace all aspects of TCM.

"One thing I like is that when foreigners come here they are very accepting of new things, they are not only accepting of the medicine but also the cultural background."


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