Day 14: Acupuncture

Natalie led the group to lunch today. She took us to a dumpling place that she, Austin, and a couple other students had gone to earlier on the trip. She personally had no difficulty asking for the correct menus (pictures are nice) and helped us figure out what to order. It’s hard to express how wonderfully relieving it is to have someone who is not afraid to communicate. The waitresses were kind of hard to work with at times but Natalie made it easy and all eleven people left the restaurant happy and satisfied. We even got a free liter of Pepsi because we were such good customers.

Today we all went to a Chinese Traditional Medicine Clinic (acupuncture and other related practices)  just around the corner from the Lotus office. The doctors gave us a brief introduction of their practice. Unfortunately a lot of it is kind of abstract and hard to explain…especially in another language, which is what they were trying to do.

Ying and Yang is very important in this practice. From what I understand, one way of looking at Ying and Yang is cold and hot. The body has two systems (I think…don’t quote me on this), an internal system and an external system. In order to be healthy you want your qi (think of it as the movement of energy although it is not defined as energy) to move well throughout your body. So an unhealthy person might have one part of their body system either too hot or too cold. Once the doctors figure this out, they have methods to get rid of this imbalance by moving a person’s qi. When they move the qi and creat balance, they are able to cure injuries and sickness.

I thought it was fascinating, and so did everyone else.  Eric got acupuncture and some kind of cup suction thing (there’s a bettername for it I just can’t remember) to help with his stomach. CJ got special treatment for his acne and back. Kelsey got treatment for her knees.

The suction cup treatment (almost everyone got this) is kind of weird looking. In order to make the cup stick to the skin, the doctors put a flame in the cup, heating up the gas inside slightly, and then put it on the skin (it doesn’t hurt). When the gas cools, it compresses and forms suction. Many suctions make the skin turn weird colors. This was the cause of a great deal of entertainment for the Maret crowed. The doctors, however, said they could tell how one’s qi was moving based on these colors. Everyone got a turn. If they didn’t want the regular treatment, they could get a massage…it was amazing!

After a couple hours of the most entertaining medical treatment I’ve ever had, we took a picture with the physicians and said our good-byes.

I just thought I would mention that Kelsey has had a wonderful idea to see some Beijing opera. Ms. Cohan is going to try and get some tickets to a teahouse type place where a group of people can go and watch small clips of opera.

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