In just a few weeks I will board a plane to the auspicious Middle Kingdom, the land of dumplings and kung pao chicken, the great and mighty People’s Republic of China. There I will study the art of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by getting up close and personal at a massive teaching hospital in the humble, central province of Henan.
The entire experience will span three months. In that time, five of my classmates and I will study and observe day-to-day life in departments like internal medicine, medical qigong, acupuncture, oncology, massage, gynecology, psychiatry, and more.
But wait – Chinese Medicine? Acupuncture hospitals? herb.n3rd? How did I get here and what is going on?
The story truly began five years ago. I was a sophomore in college and caught something awful while traveling in Shanghai. With my emergency pack of over-the-counter drugs failing me, I managed to drag myself into some local Chinese pharmacy. The pharmacist was patient with me as I tried to explain the fever, the ache, and the worst sore throat I had ever experienced. In fact, I remember telling the pharmacist, in my fumbling Chinese, that it felt like I had swallowed knives.
The pharmacist ended up giving me a box of vials full of some brown liquid. Honest to God, some of the nastiest stuff I’ve ever tasted. But what happened? I got better – lots better – in the less than two days. From then on, I’ve been fascinated by Chinese medicine and have spent the last three years studying in San Francisco at the American College of TCM.
Already in my education and clinical experience, I’ve seen treatments and results that are unknown or unnoticed by the world of mainstream medicine. Treatments for stroke, dysmenorrhea, arthritis, back pain, insomnia, infertility, acne, candida, irritable bowel – the list goes on, and yet there is so little discussion of these natural cures. In the months to come, my goal is to not only witness more of Chinese medicine’s unsung successes but also share these results through this blog and beyond.
So stay tuned as I document my journey to Henan, the land of TCM’s origin, and spread stories of the medicine’s victories, it’s defeats, it’s energetic eccentricities and it’s hidden treasures.