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Holistic and ancient approaches to healing

I read Dr Mao’s column on Secrets of Longevity at Yahoo Health news. And I find that his articles are very informative- he has attempted to put forward an ancient and effective healing technique in a way that is most easy for one to understand (because in the orthodox text of Chinese Medicine, it would be hard for the untrained to understand the terms and jargons used).

And yet, I was shocked when I read very negative comments left by some of the readers on the articles that he had written. It is obviously left by readers who find the idea of elements in our body being totally illogical- and not even pausing or keeping an open mind, they write some very sarcastic remarks.

You may have noticed that lately in this blog, there are more posts written with more energy healing and traditional Chinese medicine cures instead of the more conventional ones that you probably are accustomed to. I am moving and exploring to this part because I’ve found that a lot of answers that cannot be found in conventional medicine could be found in ancient healing systems.

Following, I want to share some of my observation and personal experiences to show you that by keeping an open mind and learning about ancient healing techniques, they can greatly complement the treatment that you are undergoing now.

I studied Biology till pre university levels- the Biology pre university paper (STPM) is a very tough paper during my time and high standards were set to it. My mom is a retired staff nurse and I still mix around with her retired friends- they were trained in the days where nursing standards were high and their qualifications were recognized in all Commonwealth countries (the subsequent batches are not longer recognized). She could have easily migrated to UK or Australia because those days, these countries were so short of nurses but she chose to stay back because we were very young then. But her friends who did went overseas to work are now PR of those countries.

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So I had the background- and some of my mom’s friends who were good at what they were doing- when I asked them about a certain health problem, they could give the prescribed options of treatment.

And yet, most of them are suffering from either one or more of the following problems (and those in orange are what holistic branch of healing could offer):

  • High uric acid
  • Insomnia (in TCM- element imbalance- related to heart and blood ‘chi’. Herbs are prescribed to balance up and according to TCM, taking sleeping pills will continue to weaken the mind and body)
  • Arthritis (in TCM, it is ‘wind dampness’- herbs are prescribed to expel the wind and dampness- and it is important for the person with arthritis to cut down on certain food).
  • Bodily and joint pains (same as above, sometimes also due to muscle imbalance due to occupational hazards– so painkillers are not effective in the long run)
  • Cancer/ cysts
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Getting very forgetful (considered element imbalance in TCM where herbs are again prescribed)
  • Varicose veins and lower back pain due occupational hazards of standing in the past (in postural studies, to determine the cause of muscle imbalance and to use exercise to strengthen certain muscles and massage to relief toxins buildup that harden part of the muscles causing pain)

They’ve accepted it as part of the aging process. Where they could pop in medication, they would do so. Sometimes they try supplements. At last resort, they go under the knife. But they could not find much of a long term relief. Two friends of my mom were in so much pain that they have to take strong pain medication each time when they attend social function- else they will be in such pain that they cannot enjoy the gathering. If they have to go for operation, it will be a very high risk spinal operation which could leave them paralyzed at even the most minute wrong move- so they would rather live with the pain than to risk paralysis.

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That, and looking at my own family history and health problems of friends around me (despite having access to the best private medical treatment because of job benefit), I’ve realized that more will need to be learned. If I cannot find the answers in conventional medicine… I need to search elsewhere for answers.

Because I myself suffered from constant fatigue since young, I found relief when I overhaul my lifestyle- exercise more, eat less processed carbs and more fiber. Since I quit a stressful job in June 2008, I’ve opted out of the stressful lifestyle and watch my condition improved and I was able to lose weight and more or less maintained it.

But I still have strange ailments- creaking knee (now spreading from right to both knees), strange pain on the kidney areas when I wake up- that I could not find any cure. I was told to take supplements and hope that the onset of osteoarthritis can be delayed (actually, I am too young to have osteoarthritis). As for the pain in kidney areas, I’ve gone and saw a few specialists, including a urologist who ran extensive tests including having me take some radioactive liquid and then xrayed my kidneys to check the function. Everything’s normal- but I don’t feel normal. I am sure some of you can relate to my experience- that your test results are normal but you feel something’s not right inside. No doubt, it can be neurosis or worrying too much as your doctor may tell you… but it also could be an internal problem that have not manifested. I belief that somehow, I am ‘given’ such conditions in an attempt for me to find a cure and to explore other healing systems- and then to use my writing skills to explain it to others who are also seeking for answers. Else, I would not have started this health blog in the first place.

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Now, I am finding answers in traditional Chinese medicine and ancient energy healing systems. It does not mean that I will turn away from conventional treatment- but to use it to complement part of it. As per what I have indicated earlier, you will be reading more of such articles and case studies.

All I am asking is for you, my dear reader, to keep an open mind… to consider incorporating mind, body and spirit as part of your healing journey.

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  • Dr. Elaine March 1, 2010, 1:57 am

    Thank you very much for this post. As a holistic physician, I completely agree with the notion that a comprehensive approach that includes the body, mind and spirit is critical to creating health and well-being.

    • Yin Teing March 1, 2010, 6:56 pm

      Thanks very much, Dr Elaine.

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