It’s been a couple months since I got back from Hong Kong and it feels like the happy haze from my trip is finally starting to wear off. I really enjoyed visiting this bustling city that was still wide awake at 11:30pm (like me!) and of course, I loved hanging out with my family! We played tourist and ate ourselves into a stupor every day from the mind-blowingly rich selection of good food.
Professionally, it was quite an experience to be in an environment where Chinese medicine is the norm, not the alternative. On signage for doctors’ offices, the Western doctors had a suffix after their names – “西醫 xiyi” or “Western medicine” – so people don’t go see them looking for acupuncture and herbs. Chinese herbs are also available everywhere: in convenience stores, supermarkets, and all the little pharmacies found in practically every block… much like the way we can find Tylenol or Advil anywhere you go in the US. (Photo on left is a Chinese pharmacy in Hong Kong.)
Herbs are a wonderful complement to acupuncture, especially for women’s health issues like PMS, PCOS, menstrual irregularities, menopause, and fertility. I have also treated patients with anxiety disorders who were unable (or unwilling) to take antidepressants. And if spring ever arrives, I will be taking herbs to manage my allergies. I got some raw herbs (photo on right) from Hong Kong and brewed me up some tonifying black chicken soup, which I drank for a week and I felt fantastic! (I also have to work on taking my herbs consistently… so for those of you out there who forget once in a while, don’t beat yourself up.)
More on herbs and Hong Kong coming soon. I’m working on a longer post on geeking out as a Chinese Medicine practitioner in a major Asian city. Stay tuned!