Chinese Medicine


I guess I should blog a little about Chinese Medicine, as my father in law is actually a Chinese Doctor.

Since I've been married, whenever I've been feeling a bit under the weather, the wife drags me over to her father's little shop in Kwun Tong. He's a Chinese Herbalist and he'll usually make up a bundle of herbs for me which sorts out whatever has been troubling me. So far, he's sorted out my persistent backache, some colds and flu, as well as my psoriasis. If I go over with something specific, like an ear infection, he generally says that Western Medicine is better for that. In general, I've found that Chinese Medicine is extremely good at dealing with ailments where your body is out of balance (colds, flu, aches and pains) and restoring that balance, while the Western Medicine is best at dealing with immediately life threatening symptoms, but not necessarily with the underlying causes. Of course, it doesn't help that the typical Western Doctor in Hong Kong feels obliged to prescribe antibiotics for everything and also to give patients a lucky number of medicines. Usually, three, five or eight. I've actually argued doctor down to four medicines (Four is a very unlucky number in Cantonese, sounding like the word for 'death') before and I could see the superstition running across his features before I said "I'm not Chinese, four medicines won't kill me."

Similarly for the kids, he's very good on general wonkiness, but some things are better treated by going to a hospital. For example, some months ago Conor had a very high fever and went into seizures. His advice was to call an ambulance and then pump his lungs to keep him breathing. The ambulance crew agreed that that was extremely sensible advice, and just gave him some oxygen to help him breathe. The cause turned out be be some gastric bug he picked up from somewhere. Meanwhile, Roxanne and Conor have both had digestive problems or skin problems which he's sorted out very quickly.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on August 11, 2003 12:21 AM.

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