Traditional Chinese Medicine: Cups and Needles!

As one of the field trips for the Traditional Chinese Medicine course, we were able to visit the Traditional Chinese Medicine department of a local hospital to learn how different treatment methods are used and to directly observe physicians treating patients. During the first day of the field trip to the hospital, we were taken to a separate conference room, where we were taught the purpose and philosophy of each of the different treatment methods, such as acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion. We were allowed to try these different treatments on ourselves and our peers. We were even provided needles to try acupuncture on ourselves, but no one was confident enough to try it!

After we learned about the different treatments, we were able to visit the clinic the next day to see patients being treated with acupuncture, cupping, and a massaging technique called “Tui Na”. It was extremely interesting to see how a variety of different problems, including back problems, digestive issues, numbness, and even insomnia were able to be treated with acupuncture needles and electric stimulation. The physician who we observed told us that throughout his career, he had used about 4 million acupuncture needles in order to treat a variety of different health issues!

This opportunity to have a hands-on experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine was extremely valuable because TCM is not as popular in the United States, and thus, it is very difficult to have an opportunity to observe how TCM plays a role that Western medicine cannot.