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Monthly Archives: December 2011

This Must Be the Place

Of course I missed seeing everyone back in NY for the holidays, but…we did real well here, considering – we didn’t really “do” Christmas.  Won’t do much for New Year’s either, as we were told yesterday evening that the Doctor expects the birth will be somewhere between 1 and 3 January…so we will celebrate Chinese New Year afterwards…and I will celebrate the great example of my lovely wife, and stay calm, and somehow remember her birthday in the midst of everything else.

What do you get the person who has given you everything?

Chinese Medicine and Postpartum Confinement (part 1)

[Time: 36 weeks? prenatal]

A few months into the pregnancy I had left hip pains, so I went to a chiropractor with my mom and he did the bent knee hip push and leg pulling thing to straighten my legs. He told me it was because I had bad posture, and that warped my hip socket so that one leg would be longer than the other (which could be seen when he aligned my hips. He said that I could go there regularly to have my hip adjusted, and try to keep in good posture (no crossing legs and sleeping only in certain positions).

The hip pain would go on and off, particularly when I rolled roly-poly out of bed like the carefree young thing I like to think of myself. It was always on the left. For a few weeks it dissipated and I would forget about it. I learned by 6 months that I could no longer sit on the floor for any amount of time without risk of triggering the problem. Turning in bed had to be conducted carefully, trying to turn both legs together instead of expecting my legs to just follow the turn of my torso. About a month ago it flared up again, rather badly, after bouts of pelvic pain (I found a really nice essay about pelvic pain from a lecture, unfortunately could not find it again so here is one that would do http://www.sidysfunction.com/articles/lumbarbackandposteriorpelvicpain.html ) . I couldn’t get out of bed or up from a chair without wincing, and sometimes needed help. Mike was very kind about this and would help me up. At this point, Mike had often had bouts of shoulder pain (which he said was an old dislodged socket injury following a sad but funny story that I find it impolite to air in public). Since he was disappointed in his previous chiropractor, who was a westerner who trusted the powers of magnetic stones (somebody must have made a killing feeding him this stuff). I decided to really find a Chinese doctor for us.

In Taiwan, Chinese medicine is not merely considered ‘alternative medicine’, but frequently a true source of healing, particularly in medical conditions that Western medicine considers too frivolous for intervention measures (hip pain? If it doesn’t require a hip replacement, don’t bother us.) Many an infertile woman (from what I could see on mother forums, anyway), swear that they finally conceived after consulting a particularly skilled Chinese doctor. All certified Chinese doctors in Taiwan require medical training in an establishment. However, the nature of Chinese medicine seems to require a certain innate intuitiveness and/or guidance by a very experienced medicine man to really create spectacular results. This is apparently something that a mere Chinese medicine diploma doesn’t ensure. Thus, it is a frequent concern of people here whether the Chinese doctor here is a good doctor.

The basics of Chinese medicine are based on balance, ying and yang, hot and cold. A balanced human system is a healthy system. The procedure often requires a gradual tweaking of the body to reach optimal health, through a regular dose of Chinese herbs (all those prescribed in clinics here have been certified by our FDA) and sometimes pressure point stimulations. The procedures are generally non-invasive, the herbs low-toxicity. Complaints that are often brought to Chinese doctors include: Stomach discomforts, Indigestion, water-retention issues, menstrual irregularities, cold hands and feet, infertility, recovery from injuries…etc.

So I looked up a doctor in the neighborhood. You won’t believe what he prescribed.

(…. to be continued)