Traditional Chinese medicine

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Traditional Chinese Healing Massages

On Monday evening, the interns got a special tour of the Traditional Chinese  healing methods at a local hospital in Zhuhai.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a wide range of ancient practices that have been used in China for more than 2000 years and this includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and various massage techniques.

At first we were introduced to the Medicine Center where patients can get their prescription medicine. In China, most medicines are made up of different herbs that are measured and mixed to diagnose a certain symptom or sickness, and are taken as tea.

From there we were taken upstairs where we got a tour of the area where Acupuncture, Cupping and Fire Massages are done. In fact, as we were walking around there were real patients getting the procedures done that we basically stood around and watched!

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a procedure in which needles are used to stimulate acupuncture points (known as meridians) in one’s body that creates therapeutic effect, and this can be done via manual stimulation or electrical stimulation. Acupuncture is said to be one of the oldest healing practices in the world, and it is said to help with anxiety, problems with sleep and depression.

What is Cupping Therapy?
The Cupping Therapy is an ancient Chinese form of medicine in which fire is placed inside of a cup and placed on the patient’s skin to create suction. Traditional doctors believe that this creates a flow of blood which results in healing and they use it to treat the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis. Cupping Therapy can be done on the back, neck and shoulders. Afterwards one is left with round red bruised bubbles where the cup had been.

We were then all able to get a sample of each procedure. They were very quick and did not tell us where we were getting our procedures done – Philippe sat down and the doctor quickly stuck some acupuncture needles in his head – this is to activate the brain cells and make you smarter. I decided to go next, thinking I was getting an opportunity to get smarter also, but very quickly, before I could react, the doctor stuck a few needles in my arms instead – this is supposed to create a sense of calmness and control anger. I wonder if she knew we both needed these specific cures… Raury (one of the Zhuhai interns) sat down next and got to experience the cupping on his neck.

Afterwards we all had the option to choose a procedure and have it done, for which we had to pay the small amount of 11.5 RMB (1.50€) for the Cupping and 20 (2.50€) RMB for the Fire Massage!

I tried the Cupping therapy, which I was told would not hurt. To clarify, I wouldn’t say it hurts, but it definitely does not feel pleasant! Once it comes into contact with your back, it sticks on your skin as a small vacuum has been created within the cup by the cooling of the hot air and gasses, and then has to stay there for ten minutes. For the duration of the ten minutes you can feel an intense sucking/tickling sensation. This didn’t feel great, but what did it for me was the thought of my blood being sucked to the surface of my skin and after that I was pretty freaked out. Afterwards we were all left with funny red circles on our backs – the more red and bubbly the spots, the more unhealthy you are said to be.

When all procedures were finished, we took some group photos with the Chinese doctors, since they so graciously gave us a free tour of the facility and a lesson on the Traditional Chinese Healing Massages. To top off the evening, we went out for ice cream afterwards.

Would you like to experience Traditional Chinese Healing Massages? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information!

Chengdu Blogs, Cultural, Things To Do in Chengdu

A Visit to Qingyang Temple – Back to the Roots of Daoism

Chengdu is a dynamic city – some people say it is the fastest growing city in the world! Skyscrapers and shopping centers are being built up quickly everywhere in the city. However, there are still some peaceful places left, where you can rest your stressed soul.

One of them I visited last weekend: Qingyang Temple – the place where Laozi is to be said that he spoke the Tao Te King (also: Dao De Jing 道德经) to one of his disciples, which is one of the main books (besides the famous I Ching/Yi Jing 易经) of Daoism.

If you are a little familiar with Chinese culture, you might know, that Daoism is a deep-rooted concept in Chinese history and Chinese daily life. Even if you haven’t heard of Daoism yet, you might have seen the black and white yin yang symbol before, or have heard about Taiji, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or feng shui.

As these concepts are becoming more popular in the West now as well, a lot of people are living a part of the Chinese culture in their daily lifes already. Now, where is this all originating from?

Chengdu is the center of the West of modern China. However, in ancient times it was part of a kingdom during the Warring State Period. There was a wise man (some say he is more a mystical figure, but it seems like there is prove that he actually lived): called Laozi (老子). He was said to have lived at the same time as Confucius (or Kongzi 孔子), who is well-known in the East and West for his quotes about state-philosophy and the relationship of family members. Laotse was a follower of the way of Dao and formulated the 81 core principles of Daoism. The book has inspired hundreds and thousands of commentators and has been translated and interpreted in many languages.  In honour to the place where he was said to have read these principles to one of his disciples, a temple was built. Today, it is called Qingyang Gong (The Green Goat Temple 青羊宫).

The temple has been built during the Chunqiu Period and has been revived under the Tang Dynasty. Parts of the temple have been renovated during the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century. It has been one of the few Daoist temples which was allowed by the Chinese government to open its doors again in the 1980’ies.

Today, it is a centre of peace and relaxation. A teahouse on one side forms a place for socialization of local people, whereas within one of the yards you can watch young disciples training Wushu and older disciples training Taiji. Everywhere you can see Daoist nuns and monks, who stroll around in the park and help keeping the incense stick holders clean.

In several places, you can find references to the Daoist astrology, namely the 12 animal zodiac signs (mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse. Goat, monkey, chicken, dog, pig): May it be engravings on the floor or little sculptures on stone walls. Also look out for the big yin-yang symbol which is engraved in the stone floor in one of the yards. The symbol looks simple, but is highly complex, therefore I just want to give a brief summary: The yin is represented by the black part which is carrying the white seed, the yang energy, and the other way around. Yin energy is often anticipated with the female, the moon and the earth, whereas yang energy is often anticipated with the male, the sun and the heaven. In combination and interaction they are creating life or also called the ‘Qi’. Qi is everything which moves, wherever is movement, there’s life. Where ever movement stops, there’s no life anymore. The ideal balance of yin and yang always creates life.

Many people I know, say, that if you have seen one Chinese temple, you know them all.

I have to refuse since I know Qingyang Gong. Buddhist temples in China, that might be, often end up as tourist attractions selling lots of souvenirs, snacks and drinks. I even found a Starbucks once in a temple area. Buddhism in China has sold itself out,  maybe. I am glad to say, that if you are looking for a true place for spiritualism, you can come to Chengdu and visit Qingyang temple. Pay the 10 RMB entrance fee, get some incense sticks to send prayers to your ancestors, family and friends and enjoy a happy and relaxed day by get your yin and yang in balance!

There are more aspects than Chinese modern business culture, that you are interested in? Our team in Chengdu is happily arranging visits to temples or organizes other cultural activities to help you understanding the Chinese culture better.
Apply now for an internship and become part of the Intern China experience!



















Cultural, Things To Do in Zhuhai

Massage (按摩ànmó)

Hey everyone, it’s Sunny! Today, I want to tell you something about Chinese Massage.Normally, I am going to health care massage every week. It is also divided into body massage, foot massage and facial massage. But facial massage is mostly only for girls in spa centres or beauty centres. I strongly suggest to try foot massage! For me, it is the best thing in the world, haha. Body massage and foot massage have always similar prices in Zhuhai, about 40-60yuan RMB per hour. Once you come to Zhuhai, I will tell you where is the best place to go!

Massage (按àn – to press, 摩mó – to rub sth.) has the traditional Chinese medicine zang-fu organs and meridian theory as a theoretical basis. Combined with the western medicine, anatomy and pathology diagnosis, the technique uses specific areas of the human body to regulate the body’s physiological and pathological conditions, in order to achieve a natural physical therapy method. The massage treatment can be divided into health care massage, sports massage and medical massage.

Massage is one of China’s most ancient medical methods
In primitive society, the people working in productive labor or gladiators were often injured. When people had a wound, they would instinctively put a hand on it to stop the bleeding. When the wound got swollen, people tried to alleviate the pain and instinctively touched and kneaded the hump to make it smaller or disappear.
Other people found out that with stone chips you can alleviate some specific ailment. They repeated these applications, and through that started to develop proper massage techniques. Time continued and these tactics were further developed and accumulated. During the process of practice, massage gradually changed from unconscious accidental action into a system that was used freely by people as a treatment. Thousand of years ago, our ancestors laid the foundation for massage and gradually formed the massage we know today.

There are oracle bones with inscriptions from the Shang-Dynasty, they date back to 1400 BC and there are some with „massage“ written on them.

Medical massage
Massage is one of the Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies, and it is also one of the oldest human applications to use for physical therapy. In addition to surgical treatment (namely & experience massage), you can also treat diseases like gynecology, internal medicine and pediatrics etc., it is also an effective cure for chronic diseases and functional diseases.

Currently engaged in medical massage is mainly the blind massage. The blind massage clinics and hospitals for Traditional Chinese Medicine have massage as physiotherapy.

Health care massage
Health care massage refers to healers using massage techniques, that send a stimulus through your body which eliminate fatigue, cure physical problems and prolong life.
There are different techniques applied, such as kneading, pool neck method, cotton friction method, back lumbar method, shoot game, limb shake extraction method. It’s movements are soft, flexible, easy. Regardless of men, women and children, no matter what your physical strength is, if you have a disease or not, everyone can try health care massage.
With the development of China’s market economy, people’s material wealth growing, increasing also people’s health care need. Today you have all kinds of health care massage services, like domestic health care massage, infantile health care massage, beauty massage, reduce weight massage, foreign and tourism massage, pet massage etc. Modern health care massage equipment is widely used in family life!

Sports massage
Sports and health, combining both is the best you can do for your body.
Sports massage protects an athletes good condition, improves and develops his/her potential and physical fitness. In recent years, domestic and foreign practices show that an excellent performance became more and more important.

Would you like to try a massage together with Sunny and learn more about Traditional Chinese medicine? Then come to Zhuhai and apply now for one of our great internships or language classes: or  send us an email to