You know, I am a huge subscriber of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Funny right, even though my background is very Westernized, I do prefer holistic approaches whenever possible when it comes to wellness. Holistic wellness are in-line with Eastern philosophies so it probably also shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am heavily partial towards TCM, given that I embrace holistic wellness via meditation, spiritual enlightnment, yoga and the likes.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise (qigong; which I want to start learning), and dietary therapy. TCM’s view of the body places little emphasis on anatomical structures, but is mainly concerned with the identification of functional entities which regulate digestion, breathing, aging etc. While health is perceived as harmonious interaction of these entities and the outside world, disease is interpreted as a disharmony in interaction. What that means is, even if you’re not deathly ill, the slightest discomfort that you may be physically feeling is an indication of disharmony in your system. TCM helps to regulate that and I view it as maintenance to keep the physical condition in tip-top shape.
I went to Ling Xin TCM with Karen a couple weeks ago. My primary complaint was that I had been feeling the chills and felt like my immune system was going somewhat off-kilter. I get tuina massages regularly elsewhere but haven’t quite found an acupuncture place where I can go for general health maintenance in Singapore. So I was really happy to check out the services at Ling Xin TCM.
Do you know that TCM (in particular acupuncture coupled with Chinese herbal medicine) is an effective remedy for weight loss, beauty and even infertility? I can attest to acupuncture being an effective infertility treatment as I have a very good friend who went to seek treatment a few years ago, and I kid you not, where Chlomid had failed, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine succeeded and she achieved a successful IVF after TCM treatments. I swear this is the honest truth and my good friend is now mother to two beautiful toddlers.
As for my personal experience with TCM: I used to be freezing my buns off when I lived in New York, I hated the winter because no matter how high I cranked up the heater inside my apartment, I was constantly cold even after bundling myself up tight like a dumpling. The kind that came from deep inside my body and would cause my bones to ache all over. Fleece socks, leg warmers, down jacket, mohair sweaters, thick gloves, hat, you name it, I’d still be freezing. Maybe I have low core temperature internally or something. So starting from almost ten years ago, I sought TCM and getting regular acupuncture as well as drinking prescribed Chinese herbal medicine had helped me tide over the brutal winters.
Of course now that I’m living in Singapore, I am spared from sub-zero temperatures but I still get thrown off-balance from time to time from air conditioning. I once had to sit at the passenger seat in a taxi and the driver had cranked the aircon full blast, high. O_O I always, always avoid positioning myself directly in front of a draft, whether it’s coming from aircon or fan. I find it highly uncomfortable, annoyingly unbearable and it makes me sick, literally.
Another personal experience with TCM: I, like many others, suffer frequently from backaches and shoulder aches due to long hours spent sitting in front of the computer. I’d get these hard muscular lumps on my shoulders and I don’t really need to say how bad my posture is. I often go for massages (Shiatsu, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Lomi-lomi, etc) at spas but the one treatment which I have found most effective in all these years is Tuina massages coupled with sometimes Meridian Scraping and Cupping.
Ling Xin TCM offers all of the services I’ve mentioned above: Tuina massage, Ba-guan 拔罐 cupping, 刮痧 Meridian Scraping, Acupuncture … and more.
Ling Xin TCM offers a lot of different services/treatments, some of which I’ve never heard of, like the Herbal Steam Bath 草药薰蒸 – which I got to try. But first! Before any treatment, Ling Xin TCM has in-house physician that provides a consultation to determine one’s body condition before recommending the appropriate remedies.
Pulse reading 把脉 in progress. Ling Xin TCM’s physician diagnosed me as having a slightly weak, slow and fine pulse. And I have an aversion to cold as well (“vacuity-cold”), which directly relates to me frequently getting the chills. The treatments which were recommended to me were: Herbal Steam Bath, Acupuncture and Tuina.
The Herbal Steam Bath is kinda like a sauna and steamroom combined, but with Chinese herbs infused into the steam. So I sat inside this wooden tub and everything below the neck was covered within the tub, receiving all the benefits of the herbal steam. The entire treatment was about 20 minutes long and throughout its duration, I was perspiring profusely. This was great, because all the toxins got released via sweat (I literally sweated it all out). When it was time to get out of the wooden tub, my limbs were more limber, my cheeks had a rosy flush and I felt fantastic! By the way, this Herbal Steam Bath is also an effective method for weight loss, for those who want to try. Even though multiple sessions are recommended, I find that you can see an immediate weight loss after one session because the steam helped to shed all that water retention.
Next up for me was Acupuncture. *dun dun dun*
I know many people flinch upon the idea alone because they are phobic towards needles, but believe you me, acupuncture DOES NOT hurt. Sure when the needles are being inserted, you will feel a pinch…. but it’s more like an ant bite. My secondary complaint that day was achy shoulders, hence the acupuncture needles were inserted in the affected acupressure points as you can see above. All reputable TCM clinics that offers acupuncture nowadays use sterile, individually-packaged needles. Don’t worry, gone are the ancient days ala kungfu movies in which some white-haired sifu master sterilizes needles over the flame of a candle. Hahaha! See, acupuncture was practiced even back then and yes I watched a lot of kungfu movies growing up. Acupuncture treatments generally improves the flow of chi and also helps to alleviate pain. I always chuckle whenever I think of this concept because it brings to mind scenes of kungfu movies (again) in which the pugilists would tap on certain acupressure points to immobilize their fighting opponents; you know what I’m talking about? :D I find that so comical. I don’t know about immobilization, but I have read that there are acupressure points that can trigger painless-ness. Like, you can numb yourself from pain just by triggering some acupressure points – where they are located on the body, I haven’t a clue but this gem of a knowledge really should have been perpetuated as it’ll come in very handy I’m sure.
I usually always fall asleep when getting acupuncture because the needles are left there for about fifteen twenty minutes. It is… strangely quite relaxing for me. The longer they are left there (half hour maybe) the better it is for your body and you will see more efficacy. Seriously, acupuncture does not hurt. Okay…. maybe different people have varying pain threshold. Or maybe my skin is thicker around the usual acupressure points. I did experience a painful acupuncture treatment once though and that was when the needles were inserted into the base of my foot once. I did not enjoy that much, frankly. But really, most areas do not hurt. If I still haven’t convinced you acupuncture is painless, Ling Xin TCM has a needle-less alternative for the squeamish. Simply put, instead of inserting needles, this option uses magnetic suction cups to stimulate the acupressure points so you get the same benefit as acupuncture. This is slightly less effective if you must compare apples to oranges, but I’m sure this option is much welcome for those who are averse to having needles poked into their skin. :) This needle-less alternative is demonstrated above by Karen.
Last but not least, I got Tuina massage to get rid of all the kinks in my joints. You can ask Karen, who was lying next to me just a bed away during the massage, I was screaming and howling during the massage. These TCM therapists and physicans ah…. they always KNOW where the problematic points are just through pressing a few spots – even if you didn’t say anything beforehand. Sure, I declared shoulders when I first walked into Ling Xin TCM but that ache was connected from the neck to the shoulder blades to the lower back right down to the butt, thighs, calves. That’s how the acupressure points work as the flow of chi must be smoothened out from head to toe. Good lawd, I was beating the side of the bed with my free arm because the Tuina massage was downright painful – yet in a masochistic manner, the pain was gooooooooooooood.
My therapist at Ling Xin TCM finished off the Tuina massage with a bell-shaped device that’s powered electronically to emit a warming sensation. That rounded off all the sore muscles and felt superb. My original shoulder and back aches totally melted away and for the following week after, my entire back felt unknotted and I walked around with much better posture.
Ling Xin TCM is a good place to check out because of the range of services they offer, the expertise of the therapists as well as very well-priced affordable packages for treatments.
Ling Xin TCM
522 Macpherson Road
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