Modern China, the old with the new – when changing don’t throw out what works

Dr Sun and his assistant

While in China recently I had daily acupuncture treatments for an dicky shoulder at the local medical centre.

I’ve had good results with this ancient healing technique and thought that, while at the source, it would be good to experience how it is done here.

Through a bit of asking around I find Dr Sun at the Yanshan Community Health Service Center of Shekou People’s Hospital.

There you go, a tradition 1000s of years old is practiced in a hospital structure established less than a 100 years ago.

Isn’t this fantastic?

Keep what works and do more of it.

Dr Sun speaks a little bit English – or Chinglish. Sometimes the Chinese accent is so strong that it’s hard to understand what he says.

He is very nice though, wears a white coat and seems to know what he’s doing.

He has an assistant nurse who does not speak English, and studies a book with Chinese letters and drawings of body parts. She is also wearing white and has something akin to a Dutch white cap on her head.

On the wall there are posters and banners with a lot of Chinese letters. One seems to honour a wise man from the 15th century.

A lot of cups with various herbal teas, a tread mill and a tropical garden outside the window complete the picture.

Armed with two words of Chinese ‘ni hao’ for ‘hello’ and ‘xiexie’ for ‘thank you’, and a piece of paper with your name written on, you can go a long way.

The piece of paper is for the receptionist, so she can check you in. Saying “ni hao” makes her smile and she talks back in Chinese.

This is so amazing here, people don’t stop talking, even when you don’t speak their language. They want to connect.

Combined with waving your hands and using whatever is around, such as a calculator much can be achieved though.

This is how the other day the receptionist explained the Chinese monetary note and coin system.

So, every day Dr Sun puts some needles into my neck and shoulder and sets the timer. I get a remote control put in my hand to activate a bell when the timer is up.

Then the nurse comes and takes the needles out. She applies a pad, which has an electric pulse, under the shoulder and sets the timer again.

Slowly I am getting better. Not bad for a treatment that costs less than A$10.


Now, a lot can be learnt from this story.

I see a couple of things – the value of connecting and, of course, the value of keeping what works and doing more of it.

What you see here, is more important, however. After all, these emails are for you, and for growing in this beautiful world.

And, as always, if you require some guidance, I’m here.