Saturday, 11 October 2008

an ancient treatment for back ache

A friend of my Tai Chi teacher is a traditional Chinese Doctor. His name is Dr Mu. I was at a wushu competition, when I mentioned I have some back problems, which have bothered me on and off for almost 2 years. Dr Mu told me he could alleviate it and grabbed a pressure point on my arm and told me to circlemy waist. It made it feel a lot better, but after a few minutes, it returned. So Dr Mu later gave me Tui Na, which is a medicinal massage for chronic pains and sports injuries. It really felt better, but he told me that it would return and so he would give me acupuncture.

Later that afternoon, Dr Mu took me to his house, an old style Chinese house in a slum next to a big factory, most of the area was rubble. We went inside and then I lay down and treatment began. It was like no acupuncture I'd ever seen, and also the most painful experience of my life. The first thing he did was take a small instrument that looked like a hammer withspikes on it, and tap my lower back all over until there was a decent amount of blood. Then he used the Ba Guan, which are cups that stick to the back and create a vacuum, this draws out bad blood. Then he massaged my legs and stabbed the muscle behind my knee with an acupuncture needle and put a cup on the cut. Then he told me I couldnt eat any fresh or uncooked food or drink beer for a day.

I would have felt a little sketchy about this, but Dr Mu has been practicing Chinese medicine for over 30 years, and martial arts for about 45 years, since he was 3 years old. He is a master of Mantis style, Shaolin (including drunken fist, monkey fist, hard qigong, which is the ability to break bricks and wooden poles broken onhis body), but now he has given it up to study Tai Chi as he is getting too old to do these hard styles. He can still do the hard stuff, one time he showed me monkey style and jumped into a tree and dangled by his legs blockingblows with his hands. Also, if he pushes hands with you, he feel like iron and is immovable. He is definitely a rare person in these modern times, andI feel people like him are disappearing from China as it tries so hard to modernise.