I first wrote about this TCM Culture experience in "Confucius Temple in Beijing and TCM Tourism" but the tour was so diverse, enlightening and awe-inspiring, (with loads of great photos and video), that I will have to break it down into several posts.
We got a fantastic insider view into traditional Chinese culture and historic places never seen on the tourist trail, as well as many treatments by top practitioners and doctors. If you have any interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Chinese history and culture, these are the people to connect with, as we were so very impressed and it added so much to our China travel.
We not only got an acupuncture treatment from one of the top TCM doctors in Beijing, which was fantastic, we also had lunch with him at a special restaurant which serves only delicious Chinese food that is also part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Each and every dish (and even the water with a beautiful flower in each glass), was a healing food which we discussed over this scrumptious lunch as we also interviewed him.
This physician inherited Acupuncture and Moxibustion Mastery as a disciple of one of the most famous TCM doctors in China. He had many students training under him and doing apprenticeships to learn these secrets when we visited his office. I found him very gentle and powerful. He used acupuncture needles, moxibustion and Tuina ( TCM massage) on me during my treatment.
It was really a pleasure to work with Joan Ye ( General Manager) and
her colleagues who organized and led our TCM Culture experience. She is
a native, born and bread in Beijing, who has also spent time and
studied in the U.S., thus is a great bridge between the two cultures and
has excellent English. She had just returned from a trip to NYC where
she experienced the infamous Hurricane Sandy.
She was very flexible, very knowledgeable and paid extraordinary attention to detail which made every aspect of the tour enjoyable and rewarding. Her love for Traditional Chinese Medicine and culture was evident in all that she did. Like most of the people we met in China, these folks had a very heart centered approach to life, were very generous and genuine spirits, with a passion for traditional Chinese culture and history.
We were able to learn Medical Qigong (chigong, chi kung) with the
top expert and only doctor in China who teaches Qigong as part of a
hospital and has taught many around the world over the last 20 years, including many doctors.
The highly esteemed Dr. Xu Hongtao is head of the Qigong and Tuina
Department of the world-renown, United Nations WHO Collaborative
Training Center in Xiyuan Hospital. The hospital’s Qigong Department was
featured in the Bill Moyer’s PBS series Healing and the Mind.
Qigong ( 气功) means "Life Energy Cultivation" and has evolved in tandem with Traditional Chinese Medicine so is over 5000 years old. Guigen Qigong is a medical style of Qigong and a holistic practice that
combines the use of physical movement, breath-work, meditation, and intention which heals, restores energy levels, calms the mind, and was designed by Dr. Xu
Hongtao. Many of the movements resemble world
famous Chinese martial arts."Guigen" means a return to one's primordial
home, or a return to the Tao.
We really enjoyed learning some Qigong and our time with Dr. Xu Hongao. I love his quote "Nothingness is the best prescription". I will be writing much more about these two exceptional doctors and things we learned.
We visited one of the most prestigious education institutions in China, Tsinghua University, which was once the emperor's unique garden during the Qing Dynasty, with TCM plants.
I loved the combination of TCM treatments like acupuncture with top TCM doctors,
unique and soothing health treatments like foot massages,
time to talk with these very approachable and wise eminent TCM physicians,
visiting rarely seen historical sights that are so important to traditional Chinese culture as well as meeting crafts people making traditional items,
and of course, amazing healing food in beautiful environments with great company!
Thank you Joan Ye and China Medical Tourism International for sponsoring us on the ultimate China TCM tour, one of our best experiences in Asia.