Vocabulary of the day: 甲狀腺 (jia3zhuang4xian4) thyroid gland
The moment I complained of sore throat, my grandma took me straight to the doctor. A bit incredulous since every time I was sick growing up, my mother always told me to sleep it off, drink more water, and eat more fruit. (“Too much internal heat!”)
While I did consult a doctor of Western Medicine for antibiotics, it was my later visit to the doctor of Chinese medicine that really put things into perspective.
When I mentioned my sore throat, Dr. X started listing off my symptoms before I even told her. Frequent nose bleeds. Chapped lips, Often gets cold sores and headaches. She pressed my wrists to listen to my pulse and asked if I hadn’t been sleeping well (true). Five years ago, I had inexplicable headaches that would paralyze me from doing work, that I associated with being closeted and stressed. I went to several doctors in New York, and later thought it was my wisdom teeth, but never really solved my problems.
And after all this time, Dr. X managed to pinpoint two elements – insufficient exercise and over-reliance of breathing through the mouth instead of nose.
I’ve heard that 西藥治標不治本, or Western medicine cures the symptoms, but not the root of the cause. When I consulted the Chinese medicine doctor, she emphasized how to improve habits to help my overall body condition over time. How to be aware of the hot and cold of the body in order to live a balanced life.
I have to re-learn how to breathe, something simple that I though I’d already knew how to do. Back to basics and fundamentals, and from there I can build. Get the body moving and the energy flowing. Some daily nose therapy is required. From the apartment, go across the street to the clinic and waft some sour-smelling bubbly concoction into one nostril for two minutes. Then the other nostril. What the hell, what do I have to lose? Shit will never work if I don’t go along with the regimen!
Since health system is so great here, I get to see the doctor for a weekly check-up. And the co-pay is about $3.00 USD. Come on, U.S., hope Obamacare can step it up over these next few years. Meanwhile, I’ll use this time in Taipei to re-adjust and assess my bodies and my habits.
The root word for “inspiration” in Latin means “breathing in.” What a great place to start. Inhale!