Since I was young, my family has always taken me to a family clinic or the local hospital should I have any ailments so I’m accustomed to naturally seeking the western medical consult when ever I have a physical problem. But as I grew older, I have met many friends who have tried Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with much efficient results and have been dying to find a good TCM clinic to give it a whirl. As fate would have had it, I received and invite for Ling Xin TCM clinic. The universe works in mysterious ways. I had my pal Irene do the treatments with me that day and she’s an absolute season pro at this!
Ling Xin TCM Clinic is a certified clinic that offers the full array of TCM treatments and even dispenses medication (should you need any) to balance your 气 Qi and resolve your problems. They even had some treatments I haven’t heard about such as this heat therapy where they will use the smoke of burnt herbs to heat up your problem areas.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a science and art form that have been developed and passed down from China in the last 2000 years. It’s both a science and an art to me because, although most of the practices are based on thousands of years of experiments and study of the human body, the TCM practitioners believe in 异病同治，同病异治 (yì bìng tóng zhì, tóng bìng yì zhì ) which loosely translates into, different diseases, same treatment; same disease, different treatments. That means that if 2 different person visit the TCM clinic because they have a dry skin problem, each one might be given different treatments to cure that problem because their body may not be exhibiting the same symptoms.
First thing that the Ling Xin TCM requires all their patients to do is to go through a preliminary consultation and 病证 diagnosis session. This involved taking my pulse, checking the color of my tongue, asking about my allergies, medical history and having some touch points about how my daily habits and lifestyle are affecting my body. Basically my main problem area were my shoulders (from too many hours at the computer) and being a little heaty, lack of nutrients.
The first treatment I tried is their herbal steam. This was really unique to me cause I havent’ heard about it from any of my friends who practiced TCM as well. Even Irene who does TCM regularly haven’t tried this before! Based on your needs, a special herbal infusion is customized for you. My herbal concoction is to help improve the condition of my skin which at that time was pretty dehydrated. There are other concoctions for different ailments such as stress reliving, or for those with insomnia or headaches. The herbs are place in the steam generator while the staff prepared the specially custom made wooden tubs for both Irene and myself. Before you get any kinky ideas, we took pictures together in our bathrobes but had completely separate tubs cause each one is just nice for one person only!
The beauty of this tub is that it allows your whole body to be engulfed in super hot steam while keeping your head out of it so that you can still breath well. They also assign a staff to be constantly monitoring your steaming progress so that you can inform immediately if you have any difficulties or find it too hot.
The steaming really reminded me of having sauna sessions in Finland with Celeste except this time I felt more like a dim sum in a steamer. My pores were being opened up by the hot steam allowing the herbal infusions to be fully absorbed. Another additional benefit I realized about this steam session was that helped to exfoliate my skin as well. I was rubbing my skin during the steaming session and all my dry skin just started to peel out leaving me with super soft and bright skin after this treatment. LOVE!!!
The next treatment was a little more serious and it was also the treatment that I was most hesitant about, acupuncture. While Irene, went ahead for the full needles, I chickened out and chose to do my acupuncture with Haci needles instead which uses magnetic and suction cup to hold the “needles” in place above your acupuncture points without piercing your skin.
It was 100% painless and I could still feel the tingling sensations of my acupuncture points when it was used so I knew it worked. However, seeing how painless Irene felt lying in the bed next to me with all the needles sticking out of her, I supposed the next time I try TCM, I would probably go for the real deal.
Most of my points were focused on my upper back and shoulders where my main problem area lies.
Like most TCM clinic. Ling Xin TCM also offers traditional 刮痧 gua sha and 拔罐 Ba guan cupping. 刮痧 Gua Sha is abrading the skin with pieces of smooth jade, bone, animal tusks or horns or smooth stones; until red spots then bruising cover the area to which it is done. It is believed that this treatment is for almost any ailment including cholera. The red spots and bruising take 3 to 10 days to heal, there is often some soreness in the area that has been treated.
Cupping (拔罐) is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several glass “cups” (open spheres) on the body. A match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing in the skin, cools, creating lower pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin via suction. When combined with massage oil, the cups can be slid around the back, offering “reverse-pressure massage”.
While both traditional 刮痧 gua sha and 拔罐 Ba guan cupping are offered at Ling Xin TCM, I was going to try the Fu Yang Guan instead which combines a lot more than just gua sha and cupping in one. Fu Yang Guan utilizes moxibustion and partial infrared ray radiation, which penetrates into body tissues and creates resonance, so energy can be absorbed by cells and heating effect of the tissue is aroused. Cells and tissues are activated, so are the functions of visceral organs. The warm, round, sun-like cup dredging channels, staying at acupuncture points, can clear unhappiness and support the yang spirit. FuYang Guan possesses two sorts of physical energies—heat and infrared ray. They are delivered by channels and penetrate through tissues, reaching deep into various parts of the body and making sure tissues and cells function properly.
I love that it incorporated so many elements without any pain at all (like from gua sha) or any long lasting marks (like from cupping).
The Fuyang Cup is effective to:
•Eliminate Cold & Dampness
•Remove Blood Stagnation
•Warm and Tonify Yang Qi
•Improve Blood and Qi Circulation
The last step of our treatment was the chinese traditional involves thumb presses, rubbing, percussion, and stretches.. While one might think that 推拿 Tui Na is just a massage, it doesn’t relax you at all. In fact it involves thumb presses, rubbing, percussion, and stretches that can be painful and works to target your problem areas and not give you a relaxing good time. There is no oils involved and you can expect a lot of force on pressure points. I found the whole 推拿 Tui Na rather comfortable with my main painful and achey area around the shoulders (no surprise there) but Irene who was next to me had a whole lot of pain going on for her!
Many thanks to the professionals at Ling Xin TCM clinic. It was an eye-opener for me and I am pretty much hooked to the idea of TCM treatments cause it really helped to resolve a lot of my problems and as I learnt, it isn’t scary at all! If you would like to give TCM a try or have been looking for a good place to have your treatments done, I highly recommend you give Ling Xin clinic a visit.
Ling Xin TCM
522 Macpherson Road
Tel: 6841 8211
Outfit of the day
Something easy and simple to run my errands and to spend the day at the TCM clinic.
Top: Forever 21
Shorts with belt: Abercrombie and Fitch