Getting the needle

Updated: 2013-06-25 06:57

By Ding Yu (China Daily)

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Getting the needle

I've never traveled by ship before and I felt dizzy and uncomfortable even before we left port.

My body is very sensitive. I often feel sick on buses and even feel nauseous riding the subway. As the Peace Ark left harbor, the decks shook and I felt as though I were walking in an earthquake.

I went back to my cabin and pasted specially made plasters over my ears - a traditional Chinese treatment for seasickness. We believe the plasters, which are made from herbs, will stimulate points on the ears and ease the feeling of nausea.

I was the first of the 400 people on the ship to receive traditional Chinese medicine during the voyage. Later, some other members of the crew asked me to give them the same treatment. Most of them felt better once they'd been treated.

In the following days, however, the waves grew bigger and bigger, and some of the crew felt much worse. The plasters didn't seem to be working as effectively as before.

In addition to providing treatment, I am conducting research into the way TCM eases seasickness. I hope to have some answers by the time we get back to China.

Chinese medicine was once considered outdated, but not any more. Now we use it in combination with Western medicine. For instance, if a patient has neck pain and shaking hands, I would recommend a nuclear magnetic resonance test in addition to traditional pulse readings.

I have been working in this field for more than two decades and I have learned a lot about both Chinese and Western medicines.

However, the more I learn about TCM, the more I realize how important and effective it is. Since I first learned to use acupuncture needles, I have always carried a packet of them with me.

You would be surprised at how effective acupuncture is at easing travel sickness, sunstroke and diarrhea.

Ding Yu was talking to Peng Yining.

(China Daily 06/25/2013 page6)