We visited a university in Xi'an called Shanxi University of Chinese Medicine. We attended a lecure where we learned about the history, theory and practice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). We learned about acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping.
After our lecture we visited the in site museum (you can see me posing in the picture above with a life size bronze statue that marks the meridians points used in the practice of acupuncture). A similar model covered in wax is used by students in their final exams or "boards."
After that, we were brought to a hospital there where they practice TCM. They called four 4 volunteers from the group and fellow fulbrighter Amy spoke up saying I should try it because of my neck/shoulder/ carpel tunnel issues associated with my birth defect. My response? Sure, why not?
The doctor began by pressing firmly in the area of my carpel tunnel and examining, massaging, and popping my neck as a sort of diagnostic exam. Then came the needles!
I don't know if it was the hot room, exhaustion from the days previous activities, hunger, or my sensitivity to the acupuncture itself, but towards the end of the session the room started spinning, I felt naseous and felt sure I was going to faint. Luckily the doctor, the local guide, and my group rushed to my side helping me onto the bed and giving me very hot water and I felt back to normal within minutes. I think I nearly gave our scholar escort Harold a heart attack. After I came back to, I could see the look of relief in his eyes and he informed me that he had been contemplating if he needed to call our contact back home at the National Commitee in US-Chine Relations in the middle of the night about my predicament.