Pumpkin has been sick for days. Yesterday morning I looked into his eyes when he woke up to see red and drippy infected eyes staring back at me. I’ve never seen him look this bad. I knew it was really bad when he agreed to see a doctor (this macho guy rarely sees one). We knew we wouldn’t be happy to walk out of any old doctors’ office carrying a slip of paper with a written prescription of the latest antibiotic. So we sought out a holistic doctor instead. We found Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy, ancient Chinese Healing Traditions.
Dr. Vincent Xie has a practice of Ancient Chinese Traditions, which includes acupuncture, cupping therapy, and herbs. I’ve never seen these practices done before… so I excitedly whipped out my iphone without asking Dr. Xie, hovered, and snapped away. Pretty soon, he was going very slow, to make sure I could capture my shots :-).
As you can see in the picture above, he uses an alcohol soaked cotton ball lit on fire to create heat inside the glass cup, which causes the suction. (Suction evidenced by the purple spots all over my honey’s back!) He got so close to Mark’s skin with the fire, it made me so tense. Mark swore it didn’t hurt.
The idea is for the suction action to draw out the impurities in the body (from food preservatives, chemicals, metals, etc.) I could see his back scrunch up inside the cup immediately after it was placed.
Then there was acupuncture…
Yikes… right in his neck!
And also in his hands…
The doctor left Mark like that for about 25 minutes, coming in twice to stimulate (twist) the needles. I pretty much watched in horror. But Mark didn’t flinch an inch when Dr. Xie was placing them or twisting them – and swears he didn’t even feel them.
While the doctor was twisting, I asked him if these treatments were still the main focus of doctors’ practices in China.
“Yes,” he said.
That made me happy. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just nice to know that some things never change. Or that it gave me a feeling of validation for these practices mostly overlooked in America. Or that pharmacy drug peddling isn’t corrupting medicine there.
After the treatments, Dr. Xie gave Mark two bottles of different herbs to take for the flu symptoms. And then we were done. We walked out wondering what the next few hours and days would bring. Hopefully, at least, a less purple back…
But, truly, I want to be a believer that there are natural alternatives to chemically laced drugs that really do long-term damage to people. It really is depressing to hear commercial after commercial promote these ridiculous prescriptions that may cause suicide or may cause anal leakage. Really? Is that what we want? Is that what we’re buying? I don’t downplay all prescriptions – Mark would be in a wheelchair if he didn’t take his gout prescriptions from time-to-time (we’ve been able to ween him off quite a bit).
This morning, I looked into Pumpkin’s eyes when he woke up to see clear whites around his eyeballs! It felt good. I rubbed my hand over his purple circles (now just slightly red) and thanked them :-) We’re keeping our fingers crossed that he continues to get better.
P.S. I wonder if he’ll mind all these pictures of him here? ;-)