My health since I’ve arrived in Tainan has been on a terrible up and down rollercoaster. Almost every month I experience one or two health issues that I have no idea what they’re related to, and every once in a while there’s one that really puts me down. It’s allergies, viruses, chronic fatigue, Buddha knows what else, but it all seems to overcome my body’s defenses as if they don’t exist. I try to live healthy, staying away from unhealthy food by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, taking vitamins and all that, but it fails to help. In Tainan, health is a constant concern, and I’m never sure why.
Last week, as part of my attempt to improve all that, I went together with a Taiwanese friend to my second attempt at the traditional Taiwanese health system, the first being the bone-crushing electrolyzing Shao-Lin master in YongKang.
This one was far more main-stream, and is actually provided with the National Health Insurance. I paid my 100NT$, waited for a short while and was greeted with a friendly and young Taiwanese doctor, who spoke a bit of English. He listened to my pulse, asked me a few questions and then made some instant observations about my health condition that were right on the money. He said it was a text book case of foreigners – pollution sensitivity and allergic reaction to just about everything in this country. He prescribed a combination of spices (?) and herbs which are to be taken 3 times a day after every meal and which are almost as unbearable to swallow as they are to smell. I still fight with myself every time I need to put that thing into my mouth.
The second thing he did was put those two burning ‘candles’ on my two hands and I had to sit down for about 10 minutes while they were, I’m not sure, somehow allowing the special medicine to flow inside.
The best part, which I have to say was a God sent, was going up to the second floor for a 30 minutes free traditional Taiwanese back massage, where I was told that my back is a bit screwed up and that coming there every week or so would help me a lot. With a terrific feeling of flexibility afterwards – that wasn’t hard to convince me into.
I don’t know if it helps or not, but then again – I never know if western medicine works or not either. I just figured I have nothing to lose, and I got more from that visit than I usually get from visits to western doctors with the chemical ingredients drugs. I think it’s worth a try, right?