KUWAIT: A Chinese traditional medicine specialist attends to a patient.
KUWAIT: A Chinese traditional medicine specialist attends to a patient.

KUWAIT: Chinese traditional medicine is popular in Kuwait. “People in Kuwait respect traditional Chinese medicine. For over 40 years, we’ve been considered their partner in health and for putting a smile on their faces,” said Dr Quing Gang, Team Leader at the Chinese traditional medicine department. Gang works here with a team of 15 medical personnel (seven doctors and seven nurses, plus an interpreter).

Recently, the department transferred to a new location after the old structure it occupied for many years was demolished. The new place is smaller, but is more organized and proactive. Gang said the new location usually receives around 100 patients daily. “Chinese doctors and nurses have been providing professional medical care from the time we established diplomatic relations in 1976,” he said.

Chinese traditional medicines have proven to have positive effects on treating rheumatism, cervical spondylosis, lumbar disc protrusion, sciatica, facial palsy and obesity. The eleventh mission to Kuwait (the current team) will soon complete its two-year stay and is set to leave by the end of the year. “Another batch of doctors and nurses is coming to take over this mission. We are tasked with providing traditional Chinese medical therapies such as acupuncture, cupping and massage,” Gang said. The Chinese traditional medicine department accepts anyone with a prescription from any doctor. “We do not discriminate. People we’ve been treating here are recommended by doctors in Kuwait, and we do it by appointment,” he added.

Cupping is equally famous
The majority of patients come for acupuncture. “Acupuncture relaxes the minds and body. So we highly recommend it to everyone. It’s the most sought among the traditional therapies we provide. Traditional medicine recommends everyone to strike a balance – yin and yang must be equal. With acupuncture, we strive to make your body and spirit balanced,” said Gang. While admitting that acupuncture cannot cure all diseases on earth, he said it can prevent and lessen the stress that damages the body.

Gang also spoke about the challenges they usually encounter. “The language barrier is already shattered because we have a very good translator available. But what we always experience is how to treat people with differing beliefs about the traditional medicine we offer. Some doctors recommend acupuncture to patients, but these people do not really understand the concept of acupuncture and cupping, so we need to explain it to them. All patients want is to be cured of their illness, and this is what we are doing every day,” he said.

Chinese traditional medicine can help prevent various types of illnesses, and can also heal some major and minor diseases, especially when patients follow the doctor’s advice. “Some patients want to know how the needles work in the body. If you think it is painful, maybe it is painful. But when I perform acupuncture, I know the right points to place the needle so you won’t feel anything,” he said.

According to Chinese medical theories, for acupuncture to be effective, the doctors need their patients’ feedback on how they feel when the needles are inserted into their bodies in the acupuncture points. Traditional medicine is a precious treasure to many and an increasing number of people from all over the world are slowly discovering the wonders of Chinese traditional medicine.

By Ben Garcia