Picture taken from slinter.com
Suffering from eczema is no fun at all. It comes on and off and it is hard to determine the main source of the problem. Often, we see the culprit mainly from external sources like dust, animal fur, food, pollens or ingredients from skincare products. Very rarely, we pin point the problems to internal reasons. And this is where we need to seek the help from a Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) practitioner to see what is happening to our body internally.
After a long battle with my eczema and I've decided to turn to TCM after Western medicine failed on me. I had been popping prescribed medicine by my doctor for months and I personally felt that it only helps to control the eczema, not curing it. I figured that this is not very good for my body in a long term basis.
I am not new to the TCM practice because it is only through the help of TCM last year, my constipation problems healed. Before we go on further, what is TCM?
Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body. TCM is not 'new age', nor is it a patchwork of different healing modalities. TCM is a complete medical system that has been practiced for more than five thousand years.
At the heart of TCM is the tenet that the root cause of illnesses, not their symptoms, must be treated. In modern-day terms, TCM is holistic in its approach, it views every aspect of a person's body, mind, spirit and emotions as part of one complete circle rather than loosely connected pieces to be treated individually.
Major TCM Treatment Modalities
Often Western CAM practitioners and their patients or clients derive their understanding of TCM from acupuncture. However, acupuncture is the only one of the major treatment modalities of this comprehensive medical system based on the understanding of Qi or vital energy. These major modalities are:
- Qigong: an energy practice, generally encompassing simple movements and postures. Some Qigong systems also emphasize breathing techniques.
- Herbal Therapy: the use of herbal combinations or formulas to strengthen and support organ system function.
- Acupuncture: the insertion of needles in acupoints to help Qi flow smoothly.
- Acupressure: the use of specific hand techniques to help Qi flow smoothly.
- Foods for Healing: the prescription of certain foods for healing based on their energy essences or energy signatures, not nutritional value.
- Chinese Psychology: the understanding of emotions and their relationship to the internal organ systems and their influence on health.
*Source from: HERE
My Treatment Experience
There are a lot of TCM practitioners widely available in Malaysia but because I want to keep things 'safe', I usually go to the TCM specialist in Tung Shin Hospital because they are reliable professionals, equipped with vast experience. There are a lot of practitioners in Tung Shin but they are segregated based on their individual profiles, for example: Internal Medicine, Oncology, Orthopedic, Acupuncture and so forth.
Based on my condition, I chose to see an Internal Medicine specialist. Like any other hospital, one needs to register first and wait for their turn to see the specialist. Depending on the 'popularity' of the practitioner, the wait can be long and in my case, it is long! I once waited for an hour before my turn comes.
As usual when you are seated with your practitioner, the first thing he/she will do is to take your hands, place your wrist at the table as she will use her fingers to feel your wrist pulses. Secondly, is the examination of the tongue so she can see the surfaces or coating. Then she will ask certain questions like our sleeping patterns, stress levels, normal eating habits and frequency of bowel movements.
Oh, before I go on, here's a picture of my condition on my first visit.
Did you see the redness and discolouration around my mouth? It is scaly, rough and my lips kinda looked bigger because of inflammation. It may not look obvious here but in real life, it is BAD! I have to wear a surgical mask before going out or else everyone will be staring at my mouth!
I can't really explain the details what the practitioner said because she converse mostly in Mandarin, which I do not understand.:P My hubby was my translator.
She then proceed to key in the computer the list of my 'herbal concoctions'. She advises me to avoid certain foods such as: spicy food, coconut, all types of mushrooms, alcohol, fried foods, mangoes, durians. Basically, avoid foods that are heaty and 'poisonous'. It is best that I stick to a strict pure diet, which involves drinking nutritious soups and cooking my meals by steaming or braised methods.
However, she also gave me two very good advices.
- Use a cloth, soaked in cold water and placed it on my lips, in any case of a flared up. This is to stop the inflammation.
- Use pure aloe vera gel and apply to affected area daily until you see improvements. In this case, I use the pure sap, cut from an aloe vera leaf.
Before the session comes to an end, she asked me if I prefer to prepare my own concoctions or would I prefer that the hospital does that for me. I chose the latter, mainly because it is much more convenient! And that, of course, comes with a small amount of additional charges. Now comes the long wait. After paying the fees, should we prefer the hospital to prepare the concoctions, we have to come back 4 hours later to get our packages. The herbal packages look like this:
These herbal concoctions is to be taken twice a day and I was given a week's supply. With TCM, we need to see them on a weekly basis so that they know whether the list of herbal's is working well in our bodies. Yes my dears...the visitations can be costly in the long run. That being said however, I find it absolutely worthwhile because I see RESULTS!
In total, I went for 5 sessions ( 1 1/2 months ) and on my final visit, my practitioner was very pleased with the results and progress. She told me I need not see her anymore but I still need to go on a pure strict diet for another 3 months for it to heal completely. Now I am happy to say that I am healed by 90%! My another 10% is due to my disobedience in avoiding spicy food.:)
Going for TCM is the best decision that I have made to heal my eczema woes. I didn't experience any re-appearance for months..until recently, my lips became a bit sensitive due to a certain balm. Whenever I feel it gets a bit sensitive, I would religiously apply the aloe vera gel and everything is back to normal again. Personally, I prefer going for Traditional Chinese Medicine because it focuses on the internal and treat the root cause of conditions so that healing is genuine and the condition does not reoccur.
This review is based on my honest and personal experience and is not influenced by any parties.
My Eczema Treatment ( Part 1 ): Symptoms and Basic Care
My Eczema Treatment ( Part 1 ): Symptoms and Basic Care