World Medicine Institute Review
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Dr. Chang’s business is located way up in Aina Haina in a residential section. Her house felt like stepping into China. Many students and assistants were present in the small comfortable waiting room adjoined to a very large bright classroom with the biggest ceramic figurines of Chinese gods.
A very gentle and warm student assistant, Suki, went over a health questionnaire for Uncle, took his pulse with her fingers, looked at his tongue, and asked a lot of questions, all the while taking notes.
Dr. Chang is a master acupuncturist, from a 1000 year old family history of master acupuncturists. She is a little woman with rather unruly hair and a ready laugh.
Uncle was very sick. After a quick took and a few touches, Dr. Chang proclaimed that he had many issues, fire in the lower region, cold in the upper. She would treat one area at a time in order for healing to begin. 6 needles were placed on Uncle’s calves and feet to deal with the “fire” in his gut. He was told to rest for 20 minutes.
At that point, Aunty decided to get treated too. Aunty’s health is pretty good, but recent stress has been causing heart ache and tightening up of neck and shoulders. Dr. Chang took Aunty’s pulse on both wrists, looked at my tongue, and proclaimed that my liver and one kidney are in bad shape. Aunty had 12 needles inserted at various points on neck, shoulder, back, and head, resting alongside with Uncle.
We both felt better – not 100% yet – but better. Aunty got some herbs for the next 3 days. We scheduled our next appointment for the following week.
On our second appointment, we felt like we were old friends with Dr. Chang. She remarked at how much better Uncle looked and was very pleased to see that he had improved so much. Aunty reported that the lower right back had twinges of pain a couple of days after the treatment, and this was normal as the body releases the toxins and bad stuff going on.
She put more needles into Uncle this time, and about 12 needles into Aunty’s head, neck, and feet this time. Aunty’s newest problem was bad breath (maybe that was why people would fan themselves when conversing with me.)
Again, both Uncle and I felt better after the treatment, and our next appointment was 2 days later. Meanwhile, Aunty’s bad breath cleared away!
Since Aunty has had chronic neck and shoulder pain for many years, I was hopeful that acupuncture could help. Dr. Chang told about a man who had migraine headaches for 40 years who came to see her for treatment. He told her that if she could get rid of his headaches, he would give her half of his property. Dr. Chang assessed him, inserted needles, and left him to rest. He began getting a pain that started at his shoulder and moved down his arm and out. His migraine was gone!
Did he give her half of his property? Aunty wanted to know. Ha! With a chuckle and a hand slap, Dr. Chang said no. Instead, he gave her $52, the standard fee for one session. Dr. Chang’s treatment this time did help with Aunty’s neck and shoulder pain, immensely! It’s a good thing I didn’t offer half of our home if she fixed it…
Uncle felt very relaxed after his treatment. He likes to sit in the waiting room drinking herbal tea and I have to keep asking him if he is ready to leave. Not yet, not yet, he replies. Okay den. Aunty is learning patience now. Let Uncle chill out since it makes him feel better.
During Aunty’s 3rd treatment, Dr. Chang treated the chronic tinnitis in my left ear with several needles in a triangle formation. Whenever Aunty is more stressed than usual, the ringing in the ear gets very loud. Lately, it was like a mini siren. The first treatment for tinnitis was okay, and by the second treatment, the decibal level was lower. Subsequent treatments were mostly to deal with tinnitis, though the ringing was so much less noticeable.
After a rather stressful week and not being able to get a massage or acupuncture treatment, Aunty went in for a “fix” because vertigo was beginning to return. Years ago, Aunty had severe vertigo. Not fun at all. At the suggestion of a friend, I went to see Dick of Hikari Shiatsu. The vertigo went away and hadn’t returned – until just recently. To say my stress level was high is an understatement, and Dr. Tottori (Dr. Chang was on a 6 week trip to China) administered acupuncture to my left ear region as well as treating my liver, spleen, and kidney.
Vertigo is now under control, and Aunty plans to go at least weekly until things settle down in her life.
Uncle’s digestive problems
Back in November, Uncle was diagnosed with appendix cancer. Queen’s Hospital surgeons did a right hemicolectomy (cut out 1 foot from the small intestine, 1 foot from the large intestine, and joined overlapped ends) because his appendix caused total intestinal blockage and he was suffering miserably. Unfortunately, a predictable result from that type of surgery is blockage – from scar tissue. Uncle had major blockage and was suffering.
We tried low residue food, even astronaut powdered drinks. We tried Jini Patel’s Stricture Heal process, which did help a little, but left Uncle feeling exhausted and very weak.
Dr. Chang was noticing how Uncle was losing even more weight and energy, and suggested we stop ALL the protocols, supplements, foods that he was currently on, and just drink water or soups made from bones when he felt like drinking. He was told to let his poor bombarded abdomen rest and relax. Raw foods were too difficult for his compromised system to process, and his diet was only cooked broth foods from bones of fish, beef, chicken with some yamaimo chopped up and cooked for 10-20 minutes.
She would stick acupuncture needles in his legs, the same places as before. Uncle always felt better after these treatments, and his abdomen area did improve because of the break from forced eating.
She checked his tongue – which was very red, signifying inflammation of the stomach. It was also cracked, which signified multiple problems.
About a month later, Uncle’s tongue started to get pink and the cracks were diminished or gone. Slowly, Uncle’s stomach was recovering, but his blockage persisted. She said to see an oncologist because of his physical symptoms of blockage and bloating.
A visit to Queen’s confirmed the blockage due to scar tissue, and his growing cancer was making him bloated.
For Uncle, he needed more than acupuncture, but he will continue to see Dr. Chang for the supplemental boost that he always gets under her needle treatments.
Aunty tries almost everything. Uncle worries about it, but so far, things always work out. One day, Aunty opened up a bottle of Dr. Sears’ Ultra Essence, dissolved a scoop in water and drank it with a meal. This has been touted (by Dr. Sears) as the fountain of youth – lengthening telomeres which create younger cells.
2 days later, Aunty was on Dr. Chang’s table with needles inserted near the tinnitis, on the neck, arms, legs and feet. About 10 minutes later, a surge of energy went through Aunty’s entire body like a wave of heat. Bam! Aunty felt different and couldn’t wait for the needles to be removed.
At home the next day, it was as if a bulldozer took over. Tasks that I kept putting off that would require a lot of physical effort were tackled with zeal and non stop energy. Aunty moved boxes out and tore out plywood. Cleared areas that were an eyesore. Uncle said that he was a bit worried because he could hear me working and pounding downstairs in our basement.
It was exhilarating, and I really am not sure if it was the Ultra Essence or the acupuncture session or the combination of the two. However, since that day, Aunty’s body still feels stronger. Uncle doesn’t want me to take the Ultra Essence anymore because he fears it may do damage, or maybe he fears that I might do too much around the house.
(Aunty will experiment with Ultra Essence later and update you all on it. If you want to try some, let Aunty know and I’ll share a scoop with you.)
On what we eat
Sometimes we would bring food for the Institute. Baked manapua from Royal Kitchen in Downtown (LOVE their baked manapua!) would get scarfed up by the students/assistants.
Once, we brought a pint of Aunty’s favorite ice cream, Talenti Gelato – Sicilian Pistachio. OMG, one spoonful in the mouth makes Aunty feel like she is in heaven. It was accepted with pained graciousness. We found out that TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) avoids dairy, sugars, and cold foods – which was exactly what the gelato consisted of.
There is no judgement at the Institute, but we have learned to be more careful of what we bring as gifts. What we eat today will directly affect our health in the coming years.
For Uncle’s digestive problems, he needed cooked foods, not raw. Broth from beef, fish, or chicken bones. Juicing from vegetables and/or fruits, which is then cooked. Vegetables cooked until they are soft and more easily digested.
For Aunty, a change of diet would mean more vegetables, less meat, and definitely less sugar. Interestingly enough, ever since Aunty had her superwoman rush, the urge to have mini Twix candy bars multiple times during the day have subsided!
We will be changing our diet lifestyle, slowly but surely. Thank goodness for Whole Foods in the neighborhood. Most of the food there helps us to make healthy choices, though Aunty still indulges in a spoonful of Talenti’s Sicilian Pistachio from time to time, quite often.
Doesn’t hurt, but…
Aunty does not feel any pain from the needles, unless I move (which one shouldn’t do) after they are inserted. They are very thin needles, some thinner than others.
Uncle feels them much more than I. He is like a hunter, anticipating what is coming before it has come, so sometimes he will jump as if pricked even if Dr. hasn’t even touched him with a needle. We all have a laugh about it, but Uncle doesn’t think that it is funny.
Assistants come in from time to time during the resting period (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour) to check on how we are doing, and most of the time we fall in and out of sleep. Needles are removed and we can either rest some more, or get up and leave.
Each session costs $50 plus tax. Herbal supplements are made by the Institute to ensure quality, and they are reasonably priced at around $2/tablet, or dried herbs for tea or broth are sold for cheap, too.
Uncle and I get the 10 sessions special for $430, which we share. It is worth much more than that for the benefits and healing that we receive. Thousands of years of history and practice for $43 is an honor.
Dr. Chang and Dr. Tottori are simply awesome. What surprises us is that they are not busier.
The World Medicine Institute if both an active practice as well as a school for healers. Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays are open for treatments by Dr. Chang up in Aina Haina (Hind Iuka Drive), and Tuesdays and Thursdays are treatment days by Dr. Tottori at the University Square office. Appointments can be made by calling (808) 373-2849 for the Aina Haina location, and (808) 947-4788 for the University Square location.