Students thrilled by ancient Chinese healing arts

Students from three local Secondary Schools have visited the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Paola to learn about the various treatments that are being offered by the 19th China Medical Team and the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Most of the students had never heard about or experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine. Therefore, the Chinese medical team prepared an informative and pleasant programme to introduce the students to these ancient healing treatments.

Dr Gao Jingiang during a TCM lecture.

The programme started with a short practice of Baduanjin within the grounds of the Centre. In this activity, Dr Yang Zhijie showed the students how to perform this traditional Chinese physical exercise to maintain health and prevent illnesses.

The students were then invited into the Centre to learn more about the concepts and treatments of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The activities started by learning how to make a sachet and moxa cone. The sachet was stuffed with powder made of ten Chinese herbs for repelling mosquitoes, while the moxa cone is used for moxibustion. Moreover, Dr Gao Youling and interpreter Jiang Chao explained the methods and medicinal function of various herbs. Next, Dr Feng Hua and Dr Yang Zhijie gave a demonstration of various Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies including acupuncture, moxibustion and cupping. Here, the students had the opportunity to experience non-invasive treatments like cupping or moxibustion. During the break of these activities, the students tasted Chinese cookies and medicated diet made of boiled pear with rock sugar and goji, all of which prepared by the chef Yin Guanglei.

Dr Yang Zhijie teaching Baduanjin.Dr Yang Zhijie teaching Baduanjin.

This event closed with a lecture on general knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine, followed by an eye exercise to prevent myopia. Right after the lecture, the students participated in a short quiz wherein the winning students were awarded with small gifts.

Chai Xiaoxiao, a Chinese teacher from the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta, teaching the Chinese language to students from age 10-15 at St Aloysius College Secondary School, said that for most of the students, this was the first time to visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic. Almost none of them had tried or known anything about Traditional Chinese Medicine, so this was a great opportunity to experience it directly.

Group photo.Group photo.

Gianluca Bonavia, a student from St Aloysius College said that he had heard about Traditional Chinese Medicine but never took any interest to it. However, now that he was more informed more about it, he thought that it was very interesting and effective. He was mostly impressed by the kindness of the Chinese doctors and the detailed amount of effort and techniques there are.

Scarlett Snow, a student from St Martin’s College had never showed any interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine before. Yet after this event, she thought that the Centre was very organised, safe and welcoming. After experiencing the various treatments, she thinks that they feel like medicine but in a more healing way. Her friend tried cupping on her back and she told her that after the treatment, her back felt very at ease.

Dr Feng Hua, chief physician of acupuncture and moxibustion, and director of the Centre, said that over the past thirty years, the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine has grown to become a prestigious medical and training institution in Malta and the Mediterranean region. Considering that the Centre in Paola and the Chinese clinics at Mater Dei Hospital and Gozo General Hospital are always fully booked, this shows that the Maltese people have a good understanding and appreciation for Traditional Chinese Medicine. In order to provide solid evidence about this, the Chinese doctors are doing a survey about Maltese knowledge, attitude and practice on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Students learning about TCM treatments from Director Feng Hua.Students learning about TCM treatments from Director Feng Hua.

Dr Feng said that the Centre is always ready to welcome whoever is interested to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. She felt that the students who attended these visits now have a sound knowledge about these beneficial treatments which they can share with their families and friends.

The 19th China Medical Team is also cooperating with various Local Councils to offer lectures and exhibitions, to host exhibitions and cultural experience activities, and to teach Taichi and Baduanjin to the public.

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