Here in Hong Kong, Chinese medicine has always been the go-to for the older generation, but for the younger generations, few actually know or trust it. Chinese medicine is actually a lot less damaging to the body, and even though a little bit slower compared to western medicine, has drastic benefits for the human body while only relying on Chinese herbs and their healing properties! So what exactly is it about? Which is better? We had a little chat with Cinci Leung, founder of EC Clincic to learn more about her story and Chinese medicine.
How did you decide to become a Chinese Medicine Practitioner?
"Shortly after I started working, I met a mentor who was a Western Medicine doctor and a Chinese Medicine Practitioner whom my mother and my uncle saw. He recognized my interest in sports medicine and was willing to advise me as I explored the career paths of Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and physiotherapy. I thought, in terms of sports related injuries, Western Medicine is quite aggressive as it often recommends patients get injections of anti-inflammatory medicines or encourages them to undergo surgery. In terms of physiotherapy, it wasn’t as in depth as I wanted it to be, so I chose Chinese Medicine.
That’s how I got started studying Chinese Medicine – because of my interests in the treatment of sports injuries. As I learned more and more about Chinese Medicine’s fundamental theories and approaches in internal medicine, it made a lot of sense to me and I knew that becoming a Chinese Medicine Practitioner was what I wanted to do and be good at."
What would you say are the benefits of Chinese Medicine over Western Medicine?
"Traditional Chinese Medicine theory believes in the concept of holistic diagnosis and treatment, rather than solely treating the disease or ailment itself. Chinese Medicine is centered around four diagnostic methods, including inspection, auscultation and olfaction (smelling and listening), inquiry, pulse-taking and palpation. We collect all the information using these diagnostic methods and process it systematically before making a diagnosis."
Do you think that Chinese Medicine should be used on its own or in combination with Western Medicine?
"I believe in combining the best of both worlds. Being open to both would be the most beneficial outcome for all patients. It’s difficult to achieve but it can be done."
What tips do you have for our readers that are interested in learning more about Chinese Medicine?
"Always pay attention to the signals your body is giving you, how you’re feeling, your energy levels, symptoms, etc. If you’re curious about Chinese Medicine, it’s also a good idea to read as much as you can about it. It was extremely helpful to me when I was just starting my exploration of Chinese Medicine.
In fact, this is what encouraged me to write my own book about it! I’ve just finished writing my first book, which will be released in July 2015. It was written as a guide for anyone that is new to Chinese Medicine, a sort of “Chinese Medicine 101.” It’s a great source of information for anyone that is new or would like to learn more about the health and healing techniques presented in Chinese Medicine.
More than anything, I wrote the book to be an easy-to-use guide that includes an overview of symptoms and information on how to treat symptoms according to your body type. The book also contains 61 soup recipes for those that want to prepare Chinese soup at home as a holistic treatment."
What are the top three pieces of advice you would give to someone that is completely new to Chinese Medicine?
"One, there are a lot of instances when you are not feeling well that you can balance out your body with at home treatment. At the least, there are things that you can do to not make the condition worse before having to make a visit to the doctor.
Two, eating right for your body type and good living habits are more effective than just taking medication.
Three, each food has their own inherent “nature” and you can make use of these qualities to create more balance in your body. For example, if you are always thirsty, have yellowish urine, and your stool is harder than usual, your body might be on the hot side. If this is the case, you could create more balance in your body by eating cool natured foods such as watermelon or drinking water with honey.)"
What advice do you have for young women that are just starting out or at the beginning of their careers?
"Be patient and take any time necessary to find your true passion. Start with your strengths and then add to your skill set, step by step, and brick by brick. Before you know it, a path of opportunity will begin to emerge. When you’re doing something you really love, it’ll be easy to immerse yourself in that field - and you’ll develop an intuitive feel for the opportunities that lie ahead."
What’s the best advice or message that you have ever gotten?
"It was a motto presented to me by my father-in-law: [做就真知] – You’ll never know until you try."
Why has it stayed with you and how has it changed you?
"One thing I’ve learned is that life is what you make of it. And the only person who can make things happen in your life is you! Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in your own head, overthinking things until you’re too afraid to do anything… But the only way to discover the real answer is to try. If it doesn’t work, that’s fine - now at least you know, and you can move on to the next thing. Consider everything as an opportunity to learn and stay positive!"
Apart from publishing her first book, Cinci also has her own line of natural teas and soaps, Essentials by Cinci, that is designed to go along with other treatments and prescriptions for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. If you'd like to learn more about EC Clinic and Cinci, make sure to follow her Facebook page!