Sunday, April 19, 2015

Visit to a Chinese Medicine Hospital

A few weeks ago we went on a tour of a Chinese medicine hospital. We went on Sunday morning so it was very quiet.

This is the doctor on duty and our guide and translator, Feng Cheng. Feng Cheng is holding a moxibustion stick and the doctor is holding a model indicating acupuncture points. Moxibustion is a heat related treatment.

This is what the inside of the hospital looks like. Along both walls are doctor offices and treatment rooms. That's a fish pond in the center of the room.

Perhaps the most interesting part was a visit to the pharmacy. The doctors often prescribe various concoctions made from various herbs, seeds, plants, animals, etc. The ingredients are stored in the drawers behind him. He has placed samples of some of them on the counter in front.

This is one of the most expensive and interesting. It is Cordyceps sinensis or (Dong Chong Xia Cao, 冬虫夏草). It is a fungus that grows and consumes inside a caterpillar larva and the sprouts in the summer. It is harvested in Tibet. The part that looks like a caterpillar is actually the fungus. The long black part is the fungus part that eventually grows out of the ground and looks sort of like grass. It runs about $1000/oz.

This is velvet antler or lùróng (鹿茸). It is what it sounds like - thin slices of deer antler.

There is a ton of information on all of these on the internet. If you are interested in what it is used to treat or how to prepare it, google away.

These are the pits of Chinese dates or jujube - known in Chinese as zǎo (枣).

This is dried wolfberry or gǒuqǐ (枸杞).

This is desert cistanche or ròucōngróng (肉苁蓉). It must be expensive given the packaging.

This is centipede.

Yes, these are scorpions. They good for headaches and rheumatism.

Our other translator didn't seem too keen on this one.

This is wild ginseng. It is incredibly expensive - about $6000 for this example.

Yep, it's what it looks like. It is reproductive organs of a male deer. Apparently you put it in a bottle of baijiu or Chinese white liquor. It turns the baijiu into a natural Viagra assuming you don't consume too much - baijiu can have up to 43% alcohol or so.

We all had the opportunity to have the doctor do a diagnosis by taking our pulse and checking our tongue.  In addition, we could try out one of the treatments available.

These are cups used for cupping. Something is burned inside the cup and then it is placed on the body according to needs. A vacuum is created inside the cup and it sucks the skin and flesh into the cup. It leaves a nasty bruise or mark.

Margot tried acupuncture. The needles are sticking in about 3/4 of an inch. She claims it is basically painless.

I tried tui na massage.

In case you missed it there is one in the middle of her scalp.

Believe it or not some acupuncture needles are 10 inches long!

This is a display of special herb tea for sale.

This is a book shelf in one of the doctors offices. I thought it looked nice.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Beijing's Ritan Park

About a month ago we had a beautiful, blue sky day so we took a walk down to Ritan Park to get some exercise.

We stumbled onto 9th Chaoyang Culture Festival.

This guy is running a xīyáng jìng (西洋镜)  or lā yángpiān (拉 洋片)  or old fashion peep show. The customers look through the eye holes and the guy flips through pictures as he sings the narrative.

This is story seems to be about the Monkey King's Journey to the West judging by the picture. Looks like it costs 20 RMB or about $3.25.

There were a lot of vendors lined up along the courtyard selling various crafts.

I thought this one was interesting. All these figures are made from folded palm fronds.

Click to enlarge.

There were a few vendors running some sort of promotion. This ladies were participating in bean bag tossing contest of some sort.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Bay St. Louis in February

I'm way behind on posting pctures again. These are from a trip to Bay St. Louis during our February trip back to the U.S. during Chinese New Year.

We stayed at the Bay Town Inn. It is a very nice bed-and-breakfast right downtown in old town.

Margot got sick and couldn't come but I met Mike, Lauren, Emily and Ben for lunch at The Blind Tiger.

The next day everyone was feeling better. We took a drive down US 90 and stopped at this park in Pass Christian so that the kids could play.

Ben followed his sister to the top!

Emily is fearless on the climbing apparatus!

This boat happened to be in the new small craft harbor across the street from the B&B. It is a Nordhaven 40. It has circumnavigated the world despite only being 40 feet long. What an adventure. You can learn more about the circumnavigation here if you are interested.

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