Artikel erschienen in "The Times"
Praktikumsleiter Dr. Ren
Acupuncture specialist Jian Ning Ren believes keeping the balance between the body's yin and yang is the trick to healthy living. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi.
An increasing number of Maltese people are resorting to traditional Chinese medicine to contain pain without the need to pop pills.
Everyday, some 10 patients go to the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, in Corradino, to get needles stuck in various parts of their bodies in a bid to restore the balance in their physique and live a healthier life. Another 16 patients are being treated at the general hospital.
According to acupuncture specialist Jian Ning Ren, maintaining the balance between the body's yin and yang is the path to healthy living.
When there is pain, he explains, there is usually bad circulation. Acupuncture needles activate the circulation to that part of the body that is causing problems.
"The pain usually stops immediately. Many people just need a one-time treatment, although those with chronic pain might need a number of sessions over two to three months," he said.
Although most people associate acupuncture with pain management, it can also be used to treat a number of other conditions, including hypertension.
"Within two minutes, blood pressure goes down."
But can traditional Chinese medicine replace the kind of treatment applied in the Western world? Dr Jian Ning believes the two types of treatment can be combined for optimum results.
"If a person with high blood pressure is already taking medication, I will not ask him to stop it. Rather, I would try to regulate hypertension through acupuncture.
"This will reduce the need for tablets and can also result in the patient coming off medicines completely with the blood pressure being kept in check".
One of the biggest problems afflicting the Western world is obesity and a solution to this might be coming from the East.
Dr Jian Ning says that through acupuncture he can help restrict a patient's appetite. But could this lead to malnutrition?
He laughs, shaking his head: "No, it does not go that far, but it reduces the amount of food the patient eats," he answers.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been practised here since the 1980s. The centre was set up in 1992. It is manned by a team of Chinese doctors which is changed every two years.