Medicine of the Traditional Sort

So what with my medium-serious sickness of late, I've been persuaded to seek out traditional chinese medicine as a form to alleviate my asthma symptoms.

Obviously, the ideas are different, as well as the process and concepts.

It's like "new acupuncture": gone are the days where you get long needles in your ear, where the treatment only lasts for as long as you're in the doctor's office. Now they paste on these sticker assemblies that have tiny little BB-pellet medicine balls. I originally thought they had needles, but I guess the doctor was pressing them into me so hard that I thought it was puncturing, but it's not. Instead, it creates "craters", and they're almost punctured into your skin to encourage bloodflow there, and then increase absorption of the medicine. And you leave the doctor's, but are told to massage each sticker 4 times a day, 30 seconds each time, for the week.

Anyway, along with it is a strict diet limitation. I call it "The List". Here's what I can't eat:

Exacerbating the hives: seafood, beef, lamb, duck, goose, duck eggs, alcohol, spicy foods, mushrooms, chives, cilantro, taro / lotus root, mango, something-i-can't-read, bamboo shoots / asparagus / anything from that family.

Agitates asthma: seafood, oranges, watermelon, banana, cool/cold things, spicy foods.

Negative interaction with the Chinese medicine: mung beans, carrots / daikon, a certain type of "hollow heart" vegetable.

Yeah. So the second week, I went back to get the medicine (slightly different prescription from the first week, given slightly different symptoms he noticed) and had a quick word with him. As I was leaving, here's the conversation we had:
"Just try to stay away from those certain foods. You have the list?" He grabs another card and is about to tick off the relevant items for me.
"Yeah, I carry that list in my wallet." I pat my pocket.
He starts reading it out, "Beef, lamb, duck, ..."
I had to go, so I politely cut him off, "Basically, I can eat chicken."
"Well, you can eat pork too."
I stood there, looking stupid for a second.

I don't know why, but we somehow had gotten it into our heads that I was only allowed chicken. And all this past week, I've been restricting myself from eating just about any meat imaginable -- and given the normal Taiwanese diet, cutting pork out just about means going vegetarian.

As a reward, I had pork that dinner. And it was the best pork I ever tasted. :-) Can't wait until I can have steak again!

No comments: