Learning about Traditional Chinese Medicine & Finding Farmington in Beijing

Today’s day started off early. Early, meaning right at midnight to wish my roommate Ana a happy birthday (China time). We dedicated today to not only celebrating Ana’s 17th, but also to introducing and experiencing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

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With our trip coming to an end, as well as finishing all of our excursions, today provided a different environment and scenery to our trip. We arrived in the morning at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and made our way up to the third floor where we were welcomed with open arms. Prior to the seminar, I viewed TCM as a somewhat antiquated practice still used to this day. After speaking to Mr. Wang, I learned what traditional medicine really meant to China. The impression I got was that the doctors would rather demonstrate their treatment than use words to describe it. Therapies such as acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and Tuina (massaging) were demonstrated for our group, and we were able to experience the massage firsthand. Personally, my favorite station was the massage because it reminded me of home and it felt amazing. In TCM, they use the tongue and pulse to diagnose points of pain and pressure. What I found most surprising was how many interpretations they can get from one pulse. Not only do the doctors rely on the complexion of their patients, but they also connect their practice to the paired symbols of yin and yang. This shows how deeply rooted spirituality and philosophy is in their culture and practice.

After our long day of learning, we went to a reception hosted by Porter’s nearby for Ancients, new girls who will come to Farmington next year, current students and their families, and others, all connected to MPS. Throughout my experience in China, there have been many times when I felt out of place, but being at this dinner made me feel a part of the community. Even though many of the attendees were strangers to me, Porter’s overlapped our differences and bridged everyone together. It reminded me how large of a network Porter’s carries and how meaningful the school is to others globally. Although being thousands of miles from Farmington, I still felt the unity that Porter’s provides.

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In conclusion, today was filled with birthday wishes, new learning, and reminders of home. Today proved to me that no matter how far away you are, you can always be reminded of where you come from and help you associate yourself with others.

-Kyla G.

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