Cupping, Acupunture, and Basketball?

I had an amazing experience living on my own in Shanghai for two months working at 上海三爱中医门诊部 (San Ai TCM).  San Ai TCM is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic that focuses on holistic methods specializing in acupuncture and cupping specifically. My work at the clinic mainly consisted of assisting doctors with their acupuncture and cupping procedures, learning how to perform the procedures, and preparing medicine in the pharmacy.

The prescribed medicine consisted of various natural herbs, roots, and minerals from all over the country. Each individual ingredient had it’s own drawer or jar and the sheer number of  them made it seem like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Working at San Ai TCM also blew away my preconceived notions of technology being absent from these Traditional Chinese methods. Special machinery is used to control temperature, moisture, and dispense coffee like grades of the ingredients. I was not expecting to see such a technologically savvy electronic inventory inside a clinic based on the foundations of the past.

My coworkers and even my patients were all very friendly and patient with me when it came to getting them what they needed. With me knowing some Mandarin Chinese but being no where close to fluent I fumbled around my first week pretty badly. However, throughout my time seeing the extentivness of TCM and the faith in which people put into it coupled with me being there long enough to conclude results in my regular patients was powerful.  My schedule at work was also flexible enough to allow me to make multiple overnight trips to other cities for the full Chinese experience. I was able to visit The Great Wall Of China In Beijing, The Great Yellow Mountains of Huangshan, and the gondola of The Water City Suzhou.

Out of all of my trips hiking The Great Yellow Mountains in Huangshan had to be my favorite. I was able to catch up with Maxwell Zucker, one of my classmates, who was also in China for the summer. Together we  climbed over four hours in the elements, ultimately experiencing the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen in our lives. After reaching the peak and taking in the scenery for awhile, we came across a random blacktop basketball court on top of this beautiful mountain in the middle of rural china with a ball. Despite the monstrous cardio we went through the scenery and opportunity was too perfect for us not to play. After 15 mins of us messing around throwing up shots and playing one on one we had a crowd of over 200 people watching and cheering us on. This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that I could never forget.


Traveling the world and experiencing different forms of medicine first hand has allowed me to acquire unique health care skills and form my own opinion on the current state of Western Medicine. Not only that, but I was in the best place in the world to put my Chinese i’ve been learning at Davidson to the real test. I am extremely grateful for the many lessons and the opportunity as a whole.          

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