Exploring Practitioners 3: Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner – Charmaine Goh

Workplace Documentation:
Since our final project revolves around the profession of TCM practitioner, Stephanie and I decided to look for a TCM practitioner to find out more about their practice. For this, we contacted Dr Soh Bing Quan, Derrick, who currently practice at Richlife Chinese Medical Centre. We were given
the opportunity to observe his work and what it entails but am unable to take any images due to organisational and privacy concerns. Dr Soh also works as a house physician previously, where he travels to the homes of patients to provide TCM treatments.

Common Tools Used:

  • Medicated Oils and Creams
  • Scissors
  • Gauze and Cotton Wool
  • Lighter
  • Glass cups used for cupping
  • Electrolysis Machine
  • Porcelain spoon for Guasha (traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light petechiae)
  • Metal Dish
  • Acupuncture Needles
  • Bin to store used needles
Acupuncture Needles
Electrolysis Machine

Process Documentation:
During the interview, he told us that there are basically 3 key treatments in TCM – accupuncture, cupping, and tuina.

Acupuncture is where thin needles are inserted to patients’ body to regulate or manipulate the Qi. The process takes about 15-20 minutes according to
Dr Soh. Sometimes extra stimulation is added through twisting the needles or attaching it to the electrolysis machine to pass current through it.
It helps to relieve pains and reduce risk of strokes and more.

For cupping, although there’s pressure cupping machine selling in the market, Dr Soh uses the traditional fire cupping where he first dip the cotton wool into alcohol then lighting it up on fire creating the heat and pressure for the cupping process. He commented that fire cupping is more effective than simply using pressure. Medicated oil/paste is also applied to patients’ body beforehand. Cupping actually serve similar purpose with another TCM treatment called Guasha, which I was not aware of before. I thought they were two different treatments. But generally, they both serve to enhance blood flow and disperse congested energy and blood.

Lastly for Tuina, its mostly used for external injuries such as sprains, strains and other joint injuries. It involves brushing, kneading, rolling, pressing and rubbing an injured
person’s body, using their hands to stimulate Qi and blood to promote healing.

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