Since 1994, several Chinese medical teams have been offering medical treatments to the Maltese public from the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Kordin. This professional service extends also to Mater Dei and Gozo general hospitals.

Xiao Ming Yang and Wei Han visit the Gozo General Hospital on a weekly basis.

“Every Wednesday afternoon, I treat an average of 24 patients with acupuncture. Many of the patients book the treatment at the hospital. However, I do not mind treating also those individuals who happen to come by,” says Dr Yang.

Dr Yang and Ms Han carry with them all the required material from Malta to Gozo. From time to time, they also provide the patients with bonus treatments to take home with them.

“Acupuncture treatments are provided free of charge according to an agreement between the Maltese and the Chinese governments. This is a way of showing the mutual respect which exists between the two countries.”

The popularity of this treatment is pushing for more adequate space in order to provide this service to all those who need it. For a more effective benefit of this Chinese traditional therapy, several patients have also expressed their wish to increase the frequency of the doctor’s visit to at least twice a week.

After the acupuncture sessions, Ms Han, the Chinese interpreter at the centre, prepares five herbal teas for those who attend. She also shares interesting information about the benefits of these teas.

“Chinese herbal teas have been used for centuries to provide healthy refreshment. Drinking herbal teas is a natural and effective way to gain various health benefits. Each tea can have one ingredient or many with different benefits,” Ms Han says.

“Jasmine tea is one of the most popular flower teas among foreigners because of its pleasant scent and taste. In ancient times in China, this tea was mainly reserved for royalty since it has so many health benefits.

The high level of antioxidants in the tea help boost the body metabolism, making exercise more effective. This may result in weight loss and in an improvement in the digestive process.

The popularity of this treatment is pushing for more adequate space

“Moreover, for those with cardiovascular problems, jasmine tea can be a huge help as it aids to lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. This tea is also ideal for people suffering from chronic discomfort, such as back pain, joint pain and arthritis, because it has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce swelling and inflammation of joints.

“Rose tea is used to relieve menstrual discomfort or heavy period. It can also regulate the sleep cycle and pattern. For those who suffer from insomnia or have disturbed sleep, drinking rose tea before going to bed might be a great option. Rose tea can also improve digestion, detoxify the body and relieve respiratory infections.”

“Buckwheat tea is a kind of grain tea and it can reduce blood glucose and cholesterol. It really has significant cardiovascular benefits and helps to lose weight.”

Xiao Ming Yang applying an acupuncture treatment on one of his patients.Xiao Ming Yang applying an acupuncture treatment on one of his patients.

“Rhodiola tea is made of dry flowers, leaves and roots of a wild plant called Rhodiola Rosea, which grows best in the high, cold mountains, such as Tibet, Siberia and Arctic areas. It has good effects on anti-ageing and longevity. In ancient times, Chinese emperors used to send expeditions to remote areas in search of this golden root to make pills of immortality. This tea can also protect human cells especially skin cells from ageing, so a lot of beauty products use it as one of their ingredients.

“Jujube is a kind of sour date. Thanks to its special healing properties relating to insomnia, it is regarded as the ‘Oriental sleeping fruit’. Jujube seed tea can calm the mind and smooth the nerves. Therefore, it is often used to treat insomnia, nightmares, night sweats, restless sleep and neurasthenia.”

Participants are also provided with a packet of tiger balm, green oil and plasters. Tiger balm, which has been in use in China from the 1870s, serves to relieve back pain, joint pain, stiffness, sprains, arthritis, headaches, sinus congestion and discomfort from mosquito bites.

Green oil has the same effect as tiger balm. Plasters are mainly used to relieve back pains, joint pains, arthritis, chronic sprain and rheumatism.

For more information, contact the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Kordin on 2169 1799 or the Gozo General Hospital on 2210 6000.


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