The majority of Dr Bi's patients have cervical spondylosis (compression of the neck vertebrae) and lumbar disc hernia (or slipped/prolapsed disc). The armoury of Chinese medicine here includes tuina, acupuncture, moxibustion (the burning of rolled up mugwort herb to warm up an area to promote Qi and Blood circulation), cupping, and electrotherapy. Dr Bi is a great doctor to follow because he specialises in conditions that I will see a lot of when I am in practice. He is also very kind and generous with his knowledge.
Yesterday a patient came to see him with a frozen shoulder -- he immediately stuck a needle in her lower leg (Tiakou ST38), quite deep, at least 3 cun (6cm). This was obviously painful for the patient, but at the same time she gained instant relief from the pain -- you could see this in her face. It took me a few seconds to figure out what was happening. I have read about ST38 being used with dramatic results, but this is my first time to witness it for myself.
I often suffer from frozen shoulder, usually when it's cold and I'm too busy and have no time to exercise and stretch. I have a vested interest in frozen shoulders! Today I asked Dr Bi to look at my right shoulder, which has been aching for the past six months. He said it's not frozen but I might have cervical spondylosis.
Dr Bi then needled two points on my hand (Sanjian LI3 and Hegu LI4), again going in very deeply. The sensation was electric, and like yesterday's patient, I got instant relief from the ache. He massaged my upper back, neck and shoulders and mobilised my shoulder, and now I am walking around like a new woman, a complete fan of this great doctor.
Later on he told me and my classmates -- after he had shown us a secret point near the thumb for headaches -- that he doesn't mind sharing his secrets with us because we are from the UK. I gather that he doesn't share so readily with people from Harbin because competition in the hospital is quite fierce!