Monthly Archives: July 2013

First Acupuncture!

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Today is the second day I have them ‘plugged in’, my first (ear) acupuncture. As you can see on the image I have two on my right ear (also have 2 on the left), and they are supposed to stay there for at least 3 days.

They are basically little stickers, with tiny pins on it, that you press into your ear on certain spots. I got 2 on each side. The lower one on my earlobe is to get or maintain a good sight. The upper one is to sleep better and be more relaxed. The ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’-doctor told me to rub them every night for 3 to 5 minutes before going to bed.

As mentioned in my post of yesterday I’m not a real believer of these kind of things 🙂 but hey, nice first timer right?

PS: There are like many ‘spots’ on your ear that supposedly represent different parts of your body (see picture below). So for every problem you have there is an acupuncture spot on year ear. Or that’s at least what they believe.

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First ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ Lesson

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Today Hult offered an session on Traditional Chinese Medicine for whomever was interested. Since I’m always curious to experience local cultures I decided to have look.

Here is what I learned:

  • TCM is almost 2000 years old.
  • It is described as “The science dealing with human physiology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases”.
  • TCM is based on the theory of ‘Yin and Yang’ by the yellow Emperor ‘Huang Di Nei Jing’
  • Natural phenomena (including human beings) can be categorized in 5 fases or elements according to TCM: Wood, Fire, Earth, Mental and Water.
  • Doesn’t use machines or advanced modern techniques. Almost solely based on ancient techniques.

The doctor who gave the sessions studied this for 10 years at a specialized university and is running a family business in TCM. Her father and grandfather were also practitioners of this medicine.

What I liked:

  • The fact that they stress the importance of healthy living and a conscious lifestyle.
  • Lot of the diagnosis and treatment is not solely based on scientific indications . They look at the person and the condition in a holistic way. Making the treatment more ‘human’.

What I didn’t like:

  • They have a lot of unproven things like they way they locate the acupuncture places. The doctor She admitted she doesn’t really know herself.
  • The explanation of the ‘meridians’ in the human body was pretty blurry.
  • Lot of things just don’t make sense to me like scraping your back to get rid a sun stroke. Or sucking glass bottles to your back to get rid of your negative energy (see picture below).

In general I’m not a very big fan of the whole thing. Back in the day it was probably the best they could do, but nowadays I’d rather go to a modern, scientific hospital.

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First Mandarin Lesson!

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Not too long after I head my first Arabic lesson, I’m having my first Mandarin lesson!

Arabic wasn’t too different from western languages in a way that they also have an alphabet and a limited amount of letters. Also grammar exists of verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc like we have. Guess the writing would be the most difficult to master.

Mandarin on the other hand is a whole different ballgame. The grammar is just not the same 🙂 Also they have different words for similar things, they have 4 different ways of pronouncing an ‘a’ or ‘o’. I’m maybe already saying wrong things about the language. That’s how much I understood of it 😉

No, it’s good to get some basic things because it’s really useful in a city where the majority doesn’t speak anything else but mandarin. It also gives you an idea of how intensive it would be to really become good at it.

Next lesson is in a week. Looking forward!

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First Chinese career advise

Not really planning to stay in China because of professional reasons but still wanted to have at least 1 career coaching session on professional life in China. Just so I could get a feel of what it is about and how it would look like. You never know. Always interesting.

With a Chinese career coach from a local consulting company I discussed a bit the basics of life as an expat in Shanghai.

These are the things I learned:

  • Government reduced regulation for Visa’s. Process had become more convenient and less of a barrier.
  • Chinese companies in general have international ambitions and therefore want a certain amount of expats.
  • Sounds logical but knowledge of Mandarin is not to be underestimated (way less the case in Dubai for example, no need to speak Arabic there).
  • You earn up to twice as much as a local Chinese employee.
  • Modern companies are less Chinese than you would think; They try to create (read: copy) western corporate cultures and be innovative and stimulating.
  • Having a network is very important. Finding jobs doesn’t happen like in Europe where they are nicely listed on the website. It’s more of an ‘American’ system where you have to be referred and know somebody to get in.
  • Get used to indirect communication and a lot of strange habits.

Personal take-away: Note ambition no. 1 to work here but wouldn’t mind ending up here for a certain period of time.

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