1.26.2009

Living Like a Chinese Ox in Cambodia

It's my year - the year of the ox that is.

This weekend many Cambodians, especially those with Chinese heritage, celebrated the Chinese New Year, welcoming in the year of the ox. Being that it isn't a legal holiday here, we didn't get any time off work for the festivities (which I believe last through Tuesday), but houses around town still got into the spirit by decorating in red lanterns and firecrackers and putting generous offerings outside their spirit houses. I came out of my room Sunday afternoon to find that the university staff had offered three roasted pigs among the plates of tropical fruits. Quite a sight indeed!

I don't take horoscopes too seriously, but according to this article on Yahoo!, I have a joyful year ahead of me, full of career opportunities, good health and heightened relationships (oh la la!).

It seems that this month, my life is all about ancient Chinese traditions. Last week I started seeing a doctor that practices traditional Chinese medicine. He is from Austria, working in Cambodia for the next month as part of an exchange with the studio where I take yoga. Since high school, I've had issues with my back and have sought out all sorts of help from physical therapists, chiropractors and masseurs. Well, I figured, why not give acupuncture a try.

As it turns out, this therapy has turned out to be more than acupuncture. The doctor is very in tune with how the body works as a whole and attributed my back problems to a misalignment in my hips. So through a series of acumassage, acupuncture and massage treatments, my body is finally feeling like it should!

"You are very messed up for someone so young!" he told me. (I'm really tired of doctors telling me that. Is it really my fault!?) Now that my spine is aligned and increasing in flexibility, we're going to work on getting my muscles from being so tense all the time. If this works, I'm giving up on Western medicine. (Which I almost did already when my doctor back home told me that my knee pain - the knee I had ACL surgery on - was all in my head.)

1 comment:

Em said...

That's awesome that he can help your back. I wonder what they could do to help mine? They would be horrified to what Western medicine has done to it! I'm glad you're feeling better though. Hopefully you can find someone back here in the states that can continue your Cambodian treatment.