by Dana Halawi
BEIRUT, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Christiane, a Lebanese lady in her 60s, woke up one day to find out she had difficulties in urinating.
Christiane, who declined to mention her family name, immediately visited her gynecologist, also a urologist. The doctor sent her immediately to the emergency department at a renowned hospital in capital Beirut to insert a drain into her bladder and solve the problem temporarily.
"His only alternative remedy was to use a battery which would allow me to press a button to empty my bladder with chances of success at less than 30 percent and it is very costly. I needed to use a drain every day to be able to empty my bladder ... my life got too complicated," Christiane told Xinhua.
Christiane once injured herself while inserting the tube that helps her urinating. "I felt frustrated," she said.
But the situation changed when her son did some research and found Chinese medicine practitioners in Lebanon. She had tried Chinese medicine a long time ago in Greece.
She started with acupuncture sessions in addition to a herbal medication used to strengthen her kidneys' function which helped her urinate naturally again.
"This has given me new hopes. I was happy to know that there are alternatives without opting for painful and complicated solutions even if this requires continuous follow-ups," Christiane said.
For her part, Karen, a 40-year-old Lebanese lady who also declined to mention her family name, told Xinhua she had tried for over a year to get pregnant but failed due to high prolactin levels.
She resorted to Chinese medicine because she had hopes to be able to solve her problem without resorting to hormones as prescribed by her gynecologist.
"At first, I was not too convinced to avoid the medication prescribed by my gynecologist. But then my Chinese medicine doctor asked me to avoid hormones and try Chinese medicine for a few months," she said.
"After a number of acupuncture sessions, my prolactin levels were lowered and then I got pregnant. But I had to follow up with my doctor to be able to hold my pregnancy in parallel to having some rest and taking good care of my diet," she said.
Edmond Ibrahim, Chinese medicine and acupuncture specialist, told Xinhua that Chinese medicine has become more popular in Lebanon as people became more aware about the importance of using natural medicine.
"People have the opportunity to do more research today with the internet, so they know more about natural remedies. They are aware that chemical medications have bad side effects," Ibrahim said.
He explained that, in some cases, herbal medicines may also have negative side effects on the health but the imbalance created by herbal medicine can be reversed most of the time.
The doctor noted that diagnosis in Western and Chinese medicines are different. In Western medicine, the doctor asks for blood tests and other tests using high-tech equipment for echography; in Chinese medicine, the physician focuses on observation, such as color of tongue, in addition to asking questions and feeling the pulses of hands.
"The pulse and tongue are very important in diagnosing a patient. There are 28 to 29 kinds of pulse conditions in Chinese medicine and each kind hints a correlated disease," Ibrahim explained.
He noted that the Chinese medicine doctor makes a diagnosis, collects symptoms and finds the syndrome, according to which he can give the suitable treatment either by acupuncture, herbal medication or Tui Na, a traditional Chinese massage.
"In Chinese medicine we find the source of the problem to treat it. We see the disease from many different perspectives. If a patient has a headache, for instance, we have to locate the source of this headache. We do acupuncture on the skin where there are 'channels' connected to the organs that need to be treated," he added.
In Christiane's case, Ibrahim explained that he treated the kidney by using electricity on the needles to stimulate and reinforce the kidney's energy while Western medicine would deal with the bladder by placing a drain to open it and allow the patient to urinate.
Meanwhile, in Karen's case, he diagnosed the young lady by feeling her pulse and he noticed that she had weakness which translated into deficiency in blood and energy.
"We focused on regulating menstruation and reinforce energy and blood. I also gave Karen herbal medication in addition to using needles," he said.
Ibrahim believes that Western medicine must reduce their use of chemicals by opting for more natural products.