With a history stretching back 3,000 years and countless billion devotees through the generations, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is not something to be scoffed at. Concentrating on balancing the body’s vital forces –cold, dark yin and warm, bright yang – and the five elements (fire, wood, earth, metal, and water), practitioners of Chinese medicine view the human body as a whole, and see illness as a sign of imbalance. Traditional Chinese remedies are generally less invasive than Western treatments, and can include herbal tea, moxibustion, cupping, acupuncture and even Taichi. Diagnosis usually follows four steps:
1) The doctor will question you about your health and living environment.
2) Check your pulse, tongue, eyes and ears.
3) Inspect you for tenderness (usually in abdomen and chest area).
4) Prescribe some appropriate treatment.
So where should you go if you want to dabble in some TCM? We’ve picked five of the best centres that are foreigner-friendly and reasonably priced.
1) Shanghai East International Medical CenterView In Map
Dr. Greg Livingston is something of a celebrity in Shanghai thanks to his expertise in TCM. Going to a Western practitioner might feel less authentic than seeing a native Chinese doctor, but Dr. Livingston is just as qualified as the local medics. A consultation with him at the Shanghai East International Medical Center will cost between 300 and 900 RMB.
Add: 551 Pudong Nan Lu, near Pudong Da Dao, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5879 9999 / 150 0019 0899
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 – 20:00; Sat - Sun 09:00 – 18:00
2) Body & SoulView In Map
Body & Soul currently has four branches, the two latest additions being a branch in Pudong which opened on December 1st, 2011 and a Jing’an branch in the Four Seasons Hotel which opened in 2010. All centres are dedicated to providing a reliable service when it comes to diagnosing and treating ailments. The centre’s Western and Chinese medicine doctors work together as a team to treat each patient as an individual and compile a thorough TCM diagnosis. Your first consultation will cost approximately 890 RMB, and 710 RMB for a follow-up appointment; a treatment session is 590 RMB, but medicine costs extra (prices accurate at the time of writing).
Add:Unit 5, 14F, Anji Plaza, 760 Xizang Nan Lu, near Jianguo Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5101 9262
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri 09:00 – 18:00; Tues - Thurs 09:00 – 20:00; Sat 10:00 – 15:00; Sun 10:00 – 17:00
3) Yuan SpaView In Map
While not a clinic in the regular sense, the Yuan Spa at the Hyatt on the Bund offers TCM treatments, as well as massages, facials and manicures, in the ambient setting of a five-star hotel. Their staff includes a Chinese doctor who will create individual TCM treatment plans for patients following an initial consultation. Treatments include Tuina massage, moxibustion, and cupping. A massage currently costs 780 RMB for 60 minutes and guests are advised to book two days in advance.
Add: 1F, Hyatt on the Bund, 199 Huangpu Lu, near Wuchang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6393 1234
Opening Hours: 10:00 - midnight
4) Body Talk Traditional Chinese Medicine SpaView In Map
Located in the French Concession, Body Talk is another spa which adds TCM elements to its roster of treatments. All staff have been trained in Chinese medicine, and are supervised by an experienced consultant. The spa’s most unique speciality is their moxibustion treatment, during which mugwort is heated and applied to the skin to improve blood and energy circulation.
Add: 2F, 6 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5465 9120
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 10:00
5) Shanghai Doctors & Herbalists Health CenterView In Map
The Shanghai Doctors and Herbalists Health Center in Hongqiao prides itself on its professionalism and accessibility. The centre combines TCM with Western medicine to offer specialised care packages for Stress Reduction, Post-partum Care, Immune System Management and many others . Their physicians and consultants speak English, so even if your Mandarin isn’t great you can still make the most of their services. You can even make appointments online through their website.
Add:618 Hongqiao Lu, near Zhongshan Xi Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6448 5688
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 09:0 - 20:30, Sat - Sun 09:00 – 17:00
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Keywords: Foreigner friendly TCM centres Shanghai traditional Chinese treatments Shanghai traditional Chinese medicine centres Shanghai
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