The path to traditional Chinese medicine of Andre, a young man from Africa. He chose Chinese medicine as his major (Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Massage Therapy), because he feels that such methods are applicable in Africa, where hospital conditions are still quite poor.
This young man from Africa has a stunning smile, a talent for singing and dancing, and an outgoing personality, especially good at playing mysterious African drums and singing rap songs. But if, based on this, you conclude that he is just a lazy “hip-hopper”, you will be very wrong. He has both an active and a quiet side, being passionate performer when playing the drums on stage, but when administering a needle to treat a patient he is very calm and introverted.
Andre speaks fluent Chinese, which is a result of his two years of diligent studies at Shanghai Tongji University. After laying his foundation in Chinese he then transitioned to Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, where he chose Chinese medicine as his major (Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Massage Therapy), because he feels that such methods are applicable in Africa, where hospital conditions are still quite poor. During his internship at the hospital, when he saw the incredible effects of these methods he was completely enthralled, in particular when he saw a paralyzed patient recover after treatment. He thought, “If my aunt had received this kind of treatment when she was sick then she wouldn’t have been bedridden.” This further impelled him to study Chinese medicine, so that he could apply these age-old techniques to the people of his own country.
Having a goal is one matter, but actually pursuing it is another. Chinese medicine involves a complex system of theories, with many terms obscure and difficult to understand, posing obstacles in Andre’s studies. For example, the basic diagnosis methods of Chinese medicine are “inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiry, and pulse-taking and palpation”. Among them “inspection” was particularly difficult for him, since this seemed difficult to apply to the dark skin of Africans. Andre asked his teacher about this, and performed a systematic study of the diagnosis theory of Chinese medicine. Then he learned that in addition to looking at the color of one’s complexion there were many other methods available for diagnosis, such as observing the color, shape and secretions of the facial orifices.
In this manner, through his own hard work and patient tutelage from his various teachers, Andre achieved rapid progress in Chinese medicine theory and practice during his internship. In June 2017 his undergraduate studies will come to an end, but he wishes to stay in China to further his study. His goal is to hone his Chinese medicine skills, such as acupuncture, so that they will become even more amazing than the African drums, and will become his specialties as well.
Published in Confucius Institute Magazine
Number 50. Volume III. May 2017.