The Gazatte Sunday Jan.15.1995---- Entre Nous

You can call her Jett. Everybody does, "I like Jett", she says, "It's fast. Easy to remember."
She found her new name in a dictionary, right next to a picture of airliner. However, her real name is He Xiao Ru. "My family name is He," she explained. "In china the family name comes first."
At the hospital in Beijing she was Dr.He.
"Why Jett?" asked the reporter.
"My French teacher could not say my name when I arrived in Montreal in 1990." He told me to find a name he could pronounce. "
In fairness to the teacher. He isn't nearly as easy as it looks when it' s pronounced the Chinese way. It isn't He as in thee, or it and me isn't He the way you might pronounce it in French if it has an accent.
The visitor even took a few runs as Huh before she said. " You can call me Jett, Jim. "
"The teacher liked Jett? "
"Oh, no. He said it was a name for an airplane. However, I liked it. Nobody forgets Jett."
We are visiting next to a massage table on Victoria Ave. in Westmount. The reporter, aging fast and increasingly anxious to bond with anyone who is sensitive to life's frozen shoulders and sore backs, was here to check out reports that a Chinese woman had opened Axion Physiotherapy, a clinic that featured acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine.
"Would you like to see acupuncture first?" she asked. "Needles?"
"Not right now. First, tell me your story. "
She poured some of the jasmines-scented tea her family sends over from china, and said she was 44. "Chinese women are different, " she said. "We don't mind questions about our age. "
"Refreshing, " said the reporter.
She'd come from Beijing after practicing Chinese traditional medicine for nine years at a hospital not far from Tiananmen Square.
"I wanted to be an obstetrician - I love babies - but the government said I must study orthopedics because I was very tall and strong. That's good for treating patients with the hands. "
She was the youngest of seven children and her late father had been a professor of Japanese at Beijing University. He'd studied the language in Japan.
"My mother died 43 days after I left home. She cried for 43 days and then she died. She lived with me. When they get old, parents always live with the youngest child in China. Children take very good care of parents. Much respect."
She sees less of that respect in he adopted homeland.
"Old people are often alone here. Forgotten. It's very sad. Jim. In China the old people always get the first piece of cake. Children get the last piece. "
"Here, old people are often very lonely, I tell my staff : "let them talk during treatment. Listen to them. Nobody listens to old people here. " "Children always get the first piece of cake in Canada. Sad for grandparents. Sad for children, too. "
We sipped a little tea.
"Why Canada for you?"
"Canada is safe and clean." said Jett. "Medicare for the sick. Polite people." "Really? You find us polite?"
"Oh yes. Everyone says please and thank you here. You said please and thank you for the Chinese tea."
She remembered the French-speaking Montreal woman who went out of her way to walk her to the correct bus stop when she got lost shortly after arriving in Montreal.
"And then she told the bus driver where I lived and where to let me off. French people are very warm. Big hearts."
The visitor pressed her for more. "What else surprise someone who comes to Montreal from Beijing?"
"Fresh air," she says, smacking her chest. "Good air, low buildings, lots of sun, flowers and so many trees. Lots of room to walk. Not many people. Walking on Mont Bruno, riding my bicycle near Magog....... I'm enjoying very much. But I have a good helper."
"Who 's that?"
"The Quebec government. The government guaranteed my loan at the bank to buy equipment and open this clinic one year and four moths ago."
The patient on the table said the reporter could watch but asked that he hold the questions until the needles were inserted.
Liu Ying - "that's my name the Chinese way" who came here from Hunan after practicing traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in a hospital there for five years, put one in each ankle and another in the woman's stomach.
"Yes," said patient after each insertion.
She seemed to be very relaxed.
"When the patient is relaxed the needles go in easy," Jett had explained. "Like through soft cotton."
"What's it like if I'm tense?" asked the reporter.
"Scared stiff?"
"Like trying to push a needle through cement. Relaxed is much better." The woman on the table had undergone orthopedic surgery on her feet to straighten out two toes that had gone crooked. The toes were straight now but she hadn't been able to walk properly after the surgery because of pain.
"Is this helping?" asked the reporter after the needles were in.
"Very much. I can walk again. But don't tell too many people about it, I won't be able to get an appointment."
"She needed the surgery to correct the toes," said Jett. "The acupuncture and physiotherapy is for the recovery."
"This patient has....not enough Yin," explained Jingmin Wang, the reporter's coach during the procedure. "Too much Yang., not balanced. We place the needles in different positions to increase the Yin."
The reporter didn't pretend to understand but he looked up Yin and Yang in the encyclopedia the next day.
Basic to traditional Chinese medicine is the dualistic cosmic theory of the Yin and Yang. The Yang, the male principle, is active and light and is represented by the heavens.
"The Yin, the female principle, is passive and dark and is represented by the earth..... Health, character and the success of all political and private ventures are determined by the preponderance, at the time, of the Yin and Yang. In the body their proportions can be controlled, and this is the great aim of ancient Chinese medicine....."
Acupuncture is supposed to stimulate or mute body forces and thereby prevent or control disease caused by the imbalance of these forces of Yin and Yang.
"Even the Chinese do not have a full explanation for the effectiveness of acupuncture." Said the Britannica.
The reporter asked Jingmin Wang and Liu Ying if they could give him and indication how his own Yin and Yang were holding up under this kind of pressure.
They both asked to take his pulse.
Felling the pulse is the most important aspect of the diagnosis.
"There are 36 styles of pulse," said Wang.
"Different kinds of flow."
The encyclopedia told me the doctrine of the pulse was introduced about 225 BC. They feel it with three fingers on the radial artery that serves the forearm, wrist, and hand.
Jingmin Wang went first. After several long moments - the big book says pulse - taking can take as long as three hours - she said her first finger told her that the heart was doing fine.
"Second finger is for the lungs. Did you smoke?"
"A long, long time ago."
"The lungs are good. No problem."
I waited for more. "What about the third finger?"
"The third finger shows the kidney is a little low. Tired. Not dangerous. Just a little low in energy. Normal for your age." She called in Liu Ying for a second opinion and she agreed completely.

Taught essentials
She explained that in China, students in Western-style medical schools are also taught the essentials of Chinese traditional medicine. But it works the other way, too. Students of traditional Chinese medicine are expected to be familiar with the basics of Western medicine. Diagnoses of difficult cases are made only after consultations with specialists of both systems. "Business is good?" asked the reporter.
"I hire four people now," she said. "Three of us were doctors in China, and one is a physiotherapist trained in Canada. Also one massage therapist who is Chinese. business Good, but hard work. I work 12 hours a day."
"What about the bank loan?"
"Half paid already."

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