I often have people ask me why I chose to practice Chinese Medicine. My answer is Chinese Medicine chose me.
One day in the late 90’s while working a 3 to 11 shift at an Austin hospital in NICU, I was assigned to take care of a 7 month old girl named Amanda. I got a report from the day shift nurse stating:
“Amanda was born at 25 weeks as a premature baby and now has chronic lung problems. She is on a ventilator with oxygen, very irritable, not eating well, not sleeping well…” After reading the report, I started to worry because I had another baby to take care of. I thought “how do I get through this shift while giving the best attention to both babies?”
I began to think about pediatric TuiNa (acupressure) I learned from my Aunt when I was just a high school student in China, “clear heaven river water can calm down the irritable baby…”, and I started to recall that acupressure method in my mind since I had learned it so long ago and never had the chance to use it. Then I went to Amanda’s bedside and started to do TuiNa for her.
After about 10 minutes of TuiNa, she was in deep sleep and I also noticed her O2 needs went down. Two hours later, I had to wake her up to eat and she drank milk very well for that feeding. When I was still feeding her, Amanda’s mother came to visit and she could not believe how well Amanda was drinking the milk. After that shift, I became Amanda’s weekend nurse to take care of her due to her parents’ special request.
Every time Amanda responded to TuiNa SO well, but no one knew what I was doing differently. At that moment, I told myself “Ming, you need to study for a license to practice Chinese Medicine so you can help more sick kids”.
I was practicing Western Medicine in China before I came to the USA. When I was still studying in medical school, my Aunt once said to me, “You might never need to use TuiNa because you are now learning Western Medicine and will work in a hospital.” She was right until that evening shift in the NICU with Amanda! I was overseeing the highest level of Western Medicine in the world for the NICU unit while I was using the pediatric TuiNa to help a very sick baby.
In the past, I have been exposed countless times to Chinese Medicine due to my own health issues, as well as my family members and my friends’ health issues. Having been born and raised in China, that is normal. Now I am living here in the western world and I spent many years as a Registered Nurse (RN) at several hospitals in Austin. I now have my own holistic health clinic in Austin, Texas as an Acupuncturist, practicing in collaboration with both Eastern and Western medicine.
I have more stories about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, I would love to share all of them with you!
Dr. Ming Zou
Snow Lily Health Clinic