Feature: Acupuncture a gamechanger when antibiotics don't do the trick

(Xinhua) 02:55, November 18, 2023

VALLETTA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Acupuncture has done a world of good to Sophie Biro, an eight-year-old girl who has been struggling with acute digestive problems.

"I felt a little painful during the treatment, but afterwards I did not feel a thing, and then I felt better," she told Xinhua after her second treatment this week at the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine (MRCTCM) in Malta.

"I can eat more after acupuncture," she said, chatting away happily about the joy of eating some toast, porridge, and rice without experiencing nausea.

Sophie and her family moved from London to Malta in May 2021. This is when Sophie started to develop symptoms like recurrent diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and fever. These problems have left her weakened physically, much to the concern of her mother, Anita Tompai.

Anita said none of Sophie's hospital treatments had so far had long-lasting effects, and she was reluctant to let her daughter continue with antibiotics.

So, when she came across some information about the MRCTCM on social media a few weeks ago, the 42-year-old mother decided to for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a "last resort".

The fact that acupuncture has no side effects has weighed heavily in Anita's decision.

"My daughter felt much better right after the first acupuncture treatment," she said. "I am very happy and grateful for the results," Anita said with tears in her eyes.

Sophie is one of the youngest patients the MRCTCM has treated, said Feng Hua, head of the Chinese medical team in Malta and also Sophie's attending physician.

Feng described her as both brave and cooperative. Luckily, Sophie's digestive symptoms quickly subsided after the first treatment, leaving only slight abdominal pain. By the second treatment, her complexion had greatly improved, indicating steady recovery, Feng said.

Now Sophie is eager to share her experiences with others.

"I want my best friend to try acupuncture too," Sophie said, adding that her friend, who is one year younger, has a habit of biting her nails and frequently complains of stomachaches.

Seeing her daughter's condition now steadily improving, Anita breathed a sigh of relief but regretted not bringing Sophie to the MRCTCM sooner. She said she was ready to continue with acupuncture treatments for Sophie to prevent a recurrence of the digestive problems.

Since 1993, the Chinese government has sent 19 medical teams to Malta, treating approximately 250,000 patients. In 1994, China and Malta signed an agreement to cooperate on TCM and established the MRCTCM.

Over the past 30 years, TCM became deeply rooted in Malta, Feng said. The center also receives patients from all over Europe, and provides professional trainings in TCM, he said.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Sheng Chuyi)


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