Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 4 years 1 month ago

Research opens the door to knowledge. Phase 3 of my Inquiry project will be about tackling the obstacle of researching about my current topic, Healthcare/wellness as experienced by locals, and gathering the essential knowledge needed to advance my thinking in the right direction. In Phase 0, I began the process of choosing the topic that spoke to me the most. In Phase 1, I used research to develop my questions about the topic. In Phase 3, I will continue the journey of a successful Microcampus inquiry project through the foundation of research.

Background Information (from Phase 1):

I began the Background Information research process by researching more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for more than 2000 years, and the understanding of the human body has been constructed with a basis of Daoism beliefs [1]. The TCM method believes in treating the zang-fu organs as the core of the human body and Qi (Chi) is believed to be moving through the organs and circulating throughout the entire body [1}. The main TCM treatment methods include acupuncture, herbal medicine and qigong exercises[1]. Through a scientific viewpoint, TCM is not recognized as a medicine that uses evidence and facts to prove whether a treatment is safe and efficient for the body [2,3]. TCM is a very cultural medicine, and therefore some methods are 'made-up' with no factual basis through the technology and physiology of today [2,3]. TCM uses the yin-yang philosophy. This means that everything in the universe is theoretically balanced - for every bad piece there is a good piece and two opposites belong within a whole. The yin-yang relates to the Qi and TCM believes in creating balance within the body. On the contrary, there has been no proof that yin-yang exists both medically or physically. This results in a fabricated version of medicine, despite it possibly working effectively [1,2,3].

My inquiry project is based off of the comparison of Western and TCM Medicines. Due to this, it is important that I also research on Western Medicines as well. The term "Western Medicine" is typically used to describe a practice of medicine that is evidence-based[4]. The term "Allopathic Medicine" can also be used to describe Western Medicine in only some certain cases[5,7].  It originated in Western countries, mainly inhabited by Europeans[4]. While TCM focuses mainly on the causes of the illness, Western Medicine focuses on the symptoms of such illnesses[4]. Western Medicine includes various types of treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and physical therapy[5]. Safety is very important in the Western medical practice, as all treatments and medicines go through a very strict review to ensure it can be used medically[5]. This differs from TCM because usually TCM isn't very rigorous when it comes to extreme safety. The approval process for Western Medicine is very long[5]. The main benefit of Western Medicine is that its effectiveness is rather high, due to its protocols and safety processes[5]. Medical doctors, healthcare professionals, nurses, pharmacists, and therapists in the Western world all practice this form of medicine[6].

An essential question needing to be answered is what does TCM treat? The World Health Organization has recognized that acupuncture, a form of TCM, can treat numerous symptoms including the upper respiratory track, disorders in the facial and head region, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders and reproductive disorders[8]. Acupuncture is the medical practice of precisely inserting needles into the body to increase the energetic flow of the previously mentioned term Qi. The sizes and thickness of the needles being inserted do vary[9]. Chinese Herbal Medicines are produced from plants, animals or minerals. The prescription for these medicines consists mainly of using the repetitively. Remedies are mainly combinations of many different herbs and results in medicine from nature[10]. The several forms of Chinese Herbs are ingested orally such as pattern pills and tincture, external applications such as paste and rubs, and injections[10]. The final main form of TCM is Zheng Gu Tui Na or Tui Na, which means to massage[11]. The literal translation of this word is 'to straighten the bone by pushing hand'. Tui Na is used to relax deep tissues, tendons, ligaments and muscles. Martial Artists developed Tui Na as they developed their arts. Tui Na was needed when injuries happened, and eventually the technique became a medical practice. Tui Na focuses on the entire body instead of just one area. It is based on the principle of the Yin and Yang, like other TCM practices[11].

Seeing that I have done background research on what TCM treats, I will now develop my understanding of what Western Medicine treats. As I have stated before, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and physical therapy are some main Western Medicine practices. Western Medicine focuses mainly as the body as an organism, unlike TCM. The view of medicine through the Western's eyes is strictly scientific. The only beliefs the Westerns have is that everything must be proven and that medicine must be safe and evidence based. This results in medical procedures that can be repeated and are genuine. The Western Medicine is based on science to back it up[5].

I will conclude my Background Information research with a final comparison of TCM and Western medicine. In the East, the mind and body are connected as part of a whole. However, In the West, it is believed that the mind and body are separated and two different individual beings. This means that in the East, all illnesses are believed to be connected to the mind in some way. The West does not believe this however, and only will treat the mind if it is a neurological issue[12]. The goals of these two different types of medicine practices are different as well. In the West, the goal is to fix the human body through procedures and such. While in the East, the goal is to trigger the body's ability to heal and allow it to heal itself. These goals are different because one is aimed toward tackling the issue at it's root, and the other is geared toward stimulating the process and then allowing the body to heal with no other intervention[12]. I have come to the conclusion that both Western and TCM have good qualities to make it a beneficial practices. I have learned so much about both aspects of medicine. I look forward to developing my knowledge more in the Microcampus process.

Information From 3-to-5's:
My 3-5 Conversations not only informed me of resources to guide my learning in Xi Zhou, but also some information about my topic in general. Firstly, I was informed that Western Medicine is now practiced a lot more than TCM. Locals usually only practice TCM if they are older, or extremely into it. I also learned that TCM has a longer healing process, so this is why Western Medicine is used to cure illnesses faster. TCM is focused on blood circulation and having a better complexion. An aspect of TCM includes Yang-Sheng, which is eating healthy and maintaining bodily health. Yang-Sheng is extremely important to TCM. I was also told that the herbs used in TCM are usually dried and mixed with fruits, boiled and then drunk. However, the Western Medicine is ready to use with pills and syrups. Some TCM has been adapted to take the form of Western Medicine in pills and syrups and other such forms. Some locals who still practice TCM have a superstition that after the herbs are boiled, they must be thrown out on the street for the cars to run over. Mr. T encouraged be to learn more about childcare in Xi Zhou. He told me that the Western childcare method is very different from the Chinese childcare method. The Chinese people are very protective and prohibit their children from developing the way Western children do. The Chinese only have one view, and one method of living life. This blocks them from being open to new ideas and having different perceptions of childcare, such as the level of freedom, or what age children begin to eat solid foods. The Westerns allow their children to explore, while the Chinese hold their children back. This is evident in later years of life where personality and behavioral changes can be seen. 

Information From Local Contacts:
Mr. Zhao (赵) at Local Western Medicine Pharmacy off of Si Fang Jie: (Thursday, May 5th, 2016. Day 5 of Microcampus)

My first interview with a local was with Mr. Zhao, he was extremely kind and is the owner of a local pharmacy selling both TCM and WM. He is 71 years old and has worked at the pharmacy for 4 years. He has lived in Xi Zhou since he was born. I began with asking some questions about himself. He said that before running this pharmacy, he worked as a farmer to grow rice. He changed his job as he grew older because he was unable to continue the hard work. Mr. Zhao has two children, a son and a daughter. His wife sells clothing outside of the pharmacy.  His son gave this job to him. He said "Now I work for my son" and laughed. His son works in Dali Gu Cheng in the day, he has an office job. His son is around 30 years old and is a Medicine Specialist, he went to college and learned about medicine. His current office job doesn't relate to medicine. His son went to college in Da Li University to study medicine.  The pharmacy mainly sells WM and it was his sons choice to sell WM. One of the things that I found interesting is that he uses technology in the work place, including a computer and a scanner to sell the medicine, his son taught him how to do this. He told me that the illnesses that the customers usually come with asking for medicine are stomachaches, headaches, fever or colds. It depends on the customers, and their symptoms.The running of his pharmacy is very similar to the running of a Western pharmacy, he told me that usually customers come in with symptoms, he looks for the medicine that corresponds with those symptoms, and sells it to them. He is not a certified pharmacist, so he can not prescribe dosage, he just facilitates the buying of the medicine. He says that he doesn't always have the medicine that the customers need. Personally, he thinks that TCM is better that WM, although WM is faster. For example, a TCM cream makes a problem feel better than a WM cream does. He uses the medicine that he sells if sick. Mr. Zhao gets both TCM and WM that he sells from different Medicine companies. He showed me the bills used to purchase the medicine. However, he does not purchase the medicine from the companies, his son does. I asked him a little about certain TCM methods, such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Tui Na. He says that the local hospital in Xi Zhou does acupuncture, and there is a place in Da Li that does acupuncture. There are no acupuncturists in Xi Zhou. Zhong Yi Yuan has Chinese medicine and facilitates it. When I asked him about Tui Na, he said that people do it by themselves and don't go to a specified person who does Tui Na. The local hospital uses both WM and TCM. For herbal medicine, there is a local place up in the mountains, the locals collect the herbs and sell it. The customers then go home and boil the medicine to drink. Mr. Zhao told me he is very happy with his job and likes working for his son.

Ms. Zhao at Old Town Snacks in Si Fang Jie: (Monday, May 9th, 2016. Day 10 of Microcampus)
Today I had a conversation with Ms. Zhao at Old Town Snacks. I have interacted with her before when going to eat at her restaurant, but this was the first time having an in depth conversation with her. I wanted to learn about her opinions on TCM and WM and also what it is like to be a caretaker. She has one 8-year-old boy and she says that if he got sick, and it was not so serious, she would take care of him at home. If the illness was serious, she would take him to a local hospital and get medicine. She doesn't like to use injections on children because she believes it affects children's brain development. She says that mainly Chinese people using TCM, and this is against what others say. Some say Chinese people use both TCM and WM. She doesn't like to give children antibiotics because she believes that it kills the bad stuff in the body, but also kills the good stuff. She told me the story of her sister in law, who had back and knee pain and went to Xi Guan to receive TCM. The process for taking TCM is 3 cups of water are used for boiling, and then added to the dried herbs. The herbs must be mixed together first, and it will take three days for the patient to recover. She says that China has a lot of legends about TCM and that the Chinese don't always know the truth, I am going to try and find out more about these legends. People believe they can heal themselves by themselves, and she doesn't believe that is right. When Ms. Zhao was small, her mother got her injections if she had a fever or if her glands were swollen. She has been influenced by her mother to maintain the same type of health plan, however the medicine is a different quality now. Before, it was up to the individual to support their own health plans, now China has a government run health system. Her grandmother died of cancer at age 73 and there was no way to treat it because it was found 1 month before she died. Back in the day, not a lot of people had cancer. Xi Zhou hospital is all Western Medicine. Da Li Hospital is bigger and has WM and TCM. There used to be grandmother near SFJ who sold TCM, but her shop closed due to construction. There is a person from Beijing who opened up an acupuncture place nearby SFJ. Illnesses that are most common in Xi Zhou are common cold, fever, sore throat. If it's a bigger problem, they go to the hospital. Finally, I asked Ms. Zhao about her wellness plan. She said that if it's a small problem she would take a WM pill for cold or sore throat. She takes time to rest and recover and get rid of the sickness by herself.

Ms. Dong at Pharmacy Nearby Yang Zhuo Ran: (Tuesday, May 10th, 2016. Day 11 of Microcampus):
Today I had a conversation with a pharmacists with the name of Ms. Dong at a nearby pharmacy close to YangZhuoRan. She was very friendly and opened up to me about her job and her family. At the pharmacy, she sells both WM and TCM. She gave me an example of a type of Traditional Chinese medicine used for general care. They are like the Chinese version of Western vitamins. She believes that TCM is maintenance for the body and keeping up your wellness. However, WM is for treating a specific illness. She also believes that taking a combination of WM and TCM is good for the body. A fever won't recover with one type of medicine, so a combination is good. Most Xi Zhou people use TCM because they are used to it. Ms. Dong is a pharmacist, and her husband is a medical doctor. Her husband is retired. She has been a pharmacist from 1997, she had another pharmacy in Si Fang Jie, but she moved to this site 8 years ago. She's part of the Bai Minority. For her to become a pharmacist, she didn't need to go to college. It was required that she take a certification program and a test to be a certified pharmacist. Her daughter graduated from Da Li University, and her daughter runs programs for foreign students. Her daughter is a doctor in Xi Guan. Her son is about to graduate from a Teaching university, and is going to Thailand to attend a Chinese government-run office workplace. Her daughter has never come back to visit her, A lot of her friends have never even met her daughter. Ms. Dong said that Xi Zhou people prefer coming to a smaller place like her pharmacy instead of Da Li Hospital because Da Li hospital is chaotic and unorganized, while in the pharmacy, the customers can have thorough conversations. When her husband comes to the pharmacy, he is a certified doctor, so he can do treatment. If it's just Ms. Dong at the pharmacy, she usually sees between 10-15 customers. 2 years ago, her husband got sick with a stroke. Her husband is used to TCM and WM treatment. Ms. Dong gets the medicine from her pharmacy from representatives from different companies who directly contact her and deliver the medicine. It is really important to her that the medicine is legitimate and of 100% quality. She told me that you have to have a specific certification in Tui Na Massage in order to practice it. At the Xi Zhou town hospital, they have acupuncture. For older people to maintain health their is an exercising place in the Parking Lot nearby SFJ. There are about 90 elders who come out and dance at 7 every night. These women pitch-in 50 RMB every year to pay for the teacher and electricity so that they can dance and be healthy. Finally, the older people use TCM because of their beliefs. Younger people are inclined to use WM or use a combination of both. To summarize, Ms. Dong was a very moral woman. She said that she doesn't care about receiving money, but cares about the health of others. 

Ms. Zhao at Pharmacy the opposite direction from Si Fang Jie (Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. Day 12 of Microcampus):
Today I conversed with Ms. Zhao who works at a pharmacy in the opposite direction from Si Fang Jie. At the pharmacy they sell both types of medicine. She said that the locals like TCM. She gave me an example of TCM that comes from herbs. They have two types of medicine for the same problem. WM is usually a liquid, while TCM is usually tablets. In the past, locals boiled and drank the TCM. Modern TCM is in different forms. The new way is much better. Ms. Zhao is not a qualified pharmacist, but she has worked at this pharmacy for less than 6 months. She's quite young. Lots of people use TCM because there are less side effects. A local owns the pharmacy, but she's not here. The couple who owns the pharmacy are certified pharmacists. She said that it depends on the person for which medicine they use. TCM has a longer healing process. To maintain wellness, elders take TCM that is like a Chinese version of vitamins. They take to have stronger bodies. In the future, she predicts that there will be a bigger market for TCM and people will have more money to purchase better TCM. She believes that usually, people don't mix TCM and WM. She believes there are no older or younger preference for medicine, it depends on the person. TCM has less side effects, so it's better. In the local hospital, they have TCM, WM and acupuncture. She never tried acupuncture, so she doesn't like it. Injections are the best WM in her opinion because it's direct and faster. Liquid & Pills take longer than injections, and TCM herbs take the longest to see effects. The most common illnesses in Xi Zhou are Stomach problems and the common cold. Mostly locals attend the pharmacy, and not tourists.  

Mr. Zhang at Medical Aid Station (Thursday, May 12th, 2016. Day 13 of Microcampus):
My conversation today consisted of going to a local Medical Aid Station and talking to a certified doctor that runs the Station. The doctor's name is Mr. Zhang, he's from Xi Zhou. He rents the home/station and uses it to help people get better. He went to university at Kunming University of Medicine and he only sells and prescribes WM at the Station because his background is related to WM, he learned about WM at university. Each small town in the Xi Zhou area has a station like this one. It is like a pharmacy, but on the inside, there are people taking IV's and he prescribes medicine unlike a pharmacy. In a pharmacy, you know what type of medicine that you want; but in the Medical Aid Station, you must describe your own symptoms to him, so he can give the patient the medicine they need. He believes that WM has a faster healing process, but has more side effects. TCM is slower, but it is part of the Chinese history, so they continue to practice it. For him to prescribe, it all depends on symptoms and if the patient needs a fix quick or would prefer a slower (TCM) healing process. In the Station, they have people with IV's. He said that they are taking water with vitamins, and the process is that pills are injected into the patient and followed by water with vitamin supplements in the IV. Some people go to a pharmacy and just get what they need, while some people would prefer to check with him and get his medicinal professional opinion. If the symptoms of the patients are typical, then he can treat the patients at his "mini-clinic", however if the situation is more serious, then they go to the hospital. He doesn't have enough equipment like at the hospital, but he has much more equipment than the typical pharmacy. The people who attend this clinic are 90% local people, and 10% random people. He said it's hard to say if TCM will be used in the future, it depends on what the doctor thinks is best for the patient. In the past, he believes WM and TCM were both used, depending on the case of illness. He said that even the old people have to use WM, if it's simple symptoms, then the elders prefer TCM. More and more people are using WM because it's based on science and more "safer" to use. It's becoming more and more out of the patient's choice, the doctors will prescribe WM because they believe WM is better. He can't tell when WM entered XI Zhou because no one paid attention to when WM entered because it has naturally become a part of their daily life. Xi Zhou people usually stay healthy by having a job, dancing, running and walking. The common illnesses of Xi Zhou are having a stomach ache, cold or fever. For older people, they have back pain, shoulder pain. For these external pains, patients prefer to use TCM jelly paste that relaxes the muscles. Mr. Zhang's method of prescribing medicine is like TCM, he adds a little bit of every pill into what he gives patients. The patients trust him enough to allow him to give them any type of medicine to make them feel better. He has medicines for all ages, and all of the medicine is WM. When a patient is not feeling well, he prefers the patient to come to him and explain the symptoms. The sick person describes symptoms better than family members. For WM, he believes the most beneficial method is up to preference. Xi Zhou people don't like injections, they use injections as a last resort. For infants, they have vaccinations for them. The last option for children is injections. External symptoms with children can easily be fixed from the outside with TCM, otherwise Western medicine can be used. He decided to be a doctor because when he studied, he decided to study medicine. There's a clinic near the highway that he told me a bout, they perform surgery there if needed. If the patient needs surgery, then the doctor will decide to give it to them. It depends on the situation of the body and the sickness. The doctor knows what's best for the patient. If surgery is the only option then they will do it. For a normal sickness procedure, Medicine and IV cost 54¥. Mr. Zhang was also a man of morals, he said that of course he likes keeping the people of Xi Zhou healthy.


Mr. Yang at local clinic in Xi Zhou (Monday, May 16th, 2016. Day 17 of Microcampus):
Today I conversed with a doctor at the local clinic in Xi Zhou. He was sitting in a room that was filled with fragrant TCM herbs. There were cabinets and drawers that had so many herbs inside. The process used to sell this medicine is that a doctor will prescribe medicine for the patients and then he will read the prescription and give the patients the required medicine. Illnesses that are TCM is usually used for to cure are cold cough, pain in the stomach (da lan yen) or pain on the liver. There were many different TCM herbs from different types of plants in the drawers. The process used to take TCM is that it is boiled with water and after, they drink the medicine water. The taste is very bitter, but sometimes sweet. Different herbs taste differently. The TCM comes from a pharmacy company, who delivers to the clinic. The resource that the herbs are gathered from need to be trustworthy because it is being distributed by a clinic. Both elders and younger Xi Zhou residents come to take TCM. TCM is very fragrant. In the past, he feels that the same amount of TCM and WM was used to cure illnesses. In Xi Zhou, he recognizes that people prefer TCM because it's more traditional. In the future, he feels more people will use TCM because there are more side effects with WM. Again, I was informed that it all depends on the illness and that there is no "popular" herb. They also have more modern TCM that is processed and made into a pill. It's a version of TCM in modern society. The clinic is 45 years old and is being renovated. Every village has a clinic like this. Today, I also went to a pharmacy where I got some quick information. It is a newly built pharmacy (2 years old) and Ms. Mai told me that pharmacies are becoming more and more developed. It is becoming easier to just come inside and find medicine for a certain illnesses/symptoms. 

Mrs. Linden (Tuesday, May 17th, 2016. Day 18 of Microcampus):
Today I conversed with Mrs. Linden about her career as a Nurse and about my topic. She told me that as of now, it's still WM and TCM being used. However, people tend to turn to TCM first and then to WM. The doctors at the clinic usually give a combination of WM and TCM. She feels that the doctors are a bit uneducated and don't know completely what they are doing. For example, a woman came in with her child to a clinic to go and get medicine, and the doctor prescribed 4 different types of unnecessary antibiotics. She's looking through the medical life in Xi Zhou as a former nurse, and notices a lot of different practices. People aren't educated enough about what type of medicine they are getting to know better, they just trust. Mrs. Linden feels that during the Cultural Revolution, they didn't have Western Medicine and it entered Xi Zhou after the Reform and Opening period. In the late 90's they didn't have chains of pharmacies. However now, there are more and more pharmacies being opened up. Before the locals begin to think twice about the trust they put in the doctors giving them medicine, they need a scare to change their mind set. TCM doesn't taste very good, there is lots of preparation needed. This is a disadvantage for the TCM to keep going, but it is part of the culture, so it will always be there. Brands that date back to the Qing Dynasty still exist today, TCM has been around for 100's of years. Even TCM has generic brands such as WM like Tylenol or Halls. WM will continue to infiltrate Xi Zhou more and more, starting in the bigger cities and making its way down to smaller villages. TCM will also become more modern, and adapted to WM. WM is really cheap in China, but very expensive in the U.S.. There are different insurance polices in place, and this is the cause of that. The Chinese people just follow what people tell them to do, when they are uneducated, they don't know better. TCM is grown a lot in Xi Zhou, people  grow the herbs at home and there are no regulations on TCM, which also requires a lot of trust. The medical system in Xi Zhou is very odd, it's scary not knowing exactly what you are getting. For WM, IV's are a very common source of medicine. The answer to WM is IV's, even if they don't know exactly how it works. It's a go-to method of WM. Some statistics: 180¥ for a surgery, however IV's are around 600¥ per day. The doctors will continue to give IV's even if it's not necessary, it is a quick fix and the doctors get a lot of money from it. You have to be educated to navigate the health system in Xi Zhou. Da Li University is more Western influenced, they have a strong foreign medical student program. Mrs. Linden believes that as education in the community increases, the amount of WM being used increases because it is evidence-based. Some common side-effects of WM are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, headaches, kidney failure, shock or allergies. When I interviewed locals, they told me that WM has a lot of side effects, and that's why it is sometimes bad to use. In Xi Zhou, a lot of the "pharmacists" are just people who are working for the pharmacy owners who are certified. "Real" Pharmacists in china are only working in clinics. The people in pharmacies in Xi Zhou are not pharmacists, but somewhat medically trained people. WM has a shorter healing process than TCM because it takes longer for TCM to take effect. Some pharmacists are deceiving, they give you the most expensive medicine and if they don't ask, you won't know. People are generally becoming doctors because they want to help people, not for the money because being a doctor in China doesn't give you a lot of money. For Mrs. Linden, the entire medical system here is different than in the Western world. Nurse don't take care of patients in the same way and don't have the same care process. There are less qualifications. The standards of the cleanliness of the hospitals are different in Xi Zhou vs. Western countries. Western Hospitals are very clean and patients can trust the building to be clean. However, in China the standards are much lower and the hospitals aren't as clean. The conditions are bad. Being in a private practice medical career is better, such as a pharmacy or clinic, because the standards are better there. The Xi Zhou patients used to take injections a lot, but now IV has taken a place over injections because IV brings in more money (even if its not necessary). TCM doesn't always make sense unless you practice it, it's very confusing. Plants do have properties to fix illnesses, TCM uses plants in depth. WM and TCM are both plant based, TCM is based on Daoism, the religion of China. Although WM and TCM come from the same origin, one type is very science-based, and the other is very belief-based.

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1):
All of my questions have been answered from my interactions with local contacts and learning more and more about my topic. I will answer my questions below. 

1. What is the wellness plan of the locals? How do they stay healthy?
The locals usually stay healthy through dancing, running and walking. They also eat healthy. In addition, if they get sick, they take good care of their body to wait away the sickness before going to medicine. Taking a shower, and getting rest usually works.
2. Are the citizens of Xi Zhou exposed to both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine?
The citizens of Xi Zhou are exposed to both WM and TCM. Usually if sick, locals take either TCM or WM, sometimes a combination of the two. There are both WM and TCM pharmacies, however some contacts say that locals go to TCM first before going to WM.
3. What are the opinions of TCM and Western medicine through the eyes of the locals?
Some contacts said that TCM is better than WM, some contacts said that WM is better than TCM. It all depends on the person. Someone who is used to WM might say that it is better because it is evidence-based, some might say that WM has too many side effects. I believe that opinions can change, but the locals are not strongly against or strongly for TCM or WM individually. 
4. What specific TCM methods were/are the most beneficial? Either acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Tui Na.
 The most beneficial of the medicines is Chinese herbal medicine because it can treat an intended illness, while other Chinese Medicines are rather widespread and treat numerous illnesses. Most of my contacts didn't say much about acupuncture or Tui Na, so it is obvious that herbal medicine is the most used and works best. 
5. What are the most beneficial methods of Western Medicine through the eyes of Xi Zhou locals?
IV's, injections, antibiotics, and pills/liquids seem to be the most beneficial methods of WM. At the local clinic, they have all of these things and my contacts talk about them the most. 
6. Does the local hospital in Xi Zhou offer both TCM and Western Medicine services? Are the specialists in the hospitals/treatment center exposed to both medicine types?
The local clinic in Xi Zhou does offer both TCM and WM, they have herbs and WM such as IV's and pills. The specialists are educated in both WM and TCM, and can prescribe and give both types of medicines to the locals. They are exposed and offer both medicine types.
7. Where do the locals receive their medicine? Is the medicine prescribed by a pharmacist?
There are numerous pharmacies around Xi Zhou that have both WM and TCM, this medicine is not prescribed however it is bought in a box and is self prescribed. Medicine can be prescribed by a doctor in the clinic or the Medical Aid Station. You must have the qualifications to be able to prescribe medicine. At the Xi Zhou clinic, the doctors can prescribe both WM and TCM.
8. What is the normal dosage of TCM? Do the regular dosages of Western Medicine apply in Xi Zhou?
The normal dosages vary from the illness to illness for TCM. However after prescribed, it is taken home, boiled in water and then drunk. Some of the doctors in Xi Zhou aren't as educated in WM, and as a result the regular dosages don't always apply. It seems that there is a lot of over prescribing and random prescribing of mixtures of different pills.
9. What type of illnesses are most common in Xi Zhou?
The common illnesses include common cold, fever, sore throat, stomach pain and other illnesses that are normal to WM as they are to TCM. TCM and WM can both treat these illnesses.
10. Which medicine, TCM or Western medicine, has a shorter healing process?
WM has a much faster healing process than TCM because it takes a while for TCM to have an effect over the body. This is a disadvantage to TCM because it puts it at risk for being not used as much, however, it is part of the culture and still expected to be used in the future. 


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  13. Mr. Zhao (赵) who works at a local pharmacy off of Si Fang Jie and sells medicine. I conversed him on Thursday, May 5th, 2016. Day 5 of Microcampus.
  14. Ms. Zhao who owns Old Town Snacks in Si Fang Jie, I conversed her to know about her opinion on TCM and WM. I conversed with her on Monday, May 9th, 2016. Day 10 of Microcampus.
  15. Ms. Dong who works at a Pharmacy nearby Yang Zhuo Ran, she is a certified pharmacist and sells medicine (WM and TCM). I conversed with her on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016. Day 11 of Microcampus.
  16. Ms. Zhao who works at a Pharmacy nearby the morning market. I conversed with her on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. Day 12 of Microcampus.
  17. Mr. Zhang who is a doctor at the Medical Aid Station in Si Fang Jie. I conversed with him on Thursday, May 12th, 2016. Day 13 of Microcampus.
  18. Mr. Yang who is from Da Li and works at the local clinic in Xi Zhou. He sells TCM. I conversed with him on Monday, May 16th, 2016. Day 17 of Microcampus.
  19. Pharmacy nearby the clinic that sells TCM and WM. 
  20. Zhao Shi Fu. I got information from Zhao Shi Fu when I had my 3-5's.
  21. Ms. Linden. I conversed with her on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016. Day 18 of Microcampus.

I have now finished Phase 3 of my Inquiry Project. Continue to follow my journey in Phase 4!

Hello all! I am Raine-Monet W., and I was in Xi Zhou for the unforgettable Microcampus experience, as a part of the Phenomena group. Microcampus was a facet for me to further do what I love, learn more about where I live and discover who I am as a person. Being on Microcampus allowed me to see China in a different way and I will cherish the memories that I made for the rest of my life, all it took was one month in this phenomenal place.