Tuesday, September 3

chinese secrets

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I first met Dr. Lim a year ago. I am so very fond of him and his smiling Asian face with Howardesque eyebrows. I look forward to Saturday mornings with him – yes, frightened me, who develops a telltale nervous rash and wants to vomit or bolt at the western doctors. From herbs, to manners, to common sense, he has taught me many things.

“Come in Mrs. Martin. How you feel? Any better?”

Dr. Lim is so delightfully caring. He genuinely gets excited when I’m doing well, and concerned and sad when I’m not. I have no fear in telling him how I’m going because he won’t shrug off anything that I say lightly. He deals with the whole of me, from muscles to mind, and respects my feelings and emotions in a way I rarely come across.

Many doctors sit there coldly and then declare there is nothing they can do for my condition. Then they smirk when I mention that I’m seeing a Chinese Medicine doctor. They bemoan the use of my money on something that obviously won’t work if they have declared my condition is untreatable. I wish for open minds and love in the western profession.

“Drink warm water, is good for you.”

For a couple of winters my immune system was a nightmare, permitting me 5 day breaks between colds. Dr. Lim suggested that I drink warm water. He told me that when cold water goes into the body, it naturally cools it down and the energy required to warm it back up takes away from its ability to fight off viruses.

Since switching to warm water and boiling the jug a trillion times a day, I've only had two mild colds in a whole winter. It’s an incredible change. Sometimes you don’t need a pill or potion, just some smart body sense.

“On sunny days, go for walk outside.”

To keep myself from fainting, I've had to exercise very often for the last few years. I diligently go to the gym because I've been told to, but, eww. After I moved to Geelong and felt the low mood cloud descend on me, I opted out of trying more antidepressants {after a hellish experience coming off them last time} and instead took Chinese Herbs and sunshine. The choice is unshowered dripping males and fluorescent lighting, or fragrant spring flowers and sunshine. I'm still amazed at how joyful I feel in the sun, smelling flowers - it's a merry combination.

“Eat yoghurt for this problem, you feel better.”

Recently I had a bout of tummy bloating, severe heartburn, and other unmentionable bowel dilemmas...I expected him to give me another bottle of herbs for this issue, but instead he said to try yogurt first. As I can't tolerate dairy, we decided on a probiotic. His intuition was right on, as it immediately settled things down. I do love a simple pharmacy or food solution and avoiding a trip to the white coats.

“I have something make it go away. Be all better.”

I came to Lim after two trips to the physio which hadn't solved my neck pain and headaches. He came back from his store room with patches to put on my neck and back, containing strong herbs like Menthol and Camphor. I wanted to believe this would help, but after an unsuccessful week of treatment at the physio, I was fearful of ongoing pain. I skeptically put the patches on, and in 3 days I was pain free.

We can't underestimate the importance of easing another's burden, even if we can't take it away. I was dancing around the house over joyed to have one less pain on my plate.

Smile often

Dr. Lim and his son who helps him smile continually. They absolutely beam. I've never met such smiley people in my entire life. From the dozens of 'you feel better soon's' to the 'we find something just right for you's' I feel a warmth which is delightfully refreshing for a jaded appointment attendee. After my appointments they usually chat to Ben and I for quite some time like we are their friends - about our lives and their lives, and always with lots of laughter. I've never left without the smile they gave to me in the room.

They don't worry about being 'professional', a word which has come to feel so clinical and cold to me. I feel they embody what doctors really should be - caring, affirmative, and eager to reduce pain.

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution."

 Kahlil Gibran


  1. I wish Dr Lim could exist in two cities at once :-)

    1. Oh I wish you had a Dr Lim too! I know he treats people overseas, but it's just not the same as being there.

  2. "two week time, you be strong *insert hand gestures*"
    I love how positive they are. And the son is wonderful conversationalist :)