Over the last few years, there have been certain aspects of Chinese medicine that have begun to hit the mainstream, with professional athletes popularizing the practice of cupping, and acupuncture being covered by more and more health insurance policies. But what is less well known is what's behind both of those - and that is HOW they are trying to heal you. It isn't with medicine, or traditional physical therapy. The general notion in Eastern medicine of what is ailing you is that there is most often a 'deeper' issue at play and what you see/feel is but a symptom. With Western medicine, you can treat the symptom, but with Eastern practices, the goal is to get to the cause. And quite often, the cause has everything to do with how your energy, your Qi (pronounced "Chee"), is flowing through your body. If it is getting 'stuck' somehow, that's going to cause issues. Both of these treatments mentioned above, and many more Asian therapies (including foot massages!) at some level are ancient treatments, tested over literally thousands of years. You may remember that I briefly wrote about "Qi" in a recent Dose on facemasks and hinted that there was a story there. In this Dose, I am going to share a personal Qi story where I experienced this power first hand.
A little more than a year ago, we published a Dose article titled "In God we trust. All others pay cash." about how many Asian Americans still prefer cash over credit cards. And when you go into many Asian restaurants that's what they require - cash. No credit cards. As a quick aside, while there are active efforts to help support Asian Americans restaurants, they're suffering heavily during this crisis as the early stigma against Asian Americans carried directly to their businesses. Please support them if you can with takeout/Uber Eats (if they're still open). Well, while cash is still king among many Asian Americans, an interesting thing has been happening in Asia over the last few years, and it's become even more apparent during COVID-19. Even before this pandemic the rapid adoption of mobile payment was apparent with 80% of consumers in China last year having used mobile payment. How many people use mobile payment today in the US where the vast majority of Americans carry a smartphone? Just 10%. What is going on?