During the last few weeks of June I had been alarmed about my condition. Medications wasn’t working, even with 8 hours of sleep I’m fatigued and gastric pains was crippling me. I’m glad to report that I have since recovered (thank god!) but during those weeks when I was in agony, I was desperately seeking solutions.
One of the treatment I tried was Japanese acupuncture. To be frank I wasn’t the slightest bit keen at first. I had a lot of work, I’m barely able to walk and whoever who thinks acupuncture and massage helps must be mad, I had thought. Short term relieve but I need something long-term; I had told my friend who recommended Meridians at Solaris Mt. Kiara. Seriously no needles (other than those filled with painkillers) is going to work on stomach wind and stomach acid, I had argued.
Anyhow Oran (the owner and practitioner) from Meridians was persistent. After he had my number he called a few times to set an appointment for me. I briefly told him of my condition and he was genuinely concerned and advised that I spare some time to visit him.
After a week or so I finally stepped in to Meridians Japanese Healing Arts in Solaris Mt. Kiara.
BELOW: It’s at the top of Solaris Club, above Merican Muay Thai Gym.
If you’re heading here you should park at Cold Storage as the authorities are pretty diligent in handling out parking tickets in this area. It’s located right across from Maybank and is on the same row as CIMB.
Wood, warm lights and the sound of flowing water induces relaxation on the senses. It made the place homely and thankfully not like a clinic.
There are only a few treatment rooms and hence having a prior appointment is a must.
I finally met Oran and Bill; one the acupuncturist and the other his assistant and director of Meridians. Both are calm, warm and friendly people, the exact type of people you can talk to if you’re feeling unwell.
BELOW: Say hi to Oran, a British expat who was trained in Japan and established Meridians in 2011 providing unique, pain-free, traditional Japanese acupuncture and Zen Shiatsu treatments. He believe his clinic is the only one in Malaysia so far.
Oran was showing me the treatment room for Zen Shiatsu which is administered on a futon, just like how it is done in Japan.
My treatment that day was acupuncture and a bit of their signature Bamboo Massage; both of which Oran explained in detail.
Since I was having a niggling neckache for weeks, Oran offered to help relieve the pain too. He started with taking my pulse on both wrists and then felt my abdomen to check on my gastric problem. Then he identified the meridians points relevant to relieve the pain and these points are where he left on a tiny flat sphere which is taped in place and left for a while. Mine was at the wrist and another at the feet. One is zinc while the other is copper.
Meridians points is the channel where the energy flows in our body. And the whole point of this is to restore balance and the energy flow in the body.
After the spheres are taken out Oran did the “moxibustion” – it involves burning a herb called mugwort or artemesia to warm up the acupuncture points or meridians. Moxibustion techniques are divided into direct and indirect methods.
I started on the direct moxa which involves placing a cone of mugwort directly on the skin and lighting the top.
The cone is quickly removed when you begin to feel the heat. These cones can vary in size from large to about the height of your little finger nail to tiny cones which look like pieces of thread.
I watched in fascination as the “thread” burned to a tiny stump and wondered if it was going to burn my skin when Oran quickly swept it away just as it was about to touch my skin. See the “stump” below?
If you haven’t noticed, these are the same 2 meridian points as the earlier placement of the zinc and copper spheres.
Next was the acupuncture procedure itself. The meridians points are now suitably stimulated and Oran proceed to take out a needle which will be used on several points of my body. Each needle is sealed and opened only when a treatment starts. The needle is disposed of when the treatment is over.
If you have seen images of Chinese acupuncture then you would be familiar with images of MANY needles sticking out of the body when such a procedure is done. I myself have not tried Chinese acupuncture before so I wouldn’t know if it is was painful or painless.
But I can assure you that this needling procedure by Oran is PAINLESS. The needle does puncture the skin but there are no blood, liquid of any kind nor any prickling sensation. Basically NOTHING. I didn’t feel a thing!
Like I have mentioned before the same needle was used for a few other points on my body and throughout the entire procedure I felt relaxed and chatted easily with Oran.
The traditional explanation for acupuncture is that energy or Ki flows around the body through conduits or channels commonly known as meridians. If this energy does not flow properly pain and disease can develop. Treating specific points on these meridians with needles or other acupuncture-related methods influences this flow of Ki, and can help a person recover.
After this was over Oran gave me a quick Bamboo Massage, a signature of Meridian. This was administered via indirect moxa techniques where the mugwort was burned away from the skin. Remember my earlier treatment of direct moxa where the thread-like mugwort was burned on my skin? This round the mugwort was burned inside a piece of bamboo and then used to press on the skin with the warm bamboo.
This warm bamboo can be held, tapped, pressed or rolled rhythmically on the skin.
All these moxa techniques have different therapeutic effects but the general indication for moxibustion is for chronic problems which need more dynamic treatment than simply needling the acupuncture points. Another indication is when a person is very weak and needs more energy, in the form of heat to be fed into the meridian system through the skin, which was what Oran believe would help my condition.
Another interesting thing to note about this Bamboo massage is the metronome. From wikipedia: A METRONOME is any device that produces regular, metrical ticks (beats, clicks) — settable in beats per minute. These ticks represent a fixed, regular aural pulse.
So what Oran did was to tap, press and roll rhythmically to the metronome he had playing on his phone on my body and meridian points.
Below is an example of the treatment rooms here at Meridians. I was using one of these rooms.
Besides my treatment above, the other treatments offered are as below:
And the rates:
For more information please do check out the website. It is rather comprehensive and does have all the details and explanation of each and every treatment offered here.
+60 (0)3 6211 8817
3-3A Jalan Solaris
Solaris Mont Kiara
Open from Tues to Sat, from 9am to 7pm (acupuncture available only Wednesday to Saturday).
Now if you ask me if my neckache, gastric and physical and mental fatigue miraculously disappeared after my ONE treatment I’ll have to tell you NO. Holistic treatments such as these usually treat the root of the cause rather than suppressing it, Oran had explained.
The symptoms – pains, swellings, etc are just a sign our body gives us to inform us of abnormality. While modern medicines provides fast relief by suppressing the cause (painkillers, etc), acupuncture and other traditional treatments such as the ones Meridians offers not only physically heals but also aims to de-stress and calm the mind.
The approach is gentler, more personalized and each visit is different as your treatment are “tailored” to your current condition. Oran would check on each patient, evaluate the current condition and administer treatment on relevant meridian points. As Oran said, acupuncture and shiatsu doesn’t cure but triggers the body to cure itself. And thus this takes time as it reminds the body what it needs to be doing.
Personally for myself I would need to revisit Oran a few more times for further monitoring and treatment. Now that I’m generally in less pain, I aim to have a shiatsu treatment next for regulation of the whole body system. Shiatsu helps to relax the muscles and to calm mind as well as to improve the functions of the organs and to restore the “ki” energy balance in the body. If anyone here is interested to follow me on my next visit, do drop me a note! :)