From pain management and menstrual discomfort to slimming and detoxification, acupuncture is perhaps one of the most popular and highly regarded forms of holistic healing.
Dating back nearly 3,000 years, acupuncture is an ancient and integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Inserting fine needles into highly specific points in the human body helps to invigorate and channel its energy or what’s known as the chi towards those places.
The TCM philosophy has it that when a body is undergoing stress or injury, its life-giving energy is blocked from flowing freely across pathways or meridians. Inserting a needle in specific meridian points help to release these blockages. Western practitioners term it s acupuncture points as places to stimulate the nerves, muscles and connective tissue, which helps to boost the body’s natural painkillers, explains the Mayo Clinic.
“Our human body is self-healing,” explains KC Ng, founder of 1TCM, one of the most respected modern TCM centres in Malaysia that is trusted by generations and various ethnic groups.
“We wreak havoc to our health when we fail to allow our bodies to have sufficient sleep to recover every night. That alone will lead to a breakdown in our immune system and very soon we are running on empty.”
Acupuncture and TCM has today gained a new level of acceptance and trust even amongst Western countries The Johns Hopkins Integrative & Digestive Center in the United States include an acupuncture programme and TCM services.
Forging a new path
When KC returned home after spending six years studying TCM in Zhejiang, China, he was surprised by the TCM industry here. Qualified practitioners had to earn their living by opening small grocery shops alongside a glass counter selling dried Chinese herbs for various ailments.
“In China, all we did was attend to patients with acupuncture and prescribing medicines,” says KC. “And another massive difference is that our curriculum and practice combine both TCM with mainstream medicine, there is no segregation as we find here.”
I have seen what TCM can achieve for patients, and this is the kind of healing and relief that I want my patients to experience.
Unscrupulous practices by some TCM centres also see patients having to pay for placebo medicines which they have no idea what the ingredients are in the first place. Some are overcharged for the ingredients they receive. And when remedies do not work, they return to the TCM centres where they are asked to purchase even more medicines, or in strong dosages, which goes against the foundation of TCM, which is to gently help the body to self-heal. Expensive ingredients such as ginseng, cordyceps and lingzhi are also frequently pushed by practitioners to patients.
Some centres are also uncomfortable and patients have no choice but to frequent these places.
In 2007, KC decided to open his own little practice in Kuala Lumpur. With very limited funding, he secured a small 300sqf lot in Bangsar fitted with Ikea furniture to offer a simple, but cosy environment for him to fully attend to his patients instead of peddling various herbs and medicines.
“My goal has always been to provide the highest level of professional and wholly trustworthy care and service to my patients,” says KC.
“I have seen what TCM can achieve for patients, and this is the kind of healing and relief that I want my patients to experience. It’s where modern science combines with a time honoured centuries old medical system and it is available to anyone from all walks of life.
“Most of all, we operate in full honesty and integrity. We list down every single item on the medicines we prescribe at the right dosage to patients, to the point they can even use it to bring across the very strict Australian customs inspections.
“Our core principles is always about honesty and communication in our service.”
Serving from the heart
KC’s earliest patients were friends and family. One day, he had a break when an actress needed to slim down for a scene in two week’s time. KC’s highly precise acupuncture treatment produced results, which delighted the actress, leading to recommendations and a niche for slimming treatments too.
“We are used to dealing with severe cases and illnesses, so to help her lose weight is easy for us,” KC recalls with a laugh.
1TCM quickly gained a reputation for its honest service and effective treatments with tangible results. Pain relief with acupuncture is sought after for various issues such as arthritis and diseases.
KC went on to launch proprietary treatments that are very much copied today such as for balancing and for slimming.
The centre’s signature treatment is in balancing the chi for individuals to help energise them, of which he had successfully created another niche. This is a method of inserting 12 to 16 needles following a traditional 10 meridian point acupuncture, which helps relieve various issues, from headaches to insomnia. It is a booster to the body when it is out of sync with its natural rhythms and no longer able to function at an optimum.
Walk into a 1TCM centre today and you would feel right at home with the comfortable, contemporary surroundings. The dodgy environment of typical TCM centres are a thing of the past, as here in 1TCM, everything is clearly spelled out and patiently explained by a panel of practitioners who are very much inculcated in KC’s philosophy to serve from the heart.
Till today, his TCM centre in Serdang serves the local neighbourhood every weekend with a RM10 only acupuncture service, as many of the residents here are from humble backgrounds and many are senior citizens.
1TCM is currently available in AEON centres, while the centre in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur offers a different level of service, with an elegant setting befitting a five star hotel spa.
Another difference is the presence of a mainstream General Practitioner based in the centre. KC has also introduced his very own line of skincare called MacKay, that is pure and high quality with a much higher amount of active natural ingredients.
He is excited about having a centre at the Future of Wellness, as its concept is perfectly in tune with his vision of a progressive brand of integrated healing.
“Even with a centuries old practice, we have to keep innovating in order to reach out to the people of today, or we would never grow and progress into the future,” says KC.