YongYan and her Treatment Tool Kit!
7 February 2013
YongYan and her Treatment Tool Kit
When I say YongYan’s tool kit I don’t just mean the array of intriguing tools that she wields in the name of beauty but also the many different techniques, philosophies and styles of acupuncture and massage that she incorporates into her treatments!
YongYan has been a skin consultant for six years, this experience and her background in both Eastern and Western medical systems have contributed to the holistic approach she now employs. Balancing both health and beauty in her treatments the old phrase ‘feel good, look good’ has never seemed more appropriate. An expensive shimmer foundation may help you feel better but a true ‘healthy glow’ comes from within and YongYan is the one to help you get it!
Considering how very natural her treatments are, I was surprised to hear that she had studied Western Pharmacology in China; “I enjoyed it but I always felt it wasn’t quite what I was supposed to be doing. I wanted something hands on. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands in more practical tasks and big business didn’t really interest me at all.” Upon finishing her degree she came to the UK to study and improve her English and decided to enrol in a complimentary medicine course and the rest, as they say, is history! Whilst studying massage and beauty she found that she was “listening with my hands, understanding the body, feeling the problems and how to correct them.” This sense has stayed with her throughout her training and practice, even now she says, “it’s not me doing the treatment, it’s the body, what I do is guide the body into healing itself.”
Wanting to consolidate her learning with a more recognised discipline, YongYan returned to her roots and started a course in Acupuncture at the International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM), which celebrated its 40th year of teaching last year. Her enthusiasm for the course and her tutors is infectious! She found that the balance of practical skills and the academic studies of the Chinese classics and philosophies gave her practical skills a greater depth and a fuller understanding of the history of healing in Chinese culture. “In China they often follow a more formulaic approach to acupuncture but at ICOM I studied the Chinese classics as well, which gave me such a strong foundation to build on.” YongYan continues to take Post Graduate Training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses studying under Radha Thambirajah and Mary Elizabeth Wakefield. She has also studied Chinese Nutrition and Dietary Advice, Chinese Medical Psychiachatry and Su Jok a Korean hand and foot correspondence system, which enables her to treat without needles and is beneficial in treating children and those with needle phobias.
So YongYan’s figurative ‘tools’ are based in ancient Chinese knowledge but what about the literal tools that are laid out in her room and I am dying to learn more about! When you walk into her room you start to feel calmer, she has a soothing presence that puts you at ease almost immediately. One of her key aims is to keep the treatments, ‘patient friendly.’ She doesn’t manipulate the needles once they are in and she favours the ‘less is more approach’ in regards to needles, tailoring the treatment to the patients’ needs means that she has been able to treat people with needle phobia using the finest, shortest needles to the greatest effect.
She is a big fan of Moxa for skeletal problems and muscle pains and aches, she follows early philosophies where acupuncture and moxa were the yin and yang of healing both being used. She has a moxa box with protective cushion used to warm the body and to tonify and enrich Qi. She tells me that Moxa is supposed to have the closest energy to the sun, “think how the sun warms and relaxes you, well this helps the body to accept and allow the treatment, warming the blood keeping the nutrients flowing through it.”
Her other 'tools' include the following:
Jade Rollers - these have been used in China for centuries, jade being the stone of youth and longevity. They have the multiple functions of ‘resealing’ the pores, encouraging lymphatic drainage of the skin and improving microcirculation of blood. The sequence of movements used also has an immediate lifting effect, helping to reduce wrinkles and lines.
Gua Sha Boards - these skin scrapers made from Water Buffalo Horn have cooling effects on the skin and increase circulation to the skin, amongst other properties.
Golden Pulse is a 24 karat bar which vibrates at a rate of 6,000 times a minute (micro vibration), stimulating the facial muscles, giving them a mini work out that firms and improves the skin, reducing wrinkles and energising the skin.
YongYan’s beauty tool kit is complete but she’s more than just a pretty face! She has set up multi-bed pain clinics and working with pain patients is another of her many interests. Finally, I ask what is one of the main things she loves about her work? “That I can treat naturally, no drugs and no artificial products.” I find out later that this is in the family history! Her grandfather assisted in the first lung surgery that was performed without anaesthesia, using only acupuncture as pain relief. He monitored the patient’s post and pre-operative care. It’s not surprising then, with that lineage, that YongYan has ended up where she is and treating the way she does! All that’s left to do is book in and enjoy the experience!
By Victoria Osterbery