The following is the second article in Chinosity’s series about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and follows writer Maya Ono’s journey of rediscovery through the COVID-19 pandemic through the vehicle of TCM. 

Photo credit: Maya Ono

My journey with Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture began at a young age. Growing up in a multi-cultural household meant Rosh Hashanah with Grandpa and weekends with my parents at the local Asian supermarket. It meant bringing lunches to school with names none of my friends could pronounce. 

I vividly remember the first time my parents had an acupuncturist come to our one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, Manhattan. After another long school day, the front door swung open to a jarring scene. 

My mother and father laying face up in our living room, needles sticking out of their arms, legs, stomach, and face. Their eyes closed as if in a trance. 

The unexpected imagery was seared into my memory and my pre-existing fear of needles was solidified. This series is about my reacquaintance with my body, through the vehicle of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I had gone nearly 20 years successfully avoiding Traditional Chinese Medicine. Then in 2016, TCM hit the headlines during the Olympics. 

Speculation about the red dots speckling gold medalist Michael Phelps’ back flooded wellness outlets and national news media. By then, I had migrated to the wellness capitol of America: Santa Monica, Los Angeles. 

And after the umpteenth mention of the near-magical benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine on goop, and the fifth referral from my co-worker for a local famed acupuncturist, I decided to face my fear of needles and take the TCM plunge. 

It was through Dr. Lu I learned about the human body’s ability to heal itself. From what he explained to me, the holistic philosophy of acupuncture is rooted in that very trust of the human body and the oneness of body and mind. 

Growing up, I had only noticed my body when it was breaking or ill – begrudging it and bemoaning it. I walked into Dr. Lu’s acupuncture office with trepidation. 

By the time I floated out of the office, I was a believer. The greatest test of health came years later, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and a state of un-health settled across humanity, and when the fragility of life itself brought the world to its knees. 

About Dr. Lu Biao Lu, L.Ac., O.M.D. Dr. Lu was the Chief Acupuncture Physician at Dong Zhi Men Hospital in Beijing and is an expert in QiGong healing. Dr. Lu specializes in male infertility, dermatology, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, asthma, and pain conditions. He can be found at

Did you like this article on Getting to Know Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture? Check out our other articles here, and follow us on social media at @chinositynews

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Maya Ono

Maya Ono is a food and lifestyle writer whose work can be found in publications including EaterLA and Westchester Magazine. When she’s not writing, Maya is spending time with her dog Sweet Pea and checking out her new favorite wellness ritual or tasty eatery.
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