(An SA Blog feature post in honor of the Chinese New Year.)
If the traveller’s life has drained your reserves of energy, and you’re in need of some R&R, why not venture into Cape Town’s suburbs to spend an hour with the renowned healer, Dr. Lin?
But beware – he will put needles in you. Dr. Lin Feng-Shao is arguably South Africa’s top acupuncturist. He has practiced from his home in Plumstead for well over a decade – and in the last few years, his son, Dr. Lin Yu-Chuan (both are from Taiwan), has joined him. Together, they spend six busy days a week tending to all manner of ailments – headaches, arthritis, colds and fevers, sports injuries, the lot. Their practice is fronted by the efficient, effervescent Mrs. Lin, her daughter-in-law, and their two darling Jack Russels.
This is the drill at the Lins’ practice: upon arrival at their home in Pinehill Avenue, Plumstead, you first remove your shoes, then enter the lounge, where Mrs. Lin greets you heartily. Soon, one or other of the two doctors will lead you to an inner room, direct you to sit on a bed, and ask you what the matter is. Then you will be asked to lie on your back or stomach, and the doctor will fuss about, determining where the needles should go.
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Expect up to 20 needles. Once they’re all in, the doctor will cover you with a blanket, and you can have a nap, or just daydream as you listen to the soothing Chinese music playing on the stereo. After about an hour, the needles come out, you stand up, and the world has turned a shade brighter.
In addition to acupuncture, Dr. Lin Yu-Chuan also practices moxibustion (which sounds like a ragga record label, but is actually a technique for improving energy circulation, involving focussed heat).
Dr. Lin Inherent Acupuncture
7 Pinehill Ave., Plumstead | Click here for map
(near the Steurhof train station on the Simonstown line)
+27 (0) 21 761 7742.
Fee (as of Jan 2006): R120/session.