I went to Laos (country of my ancestors), a small country neighboring Thailand, for an international cooperation project located in a village in Vang Vieng inside which we learn about sustainable development methods in permaculture, gardening and ecological construction. Before I started volunteering, I was able to take advantage of the presence of my Laotian family, who always welcome me with such kindness and generosity. When I was there in 2014 for the first time, a dozen people from my family came to meet me at the border bus station, it was still special. I did not expect that, but I understood that in Laos, we do everything together!
So, back to clinical training … here, acupuncture is at the same level as physiotherapy, it is offered in a hospital environment following a recommendation from a general practitioner. Patients and even some hospital staff are advised to follow a determined series of treatments, varying from 2 weeks to 3 months, due 3 times a week to 1 time a week. I observed several cases of neuropathy and pain in the limbs, back, neck, etc.
I noticed that I could recognize most of the points used because they were the same as those taught at Rosemont College, the traditional points. Also, auriculoacupuncture was important. However, some tools were different, including the bamboo suction cups. The needle installation was done freehand and the electrostimulation machine was different than the one I used.
Ms. Sonenaly who was in charge of the department had worked at this hospital clinic for 20 years (4th from the left), others had been there for 10 years, 5 years … doctoral students in medicine also did a 3-year internship there. . Mr. Athaphone, he went to study in Beijing, China and specialized in sciatica (penultimate man on the left) thanks to a government subsidy. Every midday, the clinical staff cooked together to prepare several dishes that we shared together (soups, stews, papaya salads). In the photo, a doctoral medical student had just completed her acupuncture internship. She wants to offer acupuncture to improve the health of people in her distant village.
Following my observation internship, I took advantage of my stay to visit some historic monuments including the Patouxai which commemorates the battle and victory of Laos independence from the grip of France. And I couldn’t help but take some treatments!