Press Shanghai Daily 2009
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Shanghai Daily 2009
Shanghai Daily Wednesday 1 April 2009
www.shanghaidaily.com/feature EXPAT TALES C5
This weekly series focuses
on individuals who have lived
in China for a while and have
a tale that’s worth telling.
Age, gender, nationality and
race, all are unimportant
in comparison with what
adventures the subject has
been up to, the experiences
they can recount. Get in touch
with a tip about a China story
that deserves to be told.
Doris Rathgeber treats patients in traditional Chinese medicine way at her clinic, Body & Soul.
Fire horse fuses Chinese, Doris Rathberger
Profession: TCM doctor
Description of self:
Compassionate fire horse
t took a move to China and
seven years of arduous study Understanding both TCM and Western
for German Doris Rathgeber
My garden with my family
to achieve her childhood
dream of becoming a doctor.
medicine, German Doris Rathgeber knows and pets (four cats and two
dogs, and she describes her
However, she isn’t hanging out
her shingle in Western medicine her yin and yang and hangs out her shingle home as the “zoo”).
but in the ancient arts of traditional Strangest sight:
Chinese medicine, including acu-
puncture and herbal medicine.
in integrated medicine, reports Sam Riley It has to be those bikes that
are stacked high with all
kinds of stuff and people on
“I always wanted to be a doctor, the streets in their pajamas.
and from a very young age I could
different from what you see here,”
remember the various diseases Worse experience:
she says. “When you get used to
friends and family had,” she says. I saw a young couple who
Rathgeber, who came to Shang- it, then you dig deeper. But most were hit by a car. One died,
hai 13 years ago as a so-called people come and go and don’t get the other was severely
“trailing spouse,” is now owner of involved with what is actually injured.
the medical clinics Body & Soul going on here.”
When Rathgeber first arrived, Motto for life:
with practices in Minhang and Enjoy every day.
Huangpu districts. she started helping her husband
Founded in 2004, Body & Soul Ekkehard, who was working for How to improve Shanghai:
offers integrated Western and giant media group Bertelsmann, Improve traffic regulations
Chinese medical treatments in a because she wanted to “leave an for bicycles, scooters and
range of fields, such as internal empty house.” But it was his blunt pedestrians.
medicine, gynecology, pediatrics advice that changed the path of her
life. Advice to newcomers:
and dermatology. Don’t get involved in too
She was overwhelmed by her “He said, ‘I don’t want you
many activities right away.
first year in China, but she later around. I need to set up this com- Breathe deeply, take a step
learned to speak, read and write pany, so find your own thing, go and look around from your
Chinese and delved deeply into study Chinese’,” she recalls. own cultural perspective and
China’s medical traditions. Rathge- Rathgeber spent two years learn- then jump right in.
ber completed a five-year degree at ing how to speak, read and write
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese before undertaking her
Chinese Medicine. TCM studies. After graduation she treatment for a patient provides the
“In the first year here, I was spent two more years on practice. best of both Western and Chinese
completely depressed, I was She read her pulse three times a medical systems.
completely out of myself, I wasn’t day, closely monitoring both her In her medical studies, the Ger-
normal,” she says. “I had culture physical health and her moods and man spent 60 percent of her course
shock, I couldn’t imagine living emotions. working on the basics of Western
here in China and I asked my She practiced on family and medicine, including microbiology,
husband for a divorce.” friends to hone her diagnostic physics, pathology and anatomy.
In her practice, she sees expats skills. “If you know both systems you
who turn to TCM and counseling Now she heads two clinics that can decide what is necessary, but
to help them deal with the difficul- employ 40 people, including 15 it comes out of your own way of
ties of adjusting to a new life in doctors, and see 250 patients a A doctor at Doris Rathgeber’s clinic practices traditional thinking,” she says.
month. cupping on a patient. “So you can switch between
It takes times, she says, for As a child growing up in Dussel- foundations and philosophies, a first time, Rathgeber says she has two completely different systems
China to reveal its hidden beauty. dorf, she had wanted to be a doctor. process that was helped by deliver- deepened her own understanding because we can never jeopardize
“I just got used to it — China, I But, describing herself as a poor ing talks to Shanghai’s expat of the medical system. the patient’s health because of our
think, is not a place you fall in love student, Rathgeber instead went on community. She has made frequent appear- ideas. If you see serious signs of
with at first sight,” says Rathgeber. to a career in IT sales before begin- Through explaining TCM to a ances on Chinese television and disease, you must take other mea-
“You can’t fall in love with it ning her medical studies in China. foreign audience and helping her has appeared on German television sures, so we know our borderlines
by just seeing it because what you She says it took a long time expat patients, many of whom may and radio. very clearly as a TCM practitio-
read about China is completely to grasp TCM’s fundamental be seeking TCM treatments for the Rathgeber says the optimal ner,” she says.