Are you going to or already in Bangkok and you want to do some acupuncture?
Suankwangtung TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) clinic can be place for you to try out.
I had been there, done 60 sessions and would like to share with you my experiences and observations.
You can read about the process of a visit and the positive and the negative points of going there.

Background information
In case you find the name hard to remember, Suankwangtung has an English name.
It’s called the Canton Garden Clinic.
Google the name and you can find them easily back in the results.
Suankwangtung has two branches within Bangkok: Hua Lamphong & Krung Thon Buri branch.
And outside Bangkok a *new branch: Muang Samui Hotel (*since December 2018).
Hua Lamphong is located near China Town in Bangkok.
I visited Hua Lamphong branch for 30 acupuncture treatments. Then paid for another 30 sessions.
Sometimes one visit counts for two sessions in case of more problems to treat.
The last 30 sessions I did a variety of treatments: facials, tuina massages and acupuncture.

Reason for my visit
For years I had low immune system. Finally, the conditions came together to deal with it.
Chinese acupuncture as I have heard, can treat low immune system. So I gave it a try.
The symptoms I had were: low blood pressure (hypotension) causing dizziness and fatigue.
Tensions in the head, eczema, oedema (swelling of the feet, ankles and lower legs).
Phlegm, a stuffy and running nose, anosmia (losing sense of smell) and excessive leukorrhea.

The process of a visit
Once you come into the clinic, you are welcomed with an herbal tea drink: Jiaogulan.
The doctors are seated facing the entrance. One of the doctors will start checking you.
Checking by asking you questions and letting you explain the symptoms.
Measuring your pulse and seeing your tongue is also part of the checking process.
As for their English level, well, they can talk a little bit of English.
Some doctors do better than other doctors though.
During my initial two visits, we had to use the very convenient Google Translate a few times.
After that, I noticed her English is gradually improving and no more need for Google Translate. 😊
The doctor can then give advice on what to eat, drink and what medicine to prescribe.
I had amongst others, my blood pressure measured for both my arms.
With an acupuncture session, first empty the bladder and then go to the designated room.
Depending on the suitability of the clothes you are wearing, they have shorts for you to change into. Acupuncture can be done on the belly area, knees, legs and feet.
It can also be done on top of your head, on the face, arms and hands.
Especially the face is quite sensitive I have to say.
The duration is 30 minutes after all the sterilized needles have been inserted.
This can be shortened up to 20 minutes. The doctor sets an egg cooker like alarm for the timing.
After the time runs out, the doctor will remove the needles.
If it is needed the other side of the body will be treated as well, this depends on the symptoms.
Then the duration is again 30 or 20 minutes.
At the end of the session, you will have to go back to the doctor at the main entrance.
You will have another herbal tea offered by the doctor’s assistant.
Then it’s time to do the wrap up. The doctor will ask you how you feel after the treatment.
She will write notes down on the OPD (patient recordings). Then you make the next appointment.
For me I had another blood pressure check to see if the blood pressure has improved.
Usually it is improved, the blood pressure is slightly higher than before the treatment.
You can also choose to make an online appointment yourself choosing the doctor, date and time.

What are the positive points?
1. Treating clients warmheartedly and personal.
Mainly because it is a small clinic with a handful of doctors.
And this alone already makes it more of a family atmosphere.
It is for sure not like in a big corporate world where employees just do their work routinely.
It felt good being asked if it hurts too much when inserting a needle.
Also nice to experience my doctor having tears in her eyes knowing I have some improvements!
The vibration of the clinic is positive and warm, and it is quite a clean and well decorated place.

2.Regularly special promotions.
On the first visit, I was caught by surprise that they were about to open a new branch in Samui.
Because of this they had a special promotion:
30 treatments for just 4500 baht.
For your information that is: 121,30 EUR, 138,08 USD, 109,09 pounds, 196,33 AUD.
Of course with no hesitation I paid for my 30 treatments.
Beside this special promotion, they regularly have promotions.
So, make sure to check out their website and on their Facebook page for their promotions.

3. Long business hours.
This is maybe not so nice for them, but it is very convenient for us, the clients.
Open daily from 9 AM until 8 PM, also in the weekend having the same opening hours.
The last appointment can be made at 7 PM.
When you come in, you will get a doctor that you keep seeing over the course of treatments.
When the doctor is not available, it is okay to do a treatment with another doctor.
A doctor has two days in a week a day off here at the Hua Lamphong branch.

4. Online appointments
It is possible to make an appointment online. For this the website Zeekdoc is used.
A patient and a doctor can use it to create an appointment, modify existing one and delete one.
The doctor’s schedule is visible when booking an appointment.
Clicking on the available timeslot redirects you to Zeekdoc to make the appointment.

5. Small but still can treat many patients.
I was astonished to found out two larger rooms upstairs.
In these rooms three or four beds are next to each other with curtains around each bed.
Though it gives more the impression of a hospital, but a beautiful one 😊.
On the ground floor there are just two rooms; and in each room fits one patient.
A treatment takes half an hour usually and it starts counting after all the needles are in.
Up to one hour, if the other side of the body also needs treatment.

6. Occupied by women staff.
The first thing I noticed was only women are working here!
The Krung Thon Buri branch, based on their photos, also have many women working there.
I talked with my doctor about this.
In Thailand they do not want to have a male doctor and a female client in the same room.
In this clinic there are two separated rooms, they cannot have a male doctor with a female patient inside.
It is according to her respectful for women and is a protection for women to have female doctors.
With a male doctor, there must be a female nurse or assistant together with him and the patient.
I myself prefer a woman doing the needling.
With low pain tolerance, having a woman doing it assures me it will be fine.
The association of a woman being more gentle triggers this reassurance.
Sometimes it is needed to wear only a bra for needling the backside of the body.
Having a woman do it can also be more reassuring.

What are the negative points?
1. The doctors at the Hua Lamphong branch are not very long time ago graduated.
In their profiles it reads: 2012-2018 and 2012-2017.
I guess this might be their first job experiences.
If you seek experienced doctors with 10+ years of experience, I don’t recommend going here.
During the insertion of the needles, some points hurt more than other points.
I understood over time with improvements, those points become less painful.
However, to have bruises, swellings and tiny bleedings after almost each acupuncture session is not something I like.
I read on the internet that skilful acupuncturists will not cause this.
Or they would know how to deal with it the next time, so it will not occur again.

2. I had the impression they are not too eager to prescribe herbal medicine.
I had paid to do acupuncture and was more than willing to pay additionally for Chinese medicine.
They only recommended me to take Wolfberry pills for boosting the immunity.
I expected them to give me a variety of pills which will aid in my healing.
One of the reasons could be that I am already doing acupuncture, which is a treatment in itself.
Another reason is being less specialized in prescribing medicine.
The doctors here can do a variety of treatments: acupuncture, Chinese medicine, cupping, tuina.
The first thing I noticed of Suan Kwang Tung clinic is their emphasis on acupuncture.
Whether this is for facials like cosmetic skin improvements or the healing of other organs.
I also had visited another clinic, Hua Chiew TCM clinic, in the future I will write down my experience.
In this clinic I had been given herbal medicine.
A mixture of different herbs in specific dosages to treat anosmia.
The doctor had over 30 years of experience and showed his confidence and trust.
I experienced some improvements with smelling.

3. Prostitutes’ street
The first thing I noticed during the initial visit was middle-aged women sitting on chairs outside.
They were busy putting up make-up and worn sexy clothes.
Even during broad daylight, they were on the street waiting for potential customers.
I was expecting them to do their business when it was getting dark.
Here that is everyday around 6 PM.
It was somewhat strange to see them hanging around and then for me to enter the friendly, nice clinic.

Conclusion
I would recommend Suankwangtung if you love a small clinic.
A clinic that treats you warmheartedly and is easy to make a personal connection with the doctor(s).
If you are in a hurry and need quick medical results, I would not recommend going here.
Doctors with more experience are better for that purpose.
During the process, as earlier mentioned, I also visited Hua Chiew TCM clinic for the herbal medicine.
Together with the combination of acupuncture and herbs my health improved immensely.
So never stop to give up and try every other possibility out there until nothing is possible.

References:
Official website: https://suankwangtungclinic.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/suankwangtungclinic/


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