Melissa Ong, Class of 2010
29th August 2015
When CMAA sent an email to recruit volunteers for the NTU Fest 2015, it suddenly brought back fond memories of NTU Fest 2014. I remember it as a enriching day where different batches came together for a common cause.
This year, the NTU Fest returned with a blast, held at the Marina Bay Promontory. It was a place that sparked curiosity in me as I had never heard or been to. Our roles were to provide Chinese medicine services to members of the public, be it in tuina or consultation. Our booth also had education posters about commonly used herbs and their functions, about traditional deserts and their indications, as well as a section that sold medicated plasters and herbal tea sachets as home remedies.
Business was brisk in the afternoon shift. Probably that was the time people usually get up on Saturdays, plus some people had completed their NTU Fest Charity Run and had time to browse the booths. I was part of the team doing consultation. People were generally open minded about Chinese medicine, and were interested to hear what lifestyle advice we could offer. I had a good time sharing what I knew to a mother with a coughing toddler, a PhD student who had to stand for extended hours, and an expatriate whose gut was repulsive to non home-cooked food.
Many of them do not realize how the little habits that are woven into their lifestyles of 20-40 years might overtime harm their bodies according to the doctrine of Chinese medicine. Most of them are not aware of the scope of Chinese medicine, and how it can help manage the body. It was fulfilling being able to share experiences, sometimes getting too carried away that I find myself chatting too much, getting a hoarse voice in return.
Being proactive and approachable definitely helped in getting people interested in our booth and the little tips of staying healthy. Although changes to our lifestyles are easier said than done, being aware of them is the first step to take. After all, one of the core principles of Chinese medicine is that of preventive medicine.
I think we achieved our goals that day in raising the awareness of Chinese medicine to a portion of the community. On a personal note, it was good catching up with friends from different batches, and noting that each is doing their part for the overall good.