Health and wellness

Body, Soul: 2 things to do in Chengdu, China

Panda therapy and traditional chinese medicine, by CATHARINE NICOL

Body: Holistic medicine

Credit: Quanjing

Heal your body the traditional Chinese way at Chengdu’s Yixiantang Acupuncture & Tuina Centre, which owes its reputation to its affiliation with the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many of the doctors speak English, putting many non-Chinese-speaking visitors at ease. Based on a consultation, your doctor’s diagnosis could call for medicinal tea, tuina massage, acupuncture, cupping or scraping therapies. There’s also pain-relieving moxibustion, where a lit cone of herbs is placed on a slice of ginger at a stress point.

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Soul: Panda therapy

Young giant panda in a tree with Chengdu Sichun China
Credit: Cyril Ruoso / Biosphoto / AFP

Seeing Chengdu’s giant pandas can bring joy to the most cynical of souls. The Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu arranges hassle-free panda excursions, taking guests to a panda protection base in Dujianyan, where there are up to 30 of the rare species at any one time. This is also where the hotel planted 9,000 lei bamboo (giant pandas’ favourite food) and 90 trees on a 1.6-hectare plantation, as part of its corporate social responsibility programme. Guests wanting to do more than admire the pandas from afar can sign up for the centre’s Care for Panda Project, which includes activities such as helping to prepare panda food and cleaning their pens.

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Cathay Dragon flies to Chengdu from Hong Kong 14 times a week