Founder of Master Ruth TCM Clinic
Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Licensed Dietitian in China
Author of Soft Touch of Tiger Moms
Master of Personal Health Management, Baptist University of Hong Kong
Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
People are often amazed when they found out that Master Ruth Lee is already in her mid-fifties. She has applied her skills of Traditional Chinese medicine in helping many people around the world to stay healthy and youthful in a natural way.
In 2021, the experienced practitioner opened a clinic in Central, a financial hub that is also one of the most vibrant and international districts in Hong Kong. In the past, Ruth has been practicing different cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. She specializes in herbal and acupuncture treatments for women’s health such as fertility, anti-aging skin treatment, weight control, and different kinds of joint pains.
In addition, Master Ruth is an advocate of natural therapies, leading her to write a book called “Soft Touch of Tiger Moms.” In the Tui Na massage book, she merged the salient features of baby massage into Chinese Tuina, introducing AcuTouchTM pediatric Tuina, which is the perfect preventive care for common children ailments as well as a lovely bonding technique between parents and kids.
She has collaborated with Wellness Journey on a newly launched Masterclass to introduce nine body constitutions according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
What makes Traditional Chinese Medicine unique?
TCM believes that humans are a part of nature, it values the impacts of the environment on people’s health. Also, it believes that the mind and body are closely connected, our physical and mental health are highly correlated. That’s why we do not only treat the condition with medication and procedure but also address the condition with recommendations on lifestyles, diet, emotional health, etc. We do not only focus on relieving the symptoms in one area but also attend to the root cause which may be interlinked with different organ systems.
TCM has more than two thousand years of history. It has been applied to billions of people over the years and it survives the test of time.
Be it the herbal medicine formula or selection of acupuncture points, TCM emphasizes the customization of the treatment for each individual because we believe that everyone is unique. Besides customized herbal decoction and acupuncture therapy, I also combine tools like singing bowl sound therapy, cupping, moxibustion, guasha, tuina massage, diet therapy, ear-seeds therapy, 5 elements essential oils therapy catering different patient’s individual needs.”
We do not only treat the illness but also prevent illness from happening. I perform acupuncture on myself regularly. People are often surprised that why I would do it every week when I am not sick. It is just like brushing teeth, even you do not have any cavities but you still brush every day to maintain oral hygiene.
What may surprise people about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
People often think that TCM will take a longer time to work. But sometimes it works wonders in just one session. Like some acute back strain may take only one session to heal. People are surprised to see a crippled man coming to the clinic and walking out like normal again.
What are your favorite wellness rituals?
Morning oil pulling, evening herbal foot soak, and weekend acupuncture plus facial guasha.
Why does TCM pay so much emphasis on body constitution?
Because we see everyone as a unique individual. Two persons who have the same illness could express different patterns, due to the difference in the body constitutions. Once we determine and understand our body types, we will be able to apply the appropriate treatments of Chinese medicine and adjust our diets and lifestyles to achieve a healthy balance.
Can you tell me more about how you treat two people who catch a cold based on the concept of body constitutions?
First of all, I will differentiate if the person is hot or cold type from the symptoms. In Chinese Medicine, The “cold” symptoms of a cold body type include sneezing, runny nose with clear or white phlegm, itchy throat, coughing up clear or white mucus, and an achy body. This is called the “wind-cold”. On the other hand, a hot body type person who had a cold will be named “wind-hot” and will exhibit “hot” symptoms which include sore throat, more fever than chills, thirst, nasal congestion with yellow phlegm, and coughing up yellow mucus. This will help me decide the choice of herbal medicine and treatment methods. If your symptoms are “wind-cold,” you could drink hot tea with ginger, cinnamon, green onion, and garlic. If your symptoms are “wind-heat,” you could drink peppermint and lemon tea and eat cooling fruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits.
What inspired you to make 5-elements essential oils?
I prescribe herbal decoction for patients to treat different conditions. And I see essential oils as just another form of Chinse herbal medicine, a much more enjoyable form though. Whether used orally, topically, or simply inhaled, essential oils can perform therapeutic effects on our physical, emotional, and spiritual health just like Chinese herbal medicine. Then I have the idea of applying the Five elements theory to create a set of essential oils that everyone could use as their everyday herbal first aid kit.
What is special about your essential oils?
My oil set is designed based on the five elements theory. Each oil belongs to one special element and also can be combined and mixed to create a recipe for special conditions. For example, if one has a mouth ulcer usually caused by excessive heart fire. A drop of Fire element essential oil can help balance the fire and relieve the pain of the ulcer. And for those who have a sleeping disorder that is caused by an imbalance of Yin and Yang could mix two drops of Fire(Yang) and two drops of Water(Yin) and rub them on their sole before bedtime to regain their balance.
Can you tell me more about the five elements concept?
The five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — are believed to be the fundamental elements of everything in the universe between which interactions occur. It helps people understand more about the relationship between the universe, their personality, and their body. For example, In Chinese Medicine, the Spring season belongs to the wood element and its related meridian systems are the Liver and Gall Bladder. Together, these organs are responsible for the smooth qi and blood flow in the body and the organ also regulates emotions.
How does TCM view the five elements?
In Chinese medicine, the five elements help explain physiology and pathology within the body, and the relationships between the human body and nature. Each element has unique characteristics and is associated with seasons, weather, color, personality type, and symptoms/disease states. For example, wood is associated with Liver and the emotion of anger. One with the excessive wood element may have hot-temperament which will harm his/her liver functions so herbals that are calming and soothing for the liver will be recommended. The goal is to achieve a balance of all elemental states within our organ systems.
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