Nov 30, 2006|
HK Magazine: Why did you choose Chinese medicine over western?
Wong Hung-bor: Actually, I majored in western medicine but I didn’t go to medical school by choice. I was studying in China and during that time, the government decided your major for you. I wanted to get into the sea school and my second pick was military engineering. My mom was living in Hong Kong and therefore I was seen as an “overseas” student and they were afraid that I would become a spy and use my military knowledge against them. I was pretty good at school so they forced me to become a doctor instead.
HK: So you were FORCED to become a medical student while people these days are killing themselves to get into the school…
WHB: Exactly. We are born in different times and you can do nothing about that. I remember when I was young the elderly at home kept nagging us for leaving food on our plates. They said they were nearly starved to death while the Japanese were occupying China…yadda yadda yadda… Indeed, I was born at a different time and really didn’t know how it felt. Too bad that they were born during the war! With time, everything changes. It is pointless to compare the past with the present. Adapt or die.
HK: What happened after you graduated?
WHB: Since I specialized in psychiatry, I worked in a mental hospital for 10 years before coming to Hong Kong. Then I came to Hong Kong, but, sadly, they thought I graduated from some Quacky-Duck University on the mainland and my professional qualifications were not recognized. Under the regulations, I could only become a Chinese medical doctor and so started my clinic in the red light district, Portland Street. A lot of my patients had sexually transmitted diseases and when couples came to me, they started fighting right at the clinic… My days at the Portland Street taught me Chinese herbs are better at curing certain STDs including Herpes Type 2, than the western ones. Western medicine, especially the antibiotics, can kill bacteria hard and fast but the drugs kill indiscriminately - both the good and bad cells.
HK: A recent study says more than two million people in Hong Kong have depression. What do you think about that?
WHB: Like many other western psychiatrists, I believe that depression is more than an emotional problem. You can’t simply talk a patient out of it. People have to take drugs. Depression is a real disease because it causes real damage to the brain and body – even without viruses and bacteria. In the terminal stages of it, people become frigid and they totally lose touch with the real world. During the 80s, I had a patient running out of his apartment naked, thinking that Leslie Cheung was waiting downstairs to marry him.
HK: Any longevity secrets?
WHB: Yoga. See? [He suddenly twists his arms together behind his back.