Penang Hosts, Malaysia

I am hoping someone can give me a critique and information about the Dr Chan Gunn Pain Clinic In Georgetown please. I was treated by Gunn trained practitioners in London successfully for many years but since moving out of London to S-E England, no one is trained here. I spotted the clinic on-line but can’t find reviews or detail about any of the supposed clinicians. We were thinking about a hot beach holiday with my having intensive treatment but I don’t want a charlatan!

Otherwise it’s Seattle or Vancouver; not the same heat to recover in…

Here’s hoping.

Not sure where you got the impression that we are a medical referral group!! Please make such enquiries elsewhere! This is a “support group” for AirBnb hosts, not a travel agency!


My apologies for having seemingly angered you so sharply. My intention was to ask for support from other AirBNB hosts, of whom there are many in Penang, I value this site massively and did not intend to be seen as abusing it, as you appear to think I have. I am making other enquiries elsewhere but quite simply, I hoped for some information from a local source on the ground. I’ll stick to queries about face wipes/cleaning products/towels/coffee/gifts in future.

I hope your day improved; I noticed you responded to someone else rather harshly around the same time.

I don’t know that much about Malaysia, specifically its medical standards, but I’d certainly be wary of going into such a place blind. Even assuming you could find reviews. Have you tried talking directly to this clinic? Here “talking” is defined loosely as including phone and email. That can sometimes yield helpful information. It seems you have experience with this kind of therapy, so if you cross-examine them, you can probably get an idea of they know what they are doing.

I suspect Malaysia is more similar to India than the UK, and in India, such a thing would certainly be a risky thing to do without some information/references. Private medical clinics in India have only one thing on their minds - and you can guess what that is. Hospitals, even private ones, are usually slightly better. One possibility is to talk to big hospitals in the area (Penang?), particularly government ones, and see if they can offer any referrals.

One thing to bear in mind is that outside relatively orderly and regulated places like the United States and Western Europe, accreditation/certification programs and suchlike things simply don’t exist. Also, there is a general lack of informed consumerism to force such things to happen, even in relatively prosperous places like Malaysia. Case in point - I used to use a very good massage therapist in Durham, NC. NC has a proper certification program for massage therapy, with on-going education and so forth. Quite standard for the US, I suspect. And this lady was definitely quite talented. But I quickly realised that in India nobody knew the first thing about massage therapy, though they were happy to charge for it. Nor were they interested in feedback.

BTW, I don’t think I’ve noticed any hosts here from Malaysia. It’s mostly US and Europe, with a scattering of Australia and Japan.

Please don’t let Ken intimidate you. There is nothing wrong with your post and you never know until you ask if there is a host lurking on the forum who might be able to help.

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Let’s leave these kinds of responses to the mod team please. There was no reason to jump on Joan. She’s one of the good ones.

I am going to say that this might or might not be true. If you know that medical care in Malaysia is inferior that is one thing. However, guessing doesn’t really help that much does it?

Medical tourism is huge and some of the countries that are doing it well are surprising.

Hence the word “suspect”. Let’s call it an educated guess. I didn’t say anything about “inferior”. I was talking about morality, standards, and regulation. Indian medicine is quite developed, though I think the research side is negligible in comparison to the US, for example. Malaysian medicine may be developed too.

And standards and regulation are more important and more potent than morality. If you are a US doctor and misbehave, you are much more likely to have bad things happen to you. This is relatively unlikely in India. Hence from a patient’s POV, you are safer dealing with a US doctor, though they will be much more expensive.

In any case, Joan’s interest isn’t directly in mainstream medicine. As I understand it, this pain therapy is more alternative, closer to massage therapy, probably.

India does lots of medical tourism and no doubt has many satisfied customers. It’s also the case that parts (possibly large parts) of the Indian medical community are basically professional criminals, often including quite well known people (I am not exaggerating). Surgeons seem to be particularly problematic. I’ve personally encountered some very scary stuff, and heard scary stories from other people. I regularly take other people to see doctors, so I’ve met quite a lot of them in recent years.

Homeopathy is also legal and much practiced and quite popular in India. Saifee Hospital, near me, is a large and modern hospital, and it has homeopaths on staff. To summarize, homeopathy is quite mainstream in India, unlike the United States and probably Western Europe. And as everyone knows, homeopathy is medical fraud. Apparently the Prince of Wales is a fan, though. I think finding out the status of homeopathy in Malaysia would tell one something about Malaysian medicine.

Basically, I’m just counselling caution. And I agree my ramblings are probably not very useful, so I’ll stop now…

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And New Zealand :wink:

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Your ramblings are treasurable, Faheem; please keep them coming! I will be back in the (my) morning to thank you all for the quality of support offered. and other musings but right now, bed beckons…

I’m a feisty old bird but thank you for your concern; so very much appreciated. I think perhaps my attempt at a subtle rebuttal was overly subtle…

But this did give me pause to think about more mainstream social media ( I don’t engage with much) and what we hear is happening, ranging from kids being bullied to threats of sexual violence, racism and death threats on-line. Brexit has unleashed a torrent of abuse here, particularly against our female politicians who dare vocalise for a measured exit. On top of this, we have an increasing crisis with young people’s mental health which is not being addressed. Then there is the constant, daily revelations of actual sexual abuse in all its guises, with the attendant stream of victim blaming, including by some women. I’ve ended up feeling that women are being told to put up or shut up, and that all the hard won space we achieved in the 70s/80s/90s is being stolen. Like, they’re stealing my youth. Grrrrrr; how dare they!

Rant over. Promise.

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That made me go quite, quite gooey, like a warm chocolate brownie.

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Oh how I wish this was the case: nothing like massage, even deep tissue, more like an exquisite form of torture when in the hands of a properly trained practitioner. It is actually mainstream medicine, only practised by physicians or physios certified by the Institute for the Study of Pain (i-STOP) but we only have 15 of those left in the UK; they are retiring or moving abroad as the NHS falls apart. It’s widely practised in Canada, particularly BC where Chan Gunn, who developed it, has a dedicated centre at BCU. Seattle also has a dedicated centre I believe.

Now for the exquisite torture. Based on western medical anatomy and physiology, it involves extra long acupuncture needles being “plunged”, ( yes really, they use a Gunn plunger to guide them) deeply into muscles identified as being in spasm. Whilst not for the faint of heart, it’s a lifesaver for many people in inexplicable chronic pain, particularly with musculo skeletal disorders. Cambridge Addenbrooks also use it to treat infertility and IBS.

I’ll now shut up, apart from to say that my trip to Penang looks a possible; he’s i-STOP certified and an Honoury Fellow. That beach is beckoning and I’ve just had my Queen’s English corrected on here!!