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This group of medical professionals from China tours Encore Rehabilitation Inc. facilities in Morgan County March 21. The visitors are pictured seated while Encore executive are standing. 

Encore Rehabilitation hosts tour group from China

By Clif Knight

Hartselle Enquirer

A team of medical professionals from China toured Encore Rehabilitation Inc. facilities in Morgan County March 21 as part of a bilateral effort to share information about the practice of physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Encore co-owners Paul Henderson and Paige Plash and staff aided the team of six medical practitioners visiting Encore facilities at Summerford Nursing Home and in the new medical clinic in Hartselle. With the aid of an interpreter, Encore therapists were able to identify the equipment and techniques the visiting professionals use to treat their patients and answer questions asked by team members.

One of the team members wanted to see the needles used in the practice of acupuncture. Josh Lenox, Encore director in Hartselle, showed a box of needles and explained that “dry needling” is a treatment offered in lieu of acupuncture.

“The reason that question was asked is because the practice of acupuncture is widely used in China,” Henderson said. “Natural medicine is also big.”

Both Henderson and Plash visited China late last year to study the model of rehabilitation medicine in that country.

“One of the more interesting practices we observed was ‘taichi,’ an exercise regimen

widely practiced throughout the population,” Henderson said.

Dr. Tun Hu, a professor of occupational therapy and acupuncture, said the purpose of observing and studying the American model of therapeutic medicine is to find ways to upgrade the model currently being used in his own country.

“In China, we have a great need for more medical professionals,” he said. “A physical therapist can see as many 100 patients in a single day and still have patients waiting in line to get in.”

He said his team’s tour in the U.S. would end on the Gulf Coast, where it will tour the University of South Alabama Medical School.