Healthworks Hong Kong (健康工房) – Modernised Chinese Herbal Tea shop

In this post, I would like to share another recommendation of a store that I like and would visit from time to time.  This store is called Healthworks Hong Kong (健康工房) and it is actually a health shop franchise with about 20 stores in Hong Kong (See address below).

Healthworks (健康工房) is a modernised Chinese Herbal Tea shop that offers ready made herbal tea, recuperating Chinese soup, and healthy dim sum snacks.  I quite like this store as I feel this store starts with the customer experience rather than making money.  Sometimes, I would go and buy one of the herbal teas when I go and grab some sushi for lunch in the ThreeSixty supermarket.

The kind of herbal teas that Healthworks offer are generic herbal tea.  They are not specifically targeted at eczema but sometimes they are still good for cooling the body after too much fried food or detoxing from too much junk food, etc.  You can purchase them cold or warm.  In the winter, I would also go and buy some Chinese soup from them from time to time to help build up health or warm the body.

For more information about the stores, you can visit their company website below:

Store Addresses and Telephone Details

健康工房 [Entrance to the Oneness World] 分店
HealthWorks Entrance to the Oneness World Shops
金鐘港鐵站大堂32號舖 (C出口)
Shop 32,Admiralty MTR Station (Exit C)
2861 2062
Shop TST3, Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station (Exit D)
2377 1378
Shop KOT14, Kowloon Tong MTR Station (Inside gate)
2337 0031
觀塘港鐵站大堂 KWT26號舖 (C出口)
Shop KWT26, Kwun Tong MTR Station (Exit C)
2389 6280
LCK9 Lai Chi Kok MTR STN, Cheung Sha Wan Kowloon
2959 2858
Shop TSY55, Tsing Yi MTR Station
2435 0556
Shop TSW6, Tsuen Wan MTR Station
2891 8209
Shop 5, Tin Shui Wai Station, West Rail Line
2663 2400
Shop SHT39, Shatin MTR Station
2312 2532
健康工房 [自然般若] 分店(設有堂座)
HealthWorks “PRAJNA NATURE” Shops (With Dining Area)
Shop no. G404, Yuan Kung Mansion, No 20 Tai Koo Shing Rd,
Tai Koo Shing, H.K.
2560 1288
健康工房 [都會健康茶] 分店
HealthWorks “Chinese Urban Healing Tea” Shops
中環港鐵站大堂W7號舖 (環球大廈A出口)
Shop W7, Central MTR Station (Exit A Worldwide House)
2840 0518
Shop JOR12, Jordan MTR Station
2730 3003
葵芳港鐵站大堂KWF 9 號舖 (D出口)
Shop KWF 9, Kwai Fong MTR Station (Exit D)
2422 6698
黃大仙港鐵站大堂WTS 7-8號舖 (D出口)
Shop WTS 7-8, Wong Tai Sin MTR Station (Exit D)
2321 2682
九龍灣港鐵站大堂 KOB11號舖 (B出口)
Shop KOB11, Kowloon Bay MTR Station (Exit B)
2305 3823
香港中環置地廣場四樓ThreeSixty (Tea & Tonic Bar)
ThreeSixty, Shop 411-413 , 4/F, The Landmark,
Central, HongKong (Tea & Tonic Bar)
2111 5174
九龍站圓方1樓1090號舖 ThreeSixty (Tea & Tonic Bar)
ThreeSixty, Shop No. 1090, First Level at Elements,
Union Square, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station,
Kowloon(Tea & Tonic Bar)
2196 8076
健康工房 [季節自然郵] 分店(設有堂座)
HealthWorks “Nature Post” Shops (With Dining Area)
Unit 020, G /F, JUSCO Kornhill Store, Kornhill Plaza (South),
2 Kornhill Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.
2967 9943
HealthWorks Shops (With Dining Area)
Shop G20, G/F, Marina Square West Comm.
Blk Comm’l Development South Horizons, Apleichau H.K.
2870 0880
Shop 2113-2114, Level 2, Sunshine City Plaza, Ma On Shan, N.T.
2643 1777
Shop no. 2, G/F. 167-173 Castle Peak Rd., Tsuen Wan
2944 8292
Shop 1119-1120, 1/F, Comm Accommodation Metro City,
Phase 2, Tseung Kwan O,N.T.
3194 5091

Contact details of Doctor Mak for eczema treatment in Hong Kong

At different points in time, a number of readers have asked for the contact details of the Chinese herbalist doctor that I have been visiting over the last 2 years that have nursed me back to good health.

Please find below the latest contact details of Doctor Mak in Chinese below.  His is now based in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.  He practices his consultation in the International Chinese Medicine Treatment Centre on the 21st Floor of Good Harvest Commercial Building , 515 Nathan Road, Kowloon.  It is approximately 5 minutes walk from the Yau Ma Tei MTR station from exit B1.  He works from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday.  He is over 70 years old now, so he takes his time to diagnose, consults and explain to his patients doing so in Cantonese / Mandarin.  He can be contacted at +852 90756163 and it is advisable that you call him beforehand during the day to check his availability for an appointment.  He normally lectures on Wednesday evening as well, so it is best to avoid Wednesday afternoon or evenings.

At the International Chinese Medicine Treatment Center, you can choose to either have your medicine in powder form or utilise a service with extra courier fee where the medicine can be made and delivered to you.  Alternatively, you can ask Doctor Mak to just give you the prescription and you can goto a traditional Chinese herbal shop to pick up the medicine if you prefer old school.

Contact details of Doctor Mak in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Contact details of Doctor Mak in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Eczema and Chinese herbal medicine

It has been about a month since I last wrote on this blog as I have been preoccupied with my chinese herbalist medicine treatment that is truly helping to cure my eczema. After 6 weeks of herbal medication, I am no longer consumed by the insane itch that comes with chronic eczema and 80% of my skin has now cleared up and is beginning to look normal. The healing that I am witnessing has been truly uplifting and god-sent.  Hence, while I am no expert (please seek you own medical advice), I am going to share my thoughts and experience on the use of traditional chinese medicine for eczema in this blog article and hope that you can also find a good chinese doctor to help yourself.

First of all, some reassurance to the hesitant reader, chinese herbalist medicine has been around for thousands of years as a profession and it has prevailed in China for a reason. In China, hospitals still currently approach medical treatment through the combined use of both chinese medicine and western medicine. Generally speaking, chinese medical treatment (herbal tea, acupuncture and bone setting) is widely accepted within the chinese community and it is also becoming more prevalent in the western communities as well.

The essence of chinese herbalist medicine is about maintaining balance to achieve good health and thus treatment to illnesses is focused on strengthening and revitalizing the key organs to facilitate their proper functioning to achieve good health. As a consequence, chinese herbal treatment not only requires the patient to drink (often foul-tasting) herbal tea but to also to follow a restricted diet to facilitate the revitalization of the key organs, e.g. it’s no good taking the medicine if you are also taking the poison straight afterwards. In addition, as the chinese medical philosophy is based on helping the body to heal itself, the process will be progressive rather than instant gratification, i.e. the longer the illness, the longer the recovery process.

On the above note, I recall my current doctor emphasized to me in our first meeting that the most common failure during chinese herbal treatments is the inability for patients to maintain a restricted diet. “If I wanted to be cured [and it can be cured], I must restrict the diet.” This is an important point to note if you are going to try chinese herbalist medicine.  Later on, my doctor also advised that given my prolonged condition, my course of treatment would probably be 4 to 6 months depending on the recovery process.

Secondly, not all chinese doctors are equally skilled. Personally, I have tried 3 traditional chinese doctors before my current doctor over the last 3 years to try to treat my eczema. I saw no significant progress with the prior doctors even after months of treatment. Based on my own experience, I would advise that when one seeks out a chinese herbalist doctor, one should try to look for an old chinese doctor with a lot of field experience who attained his/her profession through traditional means over a chinese herbalist doctor who attained his/her accreditation through modern academic studies (something that is becoming more and more popular in Hong Kong). In addition, try to seek out a chinese herbalist doctor that specialize in skin ailment although my current doctor there aren’t that many around anymore. Personally, I feel very lucky to have met my current doctor who is both western and chinese professionally qualified, in his 70’s with lots of experience, specialize in skin ailment who practices his trade during the day and lecture doctors in the evenings. He has shared many stories with me on how he had treated and cured eczema, psoriasis and even vitiligo.  I believe he is on course to curing my eczema an hopefully my vitiligo all over the back of my neck and sparingly on my cheek.

When undergoing chinese herbalist medicine treatment, there are a few points to note. Nowadays, one can take chinese herbal medicine in processed powder form (modern convenience) as well as traditional form where one need to boil the herbs. However, my present doctor had explained to me that for optimum results, it is best to stick with traditional herbs and that the boiling of herbs should not take longer than 90 minutes. Additionally, chinese herbalist medicine treatment is based on observing the symptoms (via pulse reading, facial and tongue observation) and my present doctor had explained that it is important to conduct the consultation every few days rather than over longer periods. Hence, while it is likely a desired compromise for many people with modern lifestyle and commitments to only see your chinese herbalist doctor say once a week, the reality (as explained by my present doctor) is that in such a situation, the prescribed medicine will not be tailored to your conditions since one will react to the herbal medicine and the herbal medicine needs to be continually adjusted according to the observed symptoms. Thinking back, this was the mistake I made with my first chinese herbalist doctor. I recalled he had requested for consultations every 3 days max (preferably 2) but I could only commit to seeing him once a week. This is also an important point to note if you are considering using a chinese herbalist doctor, time commitment & patience is required. Currently, I am seeing my present doctor every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. On using chinese herbalist medicine to treat eczema, I am certainly not qualified to write on the topic. However, I will share specific experiences & learnings relating to my own recent treatment for reader’s reference. (If the reader is considering seeking treatment, they should consult a qualified chinese doctor). Firstly, a recap of my eczema condition as highlighted in the “my story so far” article. I have had eczema since I was a child. In the last 3 or 4 years, my eczema had worsen and taken on a whole new lease of life that significantly impacted everyday activity. Quick fix western medicine wasn’t working and thus, I turned to alternative treatment for a solution.

On my eczema, the diagnosis from my present doctor is that I have a dysfunctional spleen and weak blood.

According to the chinese medical school of thought, the function of the spleen acts very much like the internal logistics department of the body. It is responsible for transporting nutrition to different parts of the body and toxic waste to the digestive system. When the function of the spleen is compromised, metabolism and nutrition absorption is also compromised and as toxic waste cannot be channelled effectively into the digestive system, the body responds by diverting the toxic waste to the skin as an alternative means to try and process it out of the system. However, as the body was never designed to function in such a way, toxicity will start to build up over time depending on your dietary and lifestyle habits, visible symptoms include pimples/acne, bloating & skin irritation. If the situation is left unchecked, the toxicity (the chinese doctors call it “dampness”, “heat” & “wind”) will continue to build up in the spleen and then in the blood, visible symptoms include poor metabolism and blood circulation, inflammation, redness & dry skin (heat), weeping wounds (dampness), and itchiness (wind). As such, my understanding is the chinese herbalist medical course of treatment is focused on expelling these three elements, cleansing & regenerating the blood, strengthening the spleen and nourishing the skin.  At the same, an experience chinese doctor will also protecting the body from the medicine that you’re taking, e.g. not purely focused on the illness but also take account of the overall well-being to ensure to patient is coping with the medicine during the course of treatment.

During my course of treatment, I am required to stick to the following dietary & daily habitual requirements:

Dietary restrictions advice from chinese doctor during treatment

  1. No eggs of any kind (“a culprit of inflammation and flare ups”)
  2. No prawns and crab (“a well-known eczema allergy trigger”)
  3. No pan-fried, deep-fried and roasted food (this basically cuts out junk/fast food, biscuits, chocolate & barbecue food…yes no chocolate – waaaah 😦 )
  4. No mushrooms (“patients with prolonged illness should not eat mushrooms”)
  5. No cold drinks / food (“cold food and drinks is one of the worst evils for the spleen”). This means no ice-cream and ice lollies – waaah 😦  .
  6. No melons of most kinds (“watermelon, bitter gourd, cucumber, etc are too cooling foods in nature and further weakens the spleen”)
  7.  No lychee, mango, pineapple, durian, guava & longan (“fruits that are hot in nature that can lead to further irritation/flare up”)
  8. No spicy / chilli food

Do’s and don’t advice from my current chinese doctor during treatment

  1. No hot showers / bath.  Keep it lukewarm.
  2. Moisturize straight after a shower/bath while wet.  If the body is extremely dry to the point that it is painful to move as I was during the initial stage of treatment.  One can consider using medicated vaseline or horse oil as a moisturizer.
  3. No steroid creams (it was reassuring to hear from my present doctor (both western and chinese professionally qualified) that steroid was a bad idea.
  4. Can consider taking vitamin & omega oil supplements.
  5. Try to drink the chinese herbal tea 1 hour after a meal and at least 4 hours between the prior herbal tea intake.
As a final note, readers can check out the following websites for more information on Traditional Chinese Medicine in english: