For the last two illuminating days I have immersed myself in the Chinese classics with Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée, looking again at the concepts underlying the practice of acupuncture, and thinking about how far I can translate these 2000 year-old thoughts into my 21st century practice.
For details of Elisabeth’s teaching schedule in England, contact Peter Firebrace, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for elsewhere around the world www.acupuncture-europe.org.
My seminar with Elisabeth made me focus once more on my translation of a book by the French acupuncturist Jacques Lavier which I had rather laid aside for other things. Lavier was a teacher of many of the pioneers of acupuncture in this country, including JR Worsley and Dick van Buren. I am still in touch with Dr Mary Austin, one of this band, now into her mid-90s, who has given me many fascinating insights into those early days when a group gathered around Lavier in a Charing Cross Hotel room once or twice a year. They then dispersed, eventually to found different schools of acupuncture, each with a different emphasis, JR on developing the concept of an element as the causative factor of disease, and Dick van Buren, who taught Giovanni Maciocia, concentrating on stems and branches.
Lavier has written several books, none of which, as far as I can find out, has yet been translated into English. The one I chose to translate is called Histoire, doctrine et pratique de l’acupuncture chinoise, and was first published in 1966. The book forms an important link in the transmission of acupuncture from East to West, and should be available to the many people who can read it only in English. Lavier’s daughter owns the copyright, and I have her consent to undertake the translation.
Now I need to find a publisher who can undertake the task of good editing, which the book needs for a modern readership. Anybody know anybody out there who might be interested?
Additions to your book list: For an excellent historical survey of acupuncture’s journey from East to West, which places Lavier in a historical context, you can’t do better than get a copy of Peter Eckman’s In the Footsteps of the Yellow Emperor, available from www.petereckmanacupuncture.com. Copies of Mary Austin’s book, Acupuncture Therapy, which gives another take on five element acupuncture, are available from SOFEA, www.sofea.co.uk