There was something very stimulating about moving from what I have come to regard as the somewhat weary world of acupuncture in the UK to a refreshingly new acupuncture landscape in China. The wonder of this whole experience was that I was speaking to people to whom the world of the elements is a familiar place, unlike those first embarking on acupuncture in the West, and who therefore had such a quick understanding of the principles of five element acupuncture, and only needed to be given a few signposts to guide them.
The most concentrated teaching was in Nanning, in Guanxi province in the south, where I taught at a newly opened centre for traditional medicine, the Tong You Sanhe, founded by Liu Lihong at whose invitation I was in China. On most days the group consisted of up to 50 people, of whom about 15 are serious students of five element acupuncture.
Then after 9 long days of teaching, which included the treatment of many people, both privately and in front of the class, we had 2 days’ relaxing time travelling to the Guilin mountains and up the Li River to Yangshou. I was very moved to see at last the very mountains whose photo I had chosen as the front cover of my Handbook many years before. Again something coming full circle.
Then on up north to Beijing and to a large traditional medicine conference at which I spoke to the 500 or so participants, each of whom, flatteringly, was holding a copy of the Mandarin version of my Handbook which they had been given in their conference bags. After the seminar, much signing of books and much taking of photos.
The response wherever I taught was overwhelming, with people asking again and again, “Where can we learn five element acupuncture?” Where indeed! It has proved difficult enough in this country over the years to find good five element teaching, and over there it will be even more difficult. But being such an enterprising nation, I have no doubt that they will find a way. And I like to think that I will continue to be there to accompany those amongst them who wish to set their feet ever more firmly on the five element path.