I have been listening to Mandarin spoken at full tilt and in great quantities by everybody around me, interspersed only with the pauses as the important parts were translated into English for me. I found it interesting to note that more and more of the few simple words I had learnt at my classes in
At a more serious level, I come away delighted that the students have learnt so much more than at my first visit, and that we have put together some solid structures for future learning. It is intended that I go over there twice a year, and Mei, who set in motion the whole train of five element acupuncture on its journey back to China, will probably go a further twice a year, as well as accompanying me. Her next visit is scheduled for July, so the students will get more time to consolidate what they have just learnt before I return with her in the autumn.
The number of my students has increased by a further 5 or so, making abut 20 dedicated five element students. There are now two main groups, one based here in
I call them my students, but they are all either fully practising acupuncturists or nearing qualification, so that their basic acupuncture knowledge is well established. If anything they have a much more solid foundation than comparable practitioners here in the
By the last few days of this fortnight, students had learnt some very fundamental components of five element practice, such as different needling and moxibustion techniques, how to carry out an AE drain, how to clear possession and treat a husband/wife imbalance. Most important of all, I gave them a clear schedule of how to structure the first four treatments so that they feel confident that they know what to do at the start.
We saw together some 30 patients, and I treated at least another 25, because I gave each of the students a treatment. I felt it was important for them to experience an AE drain and their element source points for themselves, as many of them had not had any five element treatment before. Scheduling these treatments amidst the teaching sessions was a logistical puzzle which taxed my Small Intestine’s ability to sort to its limit, but I managed the last three treatments on almost the last day. In doing this I only changed the element I had decided upon for one of the students, and I can only hope I am right with the others as I fly away to leave them to receive further treatment from their peers.
Each day was filled with treating patients, helping students treat patients, or helping them learn some of the five element skills they will need, such as testing for Akabane imbalance and learning how to apply moxa cones to salt for CV 8. This proved to be an unexpected very local problem, because the climate is so damp and they usually only use rock salt, that not only did the grains of salt stick together in a tight mass but the thick grains allowed the heat through too quickly so that I’m afraid I may have burnt the first person’s umbilicus without realising it. Being Chinese, she never complained of the pain and probably went away thinking that the pain was a necessary part of treatment. After this we found some thinner grains of salt, and Wendy devised a way of putting rice grains in a little muslin bag to dry the salt out.
As usual, I learnt much from devising ways of teaching in such a limited and challenging timeframe.