Friday, November 23, 2018

In praise of youth

The older I get, and I am now surprisingly old I find, the more I seem to be drawn to the young, from the little babies in their prams looking so eagerly around themselves as they enjoy taking possession of a bright new world, to the young students from many different acupuncture colleges in this country and abroad, who crowded into our latest SOFEA clinical seminar last week.  I am no longer in the acupuncture loop which knows how many acupuncture colleges there still are around Britain, but to my knowledge quite a few have had to close, and their replacements seem to be more in the nature of small independent training establishments, even too small to be called colleges or schools, in which a few dedicated acupuncturists endeavour to pass on their knowledge to a few equally dedicated and enthusiastic students.  This is a faint modern imitation of countless years of individual master/pupil transmissions which was considered to be the only acceptable route of transmission in earlier days.

I am always so pleased to see the keenness with which these burgeoning acupuncturists learn to embrace five element acupuncture early on in their careers, because, for obvious reasons, the longer practitioners have to immerse themselves in the profound and, to me, magical world of the elements, the more easily they will find themselves at home within it.  One of the problems for all the many TCM practitioners who have attended what we used to call SOFEA’s five element conversion seminars has always been the need for practitioners new to five element acupuncture to summon up sufficient courage to move to a discipline which cannot be viewed merely as an add-on to what they have studied, but requires them to put aside their previous learning and embrace the new in its entirety.  To do this, when most practitioners are working on their own and haven’t the support network provided by studying at a five element college as I did, requires them to be absolutely convinced of the validity of five element acupuncture as a stand-alone discipline, and the stamina to confront all the inevitable ups and downs which embarking on a new direction to their practice demands of them.

I always admire the way that Mei Long, one of my co-tutors at our Chinese seminars, was so instantly convinced of the truth underlying five element acupuncture that she changed direction from TCM in a single leap of faith, and has never looked back, being now one of the most competent five element practitioners I have been privileged to work with.  She was certainly younger than I was when she encountered it for the first time, for I was all of 45 before I had even seen an acupuncture needle.  But I was fortunate that at that time in the UK five element acupuncture was a dominant influence in the few acupuncture colleges which then existed, and had not yet been undermined by the influx of modern Chinese acupuncture into this country.  I therefore welcome all those young student acupuncturists out there who seem to share so wholeheartedly in my love of the elements, and make running our seminars in this country so worthwhile for Guy and me. 

This is also a good time to tell you that we are running two further five element clinical seminars in London in 2019, the first on Friday 8 February 2019, and the second on Sunday 9 June 2019, both at Neal’s Yard Therapy Rooms in Covent Garden.  The February seminar is now almost fully booked and has a waiting list, but there are still places available in June.  Details of both seminars can be downloaded from our website 

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