Wednesday, January 22, 2020

My New Year's blog for the Chinese Year of the Rat

My vision for the future of five element acupuncture

We have invited a group of five element acupuncturists from the Chinese Five Element Society to come to London in July. They include many of the people who have been following us with such dedication in seminar after seminar since our first days in Nanning in 2011 to the much grander venues in Beijing which now host more than 300 keen five element acupuncturists every time we come.  This group will include those who can now be regarded as the core of a five element teaching team spread around China.  This visit will be a lovely way for Guy and me to repay some of the overwhelming hospitality we receive each time we go to China.

Planning the group’s time here has made me think more about how I see the future of five element acupuncture, both in China and in this country.  My founding of the School of Five Element acupuncture in 1995 was a direct answer to the appallingly cynical downgrading of five element acupuncture in the eyes of many people in this country and around the world.  I still remember well being asked rather scornfully by somebody seduced by the temporary glitter of the introduction of TCM into this country, “Do you still only practise five element acupuncture?”, as though I was practising some primitive form of out-dated acupuncture. 

Nobody now dares say this, either to me or to anybody else, in the light of China’s wholehearted welcome for the return of five element acupuncture to the land of its birth some few thousand years ago.  This turnaround delights me, and justifies my fight for the survival of five element acupuncture in its purest form – and what a fight that was.   I feel the battle is now won, thanks in great part to the support Professor Liu Lihong in China has given me with such great heart from the first day we met and the years since then.  I am so proud that, in his dedication to the translation of Liu Lihong’s great book Classical Chinese Medicine, Heiner Fruehauf mentions five element acupuncture as being one of the disciplines now well-established under the umbrella of traditional Chinese medicine in China.

The original vision Professor Liu Lihong and I had of bringing five element acupuncture back to its homeland has, I feel, been achieved.  But that is only the first step, although a momentous one, in five element’s journey back from West to East.  The most important thing now is the journey it will continue to take as it consolidates its position in the Chinese traditional medicine world.  And here the visit of the first group of Chinese five element acupuncturists to spread their international wings abroad will become an important turning-point, providing an opportunity for future international co-operation between practitioners from our two countries. The group will spend time at The Acupuncture Academy in Leamington Spa, where they will meet tutors and students there. 

My hope is that this visit will eventually lead to cooperation between members of the Chinese Five Element Society and five element acupuncturists in this country on two fronts, one relating to research and the other to clinical practice.  The Director of the Acupuncture and Moxibustion Institute of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Being, Wang Jingjing, is a very keen practitioner of five element acupuncture, and has already published a paper on five element acupuncture in the Science and Technology Review in China.  It will be exciting to see how this work can be expanded, and I hope, too, that there will be greater opportunities for future student exchanges between our two countries.

All in all, a very exciting start to the Chinese Year of the Rat.  From being just a personal quest on Professor Liu Lihong’s and my part to spread an understanding of five element acupuncture in China, our work there will now move to a wider, more international arena.  How exciting the future of five element acupuncture now appears to me to be!

A Happy New Year of the Rat to you all!

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