Its been over another month since my last post. I rarely seem to find time to update this blog even though there are usually things that are going on. Since the last post I have managed to update my database with the Ayurvedic marma points, medieval phlebotomy points and trigger points used by physiotherapy acupuncture. I’ve also included a few points used in Western medical tests such as McBurney’s point (for appendicitis), Murphy’s point (for gallstones) and Tinel’s sign (for carpal tunnel syndrome) where pressure or percussion over a point can test positive for a disease. While these are not necessarily my areas of expertise I do think they are important to know and interesting to see the correlations. For example, Murphy’s point for gallstones is very close to the front alarm point for the gallbladder in Chinese medicine, maybe even on the same point deep in the body, just approaching from a different angle (in Murphy’s sign the hand is generally placed just under the ribcage and pushed up underneath it while the Chinese just press directly on the space between the last ribs). I am also a believer that acupuncturists should be experts at acupuncture, that is pressure point anatomy and therapy with needles, not necessarily “zhenjiu”, Chinese acupuncture. Certainly the Chinese have the most developed form with the richest history and greatest refinement but there is more than one way to explain and understand the mechanisms and some of the traditional Chinese ones are controversial to say the least! A bit of understanding of the science and anatomy behind the points can never be a bad thing.
Which brings me on to my latest developments. My course in tui na, massage and bodywork has begun and I am enjoying it very much. Our teacher is a physiotherapist as well as an acupuncturist and is encouraging us to revise our anatomy so we understand exactly what muscle groups we are working on as well as the traditional channel models. I like this style and think I will enjoy this course a lot. I also hope that I will soon be able to reduce the amount of needles I need to use for my treatments, applying them only to points that seem in particular need of attention and then following up with more massage. Tui na is about the only form of massage that is specifically designed to accompany acupuncture and once I have this tool I will be able to describe myself as a bodywork therapist and not just an acupuncturist. I think a lot of people are frightened of acupuncture, especially when it is being delivered by a wild-eyed, long haired, bearded man like myself! By putting acupuncture as a secondary treatment option I can hopefully find some clients who were previously too nervous to call.
I am actually enjoying the idea of learning manipulative skills so much that I am even considering applying for physiotherapy courses when I have completed this diploma. Not only do I think I would I enjoy it, but it could be very helpful to getting me some work within the NHS or elsewhere in the Western medical world and help me get away from the business and marketing side of my career that I dislike so much. How I would love to come into my clinic and just work on clients all day from a doctor’s referral and never have to worry about marketing and advertising again! And I do not think that waiting in hope that acupuncture will become a state registered profession is going to work. It has been on the verge of being accepted since I first studied the issues around it during my medical anthropology days over 15 years ago. It could be another 15 years before anything changes and there is no guarantee it will move in the direction I want it to. On the other hand I think that with the increasing aged population and issues like obesity on the rise physiotherapy may start to see a rise in popularity as people unable to exercise properly are referred to help them find ways that they can become active.
As usual lots of plans! I have often said that the worst thing to be is stagnant and one thing I am not is stagnant right now.