Its been a long time since I updated this blog: 3 months! The therapy day for the Lelung Dharma Centre was a success and I was booked almost all day, often by other therapists who wanted to experience a bit of what this ‘new’ bodywork treatment was like for themselves. I hope I did it justice since two people who saw me that day came and booked appointments later, albeit one for acupuncture and the other a fellow therapist I talked to and did not actually treat on the day, but getting word around is all good. It was one of those moments when I wished I could have transported myself from 9 months in the future to the present so that I would have had my full diploma’s education and clinical experience to guide me but they seemed to leave quite happy.
I have also had a look around a local clinic centre run by an oesteopath where other therapies such as counselling, bowen and Alexander technique are practiced and they took some cards of mine since they often get asked for acupuncturists but don’t have any in the actual premises (and did not like the smell of the last one they had – one reason I don’t use a lot of moxa). They said if I needed a high street clinic room I could use theirs, which might be handy some time, although I have not yet had any problems with running my practice from my parents house. I hope some cross referrals might come out of it since several people I see might benefit from Alexander as well as acupuncture or massage, or oesteopathy where a manipulation is necessary.
Not content to rest on my college training alone for continued development I have just ordered some instructional books and dvds for three of the main traditional schools of qigong: Muscle-Tendon Change Classic (Yì Jīn Jīng 易筋经), Five Animals (Wu Qin Xi 五禽戲) and Eight Pieces of Brocade (Ba Duan Jin 段锦气功). As well as often wanting to practice some kind of internal martial art myself I believe that many of these exercises are effectively traditional Chinese forms of physiotherapy, gently exercising areas of the body to restore them to health or prevent degeneration in the first place. I have been asked before by clients suffering musculoskeletal problems if I can recommend any exercises to help them and teaching someone an entire tai chi form in the session would be impractical, even if it were within my ability and experience to teach. I usually have to recommend they find a class, or something similar like yoga or pilates. Qigong has the advantage of being small sets of exercises designed for specific purposes identical to what physiotherapy aims to do with its prescribed routines. I still have the intention of going on to study physiotherapy, to understand my practices better from the western point of view and gain the extra registration to allow me to apply my skills in hospital settings more easily but having the Eastern version at my fingertips now can hardly be a bad thing. I hope to have enough understanding of both western and eastern practices that I can mix them up together to provide treatment that addresses both physical and more internal issues at the same time in both kinds of settings, addressing the reductionism of western practices and the unscientific criticisms of eastern medicine at the same time.
And then perhaps be one step closer to my dream: to study traditional physical medical practices from other cultures and write about their potential benefits for western audiences, hopefully going full circle back to my old university degree in an academic post as a medical anthropologist.