About

Hello and welcome to my blog,

I’m Steve Woodley, an acupuncturist and specialist in traditional bodywork techniques working in Eastcote, an area between Ruislip and Pinner in Northwest London. I maintain this blog partly as a means to communicate my ideas and current lines of thinking to people interested in visiting me and partly because I find it helps to put my thoughts into words in order to clarify them to myself.

I have maintained an interest in traditional medicine, and particularly in bodywork and psychosocial aspects of traditional medicine, for as long as I can remember. After enjoying reading anthropology at U.C.L. and specialising in medical and psychiatric elements, I decided there was definitely a place for traditional medicine in the modern world and the next thing to do was to find a system I could practise. I had learned about acupuncture from martial arts and seen its profile steadily increasing with good reviews in the literature, increasing professionalisation and positive media coverage, so I decided that was probably the system most likely to become integrated into the west. I qualified in 2007 and then decided I needed a more complete set of bodywork skills so took a post-graduate diploma in Tui Na, Chinese massage and manual therapy. With these two skills I have a complete set of bodywork techniques in the system of traditional medicine that is probably the most advanced and adaptable.

Now I spend my time either practising, reading up on ancient philosophy or modern research, and writing rambling blog posts that attempt to deconstruct traditional wisdom and put it into terms that I can understand and develop. My main areas of interest are where classical texts may have relevance in the modern world, through their discussions of balance in lifestyle, the harmful effects of a cluttered or disordered mind, and the notion of acupuncture as a means to stimulate this to change. I believe it does not do this through a single, simple physiological response to specific points as the current major styles of acupuncture (TCM, 5 Elements) claim, but through an complex interaction that involves discovering the layers of meaning behind any problem and finding methods of facilitating change on the appropriate level. With the right input from Chinese speakers, history, biology, psychology, anthropology, medicine and systems theory, I hope to see acupuncture develop into a specialised 21st century discipline that draws all these together without having to go the way of primitivist “traditional acupuncture” or reductionist “medical acupuncture” practices.

As always, the views expressed on this site are my personal thoughts and should not be taken as fact, used to diagnose or treat yourself, etc. I am sure you know what I mean.

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2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Steve,

    I’ve recently been reading a lot about TCM online and am looking for any book suggestions that you might have for someone who is curious but new to the subject. Preferably something that is informative but not overwhelming, relating to wellness, nutrition, and the body as a whole. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Charlie,

      The classic recommendation is Ted Kaptchuk’s The Web That Has No Weaver which outlines a lot of the basic ideas. Its been a long time since I read it and it may need an update but I think it still stands as a reasonable starting point.

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