Research & anger management
Practice Turn, turn, turn: the tiger is back Training in Chinese herbal medicine Casebook: long Covid recovery Just my point: DU 16
Inspiration Catch up with World Medicine Year of the Yang Black Tiger Adventure in Acupuncture View from the couch By members, for members Acupuncture Quarterly from the BAcC | Spring 2022
Opinion Should acupuncturists dispense patents? Time to hold tight to the Tiger’s tail
Community A farewell of sorts Regional round-up ETCMA webinar review
ne ess to o Free acc ni’s online n of Giova on TCM s e s r u o c ry with eve * order
Editorial Acu. is a BAcC publication, written by members, for members. It combines content relevant to the clinical practice of acupuncture with communications from the BAcC office and Governing Board.
Editorial policy Community: we aim to facilitate debate and the sharing of news and information for all members of our acupuncture community. Support: we aim to support members in their professional practice by publishing articles that have genuine practical use. Diversity: we seek to represent all traditions and strands of practice present in the membership. We also welcome content covering other health matters relevant to acupuncture. Freedom and debate: we respect the right of all members to air their views and to challenge the views of other individuals and/ or organisations where appropriate. Accuracy and fairness: we strive to be accurate and fair in what we print. We will be open in admitting our mistakes and do our best to rectify them.
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Editorial team Houri Alavi (member) Scott Bridges (member) Tim Brown (member) Sally Crowther (member) Ann Gordon (staff) Joan Maynard (copy editor) Jonquil Westwood Pinto (member, chair)
Design Whirligig Creative
Cover Stock image
Copy & publishing dates 2022 Issue Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Copy deadline 14 January 14 April 14 July 14 October
Published 11 March 13 June 9 September 9 December
Jonquil Westwood Pinto Member: East Sussex
I can hardly imagine a more timely theme for this spring edition of Acu. than Winds. As I write, the UK has just emerged from the unholy trinity of Storms Eunice, Franklin and Gladys, and I awoke this morning to news of Putin’s full-scale invasion into Ukraine. I admit I am tempted to go back under the covers. Had I already read Yvette Masure’s predictions for the Year of the Water Tiger on page 26 I might have known this was coming – she tells us the Tiger can exorcise chaotic energy, is quick to action with risks for the indecisive and fearful. As a metaphor for movement, the idea of wind helps us to reflect on how we deal with change. The storms in the wider world and our own lives can sometimes feel chaotic and overwhelmingly powerful. How do we respond when everything gets blown off course? How do we deal with changes in our clinical work? How do we harness wind to promote our profession? In this issue Sarah Budd has written about her work with people whose lives have been utterly transformed by chaotic forces. Earlier this year she spent some time with refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. In her moving descriptions of this work there is a powerful feeling of the nature of healing, the effect it has on healer, patients, communities and relationships. It reminds me that, after all, this is what we can do in the face of upheaval. If you are interested in getting involved in this volunteer project, Sarah gives contact details in her article. You might also like to look at Emma Vaughan’s article on pages 16/17, who as a trustee of World Medicine has announced a funding programme for new projects offering grants of up to £2K. As Paul Blacker steps down from the role of practitioner director on the Governing Board (GB), a role which all agree he has performed with incredible
commitment and good judgement during the Covid crisis, our new GB member Sarah Major introduces herself in Keynotes on page 2. Like many of us the Covid years have given Sarah pause to reflect on her priorities, the changes thrust upon us all in our working routines bringing to attention a long awaited ‘personal check-in’ which has ultimately led to her becoming a GB member with a focus on education and practice. Wind can of course also signal a more gentle process, in the way the shape of the landscape is sculptured over millennia by patterns of air flow. Ian Appleyard, BAcC policy and research manager, refers to this kind of force in his article envisioning how the work of acupuncturists will slowly shape the wider healthcare sector. He acknowledges the frustrations many of us feel at the lack of widespread recognition of acupuncture by mainstream health organisations, but points to the gradual, significant steps that are taking place. For example, the BAcC (and others) have successfully campaigned for NICE to include acupuncture in their scope for planning guidelines for treatment of osteoarthritis. As a small profession on the edges of a huge sector we have to be resilient and patient in order to judge when we can ‘move the weight of a thousand pounds with four ounces’. As a clinical take on the particular wind invasion of the moment, Scott Bridges has provided us with a thorough case history from one of his long Covid patients, showing us how he has used acupuncture to treat tiredness and respiratory symptoms with success. Please also see page 33 for an update on the digital/print future of Acu. And finally, on behalf of the Acu. Team I want to say thank you to our chair of nigh on seven years, Steve Wheeler, who has set sail for new adventures. May you have fair winds and following seas.
Keynotes As the winds of Covid blew away and we blinked into the light and the restrictions of the lockdown were slowly lifted, I like millions of others, took stock of my life and tried to rationalise what had happened and how our world had been turned upside down. Following the return to work, when we all adjusted to long, hard days in clinic and the challenges of dealing with different working environments with different health issues from our patients, I realised that a personal check-in was needed. The consequences of wearing PPE and the need to learn how to manage the requirements of change – endless cleaning, miles of plastic and paper, the discovery that I had to become not only an acupuncturist, but receptionist and cleaner as well, gave me a wider perspective. I discovered that I wasn’t particularly good at filing! The impact of not drinking enough water whilst mask wearing would inevitably result in a headache at the end of each busy day and I realised that my 26 years of practice had really caught up with me. I had taken more and more on, always priding myself in how my boundless energy had carried me through – but I was feeling decidedly ragged in 2021. As I reflected on all of this I began to realise that my clinic days, teaching responsibilities and my demanding role as clinic director at ICOM3 were not really aligning to anything I was telling my patients about how to manage their lives. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ seemed to be the creeping mantra. So… I took myself in hand. I reduced my clinics to four days a week awarding myself what I dubbed ‘Workfree Wednesdays’, I resigned my role as director of clinic and stepped down from 13 years of teaching… and I breathed out. I took two months off work in the summer of 2021 and replenished my energies. I settled into my new slower pace of life and considered everything, a truly reflective and powerful experience. I realised, grudgingly, that I was getting older and began to accept that although in my head I was eternally 30 I had been denying the mirror’s claim each morning and it was definitely telling me to slow down and start practising what I preach. However, I am not one to let the grass grow under my feet and three months into my ‘semi-retirement’ I spotted the advert in the BAcC weekly enews requesting applications from interested parties for new Governing Board members. I suddenly realised that I still had a bit more to give, and that frankly being a lady who lunched every Wednesday was not really me!
I am thrilled and excited to take on this role and to use the time to understand how the Governing Board supports acupuncture education, the membership and the outward face of the BAcC, with a view to contributing positively to the mission. I reverently step into the big shoes of Paul Blacker and hope to serve in as dedicated a fashion as he did. We have much to thank him for on the Board, especially for his valuable hard work throughout lockdown. The open communication, support and time he gave to keeping us all informed and updated through those turbulent and unsure days was extraordinary; we wish him well in his future plans. I hope that in my role as practitioner director I can offer my experience to support the choices of the Board, and an ear to listen to what you want us to do to support your education and practice. I hope that through the judicious use of resources, lobbying and strong messaging we can enable our beloved profession to fulfil its purpose and to be fully recognised in the arena of integrated healthcare. I acknowledge that it is hard to gain full consensus and the old adage ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ has never rung truer. But I wish to serve in the best possible way to ensure that the future of acupuncture is bright, positive and progressive. Did you know that up to two observers are welcome at all Governing Board meetings? For dates and details see page 32
Sarah Major GB Practitioner Member
By members, for members
Issue #34 Spring 2022
6 Concerning research & anger management Ian Appleyard
Turn, turn, turn: the tiger is back Elio Basagni 9 Training in Chinese herbal medicine Alex Jacobs 10 Evidence base Abstracts from Lisa Sherman 12 Casebook: acupuncture aids long Covid recovery Case history by Scott Bridges 14 Just my point: DU 16 Peter Firebrace 15 Chinese lesson: feng Sandra Hill
20 16 14
Inspiration 16 Catch up with World Medicine Emma Vaughan 18 Year of the Yang Black Tiger Extract from CT Holman 19 Black rice porridge Recipe from Jonquil Westwood Pinto 20 Adventure in Acupuncture: Earth Medicine in Lesvos Sarah Budd 23 WebWatch 23 View from the couch
24 Should acupuncturists dispense patent herbal remedies? Andrew Flower 25 The classic of difficulties Kay Hay 26 Time to hold tight to the Tiger’s tail Yvette Masure
27 On reflection Pia Huber 28 A farewell of sorts College news from Lara McClure 30 Regional round-up 31 ETCMA Research Task Force webinar Review by Annya Stoddart 32 What's on & committee briefing 33 Office contacts 34 Classifieds, conference calendar & call for contributions
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Acubites A smörgåsbord of plant-based newsbits prepared with members in mind
Your editorial team
Jonquil Westwood Pinto
Health campaigns coming up National and local awareness days give great hooks for marketing or promoting your practice, plus you’ll be supporting everyone in the BAcC. Here’s something to get you started.
Sleep deprivation affecting UK doctors A Medical Defence Union survey of 532 respondents has found that one in four doctors (26 per cent) said tiredness had affected their ability to safely care for patients, including almost 40 near misses and 7 cases in which a patient actually sustained harm 〉 tinyurl.com/yc2bnnrx
Opioid hospital admissions cost NHS £137 million
New analysis published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine shows opioid-related World Sleep Day 〉 18 March 〉 MAR hospital 18 advocating the benefits of admissions healthy sleep this year’s theme is increased by 48.9 per cent, from 10,805 Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World admissionsEffein 2008 to 16,091 〉 worldsleepday.org cts e Adverse Sid ns, Pain, and admissions in 2018, with total ectatio on Patient Exp fing Brie Effect of ine treatment costs of £137 million. Stress Awareness Month 〉 April 〉 APR ative Medic and Altern be due lementary pain might en | Comp on Op ng Dr Rocco Friebel suggests that opioid held every year since 1992 to ork efi tw bri JAMA Ne ectiveness a similar 1 h eff wit the dy of lier stu impact with an ear the missing misuse and poisoning may also reflect increase awareness about the . Compared to the study culate that ent ilar spe atm ld sim y tre cou One puncture ple was ver s of the acu s in our sam -post effect changes in opioid prescriptions in causes and cures of our modern stress to the low effectivenes found a pre atment effect pre-post tre nkhaus et al the Bri of . de ed itu riv gn ion was de setup, the ma England. Even though prescribing epidemic 〉 tinyurl.com/y3mxxf4a ure intervent the acupunct from which trends have flattened in the past five ditions atment Con Tre 4 the in Substantial rates years, the strength of prescribed opiate MS Awareness Week 〉 25 April-1 Table 1. Baseline CharacteristicsPatients, No. (%) APR ation briefing erse High expect adv nse Inte fing briefing of Regreported ular adverse ectation brie side effects drugs has increased successively. There May 〉 a chance for us to raise Regular exp cts briefing (n = 39) nse adverse effe Inte side fing 25 erse effects brieadverse Regular adv (n = 38) events in briefing side= 37) side effects (n are concerns about significant rises awareness of multiple sclerosis (n = 38) 25 (64.1) the24 (63 placebo arms .2) racteristic in hospitalisations from older, less and say #LetsTalkMS #MSWeek 〉 tinyurl. Cha 14 (35.9) 25 (67.6) .8) 14 (36 Sex 26 (68.4) 77 (12.80) 40. of vaccine studies 12 (32.4) ) deprived and sicker population groups 〉 com/2p9yk26f 39.26 (13.46 Female 12 (31.6) ) 39.22 (10.31 ) Male suggest a large 38.92 (13.60 0 (0.0) tinyurl.com/2p8z477w (SD), y 1 (2.6) Age, mean 21 (53.8) 1 (2.7) nocebo effect in No. (%) 27 (71.1) Education, 1 (2.6) 〉 tinyurl.com/3z4ucxnm Action on Stroke Month 〉 May 〉 MAY 18 (46.2) 22 (59.5) y .3) (26 10 .1) School ≤10 (42 16 14 (37.8) Covid jab y School ≥11 21 (55.3) 29 (74.4) 1 Make May Purple and raise versity as reported in the 〉 30 (78.9) Guardian Unireactions, 0 (0.0) awareness and sponsorship for 32 (86.5) status ) Employment 27 (71.1) tinyurl.com/mr29jj8v and15(2.6 JAMA 9 (23.1)) 0 (0.0) (13.2) Employed the work of the Stroke Association 〉 2 (5.3) 1 (2.6 2 (5.4) mployed 2 (5.3) Une 7 (18.4) Network Open 〉 tinyurl.com/rhat6u8u 3 (8.1) tinyurl.com/kphb3fam t
Some Covid jab reactions down to nocebo effect 25
SANDS Awareness Month 〉 June 1 〉 raising awareness of the facts and impacts of stillbirth and neonatal deaths 〉 tinyurl.com/yks5jncf JUN
Check out the UCL calendar of wellness days 〉 tinyurl.com/yc8nv4zh
Change is in the spring air As we welcome Jonquil as our new Acu. team chair with great joy and loud whooping
28 (75.7) 9 (24.3)
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Briefing pain patients makes no difference e
First languag German
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8.00) 122.90 (11 7) 87.63 (122.9 ) 5.38 (1.29) 98.00 (85.83 (SD) ) 5.26 (1.16) Pain, mean 77.50 (70.87 (1.92) 6 6) 5.5 (1.4 3 mo 5.4 pain, 5.29 (1.78) Duration of 5.42 (1.45) )a 5.38 (2.13) y, mean (SD 28 (71.8) Pain intensit 5.68 (1.92) 24 (63.2) someness, (64.9) Pain bothera 24 11 (28.2) mean (SD) 22 (57.9) .8) 14 (36 pain No additional 13 (35.1) medication 16 (42.1) 19 (48.7) medication pain .5) nal 15 (39 Additio 21 (56.8) erience 6.41 (4.15) Previous exp 14 (36.8) 6.50 (4.42) cture pun acu s 3) Previou 7.90 (5.7 treatment 6.43 (6.22) 4.89 (3.08) last of s No. of sessiontreatment, 6.46 (2.99) acupuncture 5.88 (3.36) 6) 12.11 (2.9 mean (SD) 5.57 (3.08) 4) re (3.5 ctu 00 12. pun last acu b 8) Success of 12.38 (3.3 mean (SD) 00 (3.20) treatment, 12. c 4) (SD) 55.71 (8.0 ETS, mean 4) lth 54.07 (7.7 0) d PROMIS hea 1) 53.44 (7.0 Self-reporte an (SD) 54.95 (8.3 1) 2) 51.77 (7.9 T scores, me 53.57 (8.1 71 (8.16) 1) 48. (9.4 82 51. 16 (7.82) 3) 50. (7.8 Anxiety 08 52. 1) ) 47.89 (7.1 8) 54.86 (10.30 Depression 49.30 (7.1 3) 54.30 (8.6 8) ticipate in 3) 58.03 (4.4 Ability to par 53.28 (8.9 1) 8) 58.39 (4.3 9) social roles 54.13 (8.7 (5.5 95 1) 47. 58.55 (5.2 3) 0) 46.48 (5.0 Fatigue 6) 58.56 (5.1 2) 50.39 (8.7 45.08 (5.5 ence 4) 9) 50.28 (6.7 Pain interfer 46.02 (5.9 2) 52.10 (9.7 ctioning fun l 0) sica Phy 53.03 (9.5 9.03 (2.15) e anc 8.70 (2.56) Sleep disturb 3.38 (2.55) (SD) 8.51 (2.67) score, mean 3.14 (2.21) Personality 7) 8.71 (2.59) 12.13 (5.1 d 3.81 (2.09) 1) 11.11 (5.4 Optimism 3.37 (2.34) 7) d 10.00 (4.6 3) Pessimism 10.74 (5.2 ity sitiv Perceived sene (Reprinted) to medicines .2021.21418 networkopen :10.1001/jama 2121418. doi 9):e 1;4( 202 k Open. JAMA Networ Other
An RCT, which included a randomised controlled briefing about treatment expectations for acupuncture, found no difference in outcomes of either patients’ treatment expectations or pain intensity depending on whether they had been briefed to have high expectation for treatment 〉 tinyurl.com/2r77yz5z
Birth dog Flump helps labour anxiety
A UK woman who suffers from non-epileptic seizures, was recently supported through her 50-hour labour by her aid pet Flump, le; atment Sca ation for Tre ect Exp , ent ns: ETS Measurem Abbreviatio Outcomes who is trained to ient-Reported PROMIS, Pat System. ge 0-10; Information detect seizures ng scale (ran rati al eric a num Measured on re pain or indicate mo before higher scoresthey happen. It was thought that eness). ; som 0-10 her ge bot (ran rating scale a numericaldog ces having her at her side might give Measured on r suc s). icating greate er scores ind higher scores herhigh more confidence 〉 to 20, with 5 from s. ETS is scored ns for succes atio ect exp ater evised indicating gre tion Test–R tinyurl.com/3ns35e9d m Life Orienta imis the h opt r wit ate red gre a
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Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Han Dynasty anatomical What happens when atlas is oldest we grieve It would seem that the world’s oldest surviving anatomical atlas comes not from Greek ‘Father of Anatomy’ Galen but from Han Dynasty China, and was written over 2,000 years ago. UK anatomy researchers have completed detailed dissections of the human body, looking for pathways which run through it along the routes described in the Mawangdui – precursor to the Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) 〉 tinyurl.com/5n8pffwz They believe their work challenges the idea that the meridians originally described the flow of ‘esoteric vital energy’ but suggest that these manuscripts were empirical descriptions of the body based on anatomical dissection: ’Our work has fundamental implications for acupuncture theory and so for modern research’ 〉 tinyurl.com/4zb9r6r9
How anger works Here’s a handy infographic for spring from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) to help patients understand the physical affects of anger. It charts the process from the first trigger through to the secretion of stress hormones, describing what happens in the body and brain – especially when anger is chronic or unprocessed 〉 tinyurl.com/5n7e23ms HOW ANGER AFFECTS YOUR BR AIN AND BODY
1 The ﬁrst spark of anger activates the amygdala before you’re even aware of it. 2 The amygdala activates the hypothalamus. 3 The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland by discharging corticotropinreleasing hormone (CRH).
4 The pituitary activates the adrenal glands by releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
5 The adrenal glands secrete stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
SOURCES OF ANGER DISAPPOINTMENT FRUSTRATION JUDGMENT REJECTION FEAR
STRESS HORMONES CORTISOL ADRENALINE NORADRENALINE
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Hugh Svetlana interview ture. of the Grenfell ture and depth of research qualitative to hear the scalp acupunc identify the a series of the effects of acupunc – people deeplywork.’ review to systems, of his atic in our audience a scoping patients on symptom physical acupuncture l with the legacy and range of scalp summarising theirristics. engaged watch the inaugura Patients reported l osocial ents to mental characte You can systematically biopsych improvem son Memoria 〉 s, and clinical also wider Person CPD hub Hugh MacPher anatomical out framework synthesi health, but via the NCA’s as Whole scalp further Lecture free She carried b.co.uk/ effects known 19 different drawn and er itionerhu together concept thepract bringing Effects, a work of research systems. from the acupuncture developed Paterson. UK Charlotte surveyed the Laurie Heaps on the subject of riosisacupuncturists treat endomet ls used to dose-leve 03/12/2021
Research links vagus nerve to long Covid New research to be presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon, 23-26 April, suggests that many of the symptoms connected to post-Covid syndrome (PCC), also known as long Covid, could be linked to the effect of the virus on one of the most important multifunctional nerves in the body, the vagus nerve 〉 tinyurl.com/bdjant3n
Need to know Pressed for time? Want to grab the essential info now and read the rest later? Here’s where to start
How to get acupuncture noticed Ian Appleyard talks tactics 〉 p6 Questions about herbal training? Alex Jacobs has some answers 〉 p9 Acupuncture alone helps long Covid a success story from Scott Bridges 〉 p12 Planning a voluntary project? World Medicine have funding 〉 p16 Moving Acu. online the latest from Ann Gordon 〉 p33
BBC World Service Health Check reports on a pioneering trial in the US that signals hope for millions of people around the world living with sickle cell disease 〉 tinyurl.com/2p99wrnw
Well done to Sandy Sandaver in Herefordshire who found Moxi floating in the water jug centre table on page 8 of the winter Acu. Find Moxi this spring by 7 April and tell us where 〉 firstname.lastname@example.org 16:31
NCA students Gene editing for sickle Kirsty Arthur and Graham Steel... cell patients
Sharp-eyed Sandy scoops Moxi t-shirt
Mary-Frances O’Connor's newly published book The Grieving Brain presents ‘The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss’ as she explores what scientists know about how our minds grapple with the loss of a loved one 〉 maryfrancesoconnor.com/book 〉 tinyurl.com/cu6zbc3k
... presented clinic supervisor Gary Carvill with this amazing acupuncture themed cake and some warming gifts at their last clinic day before preparing to graduate. A tasty and fitting thank you for all his teaching support. We love using your images in Acu. and in this issue you'll find Yvette Masure's beautiful Tiger calligraphy. To be honest, says Yvette, calligraphy takes years of practice. But I like them, in my naivety.
And remember, if you spot some news snacks you'd like to share in Acubites, just send them our way 〉 email@example.com
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Concerning research & anger management Ian Appleyard Member & Policy & Research Manager
Before I became interested in acupuncture, I had developed a fascination with the I Ching (易经 Book of Changes). Studying this book has undoubtedly shaped the way I view the world. I Ching is the commonly used transcription of the characters 易经 but using the pinyin this should be written Yì Jīng. My Chinese name is 黄易安. The middle character 易, meaning change, was taken from Yì Jīng. 安 ān means peace. So together Yìān they sound like ‘Ian’. 黄 huáng is my wife’s family name. Many Chinese people refer to the book as Zhōuyì. This is because the book developed during the Zhou dynasty. Legend has it that Zhōu Wén Wáng, the founder of the Zhou dynasty, wrote the judgments on each hexagram.
The Book of Changes has a cautious approach. A lot of attention is given to whether the time for action has arrived: to understand the limits of action when faced with situations in which you have little power or control. This sense of caution has been explained by the life of Zhōu Wén Wáng. He was imprisoned by the last King of the Shang dynasty (Shāng Dì Xīn). It is said he wrote the judgements whilst in prison, a time of no power and the need to be very cautious. Shāng Dì Xīn has gone down in history as a tyrant. Through collaboration and caution Zhōu Wén Wáng was able to get out of prison, build alliances with other states, and eventually rival the Shang for power. I believe, if we, the BAcC, are to be successful in promoting traditional acupuncture in the UK then we need to consider the political and power landscape in which we find ourselves. When I say ‘we’, I mean not only those working in the office, the committees, and the Governing Board, but also all members.
Surveying the landscape
According to the King’s Fund the NHS employs 1.4 million people and there are 1.6 million working in social care. Three million in total: approximately one thousand people for every BAcC
member. We are a small organisation. The number of people working in the NHS also gives an indication of the need for healthcare. As does the fact that companies like United Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson are among the biggest companies in the world. Money is power. Therefore, like Zhou Wen Wang, we need to make alliances. In theory, acupuncture should become widely used in the NHS once the evidence base is sufficiently strong. Unfortunately, things are not so simple. Since the publication of the individual patient data meta-analysis by Vickers et al in 2012 the evidence has been strong: for chronic pain. Acupuncture is included in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for headache and for primary chronic pain. Yet still there has been no major breakthrough. In October this year NICE are scheduled to produce updated guidelines for osteoarthritis. The evidence of acupuncture for osteoarthritis is strong, not only showing that acupuncture is not a placebo but that it outperforms other treatment options. This evidence was highlighted by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) ‘signal’ in 2017. Therefore, it is strange that the draft scope for the osteoarthritis guidelines, published in 2019, specifically excluded acupuncture. Fortunately, after feedback from the BAcC and other stakeholders, acupuncture was included in the final scope. Even so, it is
easy to feel angry at what appears to be an unscientific and underhand decision. In the season of wood, this spring issue of Acu. carries the theme of Winds. The Chinese character translated as anger in the seven emotions is nu 怒. The top half of this character represents a slave or bondservant; the heart radical is at the bottom. I have come to understand anger through this character. Not just the explosive manifestation of shouting and red-faced anger etc, but also the deep frustration of being powerless. The BAcC and all the other acupuncture organisations in the UK combined do not have the power to simply blow down the door for acupuncture to be widely used in the NHS. However, if we follow the example of Zhou Wen Wang, I believe, we will be ultimately successful.
The acceptance of acupuncture and its wider utilisation within the NHS would bring profound implications
Understanding the opposition
The qualities of wood are flexibility versus rigidity and resistance to change. Some of the resistance to change, the unwillingness to accept the evidence for acupuncture, derives from a fear of the consequences. For some health service managers this is practical: a question of resources. If acupuncture is included in the osteoarthritis guidelines, then this potentially opens the way for one in ten adults in the UK to seek acupuncture treatment. If we multiply that by six to ten sessions each, it is not a small amount of money. Clearly there is a case to make regarding the cost savings long term. Nevertheless, it is a big change. I believe factors that operate on a more subconscious level are also present. The
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià A journey of one thousand miles starts with one step
mechanisms of acupuncture are still not clearly understood. The traditional theory is radically different from biomedical science. The consequences of accepting acupuncture are that peoples’ understanding of the world around them, their beliefs about what is real and valuable, are challenged. There is a comfort in the ‘objectivity’ of science. We have a society that values intellectual achievement. For someone who spent many years studying as a scientist or doctor, it must be challenging to feel an acupuncturist may be better able to treat certain conditions. Acupuncturists rely on subjective and intuitive skills, an approach which clashes with the high value placed on objectivity. There may also be a fear of opening the floodgates: if acupuncture is accepted all sorts of other complementary and alternative medicines may follow. The acceptance of acupuncture and its wider utilisation within the NHS would bring profound implications. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is resistance – it is not simply a matter of evaluating the evidence.
Celebrating our achievements
However, whilst undoubtedly many challenges remain, we are making progress. The inclusion of acupuncture in the final scope is a success. Now the NICE panel will need to look at the evidence and publish an explanation as to why acupuncture is, or is not, included in the guidelines. This might not have happened if the BAcC had not engaged in the process. Acupuncturists treating people and getting good results which are then passed on by word of mouth is the engine that has driven the development of the profession. Without this work, I doubt whether the large clinical trials of acupuncture would have ever been conducted. We now have a virtuous circle where the clinical evidence can be used to promote the wider use of acupuncture. On the back of all this we have designed a poster for you to place in your clinic to encourage discussion and raise awareness of the evidence base for acupuncture.
Capitalising on NICE guidelines
*Signiﬁcant means a reduction in pain of 50% or more. **Other treatments: medication or physiotherapy or exercise and addce. Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Indiidual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. J Pain 2018;19(5):455-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005
GPs can refer patients to BAcC members because we are an Accredited Register with the PSA. They can also refer to those who belong to a statutory regulated profession. We have an agreement with the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) and the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) to cooperate in establishing projects of NHS commissioning/referrals. We need to capitalise on the NICE guidelines. We ran a webinar about this last year and some members have already expressed an interest. These projects will only be successful if they are grassroots developments. Local contacts and personal relationships will be key. As mentioned above, I do not believe there will be a sudden change in the willingness of the establishment to accept acupuncture. But small proof of concept model projects will hopefully grow and grow. Plant a few seeds this spring.
PSA help with advertising restrictions
As many of you know well, the limitations placed on us by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have been a source of frustration for many years. Last year, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) required us to look at the advertising of our members. It is a PSA condition that we monitor members’ advertising. We decided first to pilot the monitoring process. We contacted approximately 60 members, the majority of whom engaged in the process, reviewed their websites, and contacted the Committee of Advertising Practice (CPA) Copy Advice team. Through the feedback from these members and the Copy Advice team we were able to establish numerous problems and inconsistencies with the way ASA/CAP evaluate and advise on advertising acupuncture. If you are one of these members: thank you! We have been encouraged to find that the PSA have listened and understood the problems we face. We are currently working with the PSA to find constructive proposals to put to the ASA/CAP regarding the advertising of acupuncture.
Acupuncture & chronic pain: the evidence Although these studies cited in Ian's article are not new they are always worth revisiting. Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine 2012 〉 tinyurl.com/bdum5udc MacPherson H, Vickers A, Bland M, et al: Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. 2017 〉 tinyurl.com/2p8t3uzz
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022 寅 Yin is the earthly branch associated with the yang of wood and it represents the beginning of spring seen as a crouching tiger ready to sprint. 寅 Yin is associated with the tidal hexagram tai 泰 (peace). This hexagram shows the harmonious communication between heaven and earth: yang (heaven), represented by three unbroken lines, is below and can follow its natural upward movement, whilst yin (earth) represented by three broken lines, is above and can follow its natural downward movement. Tai is in opposition to pi 否 (stagnation) which shows a time of non-communication between heaven and earth as the three yang lines above block the movement of three yin lines below.
Qi by Yvette Masure
Upper trigram: Kun The Receptive, Earth Lower trigram: Qian The Creative, Heaven
Upper trigram: Qian The Creative, Heaven Lower trigram: Kun The Receptive, Earth
Tai 泰 Peace
Pi 否 Stagnation
Each spring marks the end of winter and also the beginning of a new 12-month cycle. In a wider perspective, 2022 is also the spring of a new 12-year cycle, which comes after a long winter that started in 2016 with the earthly branch shen 申 associated with the hexagram pi 否 (stagnation). In 2022 the wood phase returns preponderantly, bringing a time of renewal and opportunities, allowing the expression of original and innovative ideas. An ancient Chinese saying reads: Pi ji tai lai 否極泰來 Stagnation’s peak peace arrives
Turn, turn, turn: the tiger is back Elio Basagni Member: West Sussex Strings of heavenly stems and earthly branches, marking time and space with their shifting combinations, create recurring cycles of different lengths, such as 60, 12 and 10 years, months, days and hours. Life can only exist within the rhythm and movements of such cycles, interconnected at different levels, and allowing perpetual return and dynamic stability of all existence, by ensuring the flow, capture and storage of qi. The first of February 2022 – Year of the Tiger – marks the beginning of ren yin 壬寅 year: the 38th step of a 60-year cycle. 壬 Ren is the heavenly stem associated with water and its colour is black. For this reason, it is also known as the year of the black tiger, or water tiger.
Popular translations for this saying are: Out of the depth of misfortune comes bliss Extreme sorrow turns to joy When worse comes to the worst, things will turn for the better To better appreciate the power and strength of the year of the black tiger we should look at years in history, which carry the same combination of heavenly stems and branches as 2022. Sixty years ago, 1962 marked a time of great emancipation and renewed spirituality as well as the breaking up of pre-existing political and social arrangements, with all the tensions that came with it: some examples are the civil rights and students’ movements, the rediscovery of India and China in the West, as well as the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War. In fact, wood/spring is not just a movement/phase with an up and outward direction, but it is also the first apparent manifestation of the yang. It is like a sprout piercing through the protective surface of the soil that contains it. The sprout will see the light, but it will have to face the challenges of wind, rain, cold and/or heat. Therefore, this is not bound to be the easiest of times, because the scars of the long winter we are leaving behind will need some time to heal; however, the wood phase signifies a smooth transition from yin to yang and, despite all the challenges, new horizons will open up thanks to a powerful wind. Furthermore, using the language of the Nei Jing, 2022 will be governed by the Great Movement of Wood and the Heavenly Guest Qi of Shao Yang of the Ministerial Fire that will give a further acceleration to the expansive movement of spring. Spring is here – twice over – so we can hope for brighter things ahead.
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Training in Chinese herbal medicine President of the RCHM Alex Jacobs offers some clear insights into the whys and wherefores of becoming a CHM practitioner
Alex Jacobs RCHM President & BAcC Member Do I need to meet a minimum standard of training to become a Chinese herbalist?
In the absence of statutory regulation, the term ‘herbalist’ is not protected in any way which means that just like ‘acupuncturist’, unfortunately anyone can call themselves this, even with zero training. However, also just like acupuncture there is a minimum level of training which should be taken before practitioners can be safe and reasonably effective. The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) is much like the BAcC, in that practitioners came together to determine a consensus on what that minimum level should be. We set this standard in conjunction with the European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA).
Isn’t the amount of training you need a matter of opinion?
There appear on the surface to be differences of opinion on this issue. However, the reality is that, just like acupuncture, there is no getting around the core amount of time needed to train, even on the most strippeddown course. Aside from the substantial amount of information and theory that needs to be internalised and digested, there is also a minimum amount of clinical time necessary to practise safely and with confidence. And, as you are giving internal medicines, training in red flags, herb-drug interaction and basic pharmacology are also a necessity. Unfortunately, the shorter courses are often not very clear that they do not provide this and that the responsibility is on you to find your own clinical experience.
What about standardised formulas or patent medicines? Could I go on a short course to be able to use these?
There are those who have practised at patent level for many years, some are personal friends of mine whom I have great respect for. However, I do not know a patent level practitioner who, in their heart of hearts, believes they are practising anywhere near the potential of what this medicine is capable of.
They know that they work in somewhat of a fog of understanding and get inconsistent results, often encountering situations where the patient does not get better or gets an adverse effect and they do not know what to do next. While some have made their peace with this, the reality is that for every graduate of a short course who continues to work at patent level, there are far more who tell us that they felt let down by the quality of the training and do not prescribe at all after the significant investment of time and money they have put into the course. The educational standard we hold is where it is because we do not wish to mislead any prospective students.
I’ve got the Chinese herbal bug and want to study. Why should I choose a course with a pathway into the RCHM? This ancient continuous tradition of medicine needs you as much as it can enrich your life! For Chinese herbal medicine to both survive and thrive into the future, we need successive generations of well-trained herbalists to show how effective, safe and professional it can really be, to the public and to the institutions of this country that hold our future in the balance.
OK, I get it but what do I really get from membership? Gaining access to the RCHM gives you a structure that gives you better protection legally, keeps you up to date on a great number of safety issues and in turn keeps your patients safe too. On entering, you join our new practitioner scheme to help you get up and running with confidence. We also join together in collective PR efforts throughout the year to keep Chinese herbal medicine on the national agenda. You join a community of the most enthusiastic and driven herbal practitioners in the UK who love to support each other in all sorts of ways. With benefits such as our conference, our busy CPD programme, our journal, our Chinese herb garden in Bristol and our deep connections with other herbal medicine traditions through the new Herbal Alliance, we support our
members to follow their passion and find great success in practice. And, if you have completed a short course or are currently enrolled in one, we are delighted that you have an interest in herbal medicine! Our colleges have many students that started with short courses and then later enrolled on one of our full courses to complete their training. To find out more about herbal training 〉 rchm.co.uk/practitioners/training
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Evidence base Overseas member and recovering scientist Lisa Sherman selects top abstracts of the season from the Journal of Chinese Medicine's news section to keep you up to date with the latest in acupuncture research
Lisa Sherman Overseas Member: North Carolina RESEARCH
Acupuncture durably improves prostate pain
Chinese clinicians report that acupuncture can durably improve symptoms of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). A total of 440 men with moderate to severe CP/ CPPS underwent 20 sessions of either verum acupuncture – at bilateral BL 33 zhong liao, BL 35 hui yang, BL 23 shen shu and SP 6 san yin jiao – or sham treatment (superficial needling at nearby non-acupoints) over eight weeks, with twenty-four weeks of follow-up. Treatment was considered effective if a reduction of at least six points from baseline was achieved on a validated prostatitis symptom index at weeks 8 and 32. At all assessment points, more men in the acupuncture group reported marked or moderate improvements in symptoms. At week 8, a treatment response was seen in 60.6 per cent of the acupuncture group, compared with 36.8 per cent of the sham group (adjusted odds ratio 2.6). At week 32, the proportions were 61.5 per cent in the acupuncture group and 38.3 per cent in the sham group (adjusted odds ratio 2.6). The authors noted that the sham treatment exceeded the threshold for minimal clinically important difference (a reduction of four points on the prostatitis symptom index), while pointing out that superficial needling at non-acupoints may have physiological effects. Efficacy of Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Oct;174(10):1357-66 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34399062/
Acupuncture improves low BDNF levels in cancer survivors with insomnia Acupuncture can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cancer survivors with insomnia and low baseline BDNF, according to a team of researchers from the USA and Canada. A randomised clinical trial compared acupuncture with cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in 160 cancer survivors, over an eightweek period. The acupuncture protocol consisted of needling at standardised
acupuncture points classically used to treat insomnia – HT 7 shen men, SP 6 san yin jiao, DU 20 bai hui, DU 24 shen ting, auricular shen men and sympathetic – as well as supplementary points to treat comorbid symptoms (such as psychological distress, fatigue and pain). Needles remained in place for 30 minutes, and participants received a total of ten acupuncture treatments over eight weeks. Mean serum BDNF did not significantly increase in the acupuncture or CBT-I groups. However, when analysis was restricted to patients with low baseline BDNF, the acupuncture group demonstrated a significant (7.2 ng/mL) increase in mean serum BDNF, whereas the CBT-I group demonstrated a nonsignificant (2.9 ng/mL) increase. Although decreased BDNF has previously been associated with poor sleep, serum BDNF was not significantly correlated with sleep outcomes in this study. Effects of acupuncture versus cognitive behavioral therapy on brain-derived neurotrophic factor in cancer survivors with insomnia: an exploratory analysis, Acupunct Med. 2021 Dec;39(6):637-45 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33752446/
Placebo and nocebo suggestions don’t affect acupuncture effects in low back pain
Suggestions regarding either treatment benefits (placebo) or adverse side effects (nocebo) did not affect pain intensity reported after acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP). In a randomised trial conducted by Swiss and German researchers, 152 CLBP patients were randomised to receive either a regular expectation briefing or a high expectation briefing, and either a regular adverse side effect briefing or an intense adverse side effect briefing in a two-by-two factorial design. The intervention, consisting of briefing sessions and written materials, was standardised and delivered before the acupuncture treatment, with additional booster informative emails provided during the four-week, eight-session acupuncture course. All patients received the same
standardised minimal acupuncture treatment, which had been developed in a prior CLBP trial. No difference was observed between intervention groups in terms of the effect of the briefings on patients' expectations regarding the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatment. There was also no difference in pain intensity at the end of the acupuncture treatment between the groups with different expectation briefings. The adverse side effects score in the group with the intense adverse side effect briefing was estimated to be 1.31 times higher than after a regular adverse side effect briefing, but this finding was not statistically significant. Effect of Briefing on Acupuncture Treatment Outcome Expectations, Pain, and Adverse Side Effects Among Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2121418 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34505889/
Auricular acupressure can help prevent burnout in healthcare workers Auricular acupressure can mitigate some of the negative impact of occupational stressors on frontline healthcare workers. American researchers carried out a randomised trial in 117 staff working at a paediatric trauma centre. Participants were randomised to receive auricular acupuncture, auricular acupressure, or auricular massage delivered over a period of three weeks. Acupressure treatment (using ear seeds) was associated with a significant reduction in measures of psychological burnout and secondary traumatic stress. The authors suggest that the stress reduction offered by auricular acupressure may support healthcare workers' ability to develop caring relationships with their patients.
Effects of Acupuncture and Acupressure on Burnout in Health Care Workers: A Randomized Trial. J Trauma Nurs. 2021 Nov-Dec 01;28(6):350-62 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34766929/
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Acupuncture helps pregnant women with pelvic pain stay active
Treating pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy with either acupuncture or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may enable pregnant women to stay active, according to research carried out in Sweden. One hundred and thirteen women with PGP between weeks 1228 of pregnancy received either ten acupuncture sessions (two per week), or daily home-based TENS therapy, over a five-week period. Points chosen were based on the individual woman’s symptoms and clinical presentation from a list of points used in a previous trial of acupuncture for PGP – DU 20 bai hui, LI 4 he gu, BL 26 guan yuan shu, BL 32 ci liao, BL 33 zhong liao, BL 54 zhi bian, KID 11 heng gu, BL 60 kun lun, GB 30 huan tiao, SP 12 chong men and ST 36 zu san li. Although disability due to PGP usually tends to increase over the course of pregnancy, both study groups managed to preserve their functioning and physical activity levels at followup, with no significant differences detected between the groups. Significant within-group reductions in evening pain intensity were observed in both groups (acupuncture -0.96, TENS -1.29) and concern about pain dropped significantly in both groups (acupuncture -1.44, TENS -1.99). The acupuncture group also showed a significant improvement in PGP-related functioning at follow-up, as well as higher satisfaction with treatment. The authors suggest that either intervention could be recommended as a nonpharmacological alternative for pain relief and maintenance of physical activity in pregnant women with PGP. Maintenance of physical activity level, functioning and health after non-pharmacological treatment of pelvic girdle pain with either transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or acupuncture: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2021 Oct 1;11(10):e046314 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34598980/
Acupuncture visibly improves pelvic floor structure in postpartum women
Chinese clinicians have used fourdimensional ultrasound to observe changes in postpartum pelvic floor structure after acupuncture treatment. Eighty patients diagnosed with postpartum female pelvic floor dysfunction (FPFD) were divided into a treatment group and a control group. All patients in both groups received conventional physiotherapy for four weeks, while those in the treatment group were given additional daily acupuncture treatment. Manual needling was carried out at REN 12 zhong wan, REN 4 guan yuan, REN 6 qi hai, and bilateral ST 25 tian shu and ST 36 zu san li, along with moxibustion at bilateral BL 28 pang guang shu and BL 23 shen shu, and electro-stimulation at REN 3 zhong ji and bilateral ST 28 shui dao. After treatment, patients were examined using transperineal
pelvic floor ultrasound. The shape and activity of the bladder neck, cervix and anal canal, under resting, anal sphincter and Valsalva movements were recorded. After acupuncture treatment, observed changes in pelvic floor anatomy indicated an improvement in pelvic dysfunction (decrease in bladder neck descent, anal levator muscle area and muscle hole diameter), along with a reduced possibility of cystocele (bulging of the bladder into the vagina) and uterine prolapse. Evaluation of acupuncture treatments of postpartum female pelvic floor dysfunction by four-dimensional transperineal pelvic floor ultrasound. Medicine (Baltimore). 2021 Oct 22;100(42):e27236 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34678860/
Acupuncture helps with opiate withdrawal
Acupuncture therapies can be used effectively to help reduce relapse and promote recovery of opioid dependent patients who are receiving methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). A network meta-analysis carried out by Chinese authors combined data from 20 trials with a total of 1,661 participants, which compared western medicine (WM), traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and four types of acupuncture intervention; manual acupuncture (MA), electroacupuncture (EA), auricular acupuncture (AA) and transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS). Pairwise comparison showed MA was more efficacious than WM (mean difference -8.59), EA (MD -6.15) and TEAS (MD -10.44) for improving opiate withdrawal scale scores. In the network meta-analysis, MA was more effective than WM in terms of effective rate (RR: 1.40), and opiate withdrawal scale scores (MD: -5.74). The authors concluded that manual acupuncture may be the best choice for treating opioid dependence. Acupuncture for Opioid Dependence Patients Receiving Methadone Maintenance Treatment: A Network Meta-Analysis. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Dec 13;12:767613 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34966304/
Acupuncture compares well to drug therapy for migraine
Acupuncture can be a safe alternative to conventional drug therapy, concludes a systematic review by Chinese authors. Meta-analysis of 15 randomised controlled trials involving 2,847 participants showed a statistically significant reduction in migraine episodes at both the end of the treatment course (standardised mean difference -0.29) and at follow-up (SMD -0.29), compared with sham acupuncture. Acupuncture was found to have a similar effect to prophylactic drugs on reducing migraine frequency immediately post-treatment (SMD=−0.21), while at follow-up acupuncture significantly outperformed medication (SMD = − 0.14). The response rate to acupuncture
treatment was also significantly greater than that for both sham acupuncture (relative risk 1.3) and drug treatment (RR 1.24). Efficacy of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a trial sequential meta-analysis. J Neurol. 2021 Nov;268(11):4128-37 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/32839839/
Acupuncture effective for vertebral fractures
Acupuncture is effective for treating osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF), according to Australian systematic review authors. Fourteen RCTs involving 1,130 patients were included in their meta-analysis. Compared with control groups, acupuncture showed a greater benefit on pain reduction caused by OVCFs at one week (mean difference = -1.26), one month (MD = -1.63) and six months (MD = -1.13) post-treatment. Acupuncture treatment was also associated with fewer adverse events, lower disability index scores, and higher bone density than controls (safety RR: 0.30, disability MD = -3.19, bone density MD = 0.15). The Efficacy and Safety of Acupuncture for Treating Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture- (OVCF-) Induced Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Sep 29;2021:8574621 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34630619/
Acupuncture improves knee performance
Acupuncture can improve the performance of the knee joint by enhancing muscle contraction characteristics, report Chinese investigators. Twenty healthy male subjects were randomly divided into a true acupuncture (TA) and a sham acupuncture (SA) group. ST 32 fu tu, ST 34 liang qiu, ST 36 zu san li, SP 10 xue hai and BL 57 cheng shan were selected for acupuncture. SA consisted of non-penetrating stimulation using a blunt needle. The results showed that acupuncture had a significant effect on knee joint explosive force and joint stiffness. The average maximum torque, average work, average power, average peak power and total work measured in the TA group increased significantly after acupuncture, with no increase measured in any parameter after SA. Immediate Effects of Acupuncture on Explosive Force Production and Stiffness in Male Knee Joint. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Sep 9;18(18):9518 〉 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34574441/ With thanks to the Journal of Chinese Medicine
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Casebook: acupuncture aids long Covid recovery With cases of self-reported long Covid on the rise, Scott Bridges illustrates how acupuncture alone can work to boost recovery. The name of his patient has been changed to preserve anonymity
Scott Bridges Member: London According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is estimated 1.2 million people living in private households in the UK (1.9 per cent of the population) experienced self-reported long Covid – symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after the first suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) infection that were not explained by something else – as of 2 October 2021. Ongoing symptoms adversely affected the day-today activities of 780,000 people (65 per cent of those with self-reported long Covid), with 233,000 (19 per cent) reporting that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities had been ‘limited a lot’. Fatigue continued to be the most common symptom reported by individuals experiencing long Covid (55 per cent of those with self-reported long Covid), followed by shortness of breath (39 per cent), loss of smell (33 per cent), and difficulty concentrating (30 per cent). As a proportion of the UK population, prevalence of self-reported long Covid remained greatest in people aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in health or social care, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability; compared with the previous month, prevalence of self-reported long Covid was notably higher among people aged 12 to 16 years or 17 to 24 years, with the latter now comparable to people aged 35 to 69 years. I have treated several patients presenting with long Covid; all have done remarkably well using only acupuncture and I would like to present one such case here.
Steve, male, 35 years old, non-smoking
The patient in question caught Covid in March 2021. He reported he had such mild symptoms at the time that he didn’t initially realise he had it. His symptoms consisted of rhinitis, sinusitis, fatigue, and general malaise. Steve tried to continue his job as a firefighter but found it impossible to find the strength to carry out his necessary day-to-day obligations. He was signed off work and came to my clinic see if there was any way we could help him get back on his feet. Upon presentation at the clinic towards the end of October, Steve was complaining of ongoing malaise, a slight sore throat, what he described as ‘crap’ at the back of his throat, a tight chest, excess fluids in the mouth (hypersalivation) and an uncomfortable shortness of breath, which he described as ‘air hunger’. He was also experiencing paraesthesia in his hands and feet (which had been improving), and soreness of his leg muscles. He reported little to no sweating, no appetite and felt hot to the touch although he reported subjectively feeling a normal temperature. His tongue was slightly scalloped, with a deep and wide crack in the stomach area, and was pale red, but noticeably redder with heat prickles in the lung area with a very red peeled tip. The pulse was choppy. My diagnosis was of a retained external pathogenic factor in the lung, with a vacuity of lung and wei qi causing lung phlegm-fluids. Steve and I discussed his situation, and I advised an initial plan of six treatments once a week for six weeks followed by a review. I also asked him to complete a Chinese Medicine Symptom score list where he could record and score his symptoms at the beginning of each session. I often use this to help both me
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022 and the patient to gauge improvements, or deterioration, in reported symptoms over time. Patients fill in the form themselves reporting symptoms they identify with, scoring them from 1 (mild) to 4 (severe) or leaving a blank where there is no problem. Scores are then totted up to give a global symptom score, which hopefully decreases with treatment progression. CM Symptom score lists can be found online and free to download.
I first conducted an aggressive energy (AE) treatment with the patient prone. This revealed pronounced redness around BL 13 fei shu and BL 14 jue yin shu corresponding to the lung and pericardium respectively. I waited for the redness to drain away before removing the needles and carrying on with the second part of my treatment. I use an integrated approach when working and employ a variety of styles when deciding on a treatment strategy selecting points. I use a lot of Tung points and with the patient lying in supine position, continued the treatment, choosing the Fei Qi Two Needle Dao Ma group – Fei Qi Yi and Fei Qi Er – which lie on the posterior surface of the upper arm between the san jiao and large intestine channels. The large intestine channel is paired exteriorly-interiorly with the lung channel, explaining the use of these points in problems related to that channel. Also, according to the Ling Shu Chapter 10, the large intestine channel governs disorders of the fluids, ie jin and ye, and thus helps distributing fluids to the upper jiao where the channel traverses. The large intestine channel and its same name partner stomach channel travel to the throat area, as does the san jiao channel which is useful in clearing heat from the throat. I also needled chong zi (22.01) and chong xian (22.02), along with Fei Qi Two Needle Dao Ma group, as this combination treats shortness of breath. I added Shuang Chuan (Double Cough) a two-point group on the palmar surface of the index finger, at the ulnar and radial margins of the PIP (proximal interphalangeal) joint and ce jian (Beside Distance), close to the MCP (metacarpophalangeal) joint and the proximal digital crease on the radial margin of the phalangeal bone; they treat shortness of breath, lung inflammation, swollen throat, chest oppression. Shuang Chuan clears and drains the upper jiao, rectifies qi and levels panting. Ce jian benefits the lung, transforms phlegm, frees the channels and quickens the network vessels, clears heat and settles pain. In addition, I needled zhong kui (Important Chief), which overlaps with LI 3 san jian. This is a secret lineage point of Tung’s acupuncture indicated for the common cold and could also, therefore, be said to release the exterior.
A week later, Steve said he felt a bit better after the first treatment with an improvement in his chest tightness and he said he was feeling less unwell. He still had some sinusitis, and shortness of breath and his paraesthesia in his hands and feet were only to be felt in the tips of his fingers and his toes. This time, I first decided to cup his upper back left and right around BL 12 feng men. I also bled the apex of his ear and squeezed a few drops of blood out. He felt this was quite powerful, so after turning him over I performed a gentle treatment to rectify and boost spleen and kidney qi, needling ST 36 zu san li, KID 3 tai xi, Tung’s point 77.19, GB 34 yang ling quan and retaining the needles for only ten minutes.
The following week, Steve reported feeling better again. He said he felt like he was getting incrementally better. His chest tightness had gone, as had his headaches, there was less mucus present, and his paraesthesia had largely gone. I needled SJ 5 wai guan, LU 9 tai yuan and LU 10 yu ji, GB 34 yang ling quan, GB 41 zu lin qi all on the right; LI 4 he gu on the left; LIV 3 tai chong on the right; and Xia San Huang (Lower Three Emperors) 77.18, 77.19 and 77.21 on the left, which are on the spleen channel on the lower leg and work very effectively for tonifying pre- and post-heaven qi.
He also said he felt less tired last time than after the previous treatment. He reported having been much busier than of late and, despite this, felt less fatigued or ‘bad’ in himself. He mentioned he felt a better ‘baseline’ health level following each treatment. My point selection was Fei Qi Dao Ma Group, chong zi and chong xian bilaterally; Xia San Huang on the left; LI 11 qu chi, LI 6 pian li and LU 5 chi ze bilaterally; GB 34 yang ling quan on the right.
Steve came in today saying he felt for the first time like his ‘old self’ again. His global symptom score went from 50 at the last treatment to only 27 this week. His neurological and respiratory scores were particularly impressive. Points I needled: Fei Qi Dao Ma Group, 22.01, 22.02, LU 10 yu ji bilaterally; Xia San Huang Dao Ma group on the left; GB 34 yang ling quan and GB 41 zu lin qi on the right; REN 17 shan zhong and yin tang.
He felt a bit better after the first treatment with an improvement in his chest tightness
Steve reported his ‘air hunger’ improved a great deal after the last treatment, as well as a global improvement in all areas including his paraesthesia. He also reported improvements in his sleep. He did note some excess fluids in the mouth/ hypersalivation still, so I focused on treating the lung and spleen to improve the metabolism of fluids. I needled the Fei Qi Dao Ma group once again, chong zi and chong xian, all bilaterally; Xia San Huang only on the left; ST 36 zu san li, ST 37 shang ju xu, GB 34 yang ling quan and LIV 2 xing jian all on the right.
Today, Steve reported continued improvement in ‘air hunger’, which went completely after the last treatment and had returned only the day before, albeit much less intensely.
I recently became aware of an information sheet of lifestyle tips penned by my herbalist colleague Malika Meddings from the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM); the sheet is called Finding a Way to Vitality and is a wonderful resource for anyone recovering from illness, so I also gave a copy of this to Steve. The advice given is split into three areas called Meals, Mindset and Movement and Malika has kindly made the sheet available for BAcC members to download as a PDF. You can find it here and depending on your browser it may go straight to download 〉 tinyurl.com/3nts999h Long Covid is an unpleasant and debilitating condition, but it is also one from which we as acupuncturists can help our patients recover, mitigating its effects so they can get back on their feet and start living life again fully.
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Just my point DU 16 Peter Firebrace
A detail from the Map of Cultivating Authenticity, where the red circle at the back of the head represents the Jade Pillow Pass, the area of the occiput
BAcC Fellow: Denmark From refreshing breeze to violent storm, from the spearhead of disease to spirit’s formless form, wind, feng 風, is full of power, dangerous and destructive as a typhoon (tai feng 太 風) or full of healing to blow away the old, the stuck and the stale to restore harmony, order and health. We see all of these in DU 16 Storehouse of the Wind, feng fu 風 付. In its unique location in between the attachments of the trapezius muscles at the nape of the neck, like a sheltered cave on Skull Mountain, here is a place to catch the wind, a place of defence against the turbulence of sudden, violent disorder and a place of entry into the head to calm, to clear and to nourish the brain. This area at the back of the head is known in the Daoist internal alchemy tradition as Jade Pillow Pass, yu zhen guan 玉 枕 關, the upper pass of three, the lower being at the sacrum and the middle pass on the spine at the level of the heart. Though not so well-known as the three dan tian 丹 田, cinnabar fields, on the front of the body – in the lower abdomen, the middle of the chest and between the eyes – they are of equivalent importance in the energetics of the body and are all stages in the regenerative circling of the Microcosmic Orbit up the du mai and down the ren mai. Having risen up the spine from its base at the sacrum the powerful yang reaches the area of the Jade Pillow Pass, where it must deeply penetrate and regenerate
the brain, the Sea of Marrow. The illustration shows a detail from the Xiuzhentu 修 真 圖Map of Cultivating Authenticity, where the red circle at the back of the head represents the Jade Pillow Pass, the area of the occiput. Within it an ox pulls a cart, the so-called river cart he che 河 車, drawing up water from below to irrigate the brain. The text describes the nature of the Jade Pillow Pass, calling it the Palace of Yang and emphasising that this area is often blocked and hard to cross, like an impregnable fortress tie bi 鐵 壁, hence the need for the strength, endurance and concentrated power of the ox to make the transition. In total there are six feng 風wind points on the body and all are on yang meridians. SI 12 Grasping the Wind, bing feng 秉 風 is primarily for the pains of localised wind bi 痺in the area of the shoulders. Bl 12 Wind Gate, feng men 風 門defends against external wind attacking the lungs in the upper back area. TH 17 Wind Screen, yi feng 翳 風 disperses wind heat and protects the ears and sides of the face. GB 31 Wind Market, feng shi 風 市on the thighs disperses internal wind and cold to restore feeling and movement to the legs in paralysis. GB 20 Wind Pool, feng chi 風 池flanks DU 16 at the occiput, dispersing both interior and exterior wind and is particularly useful for headaches and eye disorders. DU 16 Storehouse of the Wind, feng fu 風 付is in the yang area of the head on
the Sea of Yang that is the du mai, where it meets with the yang wei mai that connects all the yang, and according to some texts also meets with the yang qiao mai that links the top and bottom of the body. This makes its effect deeper and more global than the other wind points. Of all the wind points, it is in many ways the deepest acting, encompassing not only the pathology of both external and internal wind, but also the most extreme aspects of internal liver wind with its sudden onset, unpredictability and extreme turmoil – from the immobility of stroke on the one hand to the wild psychosis of visual and auditory hallucinations and states of mind that are both terrifying and profoundly debilitating, from uncontrollable rage to depression, fearfulness and suicidal thoughts. Hence its place as one of Sun Simiao’s thirteen gui 鬼ghost or demon points, under the name gui zhen 鬼 枕, Demons in the Pillow. No wonder they’re afraid to go to sleep! I have used this point to good effect in disturbed individuals who don’t feel themselves. The classics say it brings one back to oneself and clears the brain. In such cases I will combine it with BL 62 Extended Meridian, shen mai, another ghost/demon point, particularly if they have sleeping problems, and restore the heart/kidney link with such points as HT 5 Free Connection to the Inner, tong li and KID 6 Shining Sea, zhao hai. Du 16 seems to induce a state of calm in those
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who are agitated and can find no rest. It helps to remove blockages and bring stability in turmoil. They are finally able to get out of the wind and find some peace. I think it is because DU 16, as mentioned in Lingshu chapter 33, is the Lower Sea of Marrow, indicating its deeply yin-nourishing side. DU 20 One Hundred Meetings, bai hui is the Upper Sea of Marrow. This gives it a profoundly nourishing and restorative aspect, which in combination with the wind dispersal, puts the patient in a state of rest, which they may not have felt for some time. That can be the start of their journey home. The inclusion of DU 16 in the list of tian you¬¬¬ 天 牖Window of Heaven points in Neijing Lingshu chapter 2 again shows its ability to reconnect at a deep level and to clear the sense organs, seen in the blurred vision and dizziness that may precede a stroke, as well as the visual and auditory hallucinations mentioned above. Its alternative name she ben 舌 本Root of the Tongue – also given to DU 15 ya men, Gate of Dumbness and REN 23 lian quan, Corner Spring – shows its strong link with the tongue and speech, making it almost a specific in stiff tongue and loss of voice after stroke, along with such points as HT 5 Free Communication with the Inner, tong li and REN 23 Corner Spring, lian quan. Sun Simiao, prolific writer and seventh century doctor, also mentions DU 16 for convulsions, trembling and epilepsy, for example with DU 26 Human Centre, ren zhong and REN 24 Receiving Fluids, cheng jiang. A point that can bring such profound changes in very difficult circumstances is a point to be treasured and, as we have seen, this area is also very important in the regenerative meditation exercises of the Daoists. It is one of the most famous points in the Neijing and a key point in the earliest descriptions of the du mai in Nanjing chapter 28, the transition point between head and neck, between spinal cord and brain. It is humbling to think it has been used for thousands of years and that its appropriate and timely use will continue to prevent both physical disability and mental disorder far into the future. DU 16 is indeed a shelter from the storm!
Feng CHINESE LESSON
Sandra Hill Acupuncturist & Author: London The character for wind – feng 風 – has a long and fascinating history. It is found in the ancient bone-oracle scripts where its meaning is very similar to what later came to be known as qi (氣). The radical or outer part (几) suggests movement and vapour, and is similar in meaning to the radical of the qi character (气). In the earliest texts the wind is seen as the intermediary between heaven and earth, and the four winds are associated with the four directions – each having a particular influence on life on earth. The character for wind is also similar to that of the phoenix, also pronounced feng (鳳), and it seems that the original wind character was based on that of the phoenix – the semi-mythical bird which in legend was a messenger from heaven and in charge of the four winds. The character later morphed into its present form with the same idea of movement and extension (几), but with the character for insect (虫) at the centre. Both of these ideas are important in understanding the Chinese concept of wind. With the development of wu xing (五 行) five element/phase theory, wind became associated with the east, with springtime and the beginnings of things. In the Chinese solar calendar, the two-week period at the beginning of March is known as the ‘Awakening of Insects’. After the dormancy of winter, the wind stirs things into life, and suddenly insects appear in their thousands, along with many other signs of life. In southern China there is a phenomenon called the ‘rain of insects’ which occurs at this time and lasts for just a few days. So wind, in its association with the wood element/phase, is at the beginning of things, it sets things in motion. In medicine we tend to see wind in a negative way, but it is important to remember that it can also simply have the meaning of yang qi – which out of place can be very destructive, but is essential for all movement, change and transformation. This is well illustrated by the acupuncture points DU 16 feng fu 風 府 Wind Palace and GB 20 feng chi 風 池 Wind Pond, which as well as being indicated in attack by external wind, also bring yang qi to the brain, allowing clarity of thinking and perception, and the presence of the spirits (shen) in the ‘sea of marrow’. Feng fu has the alternate name ‘Clear Headedness’. With the addition of the illness radical (瘋), the character also has the pronunciation feng, and traditionally includes diseases such as leprosy, scrofula, paralysis, insanity – all of which may be caused by either an excess or deficiency of yang qi. Various wei or flaccidity syndromes are said to occur in the spring, when the arousal of the wind, or yang qi cannot be contained by the yin, due to a lack of storage in the winter months..
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A glimpse of the waiting area at the Chaparda clinic
Recent graduate Catherine Watkins and practitio ners Barbara Robinson and Emma Vaughan at the end of a 26-mile fundraiser!
Catch up with World Medicine An established force encouraging new growth through volunteering
Emma Vaughan World Medicine Trustee & Member: Argyll & Bute acupuncturists and World Medicine’s tag translators head to line ‘Acupuncture the rural community in Action’ has been of Chaparda to set up greatly tested in a three-week clinic the past two years. delivering acupuncture The impact of the six days a week in pandemic which the local hospital. has devastated The clinic is now well populations across established, attended the globe and left by hundreds, and millions grieving loved is provided free of ones has of course charge. Over the had more localised past few years we effects, leaving us have actively sought living with challenging graduates from restrictions imposed acupuncture colleges on our daily lives. It to volunteer with us was a frustrating time a in our clinic in Chapard Sally Connelly working there and this has for acupuncturists, as proved to be hugely despite us having the successful. There are few environments most incredible tools for someone in the early stages of to positively support and nurture our clinical practice that can provide the patients’ health we found ourselves, breadth and scope of experience like like many other professions, thwarted the Chaparda Clinic can. by the extensive lockdowns. We recognise how challenging it At World Medicine it meant we were must be for those acupuncturists that unable to deliver any of our regular have emerged from college during the projects and twice now we have had pandemic and have not yet had the to cancel our annual working trip to opportunity to properly launch. We Gujurat in India. Many acupuncturists encourage them especially to think will be familiar with our work there, about volunteering with acupuncture and indeed many have volunteered projects at some point in their career to with us over the years. It’s an incredible expand their own experiences, whilst project which sees a small group of
Another W M challenge – fundraiser: the threeloc 49 miles in under 24 ho h urs
offering something that is often out of reach for many in our society. Despite our overseas project being stifled, last August saw the birth of our new project, in Wapping, London, treating refugees who live in the community and are supported by the Jesuit Refugee Service, an agency that has been established there for many years. Our clinic runs on Wednesday afternoons and is staffed by an amazing group of acupuncture volunteers who work in rotation on a regular basis in order to spread the commitment. This work is incredibly important as it is positively impacting on the lives of a group in our society that are consistently affected by anxiety, low mood and insomnia – all trademarks of stress and trauma. World Medicine began 18 years ago when acupuncturist Danny Maxwell saw a need to respond to trauma caused by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in South Asia. Originally called Acupuncture Sans Frontières, our Acupuncture in Action tag line has been well represented through projects in Sri Lanka, India, Gaza, Hebron and Nablus, as well as projects here in the UK. Almost two decades later we continue to thrive and more importantly be expansive in vision. Many acupuncturists have volunteered over the years, often giving up a few weeks of their own income or precious holiday time to support our projects. Their altruism and enthusiasm never fail to humble us and we do not take lightly the commitment they bring to our projects. We are also well supported by a really skilled team of interpreters who we need to make many of our projects possible. Launching a voluntary project can be daunting but there are so many areas in our communities where health is fragile and the need born out of poverty, trauma etc is very real. There likely isn’t a city or town in the UK where homelessness, addiction, social disadvantage, isolation of marginalised groups are not issues in need of support. It is with this in mind that World Medicine is proud to launch our Acupuncture in Action grants.
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Emma Vaughan working in the Chaparda clinic
Members of the 2020 team who volunteered in Chaparda
We would like to invite either individuals or groups of acupuncturists to apply for one of these project grants. Each grant is worth up to £2,000 and is available to support EITHER the implementation of a new project OR to support the maintenance/expansion of an established project which offers acupuncture to areas of the community with a specific need. In line with our ethos, the project must be non-profit making and demonstrate a clear purpose in improving the health of people in the local community who are compromised by poverty, social disadvantage, conflict or trauma. A great example of such a project was the Grenfell project, where a group of acupuncturists responded to the trauma experienced by the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 by setting up an acupuncture clinic to help treat PTSD. They delivered many treatments over the subsequent years and their innovation and motivation was a huge inspiration to many of their fellow colleagues.
At World Medicine it is very much our hope that there are other acupuncturists throughout the UK who might be thinking about starting similar projects in their communities and who perhaps need a little support to take the leap. If so, we would love to hear from you! To enquire about an Acupuncture in Action grant please send us an email with a BRIEF outline of your project idea. We will then invite you to submit a formal application for a grant in line with the terms and conditions 〉 firstname.lastname@example.org Finally, please do visit our website to get a full flavour of our work including both past and present projects. You’ll also find details there of other ways to support the work of World Medicine, such as our ongoing fundraising. If you enjoy walking, for instance, you might just be tempted to join us in a fundraising Kiltwalk! All support is greatly welcomed 〉 worldmedicine.org.uk
Barbara Ro bi Kuman Ashr nson and translator a consulting with a patie nt
Practitioner and long-term volunteer for World Medicine, Jude Blair
Volunteering in Wapping Member Pia Huber gives a snapshot of what it’s like being one of World Medicine’s latest volunteers. One day last year Emma mentioned in our mentoring WhatsApp group a new World Medicine project in London. My ears pricked up as I had always wanted to volunteer as an acupuncturist in the past, but never quite got there. Before long I was on the latest list of volunteers and invited to join the group going for an initial visit to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Wapping, East London, where the project was planned to take place. We talked through the plans of what we were going to offer to the refugees, or friends as they are called by the JSR – mainly the NADA protocol. We also discussed the logistics of the set-up, how many people we could see and the forms we needed to fill in, so that World Medicine would be able to give feedback to the centre periodically on what people thought of their treatments, whether and how much they found it beneficial. Volunteers are on a schedule, working in pairs on three Wednesday afternoons in six, every other week, followed by a break for eight weeks. I have found it gratifying to be involved in this work reaching people who would not normally have access to this type of medicine. Invariably people come with complicated health histories and multiple health issues. Some people come once and never turn up again, many others stick to the six treatments they are offered, some have extraordinary positive reactions. Others say, Nothing has changed, but I want to persist to see whether it will help me eventually. It is a place where people can unburden a little of their worries and feel that they are being listened to. It is a place where I can contribute a tiny bit to lift people out of their daily grind. If you're interested in getting involved in the Wapping project, please contact Najma Dawoodbhai on 07947 038703
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Tiger Power by Yvette Masure
Year of the Yang Black Tiger The following extract is taken from an online forecast for the Lotus Institute by CT Holman, who begins by saying: 2021, the year of the Yin Metal Ox, brought many challenges. The passing of Lillian Pearl Bridges devastated the Chinese medicine community and beyond. For decades, Lillian offered a prediction for the upcoming years. The Lotus Institute bestowed upon me the honour of carrying on this tradition, by which I am humbled and will do my best to honour her legacy. The earth shakes as seeds break through the soil and new life begins. The tiger wakes up, stretches, and growls, calling out over the emerging naturescape. The call of the tiger reverberates, shaking thunderous energy over the land as hibernating animals awaken. The new year begins on February 1 and the tiger emerges on February 4. 2022 denotes the year of the Yang Water Tiger. Each year, Chinese cosmology consists of three aspects: one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, one of the five elements, and either yin or yang. These three aspects provide information about the energetics of the year and contribute to guiding a person in making choices. This year represented by water over wood. To better understand the year qi, I will first break down the symbolism and qualities of the three aspects and then discuss how these influence various facets of life.
Tiger represents the month of February, the beginning of spring, and the time 3am-5am. Tiger is associated with the wood element, the colour green, and the cardinal direction east. Personality traits include being careful, powerful, direct, and attractive. Tiger brings lots of changes, initiates activity, and builds momentum. When energy stagnates, aggression and frustration can occur. This increases the likeliness of arguments, fights,
and disagreements – if compassion is not embodied. Tiger signals a need to accomplish and work, so this year is an auspicious time to act on one’s goals that came out of the visions from the previous years of the Ox 2021 and Rat 2020.
Water is the element of the year and is traditionally associated with the colour black, thus 2022 is called a Black Tiger year. Water is the mother of wood and feeds the inherent wood element of the tiger. Thus, the wood aspect is especially strong this year. The nature of water is to flow and accept changes. It provides us with great endurance and will support the active, pioneering energy of 2022. Water is associated with mystical energy, thus there will be more emphasis on the magical aspects of life such as astrology, fengshui, and other mystical arts. Water, due to its ability to absorb and resonate, tends to hold a lot of emotion and there often can be surges of fear which can overwhelm the wood energy, creating inaction. This would be like the flooding of a forest. Take care to manage emotion by connecting to the earth and bringing grounding qi to daily life which controls the emotion of water.
Yang is symbolised by action, daytime, sun, male, moving forward, etc. This accentuates the wood energy – wood element is predominately yang – and thus will make for a more active Tiger year.
The yang is associated with the father figure which plays the role of encouragement and instilling a belief in oneself to go out into the world confidently. Thus, the tiger, a yang animal, which is already driven to emerge, has even more momentum to go forth and shine. This year is very yang. It is about moving forward and seeing the ideas planted in the previous two years begin to sprout. It is a time for decision and action and a time to begin manifesting what you would like to happen over the next ten years. After symbolically resting and hibernating the last two years, it is time to awaken and begin acting on the visions and seeds planted during the Ox and Rat years. 2022 is a time for change. New adventures, moving, new businesses – all are encouraged by the yang black tiger energy. Smartly emerging out into the world, after lockdowns from the pandemic, is supported. Tiger enjoys freely moving about its territory, so any controls or limitations could be met with a fight, ie it is not recommended to lock the tiger in a cage. Let your ideas blossom and grow unencumbered. The shaking energy releases old wisdom and enables access to understand the various shifts facing the planet. Fear and resistance might crop up, so be mindful to tune into your inner wisdom and flow with the changes presented in the tiger year.
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Cold will dominate the beginning of the year, giving way to a pleasant late spring and summer. The shaking energy of the tiger could trigger earthquakes, especially under the ocean. Be prepared for many windstorms, especially in the spring. Also, there will be surprising weather patterns throughout the year, primarily associated with heavy rainfall. Expect landslides, sinkholes, and soil erosion.
Lively exercise and calm reflection enables you to navigate the tiger’s surging energy
The liver, gall bladder, lungs, and digestive system could suffer this year. Too much doing/activity stresses the kidney system. This could cause symptoms such as hypochondriac pain, eye issues, indigestion due to stress, muscle fatigue, knee/low back pain, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, jaundice, tinnitus, tendon issues, weak immune system, and respiratory distress. Reduce stagnation by increasing exercise routines this year. Swimming is especially beneficial. Also, increase spiritual activities like meditation, yoga, qigong, etc, to nourish the spirit, flow with the changes, and tune into the wisdom within. The balance of lively exercise and calm reflection enables you to navigate the tiger’s surging energy.
For those seeking advanced information
In addition to the three aspects of 2022 – Yang Water Tiger – we can gain insights from the earthly branches. Each Chinese animal is associated with an earthly branch which represents an organ, an acupuncture channel, and a weather pattern. Tiger is associated with the gall bladder organ, the lung channel, and the shao yang (ministerial fire) weather pattern.
The gall bladder is the decision maker and determines what will be digested both physically and spiritually. There is a call to make decisions and have the courage to follow through with the choices that benefit your higher self. The tendency towards resentment
can be strong and crystalise in the body physically as blockages which disable the freeflowing spirit. It is important to be cautious and mindful when strategising and to take care to observe all the possible choices and act with correct timing.
The tiger is associated with the lung channel and the time of 3am-5am. This time is considered auspicious for self-cultivation techniques like qigong. Therefore, 2022 would be a great year to increase your self-cultivation practice which will support the lung system because this system could suffer this year causing viruses to thrive.
The weather pattern associated with this year is called the ministerial fire and it is the heat that provides the energy for new life to emerge. It gives the seeds the heat to burst through the soil and warm the earth to start a new life cycle. There can be more heat through the year, and we might see more effects from global warming. However, since the element of the year is water, this could mitigate some of the extreme heat. The heat could stir emotions of anger and it is wise to pause before reacting. You can read CT Holman’s Yang Black Tiger forecast in full together with acknowledgements, references and individual animal forecasts on the Lotus Institute website 〉 tinyurl.com/5xw2jchk
Black rice porridge Jonquil Westwood Pinto Member: East Sussex This gently sweet black moist porridge makes the perfect very yin nourishing breakfast. The perfect way to start a black water tiger day. Ingredients 100 g black glutinous rice 400 ml tin of coconut milk 200 ml water Salt 1 fresh soft fruit, eg nectarine, mango, peach, apricot Handful of flaked almonds (optional) Method Soak the black rice overnight – this will reduce the cooking time. Before cooking, drain the rice. Put the rice in a saucepan along with the water and a pinch of salt. Scoop off half the cream from the top of the coconut milk and set aside for serving. Add the rest of the contents of the tin – milk and cream – to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Stirring the rice occasionally to prevent sticking, cook on a low simmer for one hour or until the rice is soft and has obtained a porridge-like consistency. Serve in bowls with slices of soft fruit and almonds if using and topped with a little of the saved coconut cream.
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Adventure in acupuncture
Earth Medicine in Lesvos January 2022 With Covid on the wane and inspired by a blog post, late last year Sarah Budd decided she was just about ready for her next big volunteering adventure on the island of Lesvos
Member: Devon Last November, I came across a blog post which caught my eye. It was about volunteering as an acupuncturist in a rehabilitation clinic for refugees on the island of Lesvos, in the North Eastern Aegean Sea, very close to Turkey. The blog was written by a practitioner in Bristol named Sandra Arbelaez. It was very inspiring, so I looked up the organisation she had been working with: Earth Medicine (EM) 〉 theearthmedicine.com Having closed my clinic when Covid came along, I felt I had time to give to this new direction.
and recovery, to better prepare myself 〉 acuwithoutborders.org By a complete coincidence, my good friend Lyna, who set up MDC, contacted me to ask if I would be interested in going to Lesvos. I told her I was very keen and had already made the first approaches to Sandra and EM. Lyna and I decided to go together. The earliest we could both manage was January, but not too long after Sandra had last been there herself in December, for her second trip. I approached Scarboroughs Acupuncture Supplies, who had provided my acupuncture supplies since the 1980s, to ask if they would sponsor me with equipment: needles, moxa, massage oils, etc 〉 scarboroughshealth.com Scarboroughs were very generous. Their contributions filled half my large suitcase and I am extremely grateful to them for their support, and to MDC, who contributed to my travel expenses. Thank you both.
Early in 2020, I had volunteered to go to Cambodia by invitation of an NGO Les Mains du Coeur pour le Cambodge (MDC) to teach acupressure and acupuncture for obstetric care to midwives and doctors there 〉 mainsducoeur-cambodge.fr To prepare for Cambodia I had trained in the NADA protocol with Rachel Peckham. I knew this would be useful on Lesvos. I contacted Sandra, who was very keen that there should be continuity with acupuncture for the patients she had been treating who had complex needs as well as horrific stories and backgrounds. She felt I would be suitable in terms of experience, with my nursing and midwifery training, many years of working in a hospital, and having qualified in acupuncture in 1988. As a member of Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) I was able to access their training on trauma prevention
We arrived on a cold Sunday, January 16. We stayed with Soharab, a 27-yearold refugee who now has asylum and is working for the NGO and able to rent an apartment. He is trying hard to overcome the terrible injuries he sustained in Afghanistan, going to the gym most days to build up the strength in his badly damaged leg. On Monday morning we walked to the clinic, just over five minutes away. Initially, the organisation had worked out of a container in the camp, but recently, they were able to rent a building near the centre of Mytilene, the island’s capital. We were warmly welcomed by Hans, the volunteer driver from Austria, who was preparing breakfast for everyone. He was already in Lesvos when we arrived and stayed for six weeks. Hans was helped in the kitchen by Maria, a young physio from Portugal, who has given eight weeks of her time and is still there as I write this. Then at last we met the wonderful Fabiola Velazques, who established the organisation in 2018, with the aim of providing physical rehabilitation
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Clockwise from top left: Fabiola, founder of Earth Medicine; camp location; remains of clothing washed up on the beaches – doesn’t bear thinking about what happened to the owners; the camp
for those refugees in the camps with musculoskeletal disorders, chronic illnesses and PTSD. Most of the people treated have been victims of violent terrorist attacks, torture, physical and sexual abuse. Their journey to Lesvos often involves fear-filled days and nights, hiding in freezing temperatures before they can even start the hazardous crossings by boat. Many are separated from their families at this time. I was shocked to find out from a Norwegian volunteer that a lot of the so-called life jackets handed out by the traffickers are fake.
From the camp, Farsi and Arabic translators who are refugees and can speak English come to help in the clinic. Fatima, from Afghanistan, also came from the camp every day to cook lunch for everyone. This was so important, especially in the winter, when cooking a hot meal in the camp was often impossible due to the infrequent supply of electricity. It was so good to see refugees tucking into big bowls of hot lentil and vegetable soups and stews, feeding their often badly damaged stomach and spleen qi. Another important member of staff was Malvina, the Greek administrator, whose work allowed Fabiola to get on with providing therapy, although she still had to deal with a huge amount of bureaucracy. Our working day started at 8am, with a team breakfast, when we would hear who, and how many, to expect that day. The patients’ background stories were shared with us, which was important as it would not have been appropriate to be asking them ourselves. At 8.30am the first refugees and asylum seekers arrived, driven by Hans in the van, which has a ramp for wheelchair users. There are three treatment rooms, one on the ground floor and two upstairs, each with two treatment couches – one room for men, the other for women. We often had four patients at the same time between us and almost ran between the upstairs rooms. Most originally came from Afghanistan, Syria and Palestine,
with a few from other places. Earth Medicine had already printed out some information on acupuncture in Farsi and Arabic, so the needles weren’t too much of a surprise.
The main issues we treated were: • lower back ache, usually from hard work (sometimes associated with slavery) and cold, although sadly also due to torture • anxiety and insomnia – not surprising considering their histories of violence and wars, but also due to their poor living conditions, exacerbated by the cold, and an uncertain future • digestive problems were very common, especially constipation, abdominal pain and poor appetite • extreme fluid retention was common, especially amongst the women, due to trauma • PTSD and its associated symptoms were pretty much present for all, and I noticed a lot of disturbing scarring from bullet, shrapnel and torture wounds Our treatments varied from just needles to more often adding cupping,
bleeding, massage, tui na, gua sha and plum blossom needling. We used a LOT of moxa, and I usually started all the treatments with the NADA protocol, often replacing the needles with magnets for patients to go away with. I am pleased to say we got very good results, especially in terms of pain levels and much improved sleep. It was very rewarding to see mobility improve and faces look more relaxed. Maria, the physio, worked mostly on the ground floor alongside Fabiola, and we shared the translators. There was a time limit for our clients to be outside the camp, so by 2.30pm we were more than ready to stop, having not sat down all day. Delicious smoothies and freshly squeezed fruit juices were brought up to us by Fatima, which were much appreciated, especially with so much moxa in the air.
Ms S, 19, from Afghanistan: saw her mother killed in a bomb blast when she was only six years old. Since then, she had been moved from place to place, sometimes being trafficked and having deeply traumatic experiences at a very young age. She was unable
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
to sleep, feeling extremely vulnerable at night, and had several physical problems including irregular painful periods, poor appetite, constipation and abdominal pain. I used NADA on her, before needles in points such as yin tang, SP 6 san yin jiao, ST 36 zu san li, LIV 3 tai chong, LIV 13 zhang men, HT 7 shen men, REN 4 guan yuan, REN 6 qi hai, REN 12 zhong wan. Some with moxa. But the treatments varied according to how she was that day. We treated her most days, and she began to look quite different, communicating and smiling more, and sleeping much better. Mr B, 22, from Syria: had previously been treated by Sandra in December. It was so important that we picked up where she left off. He has been in the camp for two years already, alone, with no family, his father having been assassinated. Like many other young refugees in the camp, he had been refused asylum twice, leaving him depressed, traumatised, and feeling he had no hope for the future. He had been continually losing weight for a year, was very weak, and unable to sit up when Sandra first met him. Thanks to her treatment, he had improved, felt stronger and although able to eat a bit better, still needed a lot of help, and was very thin. The focus of our treatment was the trauma, lack of sleep, and his digestive system. I used NADA most days, as well as points such as DU 20 bai hui, HT 7 shen men, yin tang, REN 6 qi hai, REN 12 zhong wan, SP 6 san yin jiao, SP 15 da heng, ST 36 zu san li, and lots of moxa. Pleased to say, his sleep went from only two hours up to six, and he was able to eat more without so much discomfort. It was so lovely to see the shen returning to his eyes at least a bit. He also started to smile and communicate more. My son is only one year older than this guy, and I cannot imagine seeing him in this state and going through such unbearable suffering in his young life. Ms D, 68, from Afghanistan: sold by her family aged NINE, to be married to a 45-year-old man as his second wife. Although sexual relations apparently did not start until she reached puberty at 15, she had been beaten and subjected to enormous cruelty, by him, and his other wife. After he died from a stroke, she managed to escape, and although she had been given asylum, did not want to leave the camp without her son. Deeply traumatised, her symptoms occurred mostly at night, when she could not sleep, felt very afraid, her head felt full, she had palpitations, and she ‘shook’. Of course, getting exact details can be difficult when using young translators who have no medical terminology, but tongue and pulse assessments and palpation helped enormously. I used NADA, then points such as yin tang etc but also HT 7 shen men, HT
Clockwise from top left: Soharab and Maria (the physio); left to right – Mr B (refugee), myself, Zainab (Arabic interpreter, refugee), Hans (the driver); plum blossom needling with psoriasis; Maria the physio in action; we used a LOT of moxa!
8 shao fu, HT 9 shao chong, and KID 6 zhao hai to help her nightmares. We treated her most days, and like the others, treatment varied according to how she was. Her symptoms improved, especially her sleep which had been almost non-existent, to one night, when she slept nearly all night. We shared a big hug that day, and she joked about her people being from the Hazara ethnic group who have flat noses! I confess there were tears in my eyes on the day we had to say goodbye to each other. In our ten working days, we saw 25 patients – 15 female, 10 male – and carried out 127 treatments. Some came most days and others we saw only once or twice.
a real difference. If you’re interested, please contact me in the first instance via the links below, and I will pass on your details. You need to be experienced, preferably with some background of having dealt with trauma professionally. Training in Chinese herbal medicine is an advantage but not necessary. Some funding may be available.
And if you’re unable to volunteer, then any donation will be much appreciated. I can assure you that whatever you give will be put to very good use 〉 Earth Medicine (EM) 〉 theearthmedicine.com
Despite the awful circumstances that made these people undertake hazardous journeys, leaving everything behind, they showed us nothing but extreme gratitude and warmth. We formed bonds I could not have imagined in that short time. The team effort of all those at Earth Medicine is so heartwarming and it felt more like a family community than anything I have experienced before in my working life. Working there has had a profound effect on me and I want to go back. Through her contacts, Lyna has managed to find two more acupuncturists to volunteer, who will go around the time I am writing this in mid-February. More are needed though, to have continuity and make
For inspiration, have a look at these two blogs by Sandra Arbelaez: Volunteer Acupuncture Camp In Lesbos 〉 tinyurl.com/ms5vs76f My second trip to Lesbos to offer acupuncture to refugees 〉 chinesemedicinebristol.blogspot.com
Many thanks. Once again, my gratitude to Scarboroughs Acupuncture Supplies, Mains de Coeur pour le Cambodge, to Lyna for her fantastic energy and company, and everyone at Earth Medicine, especially Fabiola and Soharab. Sarah Budd 〉 email@example.com 〉 FB Sarah Budd Acupuncture 〉 Insta sarahbuddbell
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
WebWatch A seasonal selection of online resources to put the wind in your sails this spring Tiger’s Play Astrology & Chinese Medicine 〉 tigersplayastrology.com/tigers-play
Some fabulous illustrations accompany this contextual interpretation of the qi dynamics of the coming year. The Yáng Water Tiger is described as a profound and powerful symbol and the qi of this year as not for the faint of heart. Like a tidal wave, hurricane-propelled tsunami, volcano, or even a nuclear bomb, Water Tiger is a force of nature. ‘So, grab a surfboard, strap on a helmet, and get ready because things are about to get wild’. Some might say they already have!
Disease vs. the rise of civilisation 〉 tinyurl.com/2p8hae9d
This podcast from The Rest Is History offers a fascinating perspective on the history of infectious disease and how it has shaped human history. Compared to any other animals, including all other apes, the human is the ‘germiest’ creature, full of infectious diseases.
Website Carbon Calculator 〉 websitecarbon.com
Check how your website is impacting the planet with this website carbon calculator created by Wholegrain Digital. Their passion for sustainability has led them to become industry leaders in web sustainability and performance, helping to shift the industry towards a zero-carbon future. They aim to help positive organisations thrive online – so perfect for acupuncturists. You can even get a carbon badge to put on your website.
Yatao 〉 tinyurl.com/28xjrcxc
Something of the wind chime about the meditative sounds created by this world music project and handpan duo. Hailing from Berlin and the Black Forest in Germany, they describe their mission as being ‘to support you with our tunes’. A place of coming together, forgetting and remembering, letting go and understanding. A place where everyone is invited to do nothing more than just be and feel into the inside of the soul. We could all do with a bit of that, surely! As the man says: Listen to all our music! Close your eyes, open your heart!
Moxafrica 〉 moxafrica.org
An old favourite which now includes a Covid page, plus a moxa manual for the immune system, free to download and available in several languages. There’s also news about 'The Moxa-LongCOVID 100 Days Challenge': an important investigation to establish which moxa 'protocols' (of five or six moxa-points) might be of most benefit for those struggling to put any of the lingering 'Long Covid' symptoms behind them. The project launched last September but there’s still time for you or your patients to get involved. See page 30 for more on this from Merlin Young. Why not share your online favourite resources with other members by sending a link to WebWatch via firstname.lastname@example.org
View FROM THE COUCH
Following a surgical menopause, and infective gastritis which led to a five-stone weight loss, I was left with a lot of chronic fatigue, visceral pain, and anxiety. The days were sometimes long and tricky to get through. After lots of overly ambitious attempts at just getting on with it – hampered by Covid and a lack of NHS services to fit – I decided that maybe acupuncture might help me come at things from a more calm and balanced perspective, rather than the headless chicken approach I was taking. I also hoped that it would relieve some of the visceral sensations that dominated my life. A previous experience of moxibustion to turn my baby, as well as wanting a wellness- rather than illness-centred approach, meant I was ready to take a new route to better physical and mental health. I arrived at my first session – at pace, very talkative and feeling ever so slightly apprehensive! I was allowed to just… be. A wonderfully holistic consultation and an explanation of the principles of acupuncture followed and I started with lots of moxa as well as some needles. The feelings of vulnerability disappeared. I felt calmer. In the beginning I struggled to even notice the presence of heat or the stab of a needle, almost wondering why I was there. But even so, I felt different afterwards. At first I was focused on searching for the big changes in terms of my fatigue levels and pain, but as time has gone on things feel more nuanced than that, and my mind and body seem to be gathering themselves again. The effects are wide-ranging – from increased stamina to better coping mechanisms and a quietening of visceral and stomach symptoms. I have felt better able to maintain my posture and increase my exercise level, to gain strength and develop a greater sense of relaxation. Lying on the couch, and the hours, days and months afterwards, have revealed multifaceted and layered effects that seem to be changing life for the better. My whole body awareness has improved and the subtleties of sensation and mood are making a comeback. As things move on I can now feel the glow of the moxa and the impact of a needle on my skin, the flow of qi and things seem to hold for longer. I find myself requesting deep channel work and also discovering that Chinese massage is of benefit too. If you have a patient who's willing to tell us their acupuncture story, we'd love to hear from you or them via email@example.com
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Should acupuncturists dispense patent herbal remedies? Andrew Flower Acupuncture & CHM practitioner: London The question of whether acupuncturists, without a full and proper herbal training, should be encouraged or even permitted to dispense patent herbal medicines has been a veritable hotbed of controversy in the UK for at least 30 years. This question has recently resurfaced due to publicity promoting webinars for acupuncturists on the use of herbs for shen disturbances, pathogenic wind expressions on skin, and to slow the decline of both kidney yang and yin. These webinars have been created as part of a BAcC sponsorship package 2021 in collaboration with a patent medicine/dietary supplement company. Whilst they may be informative, they are also a marketing exercise to encourage members to use these products. So what’s the problem? Many acupuncturists argue that they have the training in TCM differential diagnosis that permits them to use clearly targeted patent herbal formulae as an adjunct to their acupuncture treatments. They sincerely believe that such formulae are completely safe and can be effective for certain conditions, and they add another welcome addition to the therapeutic options these practitioners can offer to their patients. Unfortunately, in my opinion it is not as simple and straightforward as this. I believe there are strong arguments that should not only dissuade untrained acupuncturists from dabbling with herbal medicine, but also discourage the BAcC from supporting them to do so. First and foremost the main issues relate to the safety and wellbeing of our patients. A recent metanalysis on the safety of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) found the highest incidence of reported adverse events came from the use of herbal tablets and capsules (Hu et al 2020). Although patent remedies are usually administered at a relatively low dose there are a number of ways in which they can be harmful including: Idiosyncratic reactions: These are defined as adverse effects that cannot be explained by the known mechanisms
of action of the drug/herb, are not dose dependent, and develop mostly unpredictably in susceptible individuals only. There have been a number of idiosyncratic reactions recorded in the UK by people taking Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM). In 2000 a tragic case went to court (Shakoor v Situ) after a patient died from fulminant liver failure caused by an idiosyncratic reaction to CHM. The herbs were administered for a mere two weeks before the patient was hospitalised with jaundice and later died. The key things to note about idiosyncratic reactions are that they are unpredictable, not dose dependent, and they can occur with terrifying speed and ferocity – especially if there is a re-challenge of the offending substance following an initial period of exposure. I doubt very much whether any acupuncturist who has not completed a full training in CHM will have much idea about the existence of idiosyncratic herbal reactions, and how to identify them and prevent them from becoming a catastrophic event for a patient. Such a reaction could have tragic consequences for the individuals concerned and also have a disastrous impact on the public perception of CHM. Patent remedies may also be the cause of a direct toxicity: Twenty years ago when patents were widely used and I was president of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) the greatest source of CHM related adverse events came from these remedies. These were caused by adulteration with pharmaceutical drugs, inclusion of heavy metals, and the use of misidentified species of herbs. Cases of renal failure were reported where the highly nephrotoxic Aristolochia manchuriensis species was used as one variation of the drain damp herb mu tong in commonly used patents such as Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. In Belgium, in the 1990s, accidental use of another Aristolochia species (Aristolochia fangchi) by a group of similarly untrained practitioners (conventional medics!) led to over 100 women being diagnosed with renal failure that
progressed to renal cancer and resulted in urgent kidney transplantations and several deaths. This condition is now known in the medical textbooks as Chinese herbal nephropathy. Whilst most UK suppliers who now market their patents as ‘dietary supplements’ doubtlessly take great care to avoid these adulterations, what about the rogue acupuncturist who seeks to make a little more profit and buys their cheaper patent remedies from a less scrupulous online site? Again this could be catastrophic for a patient and disastrous for the herbal profession. The third way that patents could cause harm is through inappropriate use: In many instances herbal medicine requires a deeper understanding of TCM differential diagnosis and pathophysiology than is provided during most acupuncture training. An example of this can be seen in the treatment of a skin disease such as eczema. As you may know dry eczema is not necessarily the result of heat, wind and dry blood. Paradoxically it can also be the result of pathological dampness obstructing the physiologically useful fluids from moistening the skin. An acupuncturist who attends one of the aforementioned webinars and decides to use a wind scattering patent medicine for a damp heat eczema may inadvertently spread the damp around the body and aggravate the condition. My fourth cause for concern is not so much what a patent wielding acupuncturist would do, but what they don’t do: An acupuncturist who feels they have a range of patent remedies at their disposal will be less willing to refer a patient who needs herbs to a professional, fully trained CHM practitioner. They may decide to treat the eczema, the migraines, the endometriosis, or the acute infections etc with herbal patents. Given that these remedies are administered at a low dose and are not individualised to meet the specific presentation of each patient the chances of a successful outcome are significantly reduced.
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022 This may allow a condition that could be successfully treated to remain unresolved, or to progress, and may lead to a disillusionment with Chinese medicine that prevents the patient seeking a more effective treatment from a properly trained practitioner. The first three of these harms will thankfully be infrequent, but the fourth will be a very common event. As acupuncturists we are taught to understand the limits of our competence and to not compromise or endanger a patient by overstepping these limits. We should apply the same principle to herbal patents. You should ask yourself whether prescribing a simple patent remedy is really the best herbal option to optimise the treatment of your patient? In many cases I strongly suspect that it is not. So what can we do about this situation? The most obvious solution to this problem is for acupuncturists who want to prescribe herbal medicines to sign up for a proper training programme. Ideally this should be a course that is accredited and approved by the main professional herbal registers (the RCHM and the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (ATCM)). At present there are two such CHM courses in the UK. One is run by the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA) and the other is run by the White Crane Academy (WCA), where I am the principal. Both courses combine a rigorous theoretical training with extensive clinical experience that will enable you to become a safe and effective herbal practitioner for the treatment of a wide range of common and more specialist conditions. At the WCA, in our three-year diploma course, we have weekly online clinical supervision and all students will only graduate after successfully managing the diagnosis, treatment and longterm management of a minimum of 30 patients. In their supervision groups students will discuss a further 100 new cases managed by their peers. They will improve their understanding of TCM pathophysiology, hone their diagnostic skills, and learn how to construct and modify an effective herbal formula. They will be guided through how to deal with problems of compliance, adverse effects, and herbdrug interactions. We regard this as a minimum necessary training to provide a reasonable level of competence to allow students to graduate safely into the CHM profession. For those of you who for whatever reason cannot commit to a full herbal training, I would suggest that, if you are going to use patents, you are honest to yourselves and your patients about your limits of competence. In general patents are used for either mild self-limiting conditions or wellmaintained chronic conditions that require a gentle herbal nudge rather
than a full-blown herbal shoulder charge. If you choose to use patents then, until statutory regulation or sensible insurance policies are in place, it is incumbent upon you to make sure you have adequate training that includes clinical supervision and that you continue this supervision once you graduate from your course. After the tragic death of the aforementioned Mr Shakoor the judge ruled that anyone prescribing herbs is required to keep abreast of pertinent information in the ‘orthodox’ medical journals. The RCHM has provided these safety bulletins four times a year for the past 20 years. In the future, with the consent of the RCHM Council, arrangements could be made whereby the BAcC or individual acupuncturists purchase these bulletins from the RCHM. Any acupuncturist prescribing patents who does not take these reasonable efforts to maintain safe practice will be legally incredibly vulnerable in the event of them causing injury or death. When it comes to DIY, gardening, or cooking I am terribly slap-dash. My children live in fear of my vegetable lasagne. When it comes to medicine, the act of caring for and skilfully treating a sick person, I strongly feel the weight of responsibility to do this properly and I don't dabble. I suggest that when it comes to patent herbal medicine you do the same.
The classic of difficulties Guiltiest pleasure
True crime documentaries on My5
Favourite song lyric
The Sweeny’s doing ninety ‘cause they got the word to go To get a gang of villains in a shed up at Heathrow Cool For Cats by Squeeze
Desert island disc
The Stone Roses by The Stone Roses
Desert island film Brassed Off
Desert island book The Iliad
Hubby (but don’t tell him)
If you weren’t an acupuncturist what would you be doing? Still a digital design engineer most probably
Superpower of choice Mind-reading
A one-way ticket to… Sicily
Which word/phrase do you overuse? Yes
Comment from the BAcC
If any member is aware of a company supplying patents that have been adulterated with pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals or misidentified herbs, then it is your professional responsibility to inform the BAcC and of course the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Please also note: fulminant liver failure requires hospitalisation 〉 tinyurl.com/yvnyrjwj
What do you see when you turn out the light? The chaos in my mind
Fantasy dinner party guests
Agatha Christie, David Bowie and Brian Cox (physicist not actor)
What is your diagnosis? Earth CF
The imposter syndrome one
More Haste Less Speed
One bed or multibed? One bed If you have strong opinions about this or any other matter, we encourage you to air them in Acu. by sending your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your animal? Elephant
What has life taught you?
You are what you are, but you can try to be better
Tell us a joke
What do you call a one-eyed deer? No idea
What question do you wish you had been asked?
I don’t know but I’m glad you didn’t ask what’s my darkest secret…
Kay Hay Member: Wiltshire
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Catching the Tail of the Tiger by Yvette Masure
Time to hold tight to the Tiger’s tail As the Chinese New Year rolls into action, Yvette Masure offers her unique take on what influence the energy of the water tiger might bring to bear on the year ahead
Yvette Masure Overseas Member: Portugal Tiger energy is known for power, bravery, and exorcising chaotic energy, so big changes are in the cauldron for us all, as the Ox year ends and we usher in the water Tiger. We also leave winter behind and enter springtime seasonal energies. Thus, tuning into the tiger and spring spirit, we can surely find an added assurance and vigour to our daily lifestyles. The tiger is a giant, a king of beasts and a powerful animal – and great success and desired achievements can be gained in this year. Third in the 12-animal zodiac cycle, the water tiger comes around every 60 years – initiating new beginnings and a new era. Endings always give rise to new beginnings. The geopolitical changes are perhaps the most important to see right now, economically speaking and climate-wise – especially for two countries that can and should get behind this. The greatest danger being a geopolitical storm, in which Beijing ramps up its aggression against Taiwan at the same time as Russia does the same against the Ukraine. The world’s two largest (carbon) emitters need to address plans to decarbonise. Competition is now hardwired into the US-China relationship, and the situation in 2022 caters to the inflexible approach. We need increased emergency co-ordination of economic policy, with China. Tigers are quick to action, so be prepared for situations to change quickly. Crazy dreams can become a reality. But tempers flare, drama and excitement reign.
This can apply to personal relationships, career developments, and on a larger scale, political unrest or social revolution. There is no middle ground in the year of the Tiger: great boons and wonderful luck… or getting easily burnt. So what of the water element of the water Tiger? ‘Water is connected to sensitivity, creativity, being impressionable’ Susan Levitt explains. It is the strongest element – even stronger than fire. Fear and indecisiveness are the negative attributes of emotional extremes that can mean chaos. For some the water Tiger wild emotions are liberating. The strength to take the risk, to do what you were always driven to do. Most compatible with Tiger energies, thus likely to have a good year, are Horse, Dog and Pig birth years, being most receptive to the year’s creative, wild and intense energy. Horse’s liveliness, Dog’s idealism and Pig’s courage make them most likely to be rewarded for taking risks and to see great fortune in everything from finance to travel to love, as a result. Unfortunately for the Rat, Ox and Monkey, they are less comfortable with the Tiger and least compatible to the year’s energies. This can bring unexpected problems, so be diligent, stay the course, and use conscientiousness in your work. It could be an idea to hold tight to the Tiger’s tail, to get where you dream to go. The time is right if so. Be in the now and trust in yourself and life. It is for living, after all. Enjoy what you can. Health is wealth. Live. Laugh. Love.
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
On reflection Member and chair of the BAcC and Governing Board, Pia Huber, offers her insider view on current matters of organisational business and governance
Coming back from a longer than usual Christmas and New Year break I jumped straight into a meeting with my mentoring group a couple of days before I saw my first patients in the new year.
Pia Huber BAcC/GB Chair
The group was formed when I was finishing my training as a mentor and supervisor out of a few participants of the training and has now been going for four years. In this nurturing, non-judgemental environment we have grown closer through our exchanges and discussions of successes and challenges of clinic cases and situations, and the built trust means we all feel that we can be open about what is arising in our working life. Listening is the most important ingredient, deep listening. I am finding that honing this fabulous skill serves me well in many other areas of life. Of course, it is also a key skill in our clinics. We ask questions and we listen to what our patients tell us and how they tell their story, and we listen to their sound and their pauses. When I started chairing meetings at the BAcC I had already seen some great examples of how conducting meetings could be done well. I noted that one of the key ingredients is to listen to everybody present and to invite everyone else to do the same. I am sure we have all sat in meetings which were unhelpful, boring or infuriatingly useless, but they can also be productive and inspiring. The Governing Board (GB) meetings are invariably packed full with agenda items that need to be noted and discussed, and some items need scrutinising and eventual decision making. My resolution for the new year is to improve how we conduct our meetings in order to provide enough good listening time and good discussions for important items. At the end of last year we welcomed two new GB members, Sarah Major (practitioner) and Julie Stone (lay). Lay directors are appointed by the Board and chosen to bring in special outside expertise rarely found in our membership. Practitioner directors are usually nominated and then elected by BAcC members in the run up to the AGM. However in this case, we had a sudden vacancy arising when sadly, Paul Blacker stood down very shortly after last year’s elections and the AGM had taken place. Rather than leaving this position vacant for almost a whole year we decided to fill it. In previous years and in similar circumstances we have been able to call upon candidates who have stood unsuccessfully in the recent
elections, however in September 2021 only Lianne Aquilina was nominated and duly elected. Instead of making a direct appointment, as the BAcC memorandum and articles allow, the GB decided to go back to the members for nominations and then appoint one of the candidates by interview, according to the skills and experience we felt would best complement the present composition of the Board. We appointed Sarah Major on a temporary basis and on condition that she will have to stand for ordinary election at the next AGM in order to continue in her role for a full term of three years. Any change of Board members invariably leads to a change of dynamic. I look forward to this new mix of expertise and the continuing development of our Governing Board. I hope to find we have some new and great listeners as well as challenging voices in order to provide good directive forces for the BAcC. Supporting members to work safely and with top class skills is an important part of the BAcC’s work. The high educational standards ensured by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) – who are funded mainly by the BAcC – have certainly given us an advantage in our standing next to professions who have statutory regulation. The NHS website recommends that patients seek acupuncture from suitably trained health practitioners who are statutory regulated but then specifically links to the Professional Standards Authority register where the search directly refers to the register of BAcC members. A further very important aspect of the work of the BAcC is to promote acupuncture in general. We are entering the year of the Water Tiger, a year it is said to be good for building teams and getting back into creative projects. Let’s go!
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
A farewell of sorts Lara McClure Course Director: NCA
My Ma taught me to leave any place I spent time slightly better than it was when I got there. Although this is occasionally tortuous – it applies equally to a train seat occupied for half an hour as it does to a desk inhabited for several years – it has proved as decent a rule to live and work by as any other I’ve encountered. Note the emphasis on slightly – improved, and noticeably so, but not changed beyond recognition. It’s a realistic goal, and it calls for evolution rather than revolution. Of course, exactly what constitutes improvement is rather subjective. When I hand over the reins in July 2022 I will have been in post as course director of the Northern College of Acupuncture’s (NCA) BSc in acupuncture for eight years. For me it’s the right moment for a change of direction, and for the course it’s an excellent point for an influx of fresh energy. Of course I’m resisting all temptation to say anything cod-philosophical about eight-year cycles. And I’m not leaving completely – alongside my own clinical hypnotherapy practice, I’ll continue to teach research on the NCA BSc (aka ‘the best bits’) as well as on our MSc in Chinese herbal medicine. During my time as course director I have seen profound change in the course, in the context in which we deliver it, and in acupuncture education in the UK. When I started in the role there were acupuncture degree courses in campus-based universities, the Office for Students (OfS) did not yet
exist, acquaintances hearing about my new job asked whether I ‘believed’ in it, and video conferencing belonged in the corporate realm. No need to unpack any of those… I learned how to make a reasonable hand of the job by observing how others did it elsewhere. I worked out the hard way that while developmental change is often necessary, it’s also often necessarily slow – more steering a cruise liner than driving a speedboat. And that that’s ok. The NCA BSc now has a more streamlined structure with emphasis on modular delivery. It continues to be taught by passionate professionals with a live connection to practice. It’s a joy to see graduates come back to teach, supervise and assist in classrooms whilst building their own businesses. We are now inviting our most capable year-three students to assist in year-one classrooms, consolidating their own skills and role modelling to the ‘younger’ students, boosting the confidence of everyone involved. We have a fabulous team of actors who play simulated patients both in person and now online, allowing students to practise rapport-building and interviewing skills in a safe, held space but with more teeth than role-play with peers. The actors embody their characters so well that I worry they’ll start to display symptoms. As I’ve mentioned before in Acu, the connection through the Council of Heads of Acupuncture Courses (CHAC) between the leaders of courses accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) is immensely valuable and ensures that BAAB-accredited courses flourish in conversation rather than isolation. Last summer, when speaking about our arrangements with the BAAB to the School Leaders Day organised by the European Traditional
Chinese Medicine Association (ETCMA), my eyes were opened as to the differences between the UK experience of accreditation and that in other countries. I maintain that it is this profession-specific accountability that is the most meaningful measure of the quality of an acupuncture course, trumping our responsibilities to the OfS, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and The Open University Validation Partnerships (OUVP), crucial though those are. The demographic of our students has shifted subtly, becoming measurably and noticeably more inclusive. The availability of funding for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree has allowed access to a new influx of high-quality applicants who study across four years. We are able to support an increasing range of neurodiverse students whose differences can be celebrated as strengths and whose areas of support need can be addressed upfront. Someone with ADHD may struggle to complete tasks, but their ideas might be the most fearlessly creative in the room; reconfiguring learning materials into a dyslexia-
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
WELCOME Congratulations to the following graduate practitioners who are now eligible to register as BAcC members. THE ACUPUNCTURE ACADEMY Aelish Anderson Emma Chrestien Helen Claxton Helen Davies Adam Dorney Nicole Hamer Claire Jones Clare Moss The copy deadline for this issue was 14 January 2022. We apologise to anyone who graduated on or after this date and so will have been missed off this list. Your name will appear in the next issue of Acu. Please note: BAAB graduates have up to three years from date of graduation (ie successfully completing the course, not the ceremony) in which to automatically register with the BAcC. After three years, entry onto the register can only be gained via fast track application.
friendly format provides a clarity that benefits everybody; a student with autism can bring astonishing attention to detail to their studies. The diversity of life stories that our students bring into the classroom encompasses the length and breadth of lived human experience. To increase capacity in the teaching clinic post-lockdown, NCA opened a multibed clinic one day a week and will seek to expand this over the next two years to accommodate 2022’s record-high intake once they get to third year. In light of the recent inclusion of acupuncture in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline for chronic pain, NHS commissioning of this multibed service may be a realistic goal. So on (partial) departure, I feel that I can view the situation as being left slightly better, as per my Ma’s policy. I look forward to seeing subsequent inevitable and incremental progress taking place in the same evolutionary spirit.
The demographic of our students has become measurably and noticeably more inclusive
Look out for a little Moxi this spring Whether you're reading digital or print, somewhere in the pages of this Acu. sits a teeny-weeny Moxi. Just find little Moxi by 7 April and you’re in with a chance of winning a Moxa Moments t-shirt designed by Toon Min. Email details of your Moxi sighting to email@example.com
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
A thank you from Brighton & Hove to Barbara Cook-Hider Houri Alavi writes: The BN postcode boasts one of the largest numbers of BAcC members in the nation – I believe it was 169 at the last count. Bringing us together hasn’t been an easy feat for any of the preceding regional group co-ordinators (RGCs) (myself included!), but Barbara managed to do so singlehandedly, in the calmest of fashions. From 2018-22, Barbara steered the group towards improved shared communication, live meetings, CPD events and social gatherings. Scrolling through our local BAcC FB page brings just a hint of her skills as a coordinator – Barbara set this page up when she took over the RGC role. Creating the space to come together digitally brought new life to the regional group – from leads about setting up websites, to arranging speakers for talks on medicinal mushrooms, posting about local member-led courses in qigong, herbal medicine, moxibustion, first aid and of course, organising social meal gatherings for Chinese New Year, we could all come together here even if we couldn’t attend events in person. In the last couple of years, Barbara was particularly expert at relaying the latest news from Jeddo Road and was a huge source of information for local members, organising additional Zoom calls so we could raise any concerns, which she would promptly communicate back to the office for clarification and updates. On behalf of all the BN members, a huge thank you Barbara, for your calm commitment in bringing us together and supporting our practices in the many ways you have. We’ll so miss you! Helen Gibb, learning and events manager writes: On behalf of the BAcC I would also like to thank Barbara for her time and dedication to the RGC role. It would be fantastic to keep the momentum of her hard work going, so if you are interested in taking over the Brighton & Hove RGC role – either on your own or as a group – please send me an email and I will be happy to discuss what’s involved and how I can help. Helen Gibb 〉 firstname.lastname@example.org
Devon & Cornwall Robin Costello writes: In December, sixteen of us enjoyed a very lively, informative and thought-provoking meeting on long Covid. We shared case histories, diagnosis and treatment. Common themes emerged: patients with the condition might have returned to work too soon, exploited the gift of good kidney qi to drive themselves relentlessly on, and/or have returned to strenuous endurance sports with insufficient rest after the virus. This led to the idea of encouraging them to move more often into parasympathetic mode, using breathing, meditation and time in nature among other things. Our patients report low satisfaction with NHS long Covid clinics, probably because it's the place where high expectations meet an inability to actually do much clinically.
Merlin Young kindly joined us, to outline the research trial he and his team are conducting on various modes of moxa treatment for long Covid. Many of you will know Merlin and his charity Moxafrica. Borrowing on the Moxafrica principle of keeping things simple, Merlin is recruiting 200 long Covid patients, to try one of four moxa protocols. See opposite page for more details of the trial and how to get involved. If your patient is enrolled on to the study, you are welcome to continue giving them acupuncture, but no moxa please. Finally, several of us have been treating persistent side effects of Covid vaccines. Vertigo and tinnitus were discussed. As vertigo was not always responding to sensible-sounding treatment approaches, perhaps the vaccines give rise to as yet unidentified TCM syndromes. Robin Costello 〉 01392 424276 〉 email@example.com
Sarah Casbolt writes: I decided it was time to ask the group the all important question, why do you like attending the Surrey Regional Group meetings? Here’s a few key reasons they came up with. Christina Bisson: A great way to nurture collaboration and fortify a professional culture amongst members. The group environment allows for a more relaxed atmosphere and helps inspire shared excitement and passion around work and profession related topics. A powerful way to develop new skills, catch up on the latest trends and issues, spark inspiration, rekindle passion, hear from experts, and more. Also encourages dialogue and Q&A around the sessions, speakers, and topics that will likely lead to a greater overall understanding and appreciation for the content. Connecting younger and more experienced members provides a unique opportunity for mentoring. Sarah Bye: I love coming to the group because it makes me feel included in my profession. As a recently qualified practitioner it’s a very lonely existence if you practise alone from home. I get confirmation that actually I’m doing ok, I get support from more experienced practitioners, I get tips on how to tackle tricky cases, I get to ask questions in a safe and caring group without feeling judged. Everyone who attends approaches any questions from a place of support. It feels like a family. Claire Arthur: Meetings offer a connection to other acupuncturists on a regular basis which really helps. In my opinion, Sarah (Casbolt) is key to the group’s effectiveness. She coordinates decisions seamlessly, so meetings are a constructive use of our time sharing our experiences and knowledge. As a result, you are filled with motivation and new knowledge to take to your clinic. Thank you, Sarah! Sue Kalicinska: The group offers us a fantastic chance to listen, question, understand and learn from each other’s experience. We can bounce ideas off
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
each other and gain fresh insights into our work. A really valuable and enjoyable way of networking! Veena Stephenson: There had been no regional group in my area for many years until someone generously offered to become a coordinator in late 2019. We had a great first meeting and a timetable for the coming months. Then Covid-19 happened! The BAcC Zoom webinars have been a lifeline and the Surrey RG meetings have been extra special – warmly open and welcoming to newcomers. Topics have been beyond Covid, reflecting our normal range of concerns. As well as presentations input can be informal including questions or other concerns. The exchange is always supportive and constructive. Open remote webinars alongside regional face-to-face meetings can help build a wider network of connectivity between members across the regions and nations. Sarah Casbolt 〉 07714 721969 〉 firstname.lastname@example.org
Still recruiting for long Covid moxa study Merlin Young writes: We really do need more members to give the study a push and get it completed. Enrolment remains open – subject to inclusion/exclusion criteria. Everything is conducted online, the moxa is provided free, and there are good instructional videos on its use. Final scores from the earliest finishers are very encouraging. Moxa definitely outperforms against a control group generally... but two of the four protocols are emerging as favourites. Please feel free to recommend struggling patients, family or friends to the 100 Days Moxa Challenge For Long Covid 〉 moxafrica.org/about-4
ETCMA Research Task Force webinar Annya Stoddart Member: Suffolk REVIEW I had seen the ETCMA acronym before but had no idea what it stood for. But I was attracted to watch their Acupuncture Task Force webinar on December 7 because of the content: ‘Acupuncture in Palliative Care’, ‘Acupuncture and Neuropathic Pain’ and ‘Pain a Doorway to Opportunity’. It stands for European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, by the way. Before the actual sessions there was an intro about the ETCMA – and how they’d had an idea about doing research that was relevant and useful to acupuncturists, but they weren’t sure quite what that looked like, so they wanted our input. My response was: good idea! I want practical case studies from real patients that I can relate my own experiences to and real life ‘these were the points that helped’ and ‘this is how long it took to see X or Y result’. I also raised a question about how what they were doing would differ, clash or repeat what Mel Hopper Koppelman and Evidence Based Acupuncture are doing. But no answer was given before I left the webinar. Mark Bovey’s session on cancer was enlightening in that apparently acupuncture is widely used for treating cancer symptoms. Although in my notes it says this data came mainly from the US. A friend who had been undergoing treatment for a recurrence of breast cancer had been advised not to have any acupuncture by her cancer clinic, which makes me wonder about acupuncture being acceptable and widely used in the UK. Mark wanted to understand how to set up a cancer support service and what evidence there was to support efficacy. Both questions made a lot of sense to me and I could see how getting some answers could eventually lead to some practical useful advice.
So far Mark’s search had found not much evidence for palliative care, although two systemic reviews are being published this year. From the little he had seen, LI 4 he gu, P 6 nei guan and ST 36 zu san li seemed to be commonly used points – all points I’d most likely choose if I was treating a recent cancer patient. So far my brushes with cancer patients have all been long after they’ve gone into remission, and one case where my patient was constantly monitored for a recurring bladder cancer but I was treating her for something else entirely. The webinar ‘Pain a Doorway to Opportunity’ felt like a review of what we already know – lots of people in pain take medication and not many of them have acupuncture. It went on to summarise some of the ways acupuncture worked but the slides had so much detail and flashed by so quickly that I gave up taking notes. Nothing much usable for me as a practitioner. The Diabetic Neuropathic pain presentation was also incredibly detailed – fact overload and difficult to understand, apart from what trials have been done so far show that acupuncture is superior to the controls. But no notes about what the controls were and if that was relevant to me as a practitioner. Plus the trials treated patients daily or every other day for very long periods of time, which for me is unrealistic running a private clinic. So I’m sorry to say, ETCMA, early promise but little of practical use to me in the end.
BACC GOVERNING BOARD Wednesday 22 June, Tuesday 11 October, Tuesday 13 December 〉 Governing Board meetings – you can download the agenda when it becomes available by clicking on the date on the BAcC website Up to two observers welcome – please register your interest 14 days before the date of the meeting to allow for receipt of all relevant information Minutes of previous meetings available on request
REGIONAL GROUPS LONDON SOUTH WEST & CENTRAL Monday 4 April, 7-9pm 〉 Marlyna Los – Chinese Astrology, Understanding the Five Elements, Combinations and Time and Impact on Health 〉 Zoom Healthy Seminars had two presentations in January and February on what the Chinese New Year of the Water Tiger holds in store. Having missed Marlyna Los I asked her if she would talk to us more widely about Chinese astrology and health. I’m very pleased to say she agreed to join us and speak free of charge. Monday 13 June, 7-9pm 〉 Sharon Cawthorne – How You Can Work with Feng Shu in Your Acupuncture Practice Sharon is a BAcC member and a worldwide feng shui consultant, a classically-trained fifth-generation disciple of the Tan Yan Wu School Sarah Joseph 〉 07553 636841 〉 email@example.com SURREY Tuesday 10 May, 10.30am-12.30pm 〉 Menopause/ perimenopause 〉 Zoom Please bring something relevant to share – case history; recommended CPD courses, podcasts, websites, books; useful points/treatments; how you diagnose perimenopause related conditions; western medical advice/websites etc. Only a few minutes each so no need to prepare but please expect to speak and join in. It’s not as scary as you think! STUDENTS WELCOME Sarah Casbolt 〉 07714 721969 〉 Sarah@AcupunctureHealthcare.co.uk
Catch up with regional groups
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
Committee briefing A snapshot guide to your Governing Board, committees, and the BAAB. All are made up of practitioners and non-practitoners (according to expertise). To find out who does what, please email the contact address below the relevant committee. Governing Board (GB) Chair: Pia Huber •
• • •
ensures that the BAcC continues to flourish and aspire to ‘a world in which traditional acupuncture is accepted as a valid healthcare choice’ sets strategy and policy, in consultation with and advised by members appoints the chief executive and approves committee members oversees implementation of strategy and effective/efficient management of the BAcC through the chief executive and committees ensures compliance with the company's objects, governing documents and all relevant legislation and regulation ensures prudence in respect of managing the company's assets
GB meeting dates for 2021/22: 17 December, 8 March, 22 June, 11 October, 13 December. Up to two observers welcome – please email for details 〉 firstname.lastname@example.org
• • • •
responsible for reviewing and providing guidance on the BAcC’s financial matters, including participation in overseeing the development of the BAcC gives assurance to the GB by: monitoring financial performance against budget, internal controls, accountability policies and financial planning, distribution of timely accurate and user-friendly financial reports
Professional Recognition Working Group (PRWG) Chair: Susan Evans •
Nominations Committee (NC) Chair: Pia Huber •
Membership Services Committee (MSC) Chair: Joanna Brown oversight of the development and promotion of membership services, including professional development, regional support, public relations and opportunities for businesses oversight of the recruitment and retention of members, ensuring that membership policies and procedures are fit for purpose
And with so many get-togethers still happening via Zoom, more than ever before you'll receive a welcome at any meeting anywhere in the UK.
Remuneration Committee (RC) Chair: Pia Huber
advises the GB and chief executive on pay and reward issues throughout the BAcC, with a particular focus on the pay of the chief executive and any reward, incentive or pensions issues reviews the level of attendance allowance payable to committee members across all committees email@example.com
ensure that key positions in the BAcC governance structure are filled with the most suitable candidates, recruited via open, fair and professional processes ensure that proper reviews and recommendations are carried out on behalf of the GB regarding six-monthly funding bids for community projects and annual nominations for fellowships firstname.lastname@example.org
British Acupuncture Accreditation Board Chair: Professor Mike Saks • •
improve the status of acupuncturists as healthcare professionals within local and national government work on gaining UK-wide exemption from local licensing work on gaining exemption for BAcC members for the blood donation referral period email@example.com
development and promotion of standards for the profession policy development for education and training and associated services oversight of policy and guidance concerning safe practice ensuring enhancement and maintenance of the BAcC’s Professional Standards Authority accredited register status developing effective professional recognition activities firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance, Risk and Audit Committee (FRAC) Chair: Richard Costella (BAcC treasurer)
Even when events are held online, regional groups help circulate information and can provide you with local forums and support.
Check the website for upcoming events. And don't forget to log on to access full details of each event and to contact the local regional group coordinator.
Professional Standards and Regulatory Committee (PSRC) Acting chair: Alan Longcroft
independent body working closely with and on behalf of the BAcC fosters and monitors high educational and professional standards for accredited acupuncture course providers, so that the general public can be assured that graduates from BAAB-accredited programmes are knowledgeable, reflective, competent and safe acupuncture practitioners believes that it is through the accreditation and approval of teaching programmes, that our profession demonstrates its maturity, its capacity for effective self-regulation and its public accountability not-for-profit company focusing on acupuncture education in the UK email@example.com
Acu. | Issue #34 | Spring 2022
BACC OFFICE CHIEF EXECUTIVE 1 Jennifer Norton 07876 443173 firstname.lastname@example.org FINANCE MANAGER 2 Juliana Zipperlin 07876 443171 email@example.com
LEARNING & EVENTS MANAGER 3 Helen Gibb 07984 263679 firstname.lastname@example.org MEMBERSHIP MANAGER 4 Stephen Rainbird 07903 827987 email@example.com
POLICY & RESEARCH MANAGER 5 Ian Appleyard 07984 263436 firstname.lastname@example.org PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OFFICER 6 Caroline Jones 07984 263485 email@example.com PUBLICATIONS MANAGER 7 Ann Gordon 07984 440780 firstname.lastname@example.org SAFE PRACTICE OFFICER 8 Hannah Bowie-Carlin 07808 764512 email@example.com SYSTEMS & OPERATIONS MANAGER 9 Gloria Jean-Baptiste Flament 07903 827880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Print is not dead! As we move ever closer to the launch of our new website, the plans to take Acu. online are taking form. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to read Acu. in print ever again. Every quarter we will be producing an Acu. digest of all the articles that feature online, so that if your preference is still print, you won’t go without. As part of our BAcC strategy 2021-26 we are going green and we’ve pledged to cut down on printing as much as possible. Even so, a quarterly print digest of Acu. will be available to you on request. More news on the exact format and layout will follow when we get to the next stage of development. In taking Acu. online we can bring you so much more than a static quarterly magazine. We can feature dynamic content, live links, shareable items, fluid and continuous input and build an easily accessible archive, fully searchable at the touch of a keyboard. We’ll be able to see what you’re enjoying and evolve accordingly. You’ll have space to comment and respond to articles right at the time of publication – sparking lively debate online and continuing the conversation with the author. You’ll be getting a much more relevant and organic publication, and most importantly, it will still be by members for members. We’ve been recruiting some digital expertise onto the editorial team to help Acu. achieve its new state of online being – plus we get to keep the skills and experience of the old hands currently on the team. So be assured, we are listening to you all of you. Which is why we still say print is not dead – there will always be a place for Acu. on the printed page.
Ann Gordon Publications Manager
Classifieds SUBMISSIONS Acu. is for you and by you, so we invite you all to share your opinions, knowledge and images in these pages: • articles can be up to 1,800 words, letters up to 500 • please use generic terms rather than brand names where applicable • submissions are published subject to space • we may edit for length or clarity with permission of the author We reserve the right to edit or decline any submission in which the content: • may be in breach of libel laws • may damage the reputation of the BAcC or its members • denigrates another individual or organisation • is found to be inaccurate or misleading • is considered to be inappropriate to the profession And if you have something to say but you don’t feel confident as a writer, the editorial team is here to help you work your thoughts into a finished piece. Send your copy for the next issue of Acu. to email@example.com
ADVERTISING For full details of our advertising policy, guidelines and rates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For up-to-date classified adverts and free posting for members go to the member website Community 〉 Forum 〉 Advertisements
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES London W6 Acupuncturist required at busy multidisciplinary practice in Hammersmith. Light, comfortable rooms, competitive rates, reception six days a week. Looking to replace practitioner who is leaving at end of February 2022. Please contact Stelyana email@example.com or 020 8741 9264. Stroud Acupuncturist needed at Stroud Natural Health Clinic – a multidisciplinary clinic in a beautiful courtyard in the centre of Stroud, the Sunday Times’ best place to live in Britain. The acupuncturist will be selfemployed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference calendar A handful of juicy dates for your CPD diary International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health Supporters 〉 23-26 May 〉 Arizona USA 〉 imconsortium.org MAY
53rd TCM Kongress Rothenburg 24 〉 24-28 May 〉 Rothenburg o.d.T, Germany 〉 tcm-kongress.de/en/ index.htm MAY
NCA Research Presentation 1 Showcase 〉 online conference (from April) 〉 nca.ac.uk/researchshowcase APR
BAcC Conference & Research Symposium 〉 16-18 September 〉 Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire 〉 acupuncture.org.uk/events SEP
FOR SALE Clinic for sale in Birmingham Well-established acupuncture practice (over 30 years), within a multidisciplinary clinic. Low rent and friendly colleagues. Good position off a local high street, with parking. Please contact 07914 852781.
MISCELLANEOUS FREE classifieds for BAcC Members! We will take up to 40 words on items for sale, situations vacant, requests for volunteers, etc... in fact, anything of direct benefit to other members EXCEPTING courses or other professional services. Plus you'll get a free online post as well! Send your 40 words or less to email@example.com Water Tiger Greetings from Toon Min
NB Whenever we edit or decline a submission we keep full records of our decision and all relevant correspondence.
In summer, we’ll rediscover the joy of being alive, exploring all we need to make the heart beat and blood pulsate through the mai.
How to ensure the orders of the centre are carried out, gathering together and radiating everywhere? Tell us about perfecting what you’ve begun, venturing out to connect, the power of human touch, the fullness of joy – excited, profound, solid. Send your ideas, submissions and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications now open! We’re pleased to announce the reopening of applications for the BAcC MentoringSupervision register After an extensive review of our mentoring-supervision policies we’re pleased to confirm a new application window for members trained in mentoring-supervision to join our register. The register is a list of members who have been assessed and approved to offer practitioner support of a high standard to fellow members.
Application requirements Eligibility All applicants must: • be a current BAcC member, to ensure consistency in supporting the code of ethics and standards of practice • be a successful practitioner who has made a career in acupuncture and has managed a business that supports them for over five years • have a certification of Mentoring-Supervision training and experience (60 hours of study, both formal and experiential and an understanding of theories that underpin mentoring-supervision and self-directed learning) • attend regular meetings with their own mentor-supervisor Your application Please submit the following for consideration onto the BAcC Reflections register: 1. a covering letter detailing reasons for application, your BAcC membership number and evidence of being a successful practitioner who has made a career in acupuncture and managed a business that has supported you for over five years 2. a reflective piece of no more than 850 words, with a recent mentoring-supervision session (see criteria below) 3. two references: a. contact details for your mentor-supervisor b. contact details for a mentee-supervisee 4. certification of Mentoring-Supervision training The following are not essential requirements for being accepted onto the register, but if able to do so please provide evidence of the following: o counselling or psychotherapeutic qualification and experience o teaching qualification based on self-directed learning philosophy o experience of facilitating small self-directed groups Reflective piece criteria It is essential that the following criteria is clearly evidenced in your reflective piece whilst detailing a session with a client: a. ability to create a level relationship with a mentee-supervisee b. evidence of supporting a mentee-supervisee without being didactic c. experience of ability to create a safe non-judgmental space d. ability to reframe a mentee-supervisees’ situation from different angles e. ability to self-reflect on what happened in the session and what you learnt f. seeing value in Mentoring-Supervision Deadline Please submit your application by email to Helen Gibb (email@example.com) by 22 April 2022. Your application will be assessed by a review panel and will receive confirmation of our decision on your application by 23 May 2022. If any concerns arise during the review process, individual applicants may be contacted and asked to resubmit and/or discuss their application. Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming CPD events & 1 year courses The art of feeling qi
Courses and events for practitioners
21st & 22nd April 2022 Learn how to relax and open up into feeling your own and others’ qi. Eligibility: Anyone with an interest in qi
The art of needling with qi Bill Ryan
23rd & 24th April 2022 This two day course builds on your ability to feel qi and extends that skill into your needling. The art of feeling qi is a pre-quisite for attending this course. Eligibility: Acupuncture practitioners and 3rd year clinical students
Cancer rehabilitation and renewal: Managing the long-term consequences Beverley de Valois
12th May 2022 Support people with cancer who have completed active treatment for cancer and who are experiencing the consequences of treatment. Eligibility: Acupuncture practitioners
The inner library of the five emotions
MSc/PGDip in Chinese Herbal Medicine NOW TOTALY ONLINE! Next course starts October 2023 4 All classes (apart from induction weekend at the NCA) and clinics online 4 Running for over 20 years 4 Postgraduate loans available for MSc FIND OUT MORE AND BOOK AN ONLINE INTRODUCTORY EVENT AT www.nca.ac.uk
Kim Chan & Sarah Matheson
17th June 2022 Witness how each of the five elements emotionally operate within us. Eligibility: Acupuncture practitioners and 2nd & 3rd year students
Everything you ever wanted to know about moxa Sia (Snow) Wang
7th & 8th July 2022 This two day course is predominantly practical and will teach you the clinical application of moxa from rice grain to hand-made moxa ball. Eligibility: Acupuncture practitioners
MSc in Advanced Oriental Medicine (Research and Practice)
Next course starts October 2022 4 Totally online master’s 4 Each module helps enhance your clinical practice 4 Global cohort of like-minded practitioners 4 Postgraduate loans available
Early bird rate applies if booked six weeks in advance Day one is a prerequisite for day two/three
FIND OUT MORE AND BOOK AN ONLINE INTRODUCTORY EVENT AT www.nca.ac.uk
Gynaecology, fertility & obstetrics diploma
Jill Glover with Kim Chan, Clare Venters Smith & Sharon Yelland Next course starts September 2022 This online course combines teachings of diagnosis and treatment of women from pre-conception (with a focus on fertility) to pregnancy related conditions to post-birth replenishment. Eligibility: Acupuncture practitioners
Current vacancies Practical skills tutors & Chinese medicine lecturers Successful applicants will: • have a passion and enthusiasm to teach acupuncture students • have a minimum of three years experience in practice To apply and for more information email Jonathan at email@example.com
To find out more and book online go to www.acupuncturecollege.org.uk or call 0118 950 8889
WELCOME TO THE PRACTITIONER HUB Supporting you in your practice with inspiring and informative microlectures, CPD, networking and online professional group supervision. Different membership options available. FIND OUT MORE AND BOOK A PLACE ON OUR NEXT LAUNCH EVENT AT thepractitionerhub.co.uk
For more information call our enquires desk on + 44 (0) 1904 343309
Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundamentals of Applied Channel Theory / 2 days / Jamie Hamilton •
10 - 11 May 2022 (Tue-Wed), Edinburgh, Fee £250 or 7 - 8 October (Fri-Sat) Farnham, Fee £230 Our thorough introduction to Applied Channel Theory and channel palpation, pioneered by Dr. Wang Ju-Yi, explores the detailed model of the six channel system and theories of qi transformation in theory and practice.
In-Depth Mai Jing Pulse Diagnosis / 2 days / Jamie Hamilton •
13 - 14 May 2022 (Fri - Sat) 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh. Fee £250 This method of pulse diagnosis is easy to learn, clarifies underlying theory and shows hard to diagnose aspect including 5 Element constitution + 8 Extraordinary vessel imbalances. The technique is taught according to Essential Pulse Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: Mai Jing ABC Method, being published in April 2022.
Live Well Live Long - Yangsheng Residential / 3 days / Peter Deadman •
9 - 11 September 2022 (Fri-Sun) Oxfordshire Residential / £440 We are returning to the peaceful location of Charney Manor to continue with the invaluable teachings outlined in Peter Deadman's book 'Live Well Live Long'. This draws on the wisdom of the Chinese nourishing life tradition with qigong and the latest thinking from scientific research. See our website: www.eastwestcollege.co.uk or call 07799 238810 for more information
Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from email@example.com
The Third Toyohari Training Programme in the UK
TOYOHARI-JAPANESE NEEDLE THERAPY AN EIGHT-WEEKEND, TWENTY-DAY POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME
October 2022 - June 2023 Course Directors : Stephen Birch and Junko Ida
Toyohari is a form of Japanese Meridian Therapy that focuses on training sensitivity to qi in diagnosis and treatment. Blind practitioners of Meridian Therapy formed the Toyohari system and developed systematic treatment approaches, very refined non-inserted needling techniques, various symptomatic treatment methods and highly developed feedback techniques that allow for accelerated learning of these subtle yet powerful methods.
Cost : £2,100 For more information and your application form contact Neil at: T: 07773 331807 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.toyohari.org.uk Location: College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (CICM), Reading, RG1 7SB Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from email@example.com
MENTORING/SUPERVISION The following practitioners have all completed Postgraduate training in mentoring/supervision specifically for acupuncturists and are in ongoing supervision with senior members of the network. Contact your nearest practitioner to join a group, or for individual sessions Argyll, West Coast of Scotland Emma Vaughan 01546 606611
Hertfordshire/ St Albans Sarah Barnard 07968 140516
Birmingham Holly Timmermans 07790 205797
Herefordshire & Welsh Borders Sandy Sandaver 01497 821625
Birmingham & Hereford Lucy Fox 07941 413805 Bristol & North Somerset Charlotte Brydon-Smith 07900 814100 Jackie Pamment 07789 905390 Cambridge Frankie Luckock 07717 285248 Glasgow Francesca Howell 07895 108473 Hertfordshire Kate Henley 07887 565174 Gail Lazarus 07946 231075 Helen Thomas 07790 363867
Ireland Susan Evans 07966 885894 Lancashire Cathy Chapman 01524 67707
London cont. Isobel Cosgrove 07791 581608 Mina Haeri 07957 726072 Pia Huber 07719 987933 Natalie Rose Johnson 07444 919040 Angelika Strixner 07791 516733 Vera Wong 07966 538828 London & Brighton Sarah Matheson 07808 633643
Oxfordshire & Berkshire Frances Turner 07510 710245 Reading Magda Koc 0118 996 8574 Somerset & Dorset Jane Robinson 01935 422488 South West England Sally Blades 07896 369885 Surrey Susan Adams 07799 638577
Leamington Spa & the Midlands Debbie Collins Watford 07960 040985 Mary Hurley Manchester/Cheshire/ 01923 240793 Lancashire Leicestershire & Joshua Enkin West Yorkshire East Midlands 0161 434 0195 Caitlin Allen Cath Esworthy 07971 927675 07547 054666 Mid & West Norfolk Kate Stewart Caroline Haigh 07899 953806 London 07754 198764 Shelley Berlinski North Yorkshire 07903 824150 Naomi Nash Julie Williams 07725 842979 07512 304444 Kim Chan 07947 361021 Yorkshire Dales & Oxford Cumbria Sarah Collison Sue Pennington Judith Blair 07940 585133 01865 776759 07553 266452
“ As practitioners we offer our patients guidance, support and encouragement – it seems a good idea to offer it to ourselves” Isobel Cosgrove www.mentoringsupervision.org Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Of f er ed by T h e Nor t h er n Col l ege of Acu pu n ct u r e:
CPD courses, support & inspiration for practitioners of Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine & Nutritional therapy
Take your practice to the next level
COME AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF SPECIALIST FERTILITY ACUPUNCTURISTS The Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture covers diagnosing with Western medicine and treating complex fertility, pregnancy and IVF issues with TCM. This online course provides over 20 hours of teaching by Naava Carman, backed-up by research, handouts to use with clients, case studies, and treatment plans for acupuncture and herbs. Once you have completed the course you can join the community Facebook Group for lots of benefits including free monthly CPD, mentoring and peer support.
Find out more at: www.fertilitysupport.training
Disclaimer: Articles, letters, advertisements and any other material published in Acu. does not necessarily reflect the opinion or carry the endorsement of the British Acupuncture Council. Advertising guidelines are available from email@example.com
Online congress I 24–28 May 2022
CORRESPONDENCES OF THE WATER PHASE
Jing-Essence and Vital Energy Anxiety Disorders, Bladder and Kidney Diseases Mazin Al-Khafaji (GB) Dan Bensky (US) Stephen Birch (GB) Steven Clavey (AU) Peter Deadman (GB) Virginia Doran (US) Wolfram Gentz (DE) Goro Hasegawa (JP) Robert Helmer (CA) Li Jie (NL)
Y. K. Leung (GB) Yair Maimon (IL) Olivia Pojer (AT) Volker Scheid (DE) Sabine Schmitz (DE) Mary Elizabeth Wakefield (US) Tianjun Wang (GB) Yifan Yang (NL) Amos Ziv (IL) Jin Zhao (CN)
Fachverband für Chinesische Medizin
Save the date BAcC conferences are back in person in 2022!
ARRC Symposium 16 September The BAcC Annual Conference 17-18 September
We’re heading to the West Midlands! Gather this September at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre for a weekend of sharing, learning and networking. We look forward to seeing you there!
For the latest information visit: www.acupuncture.org.uk/events or contact firstname.lastname@example.org