My style of practice is not just aimed at trying to remove symptoms using standardised protocols, but rather at treating the unique individual manifesting those symptoms. I will focus on the meaning you give to your condition and the way you live it more than the label used to define it.
Symptoms are important indeed, however to give a functional answer to your needs it is more relevant to understand how your symptoms integrate with your life and what part they play in the expression of your vitality (qi 氣).
The defining elements of my clinical practice are:
A very small number of extremely fine needles is used. Their insertion is very gentle and even people who usually fear needles are often surprised by the state of deep relaxation they experience when receiving acupuncture.
I was trained at the International College of Oriental Medicine where the relationships between the circulation and rhythms of the energy movements in the macrocosm – Nature – and microcosm – Human being – are strongly emphasised. The college is part of a tradition that can be traced back to the NeiJing and has been then developed by scholar/physicians like Chang Bin Lee, Dr. van Buren and nowadays Joan Duveen with the name of Stems and Branches acupuncture. I have been Joan’s student for a year, and although I cannot define myself as a stem and branches practitioner tout court, my practice maintains an important element of Dr. van Buren’s teachings, especially in the intention to
- respect and preserve the constitutional energies of the patient;
- encourage patients’ transformations through gentle steps (people, even when seriously ill, are already in the most balanced energy configuration);
- be careful and accurate in feeling the pulse and evaluating the tongue and body signs;
- be benevolent and compassionate.
By its nature acupuncture is a preventive medicine that allows all physiological processes in your body to happen unimpeded and in accordance with the environment you are living in. When this is achieved, the resulting dynamic balance will make pathology less likely to settle. This is why it is advisable to seek treatment when changes of any kind are about to approach (change of seasons, moving house, change of job or partner etc…) rather then when the illness is manifesting. The great Chinese medicine scholar Father Claude Larre used to refer to health as a “silent” state. In clinical practice it is very common to meet people who turn to Acupuncture as their last therapeutic resort after everything else has failed to help them heal from their conditions. Unfortunately, it is only then that they can fully appreciate (the sound produced by) the existence of their bodies. My style of acupuncture aims to promote and reinforce a process of self-development and body awareness: patients are encouraged to listen to the requests and needs of their body/mind and take responsibility for their own health. This is the only way to become independent from any type of medical care.
Acupuncture affects very efficiently the functionality of the body but on occasions (e.g. extensive tissue damage) it is necessary to work alongside more conventional forms of treatment. My education also includes thorough training in Western Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology and, if required, patients will be referred to other forms of treatment.