I'm now a third of the way into my degree and I've faced a crossroads. I'm a pragmatic person who struggles with some of the more spiritual parts of the theory, scepticism I have inherited from my father, but I have observed so many signs of 5 element resonance's in people I cannot turn a blind eye.
I have a passion for all things Chinese, I speak one dialect well another not so well. I enjoy Chinese history, it's medicine and also it's food and tea. In short, I love the culture. It's just something I have never grown bored of and it seems like I never will.
My studies of acupuncture came about because it was the only really viable option to learn in my area. I was certainly more interested in dit da practice, no doubt influenced by my adopted uncle Chan Cheuk Sam of Hong Kong who was a dit da doctor. Two events have really caused me to consider a change of direction in my studies though.
The first event was something that was said to me on attendance to an auricular acupuncture course held in London by Dragomir Lubamirov.
"In China, herbal medicine is the big guns!"
This got me thinking. I had seen an awful lot of herbal medicine in Hong Kong and very very little acupuncture. Why was this? Was the herbal approach more powerful than acupuncture?
The second event was being in the Philippines and seeing the medical needs of people who can't always afford medicine or doctors. No doubt this might cause great debate but I didn't see my style of acupuncture being overly useful. People weren't seeking complimentary medicine to supplement the orthodox treatments available, they weren't getting orthodox medicine at all. Diagnosing someone's emotional imbalance seemed of little use when they had a stomach ulcer and had blood in the stool. Acute symptoms needed to be addressed before the chronic syndromes that are well catered for by 5 element acupuncture.
"Let nature deal with symptoms." Was the response I had upon discussing this with a fellow student. But no doubt this very same student would rather go to see their GP when nature becomes a little too painful.
So I have changed tactics. I am supplementing my medicinal studies with herbal theory. I'm hoping this will make me a well rounded practitioner that can deal with much beyond what 5 elemental acupuncture can deal with. I will still keep my 五行 hat on though by trying to correlate the herbal teachings with Classical 5 Element theory.
This is my journey and you are welcome to follow.