A surprising effect of being forced into Covid lockdown was my introduction to the delights of recording myself on video talking about five element acupuncture. I was sitting watching one of the many podcasts that sprang up to help us wile away the many hours we were forced to sit in isolation, when the idea of doing something similar flashed through my mind. Why did not I, too, start talking to the world out there about aspects of my five element life which people would be interested to hear? And of course my thoughts then went straight to my Chinese students. Couldn't I continue my seminar work in this way, but at a distance?
The first obstacle, and one that caused me much bewilderment and my patient son many hours of calm tuition, was how to get me to understand how my i-Pad would record what I wanted to say. Overcoming my initial reluctance to learn ways of mastering the intricacies of this newly acquired piece of computer equipment took many hours and many abortive attempts at recording myself. Eventually, though, I succeeded, and pride myself now at my growing skill at this new way of teaching.
Finding the subject matter and working out how long each recording would be proved less of a problem, because all sorts of new ideas are constantly bubbling around in my mind, ready to emerge in the shape of small snippets of teachings, each in turn becoming a short video. After a few abortive attempts, the average recording time proved to be between 5 and 10 minutes, time for a topic to be introduced and shared, but not too long to bore the watcher/listener. Gradually I accumulated a long list of videos, and a shape to them started to emerge. When I noticed that quite a few seemed to be adding something to what I had written in my Handbook of Five Element Practice, this gave me the idea to arrange them in the order of its chapters, making them into a kind of accompaniment to the Handbook. This set of videos formed the first group of 30 videos or so which which went out on subscription in China about a year ago, and have proved immensely popular.
To these I have now added a further series, this time for more experienced practitioners, and recently another, together with Guy Caplan, concentrating on long-term treatment for patients, with examples of treatments actually given to patients of each element who have been coming for many years.
These videos have proved a surprisingly fruitful substitute to what we offered acupuncturists at our Chinese seminars, and an excellent way of keeping up our contacts despite being unable to teach in person. I realise that what I enjoy about making the recordings is the knowledge that I will in effect eventually be talking to a real, live audience, which will be all those people who download them and sit in their various homes listening to me talking, much as they might do if I was in front of them in person. I am always much better at thinking my thoughts through as I put them into words when I feel that my Fire element is engaging with others.
Another project based on these videos is now in train, helped along very willingly by Gye Bennetts in Australia. My videos could previously only be seen in China, but this will be an excellent way of making them available for the first time to the English-speaking world. More of this later, when our plans have firmed themselves up further.