I think that one of my current aims is to encourage as many five element acupuncturists to pass on as much of their knowledge to others as they can. And that means, of course, daring to think of teaching. I have often said that I am dismayed that so few five element practitioners seem to have the confidence, and therefore the desire, to take on such an essential role for the continuing future of this precious branch of acupuncture. I have often wondered why this is so, because it is so different from my need to do all I can to help such a pure discipline survive in a world still dominated and controlled by orthodox medicine.
And yet what the world and its many ills and distressed patients want is so much more akin to what we offer our patients, which is the ability to help overcome many of the very profound stresses of modern life at every level of our being. So what is holding back so many of my fellow practitioners from following in my footsteps, and even when actively encouraged by me, rarely accepting the suggestion to go out and teach?
I have thought a lot about this over the years, and with only a few notable exceptions, such as my close associate, Guy Caplan and a few others five element practitioners scattered around the world, I see an acupuncture world now mostly deprived of any possibility of studying five element acupuncture in its purest, and often therefore simplest, most authentic form. It is why I am so delighted that the one exception appears now to be China, with its vast resources in training practitioners of all areas of complementary practice. It is now supremely able to include five element acupuncture in its huge university faculties devoted to the study of all forms of complementary medicine. It pleases me greatly that a recent video celebrating my 10 years of teaching in China listed the number of seminars held in cities throughout China as being about 150, at which around 4000 students received their first introduction to five element acupuncture.
But I have just received some good news in a lovely email from Pierre in France. As he says in his email, he has been on the trail of five element acupuncture for some years, before finally attending one of our seminars, and himself receiving some five element treatment. Since then, he has been devotedly following a path in his life leading now to the decision to teach five element acupuncture. Here are his own words:
"I'm announcing to you that I have decided to follow your advice about FEA, and the duty we have as practitioner to try to pass on what we have learnt, and what we know about this specific style of acupuncture, to help it to stay alive, and more important, to help it to spread out.
Here in France, there is nothing I know about FEA of Worsley's lineage teaching.
So I would like to start a teaching in the right way of the purest form of FEA, ..... with your allowance and benediction."
I herewith happily encourage him to do this, and send him my blessings.
I do not know what he is intending to do. Whether it will be by founding his own college or just teaching a few practitioners in the age-old system of master-pupil transmission of knowledge. Maybe he doesn't yet know, but I am delighted that my words of encouragement, repeated endlessly over the years at each of our seminars and in many of my blogs, is bearing this unexpected fruit.
"Well done, Pierre", and as the French say, "Courage, mon vieux!" And he will certainly need all the courage he has. Of course, Guy and I will do everything we can to support him in this exciting new venture. I am also already gearing myself up to freshen up my somewhat stale spoken French. Years ago, being a linguist, I could speak it almost like a native, but that skill has faded with many years of disuse. I must get back to reading more of my French books as a first step in the right direction to helping Pierre, if he decides a visit from us to France would be welcome.
Any prospective five element teachers can also take heart from the examples of Guy and me. We never claim to "do a JR", and within a few minutes state categorically what a patient's element is. Instead, we are are humble enough to insist that our first attempt at a diagnosis is only a hypothesis, a preliminary diagnosis, to be confirmed subsequently by evidence from the effects of treatment. None of our many Chinese students are therefore remotely concerned when we do change our diagnosis.