Being a Teacher of Traditional Chinese Medicine


Teacher of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Acupuncture Research Unit in China.
Teacher of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Acupuncture Research Unit in China.

Members of the College staff will be introduced to you in a series of news items, during the next few months. Our teaching staff are all fully trained practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. You will see that they have different educational and professional backgrounds. They have also had different routes into the profession.

To start the series of Staff profiles one of our senior teachers, who opts to remain anonymous, has agreed to answer a few, perhaps revealing, questions.

Before we start would you recommend this job?

Yes, as an Acupuncturist and TCM practitioner you feel as if you are really contributing to people’s health and well-being and teaching TCM to adult students is endlessly fascinating and rewarding. I definitely recommend it! 

Why?

Some of the reasons are, firstly, and other things being equal – and with the right training, of course – you can radically change a person’s life for the better. You can safely and effectively alleviate or eradicate illnesses and impediments that otherwise could burden a person’s life. Creating hope where none previously existed is marvellously rewarding. Facing desperation in a client’s predicament is certainly challenging but being able to lessen their suffering is uplifting for client and practitioner alike. Creating freedom in this way is a true blessing. Sharing it is the best thing possible. Who would not want to do this?

When you were young did you ever think you would be doing so?

No. As a little girl I wanted to be a ballet dancer, or an opera singer, or an actress.

So, you no longer want to be a Diva?

No – TCM wins hands down!

Ok, how did all this begin? How did you hear about Chinese Medicine?

I did not even hear about Acupuncture or TCM until I was in my early twenties. A friend, whose mother was seriously ill told me about it. His mother had some Acupuncture and Herbal medicine treatment and her health got much better. Later on I had some Acupuncture treatment myself for a relatively minor, but recurring,  health problem that conventional medicine was unable to remedy. After a series of treatments with Acupuncture TCM my problem went away completely and never returned. So, when I got the opportunity to study TCM (specialising first in Acupuncture and later in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Medical Qigong), I jumped at the chance.

Was it hard to change career?

It was quite challenging to train for this new career because I already had a demanding teaching job which included some evening work teaching adults. I loved teaching and continued in my full-time job while studying Acupuncture TCM part-time. After qualifying, I continued with both my old job and my new job for many years. I was in my forties before Traditional Chinese Medicine became my only career and it was great to become my own boss, and have the freedom to work when I want to – the days, the times and the hours.

What do you do now?

I am in my middle sixties, but I cannot give up TCM. I only have a small Clinical practice now, by choice – so that I can feel at least semi-retired – and I still do some teaching on the Licentiate (the undergraduate level Acupuncture Training programme), and teach Medical Qigong and Chinese Herbal Medicine too, at the ICTCM. It is a very worthwhile and rewarding profession.