Why do acupuncturists do CPD (Continued Professional Development)? Acupuncture is seen as a life-long learning. I’ve just spent my last two weekends on courses with the eminent acupuncturist Niki Bilton. The first weekend was spent looking at how we treat the Spirit: one of the main differences in Acupuncture compared to Western Medicine is that we treat physical, mental and emotional conditions as one, ie the person not their list of symptoms. By doing so we enable the patient’s energy to rebalance, and facilitate their return to health.
Not only did we look at ways of treating patients (some well known, others new and enlightening), but also how we can develop ourselves as practitioners, in order to be able to deliver better treatment to people. It was a time of writing and reflection, a thoughtful two days, full of quiet, yin energy.
The second weekend was completely different – one of fun, laughter, games and dancing: looking at each of the Five Elements in health, to understand the finer nuances of what makes them not only survive, but thrive. It’s not often that you go on a course that involves you getting up and giving it your all (a full on Flashdance routine in my case…) to show the exuberance and joy of the Wood element in spring, or told stories with kids props to understand the playfulness of Fire in summer. Once you have fully understood each of the Elements, not just through words, but also movement and energetic quality, you will be able to acknowledge and interact with it in the treatment room: recognising each patient’s potential for health, and thus be able to choose the points that will help them achieve true health.
This is why I, and other members of the British Acupuncture Council, commit to on-going training: to deepen our knowledge, experience and understanding of this simple yet complex system of medicine, and the wish to improve ourselves as practitioners.