My style of practice involves more than acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. I use a range of techniques or therapies that people might not expect.

I see acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine as a form of medicine that has long had a very pragmatic and practical approach to the way in which patients are treated. Used as a source of primary health care for more than 2000 years Chinese medicine has a history of practitioners using what they had at hand to treat their patients.

The local environment and the circumstances at the time also had an impact on how they would treat patients. For example in the north of China acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine were practised a little differently from how it was practised in the south of the country. This is because there were different climatic, social and environmental conditions that people were exposed to. This also meant that people not only presented with different kinds of ailments but also Chinese medicine practitioners had different resources at hand to treat people with.

When applying acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the modern context it is important to consider the different circumstance in which we are living. Evidence of this can be seen in how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been adopted in many countries around the world. There are many “styles” of acupuncture such as Japanese, Korean and auricular to name just a few. Each of these styles of acupuncture retains the roots of Chinese medicine whilst making changes appropriate to their local circumstance.

I also believe that as registered health professionals we should be making full use of our education and also the therapies available for us to use. For example, I have a health science degree which involved some study of nutrition, so I should be giving my patients basic nutritional advice, prescribe nutritional supplements or refer to a nutritionist where appropriate. If 2000 years ago hypodermic syringes were available would Chines medicine practitioners have been performing acupuncture point injection therapy? I believe they would because Chinese medicine is a very practical form of traditional medicine and practitioners would have been using whatever was at hand to get the results their patients required.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may have originated in China but it is no longer solely the property of China, it belongs to the world.