How I got into Chinese medicine

My little sister and I

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a medical doctor. Ok, maybe not young as in the photo above, but at least from when I was seven. My father was a doctor and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. But life doesn’t always turn out the way we want and when I turned 14, I realised that I would have to follow a different dream.

A rare picture of my dad with me and my siblings

My first marriage brought me to England and I dabbled at a number of different jobs – from working in the city of London to starting my own franchised drama school for children. Whilst the latter brought me a lot of satisfaction, deep down I knew that I would have to pursue my original dream in one form or another. I knew I was meant to heal and help people and until I did that I would not be totally happy with any job I did.

13 years ago I went to see an acupuncturist. I was suffering from chronic tiredness and headaches even though I thought I was pretty healthy. I didn’t know what acupuncture was all about or how it worked, but my friend had tried it and it had helped her. So I thought, why not? The acupuncturist took an exhaustive case history covering all aspects of my life to help her diagnose where the problem was coming from. Then she put needles on my back and stuck some hot herbs on top of the needles. This was all very strange to me but I felt very relaxed, warm and glowing. I had anticipated feeling quite a bit of pain from the needles but surprisingly I hardly felt them.

What I remember feeling when I left that appointment was that someone had taken the time to listen to what was going in every area of my life in diagnosing the root cause of the symptoms. Sure, I was paying her but I was happy to do that rather than pop some pills to hide the symptoms. This got me thinking. If I was happy to do that, there must be others who wanted a natural approach to dealing with their illnesses rather than going to the doctor and being prescribed medications for every illness. The therapist also told me that acupuncture could be used as preventative medicine, if used regularly. A natural way to prevent disease, I was hooked!

So I looked into the possibility of training as an acupuncturist. But once again, it wasn’t to be. The cost of re-training as well as the time commitment was one that I couldn’t afford at that time. A few years later, when I sold my drama business and moved to a new town, it was time for a change, all around. I went to train as a massage therapist and reflexologist. The training was intense but once I qualified, I was able to work from home and dictate my own hours. I really enjoyed this as I was able to be there for my son after school too. I knew I had embarked on a journey of healing and it would just be a matter of time before I could start studying acupuncture.

A year later, with some financial help from my husband, a student loan and my own savings I enrolled at the International College of Oriental Medicine, East Grinstead – the oldest college to teach acupuncture in England. And that was the start of by Chinese medicine journey….

I do not regret the way things turned out. Whilst I do see a doctor when I need to, I don’t think I would want to be one. I feel I make a difference to people’s lives doing what I do now and I wouldn’t want to change anything.

Graduation – with my husband and son

With all my classmates

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