I have always loved spending time with Chinese Medicine Practitioners. I definitely feel that I am among My People.
Perhaps you feel the same way?
Chinese medicine superpowers
There’s just something very cool about the whole way that Chinese Medicine Practitioners operate. It’s kind of a magic bag of superpowers.
You may not even realise you’re using these superpowers. Let alone using them all at once, or morphing between thinking and perceptive functions fluidly throughout your consultation and treatment.
Our culture is pretty lame at naming these weird superpowers. I’m not too interested in naming them either.
I just like that there’s a thing that I can do, that helps others, and expresses these weird traits of mine, and other people are doing it too, and we can get together and do the thing and talk about it.
The learning journey
Because that’s another superpower of ours. We love to learn.
And in Chinese Medicine, there is always always always always always more to learn. It’s never done.
(Just quietly – isn’t it frustrating? That we will never know all there is to know about Chinese Medicine, probably only ever a fraction of it? In my more misty-eyed moments, I muse in my armchair in a philosophical way about how theoretically lovely this is, that I’ll be learning until I’m a little old lady. I mean it’s true, if there was a “done” to this then I’d probably get bored with it at some stage. But sometimes, just sometimes, I admit that I dearly would love a little USB with All The Things on it, and just to plug that in and be done with the whole “oh there’s another whole layer to this” thing.)
So it’s never done, it’s just this experience that goes deeper into us, and that we go deeper into.
Our presence and our practice
Chinese medicine practice asks us to dig deep, deep into our inner space, to draw forth an appropriate response to the patient in front of us, for what they need in this moment.
When you’re picking up information from your patient, digging deep, accessing your many-layered clinical maps, sorting and prioritising words, sounds, images, sensations and feelings, then you’re dwelling in the presence that is Chinese medicine practice.
The process of learning together
I love to bring practitioners together, joining in this state of presence with one another, learning with and from each other.
When you think about it, for most of us, normally when we absorb into our work with the patient, we’re the only practitioner in the space.
How much opportunity do you have to feel something, notice something, wonder about something, and then turn to a trusted colleague to discuss it in the moment?
This is the little spark of magic that I like to make space for, the spark that happens when practitioners join together to discover and learn. We find words to describe to each other what we’re feeling, sensing, intuiting, making meaning of.
Giving a treatment to another practitioner is a huge learning opportunity. They may provide some vital feedback that takes your practice to another level. And receiving a treatment as a practitioner-patient is an invaluable learning experience. When the treatment has come alive for you, then you are so much more intimately able to describe it and guide your own patients through that transformation.
Through study groups, I aim to weave some theory and structure through the shared practice. Ultimately, your learning and development is a matter that is created between you – your heart, your mind, your senses and your physical being – and the presence of each of your own patients.
So I see that my role is not to tell any practitioner that they are right or wrong. My role is to open and facilitate an opportinuty for you to aquire and absorb specific knowledge and then explore the process of testing this for yourself in practice, the process of making it your own.
Maybe you’re looking for someone with all the answers? I can understand that! This vast, heterogenous tradition that we’ve stepped into – the scale and complexity of it can be overwhelming. But I’m just another seeker, another learner, another one who practises. I’ve learned some theory and techniques that I can pass on to you. And I’ve learned a bunch about the reality of holding a healing space when 99% of the “work” is utterly intangible. Sitting in the detail and the beauty, the fog and the overwhelm, the frustrations and the miracles – this is the work of being a practitioner, in my opinion. If you’re after some guidance in holding that presence, then I am happy to welcome you.