Tribute to Giovanni Maciocia Interview with Aruna Sahni
EJOM Vol. 9 No. 1 (2018)
As a tribute to Giovanni Maciocia (1945-2018) we are reproducing Aruna Sahni’s interview with him from EJOM Vol 4 No 4. It provides a personal account of not only the early years of acupuncture in the UK but his own involvement in those years. We have all benefitted from his curiosity, scholarship and commitment as he sought to expand his own knowledge and his work helped develop the clarity that we all so desperately needed in the late 70s and 80s when so little information about Chinese medicine was available in the West. He made Chinese medicine accessible, helping adapt Chinese medicine for a Western mindset and rightly became one of the most highly respected teachers of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in Europe. He even helped introduce Chinese herbal medicine to the UK through inviting key figures such as Ted Kaptchuk to teach here. Giovanni’s contribution was enormous, through his books which have become standard textbooks in innumerable colleges worldwide, his inspirational teaching and his willingness to share his wisdom and expertise. As students, practitioners and patients, we all owe him a huge thank you.
Roger Newman Turner In conversation with Jasmine Uddin
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 3 (2016)
In a careeer that spans over 50 years Roger Newman Turner, naturopath, osteopath and acupuncturist, has seen many changes, for the acupuncture profession in particular. In this wide-ranging, reflective conversation with EJOM’s Editor, Jasmine Uddin, he looks back over the last half century, from the pioneering early days to the present, as well as forward to what he hopes for the future.
Arnaud Versluys - a passionate and charismatic advocate of the clinical use of classical formulas from the Shang Han Lun and Jing Gui Yao Lue - answers questions about his education in China (right through to doctorate level) and his insights into the study and practice of Chinese medicine.
In this article, BAcC member Shulan Tang sketches her career in TCM which began with her entry, at the age of 16, into the Nanjing TCM University, where she now holds a professorship. Shulan has been practising acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Manchester since 1991 and has lectured extensively in the UK and Europe. She writes about her experiences of practice in both China and the UK and gives her views on the development of TCM in both countries and the integration of Chinese medicine into the UK's National Health Service.
Royston Low was one of the founders of acupuncture in Britain and author of eight texts on the subject (one co-authored with Roger Newman Turner). Here he talks about the early days of acupuncture in the UK, going back to the 1960s, the origins of acupuncture education in the country, including the formation of the British College of Acupuncture, and the emergence of professional bodies which eventually gave rise to the British Acupuncture Council.
Probing questions by Aruna get Giovanni talking about his early life and training under JR Worsley and van Buren. He speaks of his studies in China and learning Chinese so that he could get a feel for Chinese thinking among other things. Giovanni talks about his writing and his introduction of Chinese herbal medicine to England through a course he organised with Ted Kaptchuk. He identifies areas of weaknesses in the teaching of Chinese medicine, the first being in pulse diagnosis and the second being an insufficient knowledge of the classics.
This interview with van Buren was conducted in the summer of 1988 and published in the Review of Oriental Medicine that same year. It covers his early life in Java, his education in England and Holland, and later his experiences with Dutch forces in the war in Java and later as a prisoner of the Japanese for nearly four years. After the war, van Buren qualified first as an osteopath and naturopath before learning acupuncture, initially with Lavier in 1966. In 1968 he went to Taiwan to take a doctorate before returning to teach students in England, Holland and Scandinavia. Van Buren talks in a fascinating way about his perspective on Stems and Branches theory and his pioneering work developing the left-right law and the ten-day cycle.
Joe Goodman was an acupuncturist, osteopath and naturopath, lecturer and writer. He was Chair of the Council for Acupuncture and, in 1995, became the first Chair of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). He served as President of the BAcC for three years after which, in recognition of his services to the profession, he was given the honorary title of President Emeritus. He also headed up the Professional Conduct Committee, served on the editorial board of the European Journal of Oriental Medicine, and as Chair of the International Cranial Association, Chair of the Barnet Borough Arts Council and as a member of the Performing Arts Medicine Society. Two British Acupuncture Council members, Ron Bishop and Cecil Chen, reflect, recollect and pay tribute to the memory of their friend, Joseph Goodman.
Dr Johannes Diedericus van Buren (November 27, 1921 - May 12, 2003)
Pamela Stadlen EJOM Vol. 4 No. 3
This is a personal tribute to Dr van Buren who died in May 2003. The following is an extract: "Most of the early students were taught in small groups and observed him in clinic, which was an inspirational experience for patients as well as students. During my training, in the mid-eighties, students at ICOM fought for clinics with Dr van Buren; rumours abounded of how to acquire them on the black market! It was in these clinics that students experienced a healer and master of his craft. They were intense days, as patients with inoperable brain tumours, AIDS and cancers came to him from around the world because they believed and trusted in him. Patients felt better just by being with him, and he showed great compassion towards their suffering. To enter his oak-panelled treatment room was like stepping across a threshold, and it was with awe that we watched his dedication to the pulse and body diagnosis, assessing both afresh every treatment. Watching his hands gently and intuitively palpate the body, locating the points without measuring and needling with such expertise and authenticity, are images that will never fade." Read the whole article
Professor J R Worsley - A Personal Tribute
Meriel Darby EJOM Vol. 4 No. 3
As the title suggests, this is a personal tribute to J R Worsley who died on 2nd June 2003.The following is an extract: "He spoke of the elements and suddenly we saw them as never before, vibrant or dying, creative or useless.... He spoke of the twelve officials in such a way that they became as familiar to us as our friends.... He aroused a deep pity for the distress of illness and gave us a way of understanding even the most disagreeable of people." Read the whole article
Professor J R Worsley (14 September 1923 – 2 June 2003)
Allegra Wint EJOM Vol. 4 No. 3
The author writes about the life of Jack R Worsley (JR), who died on 2nd June 2003, who was the founder and teacher of a style of acupuncture now known as Classical Five-Element Acupuncture®. The following is an extract: "The story of his life reflects the extraordinary nature of this pioneering and innovative man. His students are indebted to JR for the gift of this work which involves engaging with nature in all its variety and richness. For me and many others, he drew aside the veil and enabled us to experience the spirit that infuses all form. He showed how the more we find our compassion, the more sensitive and accurate are our perceptions. He taught us how to sense the stultification which arises when nature is out of balance and how to encourage the quality of boundless freedom that is characteristic of health." Read the whole article
Sandra Hill and Peter Firebrace EJOM Vol. 4 No. 1
An obituary of Claude Larre 1919-2001, describing how finally he knew the tree of Chinese medicine, and how he kept mindful of the Chinese-ness, the subtlety, the constant return to the root, to understand not just what they thought, but how they thought, not just what they wrote but how they wrote. Claude Larre's life and family are described, giving a fully-rounded description of this compassionate, generous-spirited man.
Acupuncture and the Raison D'Etre for Alternative Medicine: Interview with Bruce Pomeranz
Bonnie Horrigan EJOM Vol. 2 No. 4
This insightful interview with Dr Pomeranz examines his view of alternative medicine and particularly acupuncture. He discusses how he came to the acupuncture endorphin theory and he explains the scientific methodology using 'lines of evidence' to prove or disprove an hypotheses. We find that Dr Pomeranz has meditated for 30 years and is fascinated with 'borderline stuff' i.e. parapsychology. He says rather than discredit TMC he wants to find out how it works. His research follows the protocol of a skeptical yet open mind. This is a brilliant man.
Jasmine Uddin, Peter Firebrace and Caroline Root EJOM Vol. 1 No. 4
A distinguished historian gives an insight into the state of Chinese medicine in Germany, its changing nature in China and reasons why it is so readily embraced in the west. He queries why the proponents of TCM who claim to seek an alternative, wish to be integrated into the power centres they reject and to repeat the same structures.
Complementary Medicine Research: An Alternative to the Reductionist Approach
Roisin Golding interviews Dr David St. George EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2
During this interview David St George develops a variety of theories and ideas that transcend the limitations of the currently accepted scientific view, which is based on 'atomic materialism' and which sees the building blocks of existence but not the creative forces, including consciousness, which may line them up like a 3-dimensional holographic structure and determine their functioning. The following is a paraphrased quote:An expanding force, originating in the big bang, is pulsating out of the sun, which is counteracted by gravity.Similarly, out of the earth, out of plants, out of every atom and molecule, out of every living being, come these expanding and contracting forces, which are orchestrated by what is called life force, biorhythms, qi or prana.David St George questions a scientific paradigm which is unwilling to discuss evidence that does not fit into the current belief system, reminiscent of the church elders refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope.