Ian Rowe graduated from the CNM in July 2005 as a fully qualified Naturopath and Acupuncturist. To gain experience and clinical hours during his studies with the CNM, he and his fellow students took part in an arranged trip to China to study Acupuncture at the Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
On the first day at the hospital the students met Dr Sun, the Dean, who discussed their wants and needs. They were happy to provide just about anything, says Ian. In addition to the acupuncture classes, we decided to go for some evening classes in Tai Chi, taught by one of the doctors who was a national Wu Shu champion. The students had a guided tour of the hospital and were given opportunities to spend a day in the other departments, including the TCM pharmacy and the Tui Na X-ray department.
The students working day started from 8.00am until 11.00am and then recommenced at 2.00pm until 4.00pm. This was the standard, but work continued well beyond these times and the average week of the TCM doctor is working every day, with just reduced hours on Sundays. I found this was more than plenty of time to observe and gain knowledge not available in the UK and the doctors have a lot of patients to see, so it was good to give them a break from us!.
The seven students were split off into two groups and the experiences of the groups were quite different. Ian reports, My group carried out more cupping rather than needling, but we were all asked to demonstrate our standards to the doctor supervising us. Most of the time the students observed and have come back with additional techniques that were completely new to them. Says Ian, The depth of knowledge of the doctors over there is staggering, although tongue and pulse analysis is used very little. TCM is truly a vast subject and more than one lifetimes worth of learning.
Away from their studies Ian and his fellow students found many things to do. The junior doctors at Jiangsu arranged for them to have a foot massage at the hospital next door. The styles offered are gentle, normal and strong, but painful, excrutiating and agony may be more appropriate! By all accounts it is a white knuckle experience, but their diagnostic skills are scarily accurate as Ian found out, I was very seriously impressed as medical tests since my return have backed up what I was told about myself. Away from the hospital the students also spent time in the mountain areas with its amazing views and went shopping at the main district about a mile away from the hospital.
It is considered good manners in China to take the lecturers out for a meal at the end of each stay, which the students did. It also gave them the opportunity to give thanks for their support and put an end to a very enjoyable stay.
Finally from Ian, Thank you CNM for the opportunity and I would recommend the trip to anyone wishing to advance their knowledge in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A Case Study, by Ian Rowe
Whist I have come back with many case histories from the huge number of patients we saw, I will use one patient that presented a very acute problem. I would not expect quite the same in my current clinic and the treatment given as well as the results is an excellent example of the power or Acupuncture in an acute situation.
Female, 27 years old, slim build.
Presentation of Chief Complaint: The patient was helped into the clinic room and on to the treatment couch supported on either side by two friends. The patient was ashen and doubled over with abdominal pain, clutching her lower abdomen.
Description of Complaint:
The patient was on day one of her period and had had extreme pain in her lower abdomen since earlier that morning. Shed previously vomited once due to the intensity of the pain. She described her whole body as feeling cold.
Past Medical History:
Patient has a previous 10 year history of abdominal pain at the beginning of her period, but only slight and does not usually seek treatment. The pain usually presents itself on day one of her menstrual cycle. Due to the acute presentation, no further questioning or examination was required.
Stagnation of Qi and blood.
Ren 4, Ren 6, Stomach 28, Spleen 6, Spleen 8, Electro-stimulation to Ren 4, and Stomach 28.
After electro stimulation was applied to the selected acupuncture points, the pain had completely gone after 10-15 minutes. After a further 20 minutes the patient was walking out of the clinic smiling.
Patient was advised to come to the clinic one week before future periods for further consultation and treatment.