Updated: Mar 12
"We are, in essence, in quiet collaboration with each other".
I have said before that the community I have found in Chinese Medicine has been incredible. I feel very lucky to be even here.
Because this is an amazing job. And how awesome that we will, forever, be learning?
I wanted to give something back to the community, so I have been collating a list of 'useful stuff'. This is not definitive and I am not an authority on the different guidance students will be given for different countries and colleges.
I also wrote an article for the Spring issue of the Acu Magazine which has some more thoughts around learning acupuncture (although specifically during a lockdown, but I know it could be used outside of these times too).
Please also feel free to share any hints/tips you have. I would LOVE to hear them.
There are so many excellent people you can find through social channels. Here are some that you might want to find (if you haven't already).
Some suggested hashtags:
There are some incredible accounts that are providing so many free resources to everyone. A couple of callouts - but there are so many more.
@TCMGraduateTV - does a tongue diagnosis post, which is fascinating. He also records podcasts (The Strength of TCM) and he has a workbook which you can buy
@lifteducationacademy - create posts with quizzes. Good for testing my learning
@kanpobliss - has the best visuals on Instagram for Chinese Medicine. Also has some excellent highlights. Look at the TCM one for a list of recommended books
@acuproacademy - also has great visuals for the points and functions. Have just signed up to her website too for resources (see below)
@tcmstudy - has amazing videos (and a YouTube channel) on point location
@tcm_hub_education - Michael and Chris have lots of resources for free, but have just started a Locals.com Group which is a paid membership. See below for websites.
@tongues.of.tinder - a brilliant source for tongues and very funny commentary!
@tcmgynecology - as it says on the tin, Michael provides brilliant TCM knowledge on gynaecology conditions. He also runs a monthly programme for practitioners to pay and join.
@tcmhub - Michael (from above) also runs this group. It is a free group, but they have a monthly paid group (see websites)
@britishacupuncturecouncil - useful for keeping up to date with news and talks.
@sustainhealthacademy - run frequent webinars with acupuncturists on various topics.
@healthyseminars - an online learning community for practitioners. Often run free webinars which are very interesting and paid CPD courses.
There are quite a few Facebook groups for acupuncture. I would suggest doing a search, but some suggestions are Acupuncture UK EU Professionals, Evidence-Based Acupuncture, Acupuncture Books UK, TCM And Acupuncture Around The World. There are lots and lots!
I found @acuhour #acupuncturehour which is on a Monday evening. This seems to be a really great community vibe and they really keep on top of anything acupuncture.
Manual of acupuncture - the app version of that really amazing book. I use this most days! I cannot remember the cost of it but in my opinion, it is definitely worth it.
Essential Anatomy - a really useful visual of the human body, which you can add/reduce layers of muscles, veins etc. Again, I cannot remember the cost but if you have no prior anatomy knowledge it can be a useful guide.
BNF - this is the British National Formulary, which is a free app for all the medication
Often acupuncturists have blogs that you can subscribe to. I have created Google Alerts to also send me (weekly) when acupuncture/Chinese Medicine has been in the news. Quite a lot of sifting through but sometimes you come across some real gems and you often hear about current studies that are happening.
AcuPro Academy - a fantastic resource and she is on IG too and creates the most wonderful visuals for points and their functions.
Placebo - really interesting research, headed up by Ted Kaptchuk
TCM Hub - I have spoken about Michael lots above. This is a paid-for community (which is currently $15 a month). They really go in-depth and offer you lots of chances to go through cases. This is quite herbs heavy, but they are fine with the acupuncture points I suggest :)
Healthy Seminars - run from courses as well as paid for CPD.
Some Podcasts that you might want to sign up to:
Placebo Paradox - this was a one-off on BBC Sounds
The Strength of TCM - Kenton is an excellent teacher. He is passionate and makes things simple to understand.
Acupuncture West London Podcast - Ben has done an awesome series on the first year in business. A must listen to, for lots of interesting takeaways and things to consider.
Acupuncture Marketing School - Michelle Grasek has an awesome Instagram account too and has just started this podcast. It is awesome.
Qiological - some incredible insights and brilliant guests. Very thought-provoking and more philosophical than theoretical.
Your college/school/university will have a comprehensive guide to your reading list but, for me personally, I have been recommended or have found the following extras:
ALL the Maciocia books - I have brought them all over time and use them all the time.
Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee - when I was really struggling someone sent this through as a recommendation. In her words she said "full of inspiring examples and metaphors. Much more relaxed reading than textbooks".
Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine (Nigel Wiseman) - I don't have this one yet, but someone said that this is less dense than Macioccia
Healing your Emotions (Angela Hicks) - we are not a Five Element college, but this offered me a little more insight into Five Elements in a simple way.
Energy Medicine (Jill Blakeway) - this is a great book if you want some tangible results about the power of healing.
The Acupuncture Points Functions - a colouring-in book for some (but not all) of the points, the organ and the functions/classifications. Just a light-hearted way of trying to study!
Atlas of Chinese Tongue Diagnosis (Barbara Kirschbaum) - expensive, but useful book, for looking at LOTS of tongues and what they show.
Sticking to the Point - Bob Flaws - nice thin book looking at TCM acupuncture point combinations
Psycho-emotional pain and the eight extraordinary vessels - This is my all-time favourite book. I dip in and out of it all the time.
There are A LOT out there, so this is in no way definitive, but just some that I have found useful/recommendations.
I also appreciate that buying all these books is REALLY expensive. I have created eBay alerts for second-hand copies. See also the Facebook section as there are groups dedicated to selling acupuncture books.
Anyway, please feel free to share any other recommendations/tips. I will continue to update people as I find out new things to share!
Sending you all love,
Your fave (Letchworth) acupuncturist