Technically my Chinese medicine journey began on September 2011 when I started my acupuncture programme at London South Bank University. But in reality, it all started many years ago at this ferry pier on the other side of the world.
I moved to Hong Kong in 1996 to take up the post of bureau chief for my old company, Asian Sources Media Group. Home was Yung Shue Wan, the main village -- or more accurately, a collection of villages -- on Lamma Island.
Shortly after moving, my boyfriend (now husband) and I saw an ad for tai chi classes. We went to the free demo, started classes thereafter with Alex and his wife Sophia, and were hooked. Six years later, we moved to London and continued learning tai chi from the same school where Alex learned and taught.
I didn't know it at the time, but my habit of getting up early and doing rounds of tai chi to start the day is part of the ancient Chinese tradition of health preservation. Along with acupuncture, herbology and massage, health preservation (or yang sheng) is considered one form of Chinese medicine. Tai chi and qi gong are excellent exercises for the mind, body and spirit -- not just a physical exercise and a form of martial art, but also deeply meditative. When you practise tai chi, you are circulating the body's energy (qi).
This key principle of qi circulation is what acupuncture aims to do. When we are in good health, qi flows smoothly around the body. Emotional tension and upsets, and external pathogenic invasion are some of the reasons why qi might get stuck (or fail to move in its proper direction). It is the job of an acupuncturist to make a diagnosis and insert needles in very specific sites in the body to ensure that qi is flowing harmoniously again.
Every so often my family and I come back to this little island in Hong Kong to visit dear friends. This time I am here prior to going to China for further acupuncture training, and delight at the thought of where my Chinese medicine journey started 18 years ago.
... or a record of a Filipina's adventures in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
I am a practitioner of traditional acupuncture based at Violet Hill Studios in St. John's Wood and in Hampstead Garden Suburb, both located in north London.
I am registered and fully insured with the British Acupuncture Council. I studied Chinese Medicine at the Confucius Institute of TCM (within the London South Bank University) and at the First Affiliated Hospital of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine in Harbin, China.