An Introduction | What is ‘Acupuncture West London – The Podcast’?
Welcome to ‘An Introduction’, a special introductory episode of ‘Acupuncture West London – The Podcast’. The podcast is a resource designed primarily for students, practitioners and enthusiasts of classical Chinese philosophy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture – for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the very concepts that inform our practice.
In today’s special introductory episode, we discuss the following:
- What is ‘Acupuncture West London – The Podcast’, and who is it for?
- What is the focus of this podcast?
- What makes us different from other Chinese medicine podcasts, and why did I decide to create this podcast?
- What’s the format for the show?
Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way (Chapter 11)
“We join spokes together in a wheel,
But it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
But it is the inner space
that makes it liveable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.”
When we read and interpret the classic texts, when we try to make sense of the language, the philosophy and the practices laid out by our ancestors, we must remember that they created and passed on their wisdom to us – a template based on our relationships with the world that surrounds us, and informed by context and millennia of clinical experience. However, we must also remember that what they have given us is not a series of fixed points in time and space; it cannot be absolute. It is an interface, containing numerous multi-dimensional and interdependent systems, through which we can attempt to view the inner moving cogs of the universe – an interface with which we, as practitioners, hope to interact to promote balance and harmony in our patients, and within ourselves.
To quote Hippocrates, “as to diseases, [we] make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.”
So, today serves as an introduction to our brand-new podcast. I am here to introduce you to the newest Chinese medicine podcast on the scene, to answer all your questions, and to give you a brief taste of all the exciting things to come.
So, What is ‘Acupuncture West London – The Podcast’, and who is it for? What is the focus of this podcast? What makes us different from other Chinese medicine podcasts, and why did I decide to create this one? And, finally, what’s the format for the show?
These are all great questions, and all will be answered…
AN INTRODUCTION TO OUR PODCAST:
What and who is this podcast for?
‘Acupuncture West London – The Podcast’ is a resource primarily for students, practitioners and enthusiasts of classical Chinese philosophy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture – for anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the concepts that inform our practice; for example, five-element acupuncture and TCM are rooted in the classics, and in Wu Yun Liu Qi (Stems and Branches theory) – the relationship between Heaven, Earth and Man; humankind’s relationship with the universe and his or her environment. the movement from the un-manifest to the manifest (Spirit and Form, Fire and Water – Yang and Yin).
So, when we study Chinese medicine and acupuncture, we learn various principles and treatment protocols. But what are these concepts rooted in, and why? We are all wells of knowledge and experience in our own unique ways. But what have we taken for granted in our own lives, our own practices and in the treatment of our patients? From a TCM perspective, why are certain point combinations used to address certain pathologies? What are the concepts that inform these protocols? What are the Sheng and Ke cycles in Five-Element acupuncture and how are they rooted in Wu Yun Liu Qi? How are these reflected in the four seasons, Five-Phases or Five-Elements and within the human body as the Zang/Fu. How is numerology at the very core of Chinese Medicine?
So, as you can see, there is lots to talk about. So, with each episode, we will focus on a specific topic and attempt to address its application within a clinical setting.
What is the focus of this podcast?
While the podcast’s primary focus is on classical Chinese philosophy, the classical texts and their application in modern practice, topics covered will also include the following:
- Point Location
- TCM Patterns and point combinations
- Different styles of acupuncture
- Business strategies, clinical advice and loads more.
What makes us different from other Chinese medicine podcasts and why did I decide to create this one?
There are some really great and high-quality podcasts that delve into TCM and other aspects of Chinese Medicine: Kenton Sefcik of TCM Graduate TV, Michael Max of Qiological and more. All have got me through many of my own exams, and continue to give me lightbulb moments and provoke further questions that I need to ask myself. Furthermore, they also introduce me to different styles of acupuncture that I would otherwise not be familiar with. You should definitely check them all out – if you haven’t already. However, it is not my intention to launch a podcast to compete with others. Instead, I feel that there is space for a podcast on classical Chinese medicine philosophy and how this informs our practice.
I hope that this podcast will serve as an educational and motivational tool – both for myself and for fellow students, practitioners and enthusiasts of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Within this context, I plan to involve the wider student and practitioner community by means of regular guest interviews and Q&A sessions. This way, we can all continue to learn from and support one another in a relaxed and supportive environment.
I didn’t create this podcast to be a high brow platform for academics. I do absolutely intend for it to be challenging. However, I created this as a platform for all of us to ask questions and to have them answered – and failing that, at the very least, to have a decent debate in the process. There will be much, I’m sure, that we all can’t agree on. However, I feel that it’s vitally important for all of us to be able to hold seemingly conflicting principles in our own minds so that we can challenge them ourselves within our own practices and find a context for each of them. After all, it’s easy to forget that they’re all based on the experiences of those who came before us. We need to remain infinitely humbled by that.
As host, I am positioning myself as ‘the asker of questions’; not the expert. A key part of our manifesto is as follows:
- to be accessible to you, the listener
- to be seen as approachable – and in being so, to be adaptable to your questions and feedback
- to be driven by what you, the listener, wants to hear
So, if you have ideas, or if there’s anything that you’d like to hear more about, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your engagement is not just appreciated, but encouraged. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. It’s often the simple things that we take for granted that need the most thought. We can’t build on the more complex principles until we can live and breathe the basics – just like I myself can’t claim to be solid in my own understanding of certain ideas and concepts until I’m able to explain them to others and/or put them into practice.
Within each episode, we will look to respond to listeners’ questions relating to the previous episode’s topic.
What’s the format for the show?
Many podcasts publish episodes between 45 to 75 minutes in duration. Episodes will be 20-30 minutes in duration so that you can absorb bite-sized and easily digestible chunks of key information in short bursts and in line with your busy day to day lives.
The show will be a hybrid of styles and include the following formats:
- solo content
- guest interviews
- academics and/or specialists of particular areas of classical Chinese medicine and philosophy
- experienced and/or master practitioners
- guest co-hosts
- podcasters from related shows
- Q&A segments facilitating questions from students and practitioners
So, please do join me as we move forwards together. I’m really looking forward to learning from all of you, and I’m looking forward to seeing our little community grow in the future.
Ben Carrigan | BSc (Hons) Lic. Ac. AFN FEA MBAcC