Director at Quiescence Chinese Medicine.
B.App.SC (Chinese Medicine)
B.C.Ap.S (Human Nutrition)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTISING CHINESE MEDICINE?
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN CHINESE MEDICINE AND WHAT DREW YOU TOO IT?
I actually came across it in several different ways. My father is a physiotherapist and he practiced acupuncture as part of his physiotherapy. He came to Australia to learn acupuncture from a Chinese guy that was teaching in the early eighties. So that sort of thing was always part of my life but I never really assumed that Chinese Medicine was something that I could study until I was traveling. I was in Canada and came across a student clinic which was filled with herbs. I wandered on in and had a look around and they said “If you are interested you can study this” and I was like, “Great! Tell me more.” So I told my dad that I really wanted to study Chinese Medicine and he thought it was a great idea. I grew up in New Zealand, so he started looking for schools a little closer to home, but I was ready to sign up to the school in Canada [laughs]. Anyway, I actually ended up studying at RMIT in Melbourne, which was a bit easier.
WHAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU HAVE SEEN IN YOUR YEARS OF PRACTICE?
I feel like people are much more open to Chinese Medicine. I get a lot less of the “So do you think Chinese Medicine actually works?” questions and a lot more of “Ahh, my dad had acupuncture before”, or “I've had dry needling”, or “I've had experience with herbs.” So I feel like there are a lot more people who are comfortable with having Chinese Medicine in their lives.
WHAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN THE CLINIC?
I think advertising and keeping our name out there is challenging. It's a very different world from when I was first starting, you would just hand out a business card and that was it. Now we have websites and social media and all of that. So the day to day running of the business has definitely changed over the years. Other than that we have it running pretty smoothly, I feel really lucky we have such great people around to help with a lot of the technological side of things. That leaves us free to focus on treating our beautiful patients.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE FORMULAS?
I go through phases of different favourite formulas [Laughs]. At the moment I am loving Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. I've been finding that has really been useful. We've got a lot of blood deficient, anxiety type people at the moment, so that is working a treat. I recently did a course with Sharon Weizenbaum, which was a two-year post graduate program. She focuses a lot on the Shang Han Lun formulas, so I have really been enjoying the simplicity and powerfulness of those formulas.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUES CURRENTLY INVOLVING CHINESE MEDICINE ARE?
Well [laughs] we have just gone through the whole AHPRA drama, with advertising and how we put Chinese Medicine out there. There definitely seems to be a bit of a problem talking about the power of Chinese Medicine. How powerful Chinese Medicine truly is and how it can treat so many wide and difficult conditions. I think that would be the main thing at the moment, not being able to talk freely about what our art can do.
HOW DO YOU SEE CHINESE MEDICINE EVOLVING IN THE FUTURE?
I would like to see it becoming even more mainstream than it is. After spending nine months in China and seeing how incredibly integrated it is in the hospitals over there, it would be great to see acupuncture in the ER of hospitals here and having herbs used much more freely. Just much more integration overall. That would be amazing.