Something new in acupuncture education
Online free access to some of the work of a senior practical clinician and problem solver – Heather Bruce. I have been active in writing course curriculum, and content and delivering teachings – educating all levels of acupuncturists for over 37+ years.
In the meantime all is here for free access.
This is not only a chance to pick up some of the P/P my past presentations, but also a chance to touch some of my now gone masters. Their wisdom, humanity, sharpness of observation skills and practical decades of experience have sparked my own quest for excellence.
How did I get into acupuncture?
I began my acupuncture learning in 1977 in Australia – when the classical/5 element and meridian styles were all there was – before ‘TCM’ and ‘Japanese’ were part of the acupuncture tapestry. As I had a newborn son and he was my reason for studying – so he was healthier than his dad – I also trained as a naturopath and western herbalist, taking in all vibrational, energy and massage skills I could find along the way.
Since then I have added in a life time of learning and recently – the Mayan Massage/Arvigo work. This has pulled together all the threads over the decades – as the Western herbs and essences, the Aura Soma, all that body work, the spiritual and meditative practices and the moxa/cupping to improve sacral flow all come together with the acupuncture to provide a huge adjunct to what I was already able to do.
In sharing this, I hope that more will see the context we live in and the modern challenges need us to be thinkers not dogmatically looking back to what was . . I started my first acupuncture course with a 6 week old baby – as I did not want him damaged through medical misadventure as his father had been before him (very asthmatic and allergic from birth). In my quest to have a healthy child blossom into a stable sturdy man, I learned a lot.
Enhanced through the progression of myself as a mother – adding 3 more babies over the next 18 years. Initially professionally interested in ‘hopeless’ cases – (as almost all were, who tried acupuncture in desperation back then) – I learned to push boundaries ignoring limitations and going for perfect – regardless of consequences. This meant that I was always a free thinker and after the truth – and often considered to be too blunt or out spoken. Whilst pregnant the third time, in 1986, I took time out of undergraduate teaching to develop my post graduate teachings – an Eight Extras weekend workshop and the fertility/obstetric one. I had been very active in being a ‘doula’ plus needles and Bach flower essences (best help ever in birthing – change mum’s emotional state) – and had recorded my learnings there – as there was nothing written from a practical woman’s perspective and definitely nothing that reflected my own maternal discoveries When my third baby arrived, as massively brain injured then profoundly autistic, I spent the next 8 years in a constant very personal battle with all that came up to allow Kathryn her own destiny – not death. So the text I had intended for acupuncturists to write whilst that baby was little was put on hold’ . . and my ‘Moving Blockages’ style just got a lot more depth – as I had my own blockages and karmic journeying to undertake. What to do with your own brain injured/autistic baby/child? (See what I did) . . . you may well have patient or friend who needs to know that there is a world of hope out there – and growth – and possibly the fastest way to come home to your own heart – through tending your own maternal wound . .. This all puts me well placed to ponder the sense in all trying to make babies – with no apparent thought for quality; no apparent thought for sustainability of the human experience; and no apparent thought for preservation of any ones’ health and well being. Where is the science showing us that the brave new world of messing with Nature is even safe? What with the vaccination and scanning and chemicals all being seemingly condoned by all in ‘healing’ professions – where will it all end? Who is standing up for the children – as yet unconceived – and those babies born into medical misery? As part of an answer, I hope that the old traditions, often home remedies – like the cupping out of navel showcased here – will bring back the humanity and heart back into our medicine.
Why am I doing this?
Over the few decades I have wanted to give back to the profession, and especially to those coming through who have had no exposure to the masters who inspired me. Their work is mostly lost as they were considered outside what was being published at the time. Thus the teachers of Giovanni Maciocia and Dr Leon Hammer, to name a few, are dead and their own voices are silent.
- What they had to offer was not of this evidence based world.
- They worked on the level of spirit and of human – now considered to be that almost ‘bad word’ – anecdotal.
- They were holistic practitioners in a way that we relying on print and data seem to have misplaced.
- They listened. Respectfully – not to the words so much – but the body.
- Both were stunning pulse masters.
- Both had their own ways of knowing.
Both were the product of their own quest for answers – that had taken both throughout Asia to gather bits here and there.
I started an adult teaching degree in order to offer an alternative to the by then medicalised and increasingly spiritless teaching establishments over 20 years ago. It had been my intention to write the text Moving Blockages for graduates back then, but my seemingly constant forays into personal maternity and single motherhood meant that my life tended to get in the way. Coming back now into more mainstream mentoring by way of the acupuncture forum, I found that what I took to be obvious and to be assumed did not exist. What was in common sense’s place was, and is, dogma. Thinking within a framework is not where the strength of our roots in this medicine lie. Q – How to disengage from the formulaic approach? How to really see what is in front of you?
‘Hopeless’ / Very Difficult
Often people come to us as the last resort – after everything – especially doing nothing and hoping for the best first – has been trialled. Possibly what also spurs me on is that one of my children became my full time live-in patient – a massively brain injured and highly autistic baby (now 28+ years old). Nothing like seeing it all from the other side. There is nothing academic, politically correct or ‘evidence based’ about watching all professions in their mediocrity in all forms of medical delivery, duck for cover and hide behind platitudes to get a mother going. When the problem is so complex as her case – and now so often seen in so many people who seek our help in desperation. As the issue of maternity and heartfelt living is dear to us all – we were after all all born and loved . . . I have a fertility/obstetric bent – but not as a medical look alike. I initially started in infertility (esp male) over 30 years years ago – as I liked having something ‘impossible’ to play with. Other ‘hopeless’ cases that took a lot of my interest was HIV/AIDS (until the medications took away a lot of the self responsibility required in living with AIDS), cancer and all complications of pregnancy, and of living in emotional upheavals. The www.heatherbruce.com.au website was started in 1999 as a meditation one – for times when it was just hard to live in the body. It is now where all the cancer info is for patients as well.
Suggestions for any ‘too hard ‘case –
- Look to what is in front of you – cut back all the ‘info/data’.
- Start where you live – as a human with your own feelings.
- Perhaps ask yourself – how would whatever coming in be for you?
If you don’t think you ‘know’ the answer – perhaps feel it through – we all are our own masters if we chose to open to this – not through ego, but through effort on all levels (not primarily logical) – and some of them our own journeying will show us. We bring far more into a treatment than what they told us in college. We start hopefully with a caring concern. Forget what which . . . book says and what which . . . style says . . . maybe be present also as a being with an open heart . . .