Friday, 23 May 2014
On Friday 23rd May 2014, I am going to Amersfoort (Holland) until Sunday 25th May for an acupuncture seminar with my mentor Dr. Wang Ju-Yi. As I mentioned in my previous post, I first met Dr. Wang in June 2010 in Paris and I have regularly followed his teachings since then.
Dr. Wang Ju-Yi is a Chinese Medicine doctor practicing in Beijing, China. During his over 50 years career, he has held many important positions such as Chief Physician of Acupuncture at the Beijing Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Director of the Xuanwu Hospital of Chinese Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. For me, what makes him one of the most interesting Chinese doctors to study with is not all the prestigious positions that he has held during his career, but his tremendous knowledge of Chinese medicine and his unique interpretation of the Chinese Medicine classics. Dr. Wang studied medicine during the late 50s and early 60s, and he was a graduate of the very first class at the Beijing College of Traditional Medicine in 1962. He had the chance to study with some of the great masters of the time whose knowledge was lost or modified during the Cultural Revolution that took place in China from 1966 until 1976. Nowadays, Dr. Wang is in some ways transmitting this lost knowledge to his students and apprentices. There is another treasure that Dr. Wang is sharing with us. Through his reading and interpretation of the classics, he redeveloped a lost skill, “Channel examination”.
Channel examination is a diagnosis tool. In Chinese Medicine, when diagnosing a patient, acupuncturists use different techniques. Generally, they use tongue and pulse diagnosis and questioning to investigate a patient’s complaint. But, Dr. Wang has added another technique which is Channel examination. It involves looking, feeling and palpating the forearms and lower legs, along the acupuncture channels that run through the body, searching for abnormal changes. Not only can channels provide additional clues about a patient’s health, but they can also reveal which channels are diseased, allowing acupuncturists to refine their diagnosis and choose a better point prescription. Acupuncture treatments become more efficient and reliable. Channel examination allows acupuncture to reveal its true power.
Without the perspicacity and lifetime research of Dr. Wang, acupuncture would be missing a fundamental tool. Only a few practitioners are using this skill in Ireland. Actually, we are only two who use it everyday in our practice - Mairy Caughey, acupuncturist in Navan and myself, Cyrille Bonnard, acupuncturist in Dublin.
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
How to better start this blog than by first telling you who I am. My name is Cyrille Bonnard. I practice acupuncture in Dublin at Morrison Chambers 32 Nassau Street. The name of my practice is ‘Equilibre Acupuncture’. ‘Equilibre’ is the French for equilibrium and I have chosen this word because the aim of acupuncture is to re-establish equilibrium in the body. I also kept the word in French as a wink to my mother tongue.
Before becoming an acupuncturist, I was a professional musician. I started to play my instrument, the euphonium (a brass instrument of the tuba family), when I was 8 or 9 years old. After graduating from a music conservatoire in Paris in 1998, I moved to Manchester (UK) to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and completed my postgraduate studies. Moving and studying in England was very challenging for me as my English was very limited, but after gaining a postgraduate diploma and half a master of music, I established myself in Manchester as a professional musician and teacher. I quickly found myself in a position where I was teaching music most of the time, but I wasn't performing as much as I wanted. Although I enjoy teaching, this was unfulfilling for me and I decided to change career. This was a crucial time in my life.
I had a keen interest towards oriental philosophies and practices. I was doing some yoga regularly and had attended a few meditation courses. There was also something bothering me greatly. A lot of my musician colleagues were suffering with various musculo-skeletal problems and injuries and I was interested in finding a way to help them. One day, browsing the internet, I came across an acupuncture course at the University of Salford and everything became clear in my head. I remembered that one of my music tutors in France had had nearly miraculous results with acupuncture and also that members of my family had had acupuncture in the past and were full of praise for it.
In October 2006, I dived into the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I had been accepted on a 3-year full-time degree in Chinese Medicine at the University of Salford, near Manchester.
I have to say that this was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I loved the course and I graduated with a B.Sc (Hons.) in June 2009 and immediately followed this with a trip to China to study at the Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in August of the same year. Then in September, my wife and myself moved to Dublin.
At the beginning, starting my practice wasn’t easy. Very quickly I started to feel that something was missing. I had good results but they were inconsistent. I knew that my diagnostic skills were good but occasionally acupuncture would not work. I found this very frustrating as I could not tell my patients if I would be able to help them or not. I started to believe that acupuncture was a little bit like Russian roulette, working only randomly.
Then, in Spring 2010, I came across a book named ‘Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine’ by Dr. Wang JuYi and acupuncturist Jason Robertson. This book enlightened me on the missing link in my understanding of Chinese Medicine and I started to study with Dr. Wang JuYi. I first attended a seminar with him in Paris in June 2010 and later, in March 2011, I visited him in Beijing. In June 2012 and 2013, I invited Dr. Wang to Dublin to teach seminars and I visited him again for a month in October 2013. Dr. Wang JuYi is an internationally known Doctor of Classical Chinese Medicine and I consider him as my mentor and an inspiration. I will see him again at a seminar in Holland this coming May.
Since I started studying with Dr. Wang, I am using his unique style of acupuncture based on channel theory and examination. These treatments allow the use of fewer needles and better therapeutic results. My clinical results have greatly improved and I have now full confidence in this wonderful therapy. So much, that I believe it should be included in mainstream healthcare!
In future posts, I will tell you more about acupuncture but also about channel theory and why it is important. Keep in touch!