Learning Acupuncture Traditionally

Edward Obaidey is one of my teachers in Japan. He has written a great new book called, A Long Road: An Acupuncture Travelogue (Volume 1), which is currently available on Amazon. Below please find a review that I have prepared for the Amazon site:

"As is the case for reviewer iching555, I am a lucky student in Edward Obaidey's Tokyo clinic, going back and forth whenever possible between there and my own place in the United States. "A Long Road" is a universal, practical, relatable guide for any practitioner of acupuncture anywhere, not just the ones of us with a preference for so-called Japanese-style techniques. Writing in an often witty and lighthearted style, Ed sensei gets to the heart of the matter here by challenging all of us to consider and DO what's really important to shape ourselves as practitioners and to treat the patient to the best of our improving ability. He covers higher level needling and moxibustion methods that are not usually taught in acupuncture schools. Also, he includes relevant clinical experiences that reveal the spirit of traditional ways of training as an acupuncturist with a modern yet timeless twist. What a talent to be able to make the readers of this text feel that we are standing right next to him in the clinic as he deftly treats the patient and clears up our confusion at the same time, while inspiring yet more questions. Taking the easy way is not an option with this skillful teacher, and he shows the possibilities for us if only we would commit to diligent study and practice. Rarely will we have access to a guidebook from a native English speaker who has this level of commitment and consequent depth of knowledge about East Asian medicine. This offering is a real treasure; a new classic. Read it over and over, and apply what you learn. Why? For improved clinical results and for the benefit of self and others. Seriously, it's amazing."

The pursuit of mastery in this medicine is a lifelong journey. Some of the patients ask me questions like, "Don't you know everything already by now?"  "The next time you're in Japan, why don't you just tell your teachers to teach you everything all at once so you don't have to keep going over there?" These questions make me smile, but they also let me know that even among people who get acupuncture in this country, sometimes it's not so clear what goes into becoming a worthy practitioner. The 3,000-4,000 hours of acupuncture school and school clinic plus the required continuing education hours to keep an active license are good starts, but they are just not enough. Having a teacher who is willing to aid in the development of an acupuncturist is a rare honor, but it should be something that we all aspire to have and maybe even become. Acupuncture is a powerful medicine, and even the worst treatments by sleepwalking practitioners will sometimes yield some improvement. But to become good, and consistently so, requires refinement of the person doing the work as well as an unshakeable grounding in the basics and applications. Learning in traditional ways is not an easy way to do things, but it's worth it.  

Kerri Winston, Ph.D., L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in Atlanta, Georgia's Buckhead area. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help you or your loved ones, please call 404-949-0550 or send email to kerri@acuworks.net.