James Ferguson BHSc (ACU).
My name is James (everyone calls me Jimi), I studied acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Australia for four years and have a bachelor of Health Science (BHSc Acu). My degree covered acupuncture and other areas of TCM including tuina (traditional Chinese) massage, Chinese herbs, dietary therapy and exercise therapy. In addition to TCM, I studied western medical subjects including anatomy and physiology, pathology, disease processes, biochemistry and pharmacology.
A little background
I think that like a lot of practitioners of alternative medicine, I was drawn to my modality because it seemed to offer a more flexible option to treating common complaints. I have had a long time interest in science and technology, chemistry and quantum mechanics. Along with this I have always been fascinated by the metaphysical and spiritual conundrums that have captured curious minds for millennia; The abstract nature of the human soul or spirit, human bio-energy and the effects of our emotions and surroundings on our physical health, the existence of consciousness other than what we identify and associate with the physical human body, intelligence and so on. Before I studied acupuncture I worked as a social worker on the front lines of homelessness. During this period all my clients were living on the street and dealing with a very complex mixture of mental health problems, physical and sexual abuse, alcohol and drug dependence, institutionalisation (most having been in and out of prison multiple times) and disenfranchisement. Working in this environment gave me a first hand insight into the effects of our emotions and environment on our physical health. Working so closely with some of societies most neglected and dis-empowered people takes a lot of energy and commitment and when I decided my time was up, I also decided to leave social work altogether. I decided to pursue a new education in natural health since working with people to alleviate pain and suffering has always been close to my heart. For me, the spectrum of Chinese medicine and especially acupuncture, combines so much of what I consider to be fundamental to a healthy and balanced life and draws on so many of the topics I have been interested in at one point in my life or another. Chinese medicine is an amazing system for empowering and supporting people to make healthy decisions and changes in their lives. I am very much interested in men’s and women’s fertility and natural pregnancy and birth. I am also interested in treating addiction, whether it’s to help quit smoking or other addictions such as food, drugs, pain medication withdrawal etc. I can also just help you relax and let your shoulders down.
Australia is well recognised as a leader in the natural health sciences. Being a part of Asia, Australia has had a long relationship with traditional Chinese medicine. In part, this is due to the large number of Chinese people who immigrated to Australia during the later half of the 1800s during the Australian gold-rush. Since that time, Australia has had a flourishing Chinese community, which has seen many parts of Chinese culture and heritage become an integral part of life for Australia as a whole. I graduated from Endeavour College of Natural Health (formerly the Australian College of Natural Medicine), one of Australia’s most prestigious schools of natural medicine, with a Bachelor of Health Science in Acupuncture. The programme included aspects of traditional Chinese medicine with a core focus on Chinese medical theory, anatomy and physiology.
While acupuncture was at the centre of my study, other aspects of TCM were also major components including Tuina massage, Chinese herbal medicine, Exercise therapy, and Dietetics. A primary part of the Health Science degree is an understanding of contemporary western medicine. It is essential that a health practitioner be versed in contemporary medicine, for that reason my course of study included human biology, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, biochemistry and pharmacology. I have also studied Chi Nei Tsang, an ancient style of Daoist abdominal massage that helps to regulate the endocrine system, calm the nervous system and release emotional blockage. This esoteric form of deep abdominal therapy has at other times been know as demon hunting.