An Early Morning Trip
It's always nice to be asked to teach. After the recent flurry of talks and workshops on Warm Bamboo in KL, I was invited to address a convention of TCM practitioners in JB. With around 200 delegates, this was quite a big gig!
So early on Sunday morning Bill and I stepped out to the new bus station at Bersepadu Selatan get the 7.30am bus. In JB we were collected from Larkin Sentral and taken straight to the convention centre at the Crown Hotel. A quick banquet and then we were on.
A Formal Affair
It was a formal affair. I sat on a stage in front of 10 rows of delegates at tables. My Powerpoint was projected on one side of the stage and I had to signal to a distant member of staff in the audience to change slides each time. So, with a microphone in my hand and Bill simultaneously translating at my back I spoke briefly of my nearly thirty year journey in acupuncture from Chinese style to Japanese style, then introduced the history of Japanese acupuncture, its modern manifestations and its distinguishing characteristics.
For example, in Japanese acupuncture, "less is more". We try to achieve as much as possible by doing as little as possible. That means using small needles and inserting shallowly, or even using touch needling, where no insertion takes place. This is always a challenging idea for Chinese practitioners who are taught to use big needles and insert deeply.
Once I had set the context I introduced Warm Bamboo, speaking of the happy coincidences that had led me to develop it. It's a nice story, maybe one I'll share on this blog some time!
A Moment of Anxiety
"Less is more" is a concept that also holds true for teachers and I tried my best to be succinct! So, sooner than I would have liked, it was time for demonstrations. This was the part I was least confident about. Addressing a convention is a very different story to running a workshop. If you demonstrate stuff, most people can't see what you're doing and if you ask them to try stuff out, you can't observe and comment on what they find.
So it was with some anxiety that I asked for a volunteer from the audience to be a demonstration model. I needn't have worried. The effects of bamboo are so rapid that it is easy to see when changes are taking place. My model had tension in his arm and after half a minute of bamboo it was obvious that it felt less tense. I was lucky that he was super-rational and able to describe what he felt to the audience in clear terms.
Another demonstration with a volunteer with pain and restricted movement in his neck caused a mass surge of delegates towards the front.: a bit of a riot of cameras and voice recorders! At least, this time people were able to see close up how quickly and simply bamboo can be to relieve symptoms.
At the end of the day I was awarded a certificate for my presentation and a nice framed picture. We were also invited to present at another conference of TCM practitioners in Melaka in August. It seems that bamboo is catching many people's interest and we hope to teach this valuable therapy to many people in many places.
Despite the hideously early start on Sunday morning, (I'm so not a morning person!) it was a great break of routine to go to JB. Afterwards we popped across the border to Singapore to visit friends. Very convenient!