2024 | Editorial
Tim Brown
Member: Porto
When I joined The Acupuncturist editorial committee, I was a recently qualified acupuncturist living in Leeds. If asked then where I saw myself in five or ten years time, I would have said without hesitation that I wanted an established and successful acupuncture practice based in or around Leeds.

However, after getting knocked down by a car and suffering a back injury, I had to put my plans on hold. In the meantime, I turned to photography – an interest I had enjoyed since childhood. Fast forward to 2024, and I am now a photographer, a non-practising BAcC acupuncturist, a resident of Portugal, and awaiting the outcome of a creative practice PhD.

After eight enjoyable years as a member of the editorial team, my term comes to an end – as all good things must – with this winter release of Acu. online, which explores the subject of cold as rather more than a mere absence of warmth.

Peter Firebrace sets the tone in Just My Point, ‘writing by the fire while outside the temperature has been down to -14 °C, the usual drab grey of winter weather transformed by heavy snowfall – every branch, every twig of every tree lightened and brightened into a still, deep-seated beauty.’ For me, Peter’s explanation of the historical and practical significance of KID 7 forms a perfect starting place for exploring this season’s content… once you have reached the end of this editorial of course, which I hope will whet your appetite for the delights in store.

Late last year, enews brought us the sad announcement of the death of BAcC member and former chairman Susan Thorne. In Remembering Susan Thorne, former colleagues and friends contribute personal tributes to the life of Susan, and I am sure that all who met Susan will echo their sentiments.

In her latest Chinese lesson, Sandra Hill provides insights into the subtleties of traditional Chinese wisdom with an article on yi, which I particularly appreciated for reminding me of the power of the space between awareness and thought.

John Hamwee’s thought-provoking article discusses practitioner and patient, simplicity and confidence, in the context of each practitioner’s talents and skills and each patient’s unique energy. Also on the subject of practice, Lorna Jackson describes her own transformation from professional ballet dancer to acupuncturist. And for those acupuncturists who did not start out as ballet dancers, Lorna provides us with a selection of transferable lessons learned.

On the topic of determination, Kam Winchester shares from a diary which covers two years of struggle with the debilitating and energy-sapping effects of long Covid. Buoyed up by her knowledge of Chinese medicine, she is learning to live within the limits it has imposed, and the possible benefits from regular acupuncture and moxibustion.

I take the liberty here to muse on how Acu. might transform itself over the next eight years

In other news, favourite contributor Toon Min’s ever delightful Moxi has come of age, having made his/her first appearance in the BAcC news in 2005! To celebrate this smouldering milestone, Toon invites us all to find our own personal Moxi within.

Also in this release, Mike Cummings – medical director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) and long-time friend of the BAcC – provides answers to our usual Ten Questions. Read it if you want to know what gets him out of bed in the morning…

Over the span of three dozen or so issues, I have been involved with the transformation of The Acupuncturist into Acu. and clearly remember the debates over the new name, including that full stop! The recent transition to an all-singing and dancing online publication required the committee letting go of the much-loved and familiar magazine format as we stepped out into the unknown.

One clear benefit of moving Acu. onto the web is the ability for seamlessly embedding audio and video content. A shining example is coming soon to Acu. online in the shape of In Conversation With…, in which Rev Deb Connor enjoys an unrehearsed and unedited chat with one of our acupuncture community. First up is Audley Burnett. Keep an eye on enews to find out when it becomes available.

Tim Brown

Also still to come is Joe Jennings on how becoming an acupuncturist is hard – something that I can certainly relate to. Including sobering statistics, Joe’s journey took much longer than anticipated, but it’s an inspiring account of how stubbornness and sheer determination paid off.

And for more inspiration, Julia Davis will invite you to consider working with refugees and asylum seekers through organisations such as World Medicine. Despite having more than 30 years acupuncture practice, Julia still found the experience refreshing and personally informing.

As a retiring team member, I take the liberty here to muse on how Acu. might transform itself over the next eight years. Perhaps we will meet and engage as avatars within an immersive virtual metaverse? Or will the printed medium have staged a revival in all its palpable and tactile glory, with the familiar clunk of Acu. once again dropping through our collective letter boxes?

The reality may of course be neither of the above, and something as yet undreamed of…


All images by Tim Brown