They came, saw & conferenced!
Pia Huber: Chair
More than just a great CPD event, the annual BAcC conference was a wonderful opportunity for BAcC members to meet face to face with BAcC staff and members of the Governing Board (GB).
The whole event kicked off on Friday with the ARRC (Acupuncture Research Resource Centre) Symposium. Five speakers reported on their research into the use of acupuncture – for pain control after caesarean sections, from the classics to the journal to the hospitals, for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, beyond the placebo, and five element acupuncture for mental wellbeing in a multibed setting. Each presentation was very different from the next and all absolutely fascinating.
Towards the end of the day came the annual general meeting (AGM) – a requirement for every charity and company – which follows a fairly prescribed format. The AGM must inform the membership of the past year’s activities, by way of reports from the chair and the chief executive. Perhaps most importantly, the treasurer has to lay out the annual finances for all members to see and approve.
Thankfully, all official business was completed swiftly to make way for the more interactive part of questions and answers. I was very happy that various interesting questions led to some good conversations on a variety of subjects. Answers came from several of the GB as well as from the treasurer, demonstrating their expertise and experience in various areas including PSA membership, professional conduct cases and statutory regulation.
On Saturday – the first day of the conference – a GB drop-in session together with the celebration dinner in the evening gave ample opportunity for anyone to meet individual members of the Board. Seating at dinner is deliberately arranged to distribute directors among as many tables as possible – the aim being to make it easy for members to talk to and get to know them. Of course, it also gives directors a chance to meet new people and hear first hand about their thoughts and concerns.
The conference dinner is also traditionally our annual opportunity to formally recognise the special services and achievements of a few BAcC members. Of the three people nominated for a fellowship this year, we were very happy to see two of them – Peter Mole and Henryk Dyczek – receive their awards in person. Our third annual fellow – Colette Assor – was unable to attend and will receive her certificate at a later date.
And so, looking forward to next year’s event, many colleagues have told me that September is not great for their schedule. With this feedback in mind, in 2024 we have decided to try moving the conference to the end of June. My hope is that this change will lead to many more of you being able to enjoy the exchange, learning and experience of meeting up next summer to celebrate our acupuncture profession.
Josh Barrow: Surrey Regional Group Coordinator
Firstly, thank you for inviting us regional co-ordinators to the conference. It is a really nice gesture and an amazing thank you for the work that we do.
BUT most importantly thank you for a great conference. I really enjoyed it and thought that it was so well organised. I know that in managing these events there is often a lot of chaos in the background but as a delegate, it all seemed to run perfectly, which is a huge testament to the hard work of the team.
The majority of the speakers and talks were all really insightful and interesting. I learned a lot – about the history of acupuncture, how to understand patients, how the image that we present to patients is important, and down to a deeper understanding of the points. I certainly think I’ll be adding a few new things into my clinical practice.
As a recent graduate – eek still a little scary – it was also amazing to meet so many of my heroes and to make so many new friends. Such a perfect thing to finish off a good three years of studying! I’ve gained so much from conversations I had with other practitioners – and everyone was so warm, friendly and willing to share their knowledge. It was also great to meet all of the BAcC team in person of course and get to know you all.
Needless to say, I’m now really looking forward to the next one in July 2024!
Paola Sylt: Cheshire
I found especially enjoyable and useful the session on ‘How Do We Know What We Know?’ with Rachel Millstead.
It was not just new, puzzling, interesting, relaxing break from running. It was also a profoundly healing session, one that keeps giving fruits in the following days. The process felt held in a safe place, even in the following days.
My understanding of Rachel’s somatic session is that the guided movement during the session allows the unconscious thinking/perception, issues or traumas to ‘show their face’, bypassing the usual conscious mind, therefore beginning a process of profound healing – or even just a better and clearer understanding of oneself.
A very powerful session of self-reflection. Thank you, Rachel… more please!
Yana Stajno: London
It was a terrific conference. Thank you for all the hard work and imagination that went into making it so.
Alex Brazkiewicz: Gloucestershire
Many thanks to you all for hosting a great long weekend. It was really nice to see faces I have not seen for a long time – to listen to some excellent speakers, network with everyone, and of course, enjoy letting our hair down together.