The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024 – theme announced!

Last week, the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) announced that they will be hosting a joint conference in 2024.

The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024

Manchester Business School – All Saints Campus – Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2024 

Our theme for the conference in 2024 will be the Chinese concept ‘yì (意)’ which can be translated as intention, wish or purpose.

The BAcC and RCHM were created with similar purposes in mind – founded to promote, develop and support the professions of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Both organisations share a strong commitment to high standards in education and professionalism which makes it natural to collaborate.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are long established siblings in the history of Chinese medicine, both featured in the discussions between Qi Bo and Huang Di in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. By coming together as one community, we can find new purpose and meaning. Next year will be the year of the Wood Dragon, a great time to release new creative energy and push forward with our common goals.

What to expect

The two-day event will offer an opportunity to connect in person and learn from inspirational and insightful speakers. There will be a wide range of content encompassing all aspects of Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy and qigong: theory and practice, all exploring the conference theme. Every lecture will be open, useful and understandable to all, irrespective of background and training.

In previous years, the BAcC has run a separate research conference. In 2024, presentations on research will be integrated into the conference programme.

Learning more about the relationship of  yì (意) to Chinese medicine

‘Yī Zhě Yì Yě’
‘Medicine is Intention’

Why is the concept of  yì central to Chinese medicine?

As practitioners we often first come across  yì as the spirit of the spleen. We learn that this spirit in its pathological state is si 思, sometimes translated as ‘overthinking’.

What you may not know is that almost every form of taiji , starts with the instruction,  yì shǒu dāntián (意守丹田) – ‘Guard the Yi in the Navel Centre (dantian)’.

Chapter 9 of the Lingshu states when inserting a needle the acupuncturist’s intention yì (意) should focus the shen (神)and the acupuncturists should attach their zhì (志) mind/will to the needle.

The yi then is the aspect of mind that can be directed either to thought or to feeling and intention. In the qigong and taiji principle of ‘where the mind goes, the qi follows’, mind here refers to the yi. When it is healthy, it is quiet, collected and composed and the qi fills the body. When it is disordered the intellectual mind becomes agitated and the qi fills the head.

The character for yì 意 combines the radical for‘sound’音  with that of‘heart’心. Hence, our intention, wish or purpose is literally the sound of our heart mind.

Yi sits between thought and feeling, between consideration and action and between intellectual learning and the direction of energy. Hence, it is a perfect symbol of our medicine which is epitomised by its ability to capture the dynamic interplay between the rational and the intuitive.

Join us this for next year’s conference, where together we will learn to cultivate, refine and focus our  yì, enabling us to bring greater energy and purpose to both our clinical practice and our vision as a community for a bright future for Chinese medicine.

Tickets for The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024, co-hosted by the BAcC and RCHM, will go on sale in the new year. Keep an eye on our news and social channels for more announcements as they’re released – including those exciting speaker and session details. We look forward to seeing you in Manchester!

The British Acupuncture Council
November 2023