The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024 – yì (意), practice and research sessions

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.

We are thrilled to have Sandra Hill join us to open our conference, speaking on the topic of yì; our conference theme. Her talk is titled ‘Yì – intention, attention, awareness: a view from the classics’. As an acupuncturist, author and teacher, Sandra is all too familiar with this subject having recently written a piece about yì for Acu.

The character yì 意, which is usually translated as intent or intention, is made with a sound or musical note – yin 音 – over the heart – xin 心 – and the etymology of the character suggests a resonance with the heart, or a sound, or communication, which is modulated by the heart.

Read more about yì from the latest Chinese lesson: 意 yì by Sandra Hill in Acu. winter 2024.

Sessions at this year’s conference will include talks on clinical practice, evidenced based research and Chinese medicine theory. So let’s read more about some of this year’s speakers…

Rev Deb Connor MBAcC – Creative intention: exploring creativity to empower clinical practice
Enjoy a post-lunch gathering of ‘creative intention’, a delicious blend of playfulness and relaxation. Explore your relationship with yì 意 through hands-on creative practice. Unleash your inner artist in a nurturing investigation of your own creativity within the context of yì (意), shen (神), and zhì (志).  The therapeutic power of creativity meets Chinese medicine philosophy in a session that will have you looking at things you thought you knew in a way you didn’t expect! No artistic experience required – all materials provided.

Rev Deb Connor / Monk Li Xiào Yì 笑意 is an intuitive abstract artist using creative practice with groups and individuals for spiritual growth, personal development and healing. Rev Deb, a former NHS clinical educator, graduated in traditional Chinese medicine (Acupuncture) with first class honours from Salford University. Rev Deb undertook postgraduate acupuncture study at the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and completed a PG Cert in Chinese Herbal Studies at the Northern Collage of Acupuncture.

Rev Deb has been a practitioner of Daoist medicine running her own practice in St Helens, Merseyside since 2007. Author of ‘The Little Book of Dao’ and ‘The 12 Step Colouring Book’ Rev Deb has two new books due for publication in 2024; ‘The Dao De Jing; A contemplative translation in words and art’ and ‘The Dao of Hummus’.

A member of the Qingcheng Mountain Daoist Association, Rev Deb / Li Xiào Yì 笑意 accepted ordination as a 22nd generation Dragon Gate Daoist Priest, before transitioning to become a Dragon Gate Daoist Monk, both under the tutorage of Daoist Abbott Lao Zhi Chang. Rev Deb is an ordained OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation minister, a Visual Medicine™ facilitator and journal therapist. Rev Deb is the creator of the online programmes Arts For Awakening™ and The Creative Spiritual Quest™ and is passionate about creativity as a healing spiritual practice.

Charlie Buck FBAcC FRCHM – Yi and the quest for a masterful clinical gaze
Sun Simiao famously said Medicine is Yì, but what does this actually mean? Your doctor’s power comes courtesy of the drug companies, but in high-level TCM practice efficacy derives from the practitioner’s attainment – from the cultivation of our yì. But yì is a cultural codeword that we should understand more from its original context than from what appears in dictionaries today.

This session examines classical Chinese medicine thought by looking at the way yì was used in early texts – how it relates to ideas of xiang-image, wuwei, shi-power and liang zhi-reliable intuition. We see, too, how this connects this with neurobiology, cognition and the study of intuition in expert physicians east and west. My intention is that you will leave with insights that translate into practical ways to raise your clinical game.

Veteran clinician, educator and scholar Charlie Buck is known for his insight into the tradition and his engaging communication style. He has held many academic posts over the past 40 years and regularly presents at conferences across the world. A past chairman of the BAcC, Charlie has been awarded Fellowships to all three of the UK’s serious TCM professional bodies, having long worked for advocacy to help us gain increased legitimacy. His textbook Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – Roots of Modern Practice is a notable contribution to the literature.

Sia Wang – Five element and six qi acupuncture with four needles to achieve quick and effective clinical results

We are all familiar with the theories of the five elements and the six climatic qi in relation to acupuncture treatment. However, applying them systematically, just using transporting points to achieve quick and effective clinic results is often challenging. In this talk, you will be introduced to a new way of thinking or diagnosing, however, if you remember all you basic five element and eight principle theory, and let go of western medicine disease names, you will find that it is very easy to apply. Cases on period pain and shingles will be presented to illustrate this simple four needle technique in practice.

Sia Wang is well-known for her regular Japanese moxa workshops at CICM in Reading. In 2019, after 20 years of clinical practice, Sia discovered the five element and six qi approach to acupuncture. It profoundly changed her personal life and took her existing clinical practice to a new level. This simple method, using four needles per treatment combines the theories of the five elements and six climatic factors to achieve significant tangible clinical success. Hear what Sia has to say about her journey in our latest speaker interview with Alex Jacobs.

Julie Reynolds MBAcC – Causes of disease – ancient theory in a modern context
We’ll explore and bring to life the internal and external causes of disease, and zone in on the increasing relevance of modern ‘poisons’ – polypharmacy as a miscellaneous cause of disease: what’s the problem, how do we identify it, and what do we do about it?

The focus will be on recognising this theory in action in diagnosis, rather than treatment, so practitioners of all approaches should find some relevance. But we will touch on some treatment options in the five element tradition. Come prepared to join in and bring your own experiences and questions!

After graduating from The College of Traditional Acupuncture (CTA) in the early 2000s, Julie completed an MSc in Health Research at York University. For her thesis, she ran an RCT of five element acupuncture for IBS, supervised by the late Hugh McPherson. She returned to CTA in 2006 to teach, and became Head of Research. In 2011, after CTA closed, Julie co-founded The Acupuncture Academy (TAA) in Leamington Spa, a BAAB accredited college, with Jen Wade. She is joint Principal and Head of Clinical year at the college.

Listen below to Julie Reynolds and Michelle Venter’s talk from last year’s ARRC Symposium – Five element acupuncture for young people’s mental wellbeing.

This year is so much more than just a conference, it is an opportunity for us to come together, gather our energy of intention and manifest the future that this great medicine deserves. We invite you to be a part of everything that is happening this year, connect with your fellow practitioners and have a fantastic time in the process! Read the full speaker line-up here.

About The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024
Join us on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June for The UK Conference of Chinese Medicine 2024 at the Manchester Business School – All Saints Campus. Book your tickets today!

British Acupuncture Council
May 2024