5 Ways Your Life Changes When You Become an Acupuncture Student…


So you’re thinking about becoming an acupuncturist? Choosing to study Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is the beginning of a life changing journey but these changes below are perhaps not what you might be expecting!  Hear more from NCA graduate Jo Curle, who now teaches ‘pulses and bodywork’ at the College.

The Human Colouring Book.
You may find family and friends begin to avoid you at gatherings, especially if they see you with a gel pen in your hand. At every possible opportunity you’ll be grabbing an arm or a leg, theirs or your own, and attempting to mark points and measurements on every piece of available skin. Prodding around tendons and bones to get your bearings to mark Lu9 just right … could become an obsession.

What’s on Your Plate?
Learning Traditional Chinese dietary wisdom is a bit of a rollercoaster of culinary quandaries. There is no hard ‘right and wrong’ but more of a ‘right or wrong for you, right now.’  Depending on whether your constitution is considered Hot, Cold, Damp or Deficient, you may find yourself tearfully saying goodbye to your beloved sugar, cheese, bread, ice cream, bananas, peanuts, alcohol, curries – all the tasty stuff essentially – while you navigate the humps. The good news is, after three years, the balance of Yin and Yang comes full circle and all the good stuff creeps back in.

Wardrobe Malfunctions
Once you’ve learned of the importance of Kidney Yang you will never again venture out without your lower back covered. Where you swore it would never happen, you’ll be tucking your vest in your pants, shaking your head at exposed midriffs and telling people not to sit on the cold floor. You should also consider buying shares in a scarf company as you’ll be advising everyone to “put a scarf on! It’s windy! You don’t want any pathogenic invasions…”

The Second Personality
A new character called “Chinese Medicine” will take up residence in your head, and somehow everything you say will now pass thorough this new filter. Regardless of the topic of conversation – the weather, a takeaway pizza, an episode of road rage – you will find yourself incapable of any discussion without dishing out some of your recently learned Chinese Medicine wisdom. Pretty much all your sentences will begin with… “Well, Chinese Medicine says…”

Extreme People Watching
You’ll suddenly become way more observant … Jason Bourne levels of observant!  Strangers in public, and familiar friends alike, will be scrutinised. Their posture, complexion colour, the sound of their voice, their temperament and even the lines on their face are fair game when learning TCM diagnosis. You may even find yourself asking strangers on the train if you can feel their pulse … just don’t get arrested!


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