Unconventional Medical Practice
In this week's column, PARN CEO Andy Friedman speaks to acupuncturist and member of the British Acupuncture Council, Rhiannon Griffiths, about using social media to stay relevant in western society.
The biggest barrier to getting people through the clinic door is fear of needles,’ according to Rhiannon Griffiths, who has been in practice since 2009. Rhiannon is a member of the British Acupuncture Council; members require a minimum three year degree level qualification in acupuncture that includes conventional biomedical training.
Acupuncture is an established ancient practice, but is not the main medical model in the UK. According to Rhiannon, sheer unfamiliarity with Chinese Medicine can be a challenge, ‘…translating Western Medical language into Chinese Medicine concepts of how we view health is key.’
She explained how barriers can be overcome: ‘Patients can ask questions at every stage to be sure they’re clear and happy. We talk in depth about how they are feeling, upon which I base my acupuncture point choices for that individual, what I choose to do to restore and harmonise the flow of energy. But the proof is in the pudding. It works.’
Acupuncture is now recommended for more conditions. ‘Years ago acupuncture would have been known for bad backs or frozen shoulders, but now I’m passionate about spreading the word that it can help with stress, anxiety and other emotional conditions.’
Rhiannon uses social media to boost accessibility and understanding of Chinese Medicine: ‘We can’t often share patient experiences, but I post snippets of my life, sometimes in clinic, sometimes not. I might Instagram or Tweet what I’m eating and explain what impact the food is having on my body according to Chinese food energetics – nourishing blood, boosting energy or supporting particular organs. Authenticity is a high value of mine. I show current or potential patients that I do live my own life according to Chinese medicine. It proves I walk the walk as well as talk the talk.’
Professor Andy Friedman, CEO of PARN
First appeared in Newsweek, edn. 30 January 2015
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