The author was given extended study leave from his general practice in Merseyside to attend a three month Diploma in Acupuncture Course at the International Acupuncture Training Centre in Beijing, China. The course involved 137 hours of lectures, mainly on traditional Chinese medicine, but covering electroacupuncture analgesia, ear and scalp acupuncture, plum-blossom needling, cupping and Qigong The 168 hours of classical training was in small groups at one of the ten Beijing hospitals or at the centre's clinics. Having completed the course and found it a clinical experience difficult to rival, the author suggests that much of benefit has been lost from traditional acupuncture in its westernisation.
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