I practise a very gentle form of traditional acupuncture at my Brisbane acupuncture clinic in Woolloongabba, at the famous Gabba Cricket Ground.
I have been in this location at the Queensland Sports Medicine Centre for the past 14 years. In that time, I have gone through several phases in my acupuncture practice – and these phases are not mutually exclusive but rather inclusive.
Phase 1 – Acupuncture for Sports Medicine
Initially, I worked predominantly with elite sportspeople from this acupuncture practice in Woolloongabba. In the halcyon years of the Brisbane Lions AFL Football Club (1998- 2004), I was integrally involved in using acupuncture as a form of sports medicine with members of the Brisbane Lions football team. It was an extremely exciting time and I would like to think I played a role in seeing the Brisbane Lions bring home three AFL Premierships in that period.
Phase 2 – Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
I still work with elite sportspeople. One of the offshoots of working with the Brisbane Lions at that time was that I did a lot of work with the full forward, Alistair Lynch – a wonderful person and an incredible athlete. He had a much publicised case of chronic fatigue syndrome.
My working with Alistair opened up a number of doors to other elite athletes who were suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, including a number of swimmers such as Daniel Kowalski who suffered from a variety of chronic fatigue symptoms. Another elite athlete, Emma Snowsill, Australia’s gold medal triathlete, also benefited hugely from the acupuncture treatment that I provided for her when she was experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome.
My acupuncture practice then gradually evolved from working with sports injuries and associated fatigue problems to working with the chronic fatigue issues of youth and business people.
Phase 3 – Acupuncture for Pre-Natal Care
Then, in what is unusual for a sports medicine centre, I became more focused on using acupuncture for pre-natal care, working with expectant mothers. This came a as a result of my being a general acupuncture practitioner who specialises in different applications of this form of alternative medical practice.
I have done an extraordinary amount of pre-natal work and seen many pregnant women, helping them prepare for a less arduous childbirth. Associated with this development, I have used acupuncture for morning sickness, water retention in pregnancy, gestational diabetes and for problems with mastitis and with breastfeeding.
These three areas of the early phases of my Brisbane acupuncture clinic became integrated into my acupuncture practice – dealing with sports medicine, chronic fatigue and pre-natal care. I have also done an enormous amount with children at my Woolloongabba clinic. It is quite ironic and very interesting to walk out into the waiting room of the Queensland Sports Medicine Centre and see lots of young people and sportspeople, and amongst them two or three pregnant women waiting to come into my acupuncture clinic. It is a very special feeling, and it is a privilege also, to work with such a variety of people and help them overcome some deleterious health conditions.
As a result of working with pre-natal scenarios, I have also done quite a bit of work helping women to fall pregnant, and sometimes, providing acupuncture treatment in conjunction with the IVF Programs that are available to women. This form of pregnancy acupuncture is incredibly rewarding work and I like to say I enjoy this area of my practice as the success rate is very encouraging.
Phase 4: Acupuncture for the Eyes
The next phase I evolved into is ophthalmic acupuncture, and again, I emphasise I am taking each phase with me – I am not leaving any of them behind.
I have the privilege of being associated with Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, a very famous acupuncturist in the United States. He has worked with people all over the world with degenerative eye disease. As a result of this association, I now do a lot of work with people suffering from various degenerative eye diseases and eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, wet and dry macular degeneration, dry eyes and Stargardt’s disease – a plethora of different degenerative eye conditions. Again, acupuncture for the eyes is adding another arrow to my quiver, if you like.
Integration of my Acupuncture Practice in the Brisbane Clinic at Woolloongabba
This movement through the phases is a product of being in acupuncture practice for more than 30 years – resulting in the evolution of my work and integration as an acupuncturist. The beauty of this experience is that I am able to take each phase with me as I evolve my practice in the 21st century.
I have also done a lot of work especially with young people who are suffering from glandular fever – such a deleterious situation. I find many people, especially those in junior high school and senior high school suffering from this condition. It is such a debilitating condition for them when they are under so much pressure with their exams and performance criteria.
To have these young people carrying a debilitating condition like glandular fever and trying to satisfy performance standards in the current education scenario, is a very sad situation. I am pleased to say that in many cases we are able to give them great support and help them through the healing process so they can overcome this very serious condition of glandular fever or, in some cases with young people, overcome Ross River fever or Barmah Forest fever.
This leads me into the all-encompassing scenario of the 21st century which involves stress, anxiety and insomnia. People do not talk about something like this – they are not running around and talking about how they are suffering from stress, suffering from insomnia. However, I know as an acupuncture practitioner with more than 30 years experience that we are now peaking in terms of stress levels and many of my patients come into my clinic with sore backs, sore elbows, headaches, bad fingers or digestive problems – and underlying these conditions in almost 50% of cases is insomnia.
The insomnia and anxiety develop together and this combination is growing rapidly, despite this being the age of the Internet. The Internet was supposed to give us recreation and time – more time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Ironically, from a clinical perspective, I found that this is just not the case.
This discussion is just a summary of where I have come from, where I am here at the Brisbane Acupuncture clinic at the Woolloongabba Cricket Ground. I have been practising acupuncture here in Brisbane for 16 years, the last 14 years of which have been here at the Woolloongabba acupuncture clinic.