CHAPTER FOUR (NARRATED VIDEO): Visit to the Acupuncture Blind School – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Here is Chapter Four (YouTube Narrated Video) – Visit to the Acupuncture Blind School. Taken from the book – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan. Narrated by Caroline Graham.


I am grateful for the support and work provided by Caroline in narrating these videos. It has been a very challenging task, particularly as I have a noisy household (small children) and making audio recordings is very challenging due to background noises and other distractions. Despite our best efforts, there are some background noises, which I was not able to edit out.

Available in a series of videos on my YouTube Channel. Book available on Amazon.

Chapter Four: Visit to the Hachioji Metropolitan School for the Blind

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Blind Acupuncture in Japan

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Image of Ms Wada, who accompanied me to the Blind School. She is trying out an electronic acupuncture point locating model.

Youtube Video images of Japan provided by Silvia Lüthi.


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The Master’s Way: Become more Rounded with Hobbies and Interests

Woman taking down notes in diary

A few years ago, I was hugely into 9 ball pool. I went to a pool club on days off and would play or practice for 3 hours straight. Sometimes I’d do it for 6. This was in Japan and pool halls in Japan are great value. It cost me 1000 Yen for 3 hours, playtime (about £8). 

My pool hall was in Kamata, in a kind of downtown area of Tokyo. On the way to the pool hall I would walk through a somewhat seedy district full of pachinko parlours, Chinese restaurants and hostess clubs. It was great.

I still sucked at pool, but over the weeks and months, I started to improve and made some good friends at my hall.

Be more interesting

The point of this article is that hobbies and interests have benefits to our mind and bodies. They make us more rounded as people, but also as practitioners. I think we learn things through hobbies that can help us achieve mastery in other things. Especially in my case, something like acupuncture. I believe that having interests in life, makes us more interesting as people. It gives us a perceptible glow that others can pick up on. A kind of internal passion that is attractive.


Though, I spent hours in a darkened, smoky hall, away from fresh air and sunlight, playing pool provided me with certain health benefits, not least being temporarily shaded from all those other hard-nose-to-the-mill salaryman, rushing, careering, cramming the rush hour trains on their way to offices, meetings and oppressive workplaces. I suppose I was a slacker, but it was fun. My pool partner Kikumaru-San was an accountant, though he seemed to spend more time playing pool than working.

All the bending, stretching to reach shots and moving around the table keeps you thin. You may notice that most snooker players are usually quite lean. There is actually a lot of energy expenditure and movement in pool. It helped keep me relatively flexible.

Pool is  a game of concentration and emotional balance. You have to focus on the shot. You also need to develop patience and focus to practice shot after shot, over and over again.

Emotional training

And you have to learn not to get too emotionally upset when losing to someone, as happened often. One thing I learnt is that you can occasionally beat a superior player to yourself, if they lose their composure but you keep yours. Hint: Don’t drink alcohol.

When people lose their composure, no matter how good they are, they start making mistakes, which then turns into frustration and tension, even anger. This causes them to miss shots they would normally pot 10 times out of 10. And if you keep your composure and can pot, then you can win games, when ordinarily they would destroy you in minutes.

This is not to say, I was a high level player. I was mediocre. But I did have my moments.


And pool hall usually have bars. Bars sell Guinness, which contains minerals and b vitamins, which are good for you. Case closed.

Some pool halls in Japan even allow smoking (banned in the UK). So if you are reminiscent for the past, with its smoke-filled cafes and pubs, then go to Japan. 

Rounded interests

I think that hobbies are things that therapists, in fact anybody, can and should do – whether it be dance, yoga, martial arts, drawing, painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, singing, deep-sea diving, acting, flower arranging… the choices are many. 

All of these hobbies and interests make a person broader and well rounded. They also give a person balance. 

Martial Arts

I think in Japan, acupuncturists are quite balanced in their interests. My colleague in London, Eitaro, a Japanese acupuncturist is a black belt in Aikido.

One of my earlier acupuncture teachers, Mr Honda also has a black belt in aikido. He taught three classes a week in Yokohama.

One of his acupuncture students – Ishimaru, was a karate guy and came from Osaka.  He could be cheeky and made fun of me at the beginning, basically because I didn’t understand Japanese and didn’t have a clue what the teacher or anyone was talking about (nothing has changed since), although I later became friends with him. 

I have met many acupuncturists over the years, but these two stood out. I think it was their interests and hobbies, which made these particular individuals stand out more for me. 

Another good example of this is Mr Taniuchi.

Mr Taniuchi

In 2016, I visited Japan and went to Mr Taniuchi’s acupuncture clinic. Mr Taniuchi is a blind acupuncturist and member of the Toyohari association. I interviewed him for my book – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan.

Blind Acupuncture in Japan

What really stood out for me is that despite being blind, Mr Taniuchi had a huge interest in building strength and physical fitness. Before he went blind as a young man, he was into judo. He had to give it up when he lost his eyesight. However, this did not stop his love of exercise.

Mr Taniuchi teaching at the 2016 Toyohari Workshop in Tokyo

Exercising at Work

Before meeting Mr Taniuchi, I had heard from another Toyohari member that during breaks, Mr Taniuchi would lift weights in one of his treatment rooms.

Mr Taniuchi came to London, to teach in the European acupuncture seminar. During the group meal afterwards, Mr Taniuchi initiated an arm-wrestling match with all of the Toyohari members, and subsequently beat everyone. He easily dispatched all his opponents with a cheeky grin on his face.

His interest in arm-wrestling had begun when he beat one of his patients at an arm wrestling fight. This patient then invited him to his arm wrestling group. Mr Taniuchi went along and got really into it. 

Mr Taniuchi is not a big person but he showed me how you can build real strength and bone and muscle density with regular weight training.

Though, I don’t think any of us pasty-faced, limp-wristed acupuncturists provided him with any real competition. 

The lesson was actually quite straightforward and very relevant to people who work with energy. As we focus on the energetic aspects of life, Don’t neglect to focus on the physical. We need a balance of yin and yang.

Hobbies add to us

Perhaps, Mr Tanuichi’s armwrestling is not directly related to his acupuncture or healthcare in general. But it does make Mr Taniuchi a more interesting person. It also means that he can relate more wider to people. Especially young men who feel that strength and fitness are important, would be especially inspired by his interest in arm wrestling. 

Also, I am sure there are crossovers. There will be things about his arm-wrestling that would make him a better practitioner. Not withstanding, the general health benefits that regular weight exercises has the body.

Miro and Diving

Another example is my friend Miro Baricic. He is an acupuncturist with an interest in diving.  This is one of the most physically demanding activities that a person can do. Swimming into the depths of a lake or body of water requires strong muscles, stamina and lung capacity. There is no doubt, that this will have positive effects on his health in years to come. 

Additionally, he found an ancient sword in a deep lake Norway and made the news!


Miro sword

What has 9-ball pool got to do with acupuncture?

To finish, I will answer – how does a hobby like 9 ball pool make you a better acupuncturist? Or any hobby?

The answer is that there are skills we develop which can be transferred to our acupuncture practice. Or any practice we take on. 

Here’s how:

Precision and Intention

9 ball pool is about precision and intention.

Before you even go into the stance, you must decide what shot you are going for. And you must decide where you want to position yourself for the next shot after.

Acupuncture is also about precision and intention, (especially in a system like Toyohari).

Before treating a patient, you must position yourself in the best way to reach your patient and that allows a better flow of Ki in your wrist and arm.


In pool, you pay special attention on your stance, measuring the shot and taking aim.  Even the pause before you strike has great significance.

This is because you must hit the cue ball at a very specific point on the ball. If you hit over centre, the cue ball follows after the target ball. If you hit under centre, the cue ball will spin backwards after hitting the cue ball. If you hit dead centre, the cue ball stuns and can stop dead on a straight shot. Hitting to the right or left of the cue ball also causes it to follow a different trajectory. Hence why precision is so necessary. You want to aim to position your cue ball in an area ready for the shot after. If you don’t do this, the cue ball will end up somewhere you don’t want it.

Like the cue ball, when needling the acupuncture point, you must find the correct location of the acupuncture point or you can miss it and not get the desired effect. 

Here is an extract from Shudo Denmei discussing his teacher’s accuracy when locating the correct acupuncture point:

Some practitioners locate points by rote and thereby fail to take the time to examine the area around the points carefully. My teacher practiced the Sawada style of acupuncture which puts great emphasis on locating acupuncture points where there is some palpable reaction. He was very particular about point location, and at certain points would press the skin with the head of a match or the end of a blunt pencil to find the tender spot. When he examined an acupuncture point carefully, he literally looked for reactions one square millimetre at a time. As a result, I learned to locate points with special care. When I am looking for a point, my fingertips are constantly on the move feeling for differences…

Generally speaking, the skin surfaces at acupuncture points on meridians with imbalances is less resilient than the surrounding area. Sometimes a tight band of tension of a knot-like induration can be palpated in the subcutaneous tissues with the fingertips. In other cases, the patient may feel tenderness when these points are pressed.

Shudo Denmei – Japanese Classical Acupuncture, p168

Delivery and Action

In pool, the drawing back of the cue, the pause and then striking the cue ball is the crucial moment. 

Your aim must be correct or you may miss the shot. You mind must be calm and focused. Your breathing as calm as you can make it no matter how pressured you feel. You learn to maintain calm though hours of practice. It is like a form of mental training or meditation.

When taking a shot, you must let go of tension, breathe normally and avoid holding your breath. If you feel any tension or worry, you can miss even easy shots. Likewise you must not feed any negative feelings like anger, frustration or fear. This can occur easily if you are losing to someone.

All of the above applies to acupuncture needling (again especially in Meridian Therapy).

Needling focus and intention

With the needle, you advance to the skin and insert it with intention. Your needling technique must be correct or you can miss the spot. You learn to do this through years of regular practice. To be calm and focused on feeling and connecting with the point and the patient. You must be relaxed and yet alert. Your touch must be soft. Holding the needle firmly, but not gripping with force.

The Chinese acupuncture bible, the Huangdi Neijing places importance on the sensitivity of needling with this quote:

In order to reinforce the deficient activity of the organs, it is advisable to insert the needle as carefully as a blind person handles things, inducing the vital energy, and then withdraw the needle as swiftly as a mosquito or a horsefly flies off as soon as it has landed, and as a taut string of a lute is broken suddenly.

HuangTi Nei Ching Ling Shu, The Cannon of Acupuncture – Ki Sunu. Page 33

Needling is not something you just do, like slapping paint on a wall or slopping a few bricks down in a hurry. A painted wall or brick wall can be created with beauty and care and be appreciated for it. Or it can look like a bodge job and noted as one.

The technique itself is a part of the treatment, not just the end result

In the West, Medical doctors, nurses and allied health professionals can learn acupuncture in a few weekends, learning point prescriptions for specific conditions like knee pain, back pain, stopping smoking or nausea. Acupuncture becomes a kind of Oriental painkiller. Ki does not exist. It is explained with endorphins and so on.

With such an attitude, the delicacies of technique are discounted.  All that matters is sticking the needle in without connection, without care. The famous Japanese acupuncturist Shudo Denmei writes this:

According to Yanagiya Sorei, forcing the needle is akin to rape, and if all we do is stick the needles in people, we are nothing but needle stickers. These words are really to the point. The secrets of acupuncture are no different from those of life itself. We need to pay attention to all we do. Qi is gathered around the point by stroking, brushing, and pressing the point. When the preparation is good, the area becomes slightly reddened. When the skin is ready to receive the needle, all one has to do is place the needle tip on the point and the needle practically goes in by itself. 

Introduction to Meridian Therapy, Shudo Denmei. Page171


My overall message here is to cultivate other interests and hobbies. It will make you more rounded and there is a crossover. No matter what you do, you can find parallels with your profession. Like with my example of 9 ball pool. 

Taking the time to learn something new will help you develop discipline, patience and an appreciation of the small details. Such things can help you in other fields of work. 

Improving by Observing Nature (& art, sports and movies)

Traditional Chinese medicine is based on Taoism, which is based on the observation of nature. Observing nature does not just mean observing animals, seasons or the cycles of the sun and moon. It is also about observing the daily activities that humans do. Yes, 9 ball pool falls into this category.

It may be the reason, why the Japanese put so much emphasis on perfecting the art of flower arranging (Ikebana) or Calligraphy, or even perfecting the air conditioning unit in a car.

Take a look at their electronic toilets to see how precision and beauty can be applied even to something like a toilet. If you can’t get to Japan to see it, you can always try and visit the Japanese embassy in London to see one. There seems to be an innate desire for perfection in all areas of life and work. And yes, even things like going to the toilet. A philosophy where the minute details are just as important as the overall outcome. 

The act of doing is as important as the final result

Even the process of learning a new hobby is part of this process. As a beginner you suck. But as you practice more, you gradually develop your ability until you become fairly capable.  You start to get recognition from others. As you improve further, you become more experienced and may even be able to guide others. There is beauty in this full process. We always admire the final product, but what of the full journey?

Another example can be felt when walking up a mountain. Why do people want to walk up mountains? It is extremely tiring and your legs ache for days afterwards. It is so much easier to go the gym, instead of getting bitten by bugs and overtaken by elderly Japanese walkers wearing their hats and fanny-packs.

When I have walked up mountains, I remember feeling satisfied when I got to the top , but then I would suddenly feel at a loss.

‘Oh, Ok, I’m here, now what should I do?’ I’d think. And then as soon as I felt rested enough, I would start descending again.

I realised that it is really the journey that gave me the pleasure. Not being at the top. The top is just for taking Instagram selfies with my selfie stick.

The act itself is as important as the result

This is the real application of being in the now. Every weave of the flower stem in Ikebana, or stroke of the quill as in Calligraphy is important in its own right. Every moment, every act is a frame in time. It all leads to the end result, which when that point comes, could be said to be dead, because it is finished. It is a metaphor for life.

It is not the final result, but the journey that gives life meaning. Which is why, when people have accomplished something great, they then start to seek the next challenge. This is because they recognise that life is about motion. To sit back and enjoy your successes leads to stagnation.

The famous Japanese aikido teacher and author Koichi Tohei in his ‘Book of Ki‘ talks about ‘always extending your Ki (energy)’ to be healthy. Once you relax your Ki, you can grow stagnant, slow down, old, even get sick. Here is an extract from when he returned from fighting in the War in 1946:

The day I returned, I began farming. My mother recommended I take a month’s rest at a hot spring resort. I said, “No, mother. I could endure hardships like sleeping on the ground because I did not relax my Ki. If I slack my Ki now, I’ll be in trouble. I’ll start farming in order to keep my Ki strong. I’ll visit friends and relatives after I get used to it.” After a week, I began visiting. I did not get sick at all. I heard later that some returning soldiers went to the spring and died since their Ki weakened. I again realised the importance of filling myself with Ki.

Book of Ki: Co-ordinating Mind and Body in Daily Life. Page 86

Perhaps it is the same way, a person who retires after working hard for many years, looking forward to a life of afternoon pub, daytime TV, cruises and general relaxation -finds himself losing his energy, becoming bored, dull and gets really sick for the first time in his life. It is because he is no longer projecting his Ki.

So always project your Ki. Keep on moving until you truly reach a time, when you feel ‘it’s enough‘; Now is the time to sit back and observe the others on the mouse-wheel.

Practicing a different hobby may even give you a new perspective on your other work. Having wider interests in other things that are different to what you do for a living can make you a broader and more rounded individual. It will make you more interesting as a person. Life is short, just a few decades at best. Just enough time to master one single act. 


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Energetic Blocks and Suppressing Life

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CHAPTER THREE (NARRATED VIDEO): Visit to Mr Taniuchi’s Clinic – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Thumbnail Chapter Three

Here is the Chapter Three (YouTube Narrated Video) – Visit to Mr Taniuchi’s clinic. Taken from the book – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan. Narrated by Caroline Graham.

Available in a series of videos on my YouTube Channel. Book available on Amazon.

Chapter Three: Visit to Mr Taniuchi’s Clinic

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Blind Acupuncture in Japan


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CHAPTER TWO (NARRATED VIDEOS): Interviews with Teachers – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Chapter 2 Featured Image Blind Acu

Here is the Narration for Chapter Two of the Book – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan. Narrated by Caroline Ann Graham.

Available as videos on my YouTube Channel.

This Chapter is broken down into different videos.

Chapter Two (A) Video

Chapter Two (B) Video: Interview with Mr Taniuchi

Chapter Two (C) Interview with Mr Abe

Chapter Two (D) Interview with Mr Michio Murakami

Chapter Two (E) Interview with Mr Hideaki Iwashita

Chapter Two (F) Interview with Mr Akira Fukushima

Chapter Two (G) Discussion of Interviews


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CHAPTER THREE (Narrated): The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan (Coming Soon)

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CHAPTER ONE (Narration): The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Thumbnail Chapter 1

Here is the Narrated Video for Chapter One: The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan, as shown on my YouTube Channel.

Narrated by Caroline Ann Graham.

YouTube Video: Chapter One: Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

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Chapter Two (Narrated): The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

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Introduction: Book Narration of the Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Introduction Narration Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Introduction Narration Blind Acupuncturists in Japan

Together with fellow acupuncturist, healer and professional singer, Caroline Graham, we have been working on making a narration for my book – ‘The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan: Interviews with Senior Blind Acupuncturists and Teachers at a School for the Blind’.

It is a long piece of work, and I am pleased to publish the first part – the Introduction, on my YouTube Channel – The Genki Health Channel.

To learn more about this book, read this article. The book is available on Amazon, (print and eBook, and on all market places). If you are interested in listening and learning about the Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan, do watch the video below. Chapter One will follow soon.

Introduction: The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan



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Alyssa Dazet Interview with Peter Deadman

A Manual of Acupuncture Peter Deadman
A Manual of Acupuncture Peter Deadman
Peter Deadman

If any acupuncturists were at acupuncture school during the pre or early days of the internet, you may have trained with the acupuncture points textbook – A Manual of Acupuncture.

This landmark book was written by the well-known acupuncturist and author Peter Deadman. Along with Mazin Al-Khafaji and Kevin Baker. 

I will explain the meaning of the featured image – the bricks later on in the article. But first, the interview.

Alyssa Dazet’s YouTube interview

The American acupuncturist, entrepreneur and founder of the company – 6 figure Acupuncturist carried out this interview with him. It is available through Alyssa Dazet’s YouTube Channel and on Peter Deadman’s website.

Peter Deadman is one of those names that is well-known in the Acupuncture world, as one of the earlier and principal figures of its beginnings in the West. Here is an opportunity to listen to one of the key figures of acupuncture in the West. It is a long interview – over an hour, with a lot of topics covered.

I have included the version shown on Peter Deadman’s YouTube Channel as opposed to Alyssa’s Channel as it has been edited to remove the 7/8 minutes of footage at the beginning, whilst preparing for the interview to commence.

Please like or subscribe to support Alyssa’s work on her channel.

Brief summary of the interview

Alyssa and Peter Deadman discussed a lot of topics ranging from how he got into acupuncture, the way that the acupuncture world has changed, his early life as well as other ideas about health

Peter had just turned 70 years old at the time of the video. He lives in Brighton, UK. In his career in Chinese medicine, he ran his own clinic, taught students, authored a well known textbook, founded a Journal and also practices and teaches qigong. He is retired from clinical practice.

Early Life

Peter Deadman was a smart young boy. He was admitted to Oxford University to study a degree that potentially could have seen him work in the government. However, he was also influenced by the beat and counter-culture generation of the time and he rebelled. He preferred to spend his time taking recreational drugs and listening to music like Bob Dylan, rather than study.

He was expelled from university as one of “the worst students” who had ever attended there.  Freed from this path, he set out with a hippy lifestyle, travelling around the world and taking drugs. He adopted the mindset – “you have to do something important to your life”. 

Unfortunately, in Morocco he became seriously sick with hepatitis. It was then that he came across a book on Zen Macrobiotics from the author George Ohsawa.


Ohsawa was the founder of the Macrobiotics movement, which promotes the idea that ‘diet can change your life’.

The Macrobiotic diet is a a type of healthy eating plan based on traditional Japanese foodstuffs like miso soup, pickles and brown rice. It also incorporates traditional Oriental medicine principles such as yin yang and qi.

Ohsawa’s works and the Macrobiotic’s movement became very popular in the West in the 1960s and 70s. It is still popular today. Especially with some celebrities.

A Macrobiotics restaurant business

Peter became interested in Macrobiotics and this set him off on a new path. He opened a Macrobiotic retaurant back in Oxford and a healthy food distribution business. Both of which became successful. It was also through Macrobiotics, that he learnt about traditional Chinese health philosophy. 

However, despite the success of these businesses, he wanted something different. So Peter decided to train as an acupuncturist.

Early days of acupuncture

Peter took to a career in Acupuncture in its early days in the UK. Few people practiced then. There were scant learning opportunities in the 1970s and few books. Basically people didn’t know a lot about Chinese medicine back then. 

This all changed when China opened itself up to the West during the Nixon administration.

Academics and students were invited to China to train. Giovani Macciocia, Fred Kaptchuk and Julian Scott were some of the earlier visitors and what they learnt there, they brought back.

They were able to provide a deeper level of training in the West thereon-in. Peter Deadman trained with Maciocia. And as one of the earliest practitioners in this art, Peter Deadman’s practice was popular. He was seeing 80 to 90 patients a week in a multi-bed clinic. He also started a journal – the Journal of Chinese Medicine, which brings out articles to this day.

Changing times

Things have changed now. Peter Deadman remarked that even ten years later from the time he trained, that the number of acupuncturists had increased and that it had become a crowded marketplace. 

But what about 30 years later? It is apparent that there are a lot more acupuncturists available everywhere – TCM shops, Medical Acupuncturists (nurses/doctors/physios), even chiropractors can provide it, first and second generation acupuncturists well as the newer graduates today. 

On the other hand the awareness of acupuncture has also grown, so that more people are open to it and willing to pay.

Still the notion of 80 or 90 clients a week in the UK, is unheard of these days. Though, I have heard this is common still in Japan.

Hence the need to adopt different business models like a strong online presence, your own products, keeping costs low, and other strategies. (My note).

The Writing of A Manual of Acupunture

At over 650 pages long with hundreds of detailed illustrations and references to ancient texts and source material, The Manual of Acupuncture is one of the most comprehensive textbooks on Oriental Medicine ever written. 

Peter Deadman Acupuncture

In the interview, Peter Deadman said that it took them 8 years to write the book. They were initially approached by a publishing company and along with Mazin, decided they wanted to write a book with ‘strong foundations’.

They spent hundreds of hours researching and translating Chinese texts (Mazin was able to read classical Chinese) to write the book. The whole journey was like ‘putting one foot in front of the other’.

Other health advice by Peter Deadman

Peter Deadman has a special interest in health, with an emphasis on the ‘middle way’ or a life of moderation in tune with the tao of our bodies. This goes against the message of today’s society which talks about pushing ourselves to our limits in order to get stronger or attain a higher level. This approach is not truly in tune with the natural harmony of our body.

He also remarked that aging can be due to stagnation. 

Anti Aging

Usually, aging is seen as a result of a decline in jing or essence. But as Peter observed, there are signs of stasis in ageing. Things like dark patches or marks on the skin are signs of stasis. Stasis is further indicated in our bodies as things get stiff.

He also believed that we can counteract ageing by keeping ourselves younger mentally. How so? By approaching life on the basis that we live as continuous learners. That we are prepared to let go of preconceptions or mindsets and firmly held beliefs.. This is the makings of wisdom. 

Empty Cup

It is similar to the Lao Tzu story about how a famous dignitary comes to visit a wise old monk to teach him about the Tao. The dignitary tells the monk impatiently that he is very important and does not have time, so he would like the quick version about the Tao. Save me the waffle.

The monk offers the man a tea and then proceeds to fill it up till it overflows, spilling onto his hands. At which the point the dignitary gets angry and asks him ‘what do you think you are doing?!’ To which the monk replies:

‘How can I fill up your cup if it is already full? You must first learn to empty your cup before I can teach you about the Tao.’

“Yes”, the dignitary replied. “that is all well and good, but you could at least, have let the tea cool down first. This tea is scolding hot!”

Keep a young mindset

In life, Peter shared how he adopts this mindset by saying how he plays in a band, even at the age of 70. Spending his evenings practiting and doing gigs.

I have seen similar attitudes in other acupuncturist particularly in Japan. For example, I spoke to Mr Taniuchi,  who I interviewed in my book – The Tradition of Blind Acupuncturists in Japan. He had learnt arm wrestling, (I assume sometime either in his 60s or 70s). 

At one seminar, he challenged all the class attendees to arm wrestling fights during the evening meal (and drink) and then proceeded to beat everyone. This despite being of smaller build than some of the Western members. In case you’re wondering, he was using muscle – not qi energy. Pretty cool for a 70 year old.

I think there is some wisdom for all of us to learn about ageing healthily by remaining as lifelong learners. 

Blind Acupuncture in Japan

Peter Deadman on Qigong

Peter practices and has taught qigong for 30 years. He stated clearly that qigong “saved his life”. He was not born with a strong constitution and his early life of debauchery – drugs and travel, would have taken their toll on his body. So a lifetime of qigong practice has really helped keep him healthy.

Peter shared some more wisdom – the value of daily practice. As a child he was ingrained with the habit of daily practice through learning to play the violin. He carried on this habit by making qigong, breathing exercises or yoga a part of his daily life practice.

Fundamentally, this is the key to health – daily practice. It is not just enough to do a seminar or training. You have to practice daily what you learn. Then its effects will impact your life.

Other observations

It is clear that Peter Deadman could have talked for hours. Alyssa has a warm and friendly interviewing style, which invites open engagement.

Peter Deadman felt that he was lucky in his life. Timing was an important factor that opened up these opportunities to him. The West was just ready for this new influx of knowledge about traditional Chinese medicine and healthy eating and he happened to be ready at the forefront of it all.

Opportunity + Action = Success

However, he still had to be ready to go down this path in the first place. Dropping out of Oxford to pursue a beatnick lifestyle was certainly going against the expected track (I assume), for someone from his background. Not many people could do that. 

Peter Deadman made a few more observations, particularly about the way new acupuncturists are thrown out into practicing on the public after qualifying, without adequate follow up. They are expected to figure it out for themselves. Additionally, they are also given unrealistic expectations that it is possible to heal everything with acupuncture, when this is not truly the case.

These are all points  I agree with. I have discussed one possible solution to this problem of lack of experience in this article here.  

Peter Deadman also said that in spite of this current anti-TCM feeling going on and the growth of systems that operate using different principles, Deadman believes there is great value in the differential diagnosis system of TCM. A key part of it is being able to differentiate a person’s symptoms into patterns.

Peter Deadman recently wrote another book on health. Here is an amazon link.

Live Well, Live Long: Teachings from the Chinese Nourishment and Life Tradition and Modern research

To conclude, I will just share some personal experiences with the textbook – A Manual of Acupuncture.


A Manual of Acupuncture is a Brick (literally)

The Manual of Acupuncture was my college’s main acupuncture points textbook.  Avalable here on Amazon.

Peter Deadman Acupuncture
The Incredible Hulk of Textbooks

It is packed full of detailed descriptions, illustrations and lots and lots of background information about all the points. 

It is a great book, but it is horribly impractical for students because the paperback version is huge. The size of at least three bricks (possible four) as you can see from the picture above.

Can I borrow your Deadman?

Students often referred to this book as ‘Deadman’, even though there were two other authors involved. That name just sticks in the mind better.

Also, perhaps subconsciously, we thought we’d all become dead-men, if we had to spend 3 years carrying that book around in our backpacks on a daily basis. We would all be dead from muscle strain.

Sorry for the pun Peter. I’m sure you haven’t heard that before. I had the same with my surname. Kids asking me what’s it like to live in an electrical store.

To put my back out, or not to? That is the question

Fortunately, the book didn’t weigh quite as much as three bricks (possible two), but students often had to make a decision – should I carry this gigantic book with me today or just try to borrow someone else’s copy for my points classes or clinic?

Quite often, students opted not to carry the book. So the few members that did bring books would get irritated whenever other students came sniffing around, like hyenas around a lost wilderbeast, to ask if they could peak a look at a particular point…

As I approached them, I’d ignore that furrowed, snarling look on their face – indicating to me – ‘Why must I take the risk of permanent muscle strain whilst these freeloaders just waltz up to me and ask me to borrow my Deadman. The nerve of them, these SOB’s!’.

Me: “Hi, could I have a quick look at the location for Kidney 12?”

Them: Grits teeth – “Yes of course”  (asshole)

A few ingenious students actually ripped off all the points and made their own palm-sized miniature points booklets. I still have my original home-made copy from my college days.

Thank F for the Digital Age

They’ve fixed that all now beautifully. These days, you can pay for an app that has all these points on your smartphone or tablet and it is worth getting even for experienced acupuncturists as a source of reference. I’ve got one on mine.

Other publishers also have gotten on the action and produced their own mini booklets if you prefer paper books.

I still have my Deadman from college and dip into from time to time. If you want to have an impressive looking bookshelf, it is a good addition (and edition). 

One day, I’ll have to get Peter Deadman to sign it. If I am willing to carry it in my backpack. 

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