Acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), helping to restore the balance and flow of energy via the use of needles, lasers and finger pressure. The specialised nature of the modality requires practitioners to undergo extensive instruction and training, with a degree course taking up to four years. ntpages caught up with Rod Martin, a recent graduate of Endeavour College, to find out what motivated him and the highlights of his new career.
Were you a full or part-time student?
"I studied full time over four years. I have a young family so this commitment did have some practical challenges."
Why did you choose to study acupuncture?
I previously worked as a management consultant and karate instructor and reached a point where I was feeling very stressed and run down. As a father to young children, I was certain I wanted to take a new direction and be more present in the time I spent with my wife and family."
What course did you enrol in?
"I enrolled and completed the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Acupuncture) at Endeavour College."
What attracted you to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
"I like the fact that TCM does not distinguish between our mind, body or emotional health. It has a truly integrated approach."
How were you introduced to acupuncture?
"I met some professional acupuncturists through my training in Japanese sword fighting and ended up having an acupuncture session myself. I felt instantly different – the treatment relaxed me and eventually cured my migraines, sore knees, lower back pain and digestive problems. I became very focussed on learning more about acupuncture so I could share the benefits I had experienced with others. I was intrigued by the fact that acupuncture teaches you about the body’s energy flows in a way that incorporates ancient wisdom."
How is the course divided into theory and practice?
"The first year is mostly theory, though there are practical elements as well. You basically don’t get to work with real people untilyear three."
How did the course help you transition into the workplace/open your own practice?
"The course has components in business management, so that aspect is definitely covered."
What did you do after graduating?
"After graduating from Endeavour College’s Bachelor of Health Sciences (Acupuncture), I’ve become a partner at a multi-modality clinic in Brisbane called Go 2 Human Performance."
Tell us about the clinic?
"We offer a range of health services including acupuncture, physiotherapy, naturopathy, beauty therapy and remedial massage. The clinic gives people access to all the health services they could need under the one roof. We are building relationships with a diverse clientele, including many of Brisbane’s top CEOs, through our unique, collaborative approach to healthcare."
Give us a practical example of this.
"It isn’t unheard of for our psychologist to call in our physiotherapist to give some advice or support to a client in a 60 minute session."
What has been the highlight of your new career?
"The highlight of my career has been the ability to help my father, who had a spinal stroke in 2009 which left him paralysed and impacted his bowel and bladder function. His diagnosis was quite dire and he wasn’t expected to walk again. I was granted permission from the hospital to treat him and after daily treatments he gained the ability to walk again within six weeks. His motor and sensory functions have also slowly but steadily returned. Every time I treat him I can see a visible improvement in his condition and that has been the greatest gift of all."
What is the best thing about being a natural therapy practitioner?
"Educating people and getting to meet people through my work. I have a lot of fun in my work."
What other advice can you give for studying a natural therapy?
"You need to have a clear idea of how you are going to practise. A lot of people think that having your own practice is the only way, so they start another job to make ends meet and end up not using their qualification at all."
To study acupuncture, check out some of the acupuncture courses available in Australia.