Being a doctor
Since I remember I’ve always wanted to become a doctor, a surgeon in the first place. I liked the idea of helping others while working with my own hands. But when I was studying medicine I realised once you chop off a part of the body there is no turning back. Also for the patient is better to keep all of the parts intact as long as possible.
So I decided to specialise in general medicine, more preventive part of a medicine as I thought at that time.
I found working in a hospital as a great experience. As I specialised in general medicine, I learned a lot about different diseases. I also learned how to save patients’ lives in critical conditions. A that time I was also working in numerous hospitals in the UK, mostly private, but also NHS including cardiology ward in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. It gave me a lot of experience and fulfilment.
But there was something missing…
Materialistic view doesn’t leave place for emotions and mind to be an active agent for disease in the same way as toxins or bacteria are. Moreover, it perceives organs as separate parts of a bigger machine, like hands in a clock.
As I realised the disadvantages of Western medicine, I also noticed how much time I spent on paper work rather than working with patients. Most of the information about them came from the computer, and not from my patients.
Another disturbing thing was that patients with similar symptoms had the same label. Consequently, they got the same medications, despite every patient was different and so their diseases.
Although I appreciated benefits of Western medicine, the lack of direct interaction with patients and personal approach left me dissatisfied.
First contact with Chinese medicine
Eager to explore different approaches towards health, my close friend invited me to my first acupuncture course. It was spring 2008 and I was listening to Dr Wandel about acupuncture points and their effect on healing organs and other parts of the body.
Later I learnt Dr Wandel was a student of prof Zbigniew Garnuszewski who in 1978 set up the first acupuncture clinic in Poland.
First Chinese Medicine school
Hungry to know more I signed up for 4-year studies of Chinese medicine at Instytut Medycyny Chinskiej i Profilaktyki Zdrowia in Cracow, Poland. Being a doctor, the most difficult thing for me was to change the perception of the body from Western to Chinese one.
I was very lucky.
My teacher, Matthias Hunecke, was brilliant in guiding me through that process. He opened my eyes to a complete different dimension of medicine. In this picture everything was interconnected. Organs supported each other perfectly, while performing their unique role in order to give the human being the most joy and harmony.
Acupuncture clinic in Nepal
The first chance to see how Chinese medicine works was the internship in 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal. The free clinic, ran by my teacher for the local community, was situated under Swayambhu Hill, sacred place for Buddhists.
The public health service in Nepal was very poor so every day we were seeing lot of patients.
They came with different problems: from knee and back aches to heart and brain diseases.
Patients received acupuncture, herbs, sometimes cupping and moxibustion. Pain stopped almost immediately and patients regained their physical fitness very quickly.
I was so happy to see my 80 year-old-patient being able to climb the Swayambhu Hill again, with a big smile on his face.
For after-stroke patients it took a bit more time to recover. I saw patients who still with the needles in their head (scalp acupuncture) started to move their arms and legs, which were immobile for a long time.
Once a man waiting for his wife, who was having a treatment, got epilepsy. My teacher settled him down with one needle on the top of his head. The seizure was gone.
My first steps as acupuncturist
After returning from Nepal I was sure I want to practice acupuncture. My dreams came true. I was able to treat patients with hands only, not depriving them of the parts of the body they might consider useful.
I completed Chinese medicine studies in 2013 and general medicine specialisation a couple years earlier.
Having the knowledge of the both medicines, and clinical experience from working in hospitals, I opened my first acupuncture clinic in Gdansk, Poland.
The first year was difficult.
At that time acupuncture was hardly known in Poland. But the news spread that I could relieve pain with only a few needles. And that is what most acupuncturists do in the beginning of their career. As the time passed by, I was seeing more and more patients. In the end, I was running a busy acupuncture clinic for the next 5 years.
TOMO Chinese medicine school
While I was starting my clinic I met prof Li Jie. He is the head of the western branch of classical Chinese medicine school Qi Lu from Jinan, China. In TOMO I was studying with him old classical medicine texts. I started to understand the processes which led to many modern diseases like diabetes, infertility, brain and heart problems, and many other.
As one of more experienced students I was asked to become a teacher in TOMO. Now I am teaching students acupuncture and giving introduction lectures to the Western medicine.
As I got more experienced in acupuncture, I felt like I am missing something. The points I’ve been choosing for my patients didn’t work as I thought they would. I was not in full control of the outcome and the results of the treatment, although positive ones came quite randomly.
That how I found palpation;
a method of diagnosis which nowadays is rarely used in traditional Chinese acupuncture. It has survived, however, in Japanese acupuncture. Here it is called Hara diagnosis which means diagnosis of the abdomen.
I’ve learned it from Kiiko Matsumoto, who spent over 40 years developing her style of acupuncture. I became more conscious about what is happening with the patient in the very moment of the treatment.
And the results of my treatments started to improve.
I also started to treat patients with more serious diseases like hypertension, infertility or hormonal and skin problems.
In May 2019 I opened my practice in Oval, London. I’m continuing my development by taking part in Kiiko’s lectures every year. I also participate in learning programme run by Andy Harrop, designated teacher of Kiiko Matsumoto Style and the owner of Dulwich Acupuncture Clinic in London.