I began my formal study of Chinese Medicine in 1996. Over the years I have studied in China, Thailand, Japan, USA and Germany. I have also had the opportunity to teach Chinese medicine at a number of UK colleges and was lecturer and Clinical Supervisor at the University of Westminster Polyclinic for 5 years. I was a co-founder of Kai clinic, a BHMA award winning multi-couch acupuncture practice within a North London GP surgery. Following on from some of the ideas developed through teaching, I co-founded Yuji Clinic of Chinese Medicine in London, as well as Yu seminars. I am dedicated to the promotion of Classical Chinese Medicine understanding and practice.
I have spent much of my life trying to understand the world around me. I often feel that I am getting closer to this objective with every decade that passes, yet I still manage to provide evidence to the contrary every so often. I am profoundly grateful to my teachers who have helped me along the way. It is my hope that by telling you of my teachers and something of the lineage of my knowledge you will be able to infer the qualities that I admire and aspire to, not just in Chinese medicine, but in life. At the start of every lecture I always like to give the names of the following people, partly to say thanks and also to prove that I am not making this stuff up. The fact that all these named people also defer both to their teachers and to their teacher’s classical roots also highlights that the great medical and philosophical thinkers in China (and elsewhere) really were that smart and observant 2000 years ago. I hope these people will forgive my attempts to sum up their incredible work in a few short sentences.
Phra Hans Ulrich Kaempfer and Luang Paw Charoen
These two extraordinary people shared some of their time with me at Thamkrabok monastery in Thailand. I had gone there to study the rehab clinic but came away with so much more. Phra Hans helped to put my thoughts into some order and then, once I had nearly died (long story), Luang Paw showed me what my own life might mean and what real teaching felt like. Beautiful; life changing; terrifying.
A man with a piercing intellect who took his students by the scruff of the neck and showed us how smart this medicine was and could be. He also makes you realise how much fun it can be once you are given the principles. No mystery, no pretence, just logic, clarity, process and results and the most profound respect for the classics. Deservedly the world’s most famous Belgian.
Who let me in to his clinic where I enjoyed seeing someone so adept at the skills involved in treating. He always reminds me of a jazz musician, improvising with such assured awareness and confidence. A colleague once said of him; “other people made me want to do acupuncture, but he made me want to be an acupuncturist”.
The founder of the Gateway clinic and a true pioneer of effective Chinese medicine provision in this country. John was the first person I met who really embodied the medicine and the first who allowed me into this clinic to teach what dedication and service meant. Thanks to his infectious ability to push limits I can endure many things, including sweat lodges that would be too much for even an Estonian. A privilege.
I really only studied with Roy on 2 or 3 occasions but the intensity of his focus and movement have stayed with me, and remains during every qi gong session I ever do. Enough said.
Elizabeth Rochat de la Valle
Who weaves the history and the philosophy of Chinese medicine into the fabric of your thoughts. Joie de vivre in person.
For the compassion and the overview he gives to the Neijing and the fundamentals which underlie the Chinese sciences.
Andrew Nugent Head
As soon as I met Andrew I knew that he was the person who could change the course of Chinese medicine in the UK. His embodiment of the medicine and his dedication to thorough teaching has given us the grounding to build a community who have the tangible skills to treat and to genuinely learn from each other. His skill in getting out of the way of his own teaching means that, however much we credit him for his work, we are probably still short changing him.
Since 2010 my work has primarily been focused on teaching the physical skills and application embodied in the work of Andrew Nugent Head’s Association of Traditional Studies (ATS).
The fundamental skills and “tangible medicine” promoted by ATS form the basis of all practitioners’ work at YUJI, James’ Central London teaching Clinic where he continues the tradition of practical teaching and learning as passed down to him. His teaching of herbal medicine, acupuncture, bodywork and exercise aims to enable the solid skills required to enact the clear yet adaptable theory consistent with principles from the Jing, (Classics) of Chinese Medicine.