This article was written by Marta Koszo, Acupuncture and Tui Na Practitioner.
I first learned about the World Medicine Charity and the Chaparda project during my second year of acupuncture studies when I attended the ACMAC conference in 2016. I was amazed at the wonderful work they have been undertaking for several years and wanted to join them. However, I was not yet a qualified acupuncturist. The requirement is to have at least one year of experience as a practitioner before one could apply. So after graduating in 2018, I applied earlier this year to take part in the 2020 expedition to Chaparda. I successfully passed the interview and was offered a place in the team.
In January 2020, I will be going to Gujarat in India as part of a 12- member World Medicine team made up of 6 acupuncture practitioners and 6 interpreters to provide acupuncture to local people of the area. We will be treating for 3 weeks and expect to provide in excess of 1500 treatments, using 30,000+ needles in that time, approximately 6000 needles per practitioner!
World Medicine projects are often self-funded, meaning that we, volunteers, have to fundraise to cover costs of travel and clinical supplies. As I was trying to figure out what could I do to raise funds for my expedition, I realized that the best way to do it is to offer acupuncture and tui na treatments in exchange for donations! That way, people could receive a treatment whilst contributing to a good cause. And so, I reached out to several colleague practitioners and we set a date that worked for everyone, 10th of November.
As I am also working as a Teaching Assistant at the City College of Acupuncture where I have graduated from, I asked for permission to use our clinic and one adjacent classroom for the fundraiser and they kindly agreed without any charge for rental. I also contacted Phoenix Medical and explained the purpose of the event and they have generously donated a few boxes of acupuncture needles. I advertised the event on several social media platforms, as well through my network of friends and colleagues and the acupuncture students at our college.
My team of 6 very enthusiastic practitioners for the fundraiser were graduates as well as acupuncture student practitioners from our City College of Acupuncture who are qualified in tui na and the NADA protocol. I have set up a booking schedule for tui na and body acupuncture treatments, whereas the NADA treatments were set up as drop- in. Tea, fruits and biscuits were offered as refreshments and treats in the waiting hall.
The response we had from people coming on the day and the atmosphere was amazing! My colleagues who had shorter breaks between treatments used the opportunity to talk to people in the waiting hall about Chinese Medicine and benefits of acupuncture and tui na, over a nice cup of tea. That resulted in having some of the people who came for the NADA treatment, wanting to wait and try tui na or body acupuncture, as they hadn’t experienced it before! Everyone attending the fundraiser made generous donations and some even asked if we are going to organize another like event soon as they would recommend it to friends and family.
The outcome of the fundraiser was more then incredible. At the end of the day, we raised a total of £450! I have also received generous donations prior to the event from people who wanted to contribute but were unable to attend. Equally, I continued to receive donations for a couple of weeks after the fundraiser, reaching the grand total of £800! These funds will be sufficient to cover my travel costs and clinical equipment. Besides the needles we will need for the 2020 expedition, I will also purchase additional equipment that will remain in Chaparda for future expeditions such as glass cups for cupping treatments and one machine for electro-acupuncture.
I feel really humbled by the result of the fundraiser but it couldn’t have happened without the selfless help of my colleagues Anjulie, Kaye, Fleur, Annette and Sophie. I feel really grateful to all of them for being so enthusiastic and donating their amazing skills and time!
This article was written by Marta Koszo, Acupuncture and Tui Na Practitioner, and published by Phoenix Medical.
Do you have a story to tell? The Chinese medicine community would love to hear it! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start inspiring others.