Rick has worked in natural health since 1997. He has a BSc degree from Edinburgh University, were he studied Psychology and Anthropology and a BSc (Hons) in Oriental Medicine from Brighton University. He is an experienced member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and a Course Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor at The International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM).
Rick was attracted to Chinese medicine (zhōngyī, 中醫) in 1993 when introduced to Tai Chi and Daoist philosophy (tàojīa, 道教). Encouraged by what he learnt he traveled that summer, to China, to find out more and has practiced Tai Chi and Qi Gong since. In 1997, having just finished his first degree, a chance meeting lead him to travel with, and work alongside, a traditional Osteopath. Having had a strong interest in healthcare since childhood, the opportunity to travel around Scotland, treating racehorses and their owners, was inspiring. He began studying anatomy and physiology and completed a two-year diploma in therapeutic and remedial massage. It was then that he started treating people, in a small clinic in Edinburgh.
In 2000 Rick moved South and studied acupuncture for 4 years, full-time, at ICOM, where he learned Five Element (wǔxīng, 五行) ‘Stems and Branches’ acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
After graduating in 2004, he was asked to work alongside Pauline van Buren, the Principle of ICOM at the time and wife of the late Dr. van Buren, who had founded the college in 1972. Once a week, for 4 years, Rick traveled to Pauline’s home and worked alongside her, treating patients and, when not busy, sitting in on Pauline’s treatments. During this time Rick really began to understand the depth and value of Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment, and the art Chinese pulse taking.
In 2004 Rick also started Sussex Acupuncture to provide local, high quality, traditional acupuncture within Sussex and the South-East.
Since then, alongside this general practice, he has worked in some interesting places:
2005 – 2010 – Rick worked for the Wandsworth Drug Project, in London, treating vulnerable patients with a variety of mental health and substance misuse issues within a tier 2 substance misuse setting. During this time he came to understand that everything we do is an attempt to nourish ourselves and that we all develop habits around this, and that the mechanisms of habit dependency are rooted in disruptions in our physiology, often caused by the personal issues that arise for us within this process.
2010 – 2017 – Has worked as an acupuncture consultant at ‘The Agora Gynaecology and Fertility Centre’. During this time he studied the anatomy and physiology of the hormonal and reproductive systems of men and women and through treating a wide variety of gynaecological and hormonal issues, came to understand many of the challenges men and women face today in their pursuit of reaching their a reproductive potential and in maintaining health. He continues to work alongside the Agora and receives regular referrals from them.
Since 2013 – He has been teaching acupuncture and the theories of traditional Chinese medicine at ICOM. He is currently Course Coordinator for Practical Clinic, in which 2nd year students start treating members of the public, working in groups of 3 or 4, and a Clinical Supervisor for the 3rd year students as they start to treat on a one-to-one basis.
Since early 2018 – He has been studying Chinese Medicine Chinese characters (zhōng yī yòng zì, 中醫用字) with Nicolaas Herman Oving. The goal is to be able to read classical Chinese to gain access to the medical and philosophical texts in their original form to deepen his understanding of Chinese Medicine in practice and for teaching.
Over the years he has written numerous articles about natural health and the value of Chinese medicine. He was a columnist for Insight magazine and a BAcC representative for local radio. He is currently writing various Chinese medicine books, some of which will hopefully be finished at some point during the course of his life. He also plans to travel and lecture about traditional Chinese medicine more.
Rick has years of experience helping people with a wide variety of general and specialist health issues and currently has five-element and TCM traditional acupuncture clinics in Brighton and in Lewes.
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