BSc, BSc (Hons) Oriental Medicine, MBAcC
Rick has worked in natural healthcare since 1997 and is a traditional Chinese acupuncturist with over 20 years clinical experience.
He has a BSc degree from Edinburgh University, were he studied Psychology and Anthropology and a BSc (Hons) in Oriental Medicine from Brighton University from it's affiliated college 'The International College of Oriental Medicine' (ICOM), the UK's oldest acupuncture college.
He is a Course Leader, Clinical Supervisor and Lecturer at ICOM and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC).
Rick was attracted to Chinese medicine 中醫 in 1993 when introduced to taiji 太極 and Daoist philosophy 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 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 general practice, he has worked in a number of interesting places:
Wandsworth Drug Project, London (2005 - 2010)
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, that we all develop habits around this process 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.
The Agora Gynaecology and Fertility Centre, Hove (2010 - 2017)
Rick was the in-house acupuncture consultant in one of Sussex's largest Gynaecology and Fertility clinics, responsible for doing a large portion of the South-East's private and NHS IVF cycles.
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. Here he came to understand many of the challenges men and women face today in the pursuit of reaching their reproductive potential and in maintaining their health alongside this.
He continues to work alongside the Agora and receives regular referrals from them.
The International College of Oriental Medicine (2013 - present)
Teaching acupuncture and the theories of classical Chinese Medicine and TCM at ICOM, he is currently: Course Leader for Practical Clinic, in which 2nd year students start treating members of the public, working in groups of 3 or 4; Clinical Supervisor, in the Supervised Trainee Clinics, for the 3rd year students, as they start to treat on a one-to-one basis and the Gynaecology and Obstetrics lecturer for the Applied Chinese Medicine module.
Few other things:
Since early 2018 he has been studying Chinese Medicine Chinese characters 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 the original form in order to deepen his understanding of Chinese Medicine in practice and for teaching students.
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 Uckfield and in Lewes.
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I started seeing Rick about 6 weeks* before I started my first round of IVF and continued throughout the whole process. When I first came to him I was very stressed and anxious, his calm and professional approach really helped me come out of this and allowed me to continue with a much more relaxed and positive sense of well-being. Rick has so much knowledge in Chinese medicine and is clearly very passionate about what he does. I would highly recommend anyone to see him and will continue to do so myself.
I first went to Rick after having chemotherapy for cancer. I had received devastating news that my cancer was advanced and was feeling stressed and low. I wanted to take some control over my health and try and improve my general health by assisting my immune system. Rick was recommended to me and, although sceptical, I thought it could not do me any harm to try it and might do some good. I have now been seeing Rick for almost two years and he has been a tremendous help to me through my cancer journey*. Always professional, calm and supportive, he has always answered my questions and explained things in a most supportive way. I tell family and friends that my acupuncture sessions with Rick are an oasis of calm and relaxation during a stressful time. He has helped me in many ways including emotional health as well as physical health and I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Rick's care and attention to me during a traumatic and emotional time was second to none