I was raised in middle class Australia in an all-white family of medical practitioners. From early childhood, something has always driven me to understand more about the human body. As a child in a wheelchair up to age 5, and before attending formal school classes from age 8, I was an avid reader of my father’s medical books.
I incessantly questioned my father about anatomy, physiology, and the surgical procedures he performed as a surgeon. In fact, from age three, I observed many surgical operations from the viewer’s gallery of hospital operating theatres. Perhaps today that would not be permitted for such young children.
My childhood medical condition gave me the opportunity to experience first-hand the best that allopathic western medicine, surgery, and medical procedures could provide. In my particular case, it could not heal my non-functioning hip and inability to move my right leg. As you would expect, that left me with an indelible, biased impression, and conclusion about the limited capabilities of western medicine.
Perhaps it was fate that brought traditional Chinese medicine to me. It was during the period following World War II. Having a mix of Indigenous ancestry exposed me to the discrimination of the White Australia Policy in force. It also engendered me to some Chinese people who faced similar discrimination.
From age 5, traditional Chinese medicine became the experimental focus of my treatment. After many years of following that discipline, under the guidance of an expert practitioner, I could walk without the aid of crutches or walking stick, and without a noticeable limp from age 16 onward. As you may imagine, that experience had a major influence on my life and opened my mind to Chinese medicine, which was then essentially unknown in the west.
My Journey & Professional Memberships
It is no surprise that I followed the study and vocational path of Chinese medicine, as opposed to western medicine. Although I also studied western health sciences to doctoral level (Ph.D. Health Sciences). Since commencing my clinical practice in 1979, I have always continued my studies, interest, and furthered my knowledge of the human body and health. To that extent, over the years, I became immersed in several formal courses and joined several organizations:
- Member American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)
- Member of Royal Society of Medicine (UK)
- Member American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM)
- Member Institute for Functional Medicine
- Member Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine
- Certificate Plant Based Nutrition – T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University
- Certified Nutritionist, National Academy of Sports Medicine (USA)
- Licensed TCM Practitioner / Acupuncturist – Chinese Medicine Council Hong Kong; Chinese Medicine Board Australia (AHPRA)
- Member of Association of Hong Kong & Kowloon Practitioners of Chinese Medicine
- Member Hong Kong Chinese Herbalists Association
Now in retirement, and based on my lifelong learning and clinical practice, my passion is to ‘help people lead healthier lives’, so they can enjoy extended longevity and a longer health-span as they age.
I choose to do this not as the client’s clinician. Instead, my aim is to reach them as their health coach, wellness champion, guide, and partner. Using this approach, supported by my clinical experience and further professional education, my aim is to help clients set and reach their health goals. This may be together with their own chosen health professional or clinician.
Over the years, I have treated many patients using traditional Chinese medicine. Usually it has been a last resort for a lot of them, as most times they feel western medicine has failed them. They seek alternative approaches such as Chinese medicine, and others. It is quite common to hear comments as follows from clients with chronic disease.
My goal has always been to recognize likely reasons that may explain a person’s present poor state of health, and to use that to understand and allay any existing or impending chronic disease. This is the fundamental approach of traditional Chinese medicine, being a patient-centric evidence-based modality with a focus on root-cause analysis, and treatment of the person rather than the disease. There is a famous saying in traditional Chinese medicine which shows its distinction to western allopathic medicine and focuses on the person rather than the disease. That saying is “same disease different treatment; and same treatment different disease”.
Having also studied the principles and approach of contemporary Healthy-Longevity Medicine, Functional Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine, it is clear they are very close to the guiding principles of traditional Chinese medicine, although separated by several millennia. For me personally, it is very satisfying to see the emergence of this commonality in approach. Particularly as my doctoral thesis was identification of a common theme between the ostensibly unrelated traditional Chinese and contemporary western systems of medicine.