Expertise

What is expertise?  It is the integration of a wide range of standard situations.

For example, chess masters can play blindfolded or remember the positions of each piece on the board from a game.  However, when the pieces are arranged randomly they do no better than non-chess players.  Their memory is for standard moves – and a chess master will have many thousands of these in their memory.

Expertise is the ability to recognise standard situations.
Thus doctors when doing a diagnosis will quickly assess the person and then find which of a few possibilities give the best fit.  When the person does not fit a standard situation the experienced doctor does no better than one just starting out.

Fortunately with acupuncture theory there are only about forty standard situations that you need to have memorised.
These are: the five elements and how they relate to each other, the functioning of the twelve organs and channels, the functioning of the ren and du meridians, the five vital fluids, the effect of the ‘six devils’ which cause sickness, the eight conditions (which I call the three dimensions of yin and yang).  There are about a dozen standard things to know for diagnosis: eight questions to ask, the map of the tongue, the indications of the pulse, and once again how the five elements relate to each other.  For treatment you need to know how to insert the pin and which acupuncture points to put it in (about 120 for a full repertoire, however there are only thirty main ones).  As you can see learning only one concept a week you will have a good understanding of acupuncture theory within one year.

The more you make this knowledge a part of you the more of an expert you will be.  The question is how to do this.  The only way is to make it part of you daily living.  Ask how each concept: makes sense of your experience; How it helps you understand other people and; How it gives you an understanding of what is happening to your health.  So try picking any aspect of health and see how acupuncture theory understands this – you can even get people to test you by picking random parts of their body or aspects of their health. 

Once you think naturally in acupuncture terms you are on your way to being an expert practitioner.

One Response to “Expertise”

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