I understood the concept of an ancient lineage from my extensive Karate training but it wasn’t until I literally stepped into J.R. Worsley’s shoes that I realised I was truly following in his footsteps.
I was at the beginning of my Five-Element acupuncture training and I was fortunate enough to visit Judy Worsley’s farm, the home she had shared with her husband for many years.
J.R Worsley died in 2003 and asked Judy to succeed him as the lineage holder and the Worsley Institute was established as the home of Worsley Acupuncture. While visiting Judy with my teacher, a spontaneous visit to see the sheep grazing in her fields required something more robust than the shoes I was wearing. Judy kindly offered me a pair of J.R.’s and said with a smile, “now you really are walking in his footsteps.”
Almost 10 years later I find myself teaching Five-Element point location for Yellow Path’s online acupuncture course. I am very aware of the importance of honouring the lineage Worsley handed down. I feel a huge responsibility to maintain the high standards in point location that he held so dear.
In one of Worsley’s teaching films, I remember him saying something like, “if you do the work, you can become the best acupuncturist that God ever placed on this earth.” This struck a chord with me. I hadn’t thought of myself as ambitious but I knew in that moment that I wanted to dedicate myself to Worsley’s tradition and become the best Five-Element acupuncturist and point locater I could possibly be.
J.R Worsley was born in 1923 in the Midlands, UK. Unusually for someone of his social status and the era in which he lived, his father was interested in Chinese philosophy, something that undoubtedly influenced the young Jack Worsley. After the Second World War he studied various ‘alternative’ healing modalities but eventually chose to focus on acupuncture and went on to study with two Chinese masters in the East. He was fascinated by the concept of body, mind and spirit and the possibility of finding the underlying cause of disease.
Worsley founded the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Warwickshire, UK. He also opened other training institutions in the USA. He inspired thousands of students to carry this profound tradition forward and despite challenges to what he so devotedly taught, Worsley never compromised the teachings for the sake of vanity or expediency. In a recorded interview in New York in 1998 he speaks of the resistance he experienced.
Although I never met him, I feel honoured to follow in his footsteps. I'm committed to passing on these ancient teachings to the best of my ability to the next generation.
Why do I love point location?
I have always enjoyed the focus that is required to master something. When I was in my teens, I discovered Karate and devoted myself to this tradition wholeheartedly. I was very determined and by my mid 20’s I had achieved my third Dan Black Belt.
When I discovered the challenge and excitement of point location, I felt the same urge to master this ancient Eastern art. Point location is a very tangible skill but it is also a journey of discovery. Combining academic knowledge with the sensory skills of vision and touch, a whole new world opens up, a vast network of interconnecting points that the practitioner must navigate with precision and sensitivity. Even though the directions to find the points are the same for everyone, every single body is unique. It’s endlessly fascinating.
Having spent nearly a decade perfecting this skill, I am delighted to be sharing what I have learnt with others but I never forget the origins of the teaching. I am just one small part of a long and beautiful lineage and for that reason I am determined to honour the tradition that Worsley passed on to my teacher with such passion and fidelity. The very same tradition that I am now passing on to my own students.
The Yellow Path challenge was to demonstrate on film how to find every single acupuncture point on the body. We are currently about 75% there! Once this project is finished, I will feel an enormous sense of satisfaction knowing that I have contributed something enduring to this long and rich lineage.
If you would like to see some free examples, click the link below:
Better still, if you are a student or practitioner, please sign up for our 'Access All Films' offer and enjoy over 150 films of Five-Element philosophy/theory and point location.
And if you'd like to hear my take on this amazing system of medicine, take a listen to my interview with Estée Lalonde's who loves all things 'beautiful'..
I look forward to meeting you on the Yellow Path.