The Right Medicine

changeIt is amazing to watch people begin something new. I always envy people who do it, and feel inspired by their stories. And when it comes to completely changing your career – a move from IT to Oriental Medicine is about as drastic as it gets. What does it take to make a hard headed mathematically driven programmer or project manager switch from code to acupuncture, from project plans to herbal remedies?
But as a career change, it’s not that uncommon, I know two people who have done it, and they in turn say they know many doing similar. Priti, (previously an IT service manager, now practising in Blisski Charlton and in Farringdon) says “It’s not that different. I am finding a solution to a problem – but in a much more satisfying way”. Also, she makes the – really valid – point that IT people spend lots of their day hunched at PCs, so they experience many of the problems that complementary medicine is ideally placed to resolve. Fair enough. Anna, an IT programmer who also works with her in Farringdon Oriental Medicine says “I looked at myself in IT in banking and I didn’t want to be doing it when I retire, and this was something that popped into my head.”
I find the girls’ story fascinating – not only because of the fact that they went from careers considered “normal” to something so very different – but also because my own views have changed on complementary medicine. You see, for years, I mistrusted anything that I termed “fluffy” – and believe me, fluffy incorporated a lot. Acupuncture was fluffy. So was herbal medicine – and so too was everything from crystals, to aromatherapy to tarot. Pretty much anything that wasn’t taught in medical school, and plenty more random stuff besides, was grouped together, and written off by me as nonsense. Quite the sweeping condemnation, eh? But the techniques used in complementary medicine are used in hospitals in China and elsewhere, and their effectiveness has been proven. Not very fluffy at all. I remain as profoundly sceptic in many areas as I was before – you won’t see me in a turban predicting your future through a crystal ball anytime soon. I just realise, now, that complementary medicine stands apart – there is fluffy, and then there is effective.
This shift in perspective has been a gradual one for me. It began with some brilliant acupuncture for sciatica when I was pregnant. Then a cranial osteopath worked his magic (there is no other word – to me, it was magic) on my screaming, uncomfortable baby. Finally, over the last few years, I have watched Anna, originally a college friend, make the transition to a qualified therapist. I have witnessed first hand the impact her treatments have made on people’s lives – including my own. And, in short, I am converted. Priti, although never as much of a sceptic as me, tells me that she gradually saw the benefits, starting with massage, and later on with acupuncture (it helped with a long standing digestion problem). When Complementary medicine sorted out a glitch in her shoulder, she knew this was something she wanted to do herself. She started with a massage course, and continued on to get her degree – traveling to China and Thailand to gain experience. Last year, she left her IT role and her career as a therapist began. The hours aren’t steady, the income not guaranteed, but she knows she is doing the right thing. Having seen her enthusiasm, and watched her at work, I know she is too.
Anna’s family have long seen the value of Oriental Medicine. Growing up, she saw first hand the improvements it made to her mother’s health. But she retained some level of doubt when it came to herself. It was only when Chinese herbs solved a long standing problem, she felt, like Priti, that this was something she wanted to do more permanently. She then took a professional qualification as a therapist, traveling to China as part of this, and worked in a clinic to build up expertise. For some time she mainly treated family and friends (and I am sure I speak for them all by saying they are very appreciative!) but now she too is making a leap to the professional, hopefully combining both her IT and therapist careers.
Both Anna and Priti have done what so many of us dream about, completely changed their lives, by deciding to do something they believe in. Studying Oriental medicine won’t be for everyone, naturally, but it gives me hope that there is something out there for me, and for anyone else, who wants to something new with their life. If you can go from IT to complementary medicine, and maybe a leap from banker to Full-time Mum to writer might work?


Diary of is a regular blog written by a regular Greenwich mum. Sharing her experiences as a local parent (and member of this website) she’ll be writing about everything and anything. And being completely anonymous – you never know – you could have stood next to her in the Post Office or behind her in Cafe W…


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About DiaryOf

Diary Of is a regular blog, by a regular Greenwich mum. Sharing experiences as a local parent (and member of this website) she’ll be writing about everything and anything. And being completely anonymous – you never know – you could have stood next to her in the Post Office or behind her in Cafe W…