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Natural Leaders: A potential game-changer for hard-to-find acupuncture points

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Tuesday, 22 September 2020

chinese medicine natural leaders

When Debbie Godson was about 10 years old, her best friend’s father started studying natural medicine. He spoke about it with such enthusiasm that it sparked her interest. But it wasn’t until 20 years later that Debbie had the financial freedom to study an Acupuncture course herself.

“I worked as a super fund manager until my late 20s. I wasn’t inspired by it. I wanted to make a contribution that improved the way the world runs,” Debbie said. “I was fortunate to take a redundancy. That made it possible for me to pay for the course and study full-time.”

“There were also only three courses – Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Acupuncture. I borrowed a book on each, and I couldn’t put down the one about Chinese Medicine. That’s why I enrolled in an Acupuncture course at the Australian College of Natural Medicine, which was later rebranded as Endeavour.

“In my first year, I had a lecturer – Patricia Reynolds – who explained things so clearly. I remember thinking, ‘when I know what I’m doing, that’s what I want to do.’ But my first goal was to practice. While I studied, I worked part-time as an assistant for one of the lecturers. After graduating, I rented a room in a multidisciplinary clinic,” Debbie said. “Within six months, I was so busy I leased my own premises and ran three treatment rooms. I’d say it was a combination of hard work and being in the right place at the right time.”

In the last 18 months, Debbie stopped seeing clients. She still enjoys supervising their care in the student clinic at Endeavour, where she has taught Chinese Medicine since 1999.

“Endeavour is a unique work environment,” Debbie said. “Here, you are immersed in a culture of natural medicine, and people come to natural medicine with a passion! The lecturers are a close-knit team. The students are enthusiastic and want to learn as much as they can. It makes for an inspiring place to be.

“As a teacher, you have a much greater reach. As a practitioner, you can only treat about 60 patients in a week. But every 60 students you teach, may then treat 60 patients. You have a much greater influence for good,” Debbie said.

Debbie is also expanding her influence through research. She realised that some acupuncture points were more challenging for practitioners and students to locate. So, she decided to develop a tool that made it easier for practitioners and improved the outcomes for patients and research. After her early attempts with elastic and sewing rulers, she found a commercially available tool, but no evidence to back up its use.

“Before we make a change in how we teach, we need evidence to support the change. That’s how my research began,” Debbie said. “In an 18-month pilot study involving 24 first-year students, we showed that training with this tool resulted in greater accuracy and precision than the current method that’s taught. My thesis has been published, and the next step is to conduct a larger study across all the Endeavour campuses. In future, this may lead to a change in practice.”

Natural Leaders

The Natural Leaders series features stories from current Endeavour Academics across our campuses. From where they started to where they are now, inspiring a new generation of Natural Health Heroes, we celebrate their unique stories and perspectives.

Interested in reading more Natural Leaders stories? Head here for more.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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