Natural Leaders: Shifting from acting to acupuncture with energy to spare

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 18 July, 2022

Ben Walters

Endeavour academic Benjamin Waters’ first love was acting and theatre. But meditation and martial arts opened his eyes to Eastern healing.

“My acting career started in Canberra, where I grew up,” Ben said. “I performed and taught drama in Canberra, London and Melbourne during my twenties and thirties. While I was in London, I considered a change of direction. I wanted to learn to speak Chinese, but it took five years before it happened.”

After Melbourne, Ben moved to Sydney and the sea. He continued teaching and deepened his commitment to Eastern philosophies. "Before then, if you asked me about Chinese medicine, I probably would have said, ‘it doesn’t work’. But through my own health experiences, I changed my perspective. One day, I went to the University of Technology in Sydney clinic to get a massage, but the only practitioner available was a Chinese Medicine student. The experience solidified my thinking.”

“It was a difficult decision to make because it meant starting afresh. But after six months of soul searching, I realised I couldn’t do otherwise.”

Ben enrolled in Traditional Chinese Medicine at UTS. He also spent a year at the Kunming Normal University studying Chinese language and medicine and completed two stints as an intern at the Chengdu Medical University Hospital in China. After graduating, he practised in Sydney as an acupuncturist for three years, continuing to draw on his first love.

“In acting, you develop an understanding of the energy of emotions and their physiological effects. I learnt about how we affect one another’s emotions and how you can use energy or chi to convey something to an audience,” Ben said. “It is similar to martial arts and Chinese Medicine. You build awareness of mind, body and energy and approach life from a centred place, where emotion does not guide action. Unfortunately, 80 per cent of what we teach in high schools is intellectual, and students have limited opportunities to develop psycho-emotional awareness.”

With his young family, Ben moved to Adelaide. He was practising in the Adelaide Hills when one of his clients forwarded him a job advertisement for a teaching position at Endeavour. “I am impressed by the scope and breadth of the knowledge students learnt at Endeavour,” he said. “I think Endeavour attracts independent thinkers and people who are open to good science.”

In addition to his academic role, Ben continues to work as an acupuncturist. “By seeing patients, I’m constantly keeping my analytical muscle honed. My clients’ health is forever shifting and changing, and working with them, I maintain vibrancy in my practice and teaching.”

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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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