Adele Bishop took time out from her job as an events manager to travel for a year. While travelling, she realised she wanted to change her career to one that helps others. In acupuncture, Adele has found a career where she can help people on both a local and a global level.
“I started studying Nutrition at the Endeavour College of Natural Health,” Adele says. “One day, an Acupuncture student asked me if I’d be a ‘body’ for the clinic. I volunteered, took one treatment and was amazed. I changed my course to Acupuncture the very next day.”
Adele loved the study. “The teachers at Endeavour are so knowledgeable and approachable,” she says. “I’d spend as much time with them as possible to find out how they operate as professionals.”
Four years after graduating, Adele is running her own business, Acubalance, in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. She’s already considering an expansion or a possible new clinic location. “I see a range of conditions, but particularly pain, stress and also fertility and pregnancy.”
On a global level, Adele is the Director of Projects for the Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF) and the President of its Australian operations.
“ANF is an international not-for-profit promoting the integration of acupuncture into communities,” Adele explains. “We monitor what acupuncturists seek in the local community and act on it. We want to improve the standard of information communities receive about acupuncture. It’s all about balancing the scientific evidence and appealing to a person's heart.”
ANF has just released the first of a five-part documentary series about how hospitals and acupuncturists can work together to improve care and quality-of-life for patients. Getting to the point is the story of two young cancer patients who benefit from using acupuncture.
“There are other associations working to lift the status of acupuncture as an alternative treatment, but there is still so much more work to be done,” Adele says. “We need to get information to the right people in government. As a registered acupuncturist, you are bound by legislation that limits what you can say about the benefits of natural medicine. The ANF charity gives us a collective voice. For acupuncturists like me, it’s good to know there’s an organisation working to raise the profile of our profession.”
Adele is very passionate about increasing the status of acupuncture to where it belongs. “When I started my practice, I found out that veterans could access physiotherapy as part of their medical benefits, but not acupuncture,” she says. “Dr John McDonald, who’s a lecturer at Endeavour, encouraged me to get out there and make a difference.”
“There are some amazing practitioners dedicated to public service over private practice, like the people treating pain and PSTD on the front line. Or Acupuncturists without Borders, who provide relief in the wake of major disasters like the earthquakes in Nepal,” Adele says. “We want to shine a light on these people and what they achieve.”
Volunteering for ANF, like any charity, can take up a lot of time, visit the website to find out alternative ways of supporting ANF.
In her early twenties, acupuncturist Kirsten Baker ventured to China to discover the essence of her craft through volunteering at a communal acupuncture centre within a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital. Little did Kirsten know that decades later she’d be helping establish a similar model of care to support Micah Projects, a groundbreaking Australian social housing facility.
When my friends heard that I’d enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) their response was “finally”. Other people ask why, in the middle of successful marketing career, I’d start again from scratch. Read more about how I utilised Endeavour's monthly online intakes to transition from a full-time marketing career to studying my acupuncture degree.