We had a special visitor at AFEA this week. Long-time acupuncture practitioner and Senior Faculty member, Susan Weiser Mason spent some time with us on Monday. Susan is a graduate of TAI and she mentioned to us that her class just celebrated their 25th reunion! She has many years of experience treating patients with Five Element acupuncture, and we here at AFEA are honored to name her as one of our faculty members.

Susan came this week to share some of the work that she has been doing with Five Element acupuncture in India.  Over lunch, she spoke to the interns in Class 26 and 27 about a decision she made to go to India in order to enliven her passion for Chinese medicine, and thus to enliven her practice.  She showed a short documentary of the work being done at the Bhaktivedanta Hospice that she has given me permission to post for our greater audience. Take a moment to watch it.


As you can see, this documentary is about more than the effects of acupuncture. It showcases the need for health care professionals to treat the integrity of the patient, no matter what stage of care they are in. I do not say, “treat the patient with integrity or with dignity,” because that should be a given, and it places the focus of the intention on the practitioner. And while it is important how the practitioner behaves towards the patient-who-is-diseased, it is a central tenant of Five Element acupuncture to see the person underneath the sickness. Thus remembering the underlying integrity of that patient’s mind, body, and spirit.  In focusing on the patient’s integrity as a being, we realize that showing compassion, empathy and love are as essential a treatment as any diagnostic protocol.

Susan’s visit stirred everyone in the audience, and it was clear that her work was about more than her journey as a practitioner. It was about the expanse of that practice and those she could reach. Her experiences  gave our  students a brief glimpse of not just the power of Five Element treatment, but also a sense of the possibilities of what a practice can become. Even more so, they saw again the far-reaching effects of this medicine.  And I don’t just mean that geographically.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this part of your journey with us.