A blustery autumn day in October 2018 saw our 27th Graduation Ceremony at the Early Music Centre in York. A joyful (and sometimes emotional) occasion, this is our students’ special day! A day to celebrate all they have achieved in the company of friends and family, and of course with each other. We can’t emphasise enough how the bonds of friendship made during their training nurture and sustain our students through their studies and beyond into practice. This year this was a particularly inspiring day with many of our students telling us about how they are already busy in their acupuncture practices. One thing is for sure – there are bright futures ahead for the class of 2018!
Let’s hear from some of them...
Jane Wood (pictured on the left with her friend Andrea)
"Studying acupuncture was a huge change for me. Giving up my corporate job to firstly become a full- time student, and then move into self-employment in a completely different working environment required a huge leap of faith. But I haven’t regretted it for a moment. Student life had its challenges, but the family atmosphere at NCA helped to ease the process. I thought that life would be pretty quiet after leaving college, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m working in two clinics, in Harrogate and York, alongside weekly voluntary work with Leeds Cancer Care at St James’s Hospital, using acupuncture to ease the side effects of cancer treatment for men with prostate cancer. And I’m working towards publication of my third-year research project, with lots of support from Lara at NCA. This is an unexpected bonus having never thought of myself as academic! My customer base built up quickly from the start, mainly through word of mouth. I must admit even I have been surprised at how quickly people have responded to treatment. It is amazing to be able to go to work and make such a positive change to people and I am so glad I became an acupuncturist."
"After working as a Reflexologist and Massage Therapist for 8 years I felt like I needed something to progress onto. I googled “acupuncture” and the NCA came up in the search and that was the start of my acupuncture journey! I class myself as a practical person, and I was worried I would find the academic side of my degree a struggle. However I found myself progressing well every year with the help and support from the College and the friends who I made on the course. My time studying with the NCA has given me firm roots within this immense subject, and I feel confident to branch off knowing I have this grounded knowledge with traditional Chinese Medicine. Since graduating I am continuing working at Nuffield Health Centre in Hull and have a busy clinic integrating acupuncture with massage. The NCA introduced me to Orchard Barn, an integrative health centre in Stallingborough, where I now work one day a week building my patient base. When patients come back after their sessions of acupuncture and say how much better they are feeling it makes me happy and I instinctively know I am on the right career path. As for the future, I’m content with where I am now and all I have achieved and pleased with how things are progressing. I know there are plenty of avenues to explore with acupuncture as I continue to learn and develop. I truly love my job and look forward to each day feeling extremely lucky that I have the best tools in my kitbag, through studying with the NCA, which get great results. I am really thankful that the NCA came first in my search!"
"Studying at the NCA has been a fantastic experience. Although I had no clinical experience before starting the course and had not done anything academic for nearly thirty years the College staff and my fellow students were hugely supportive and many have become good friends and continue to provide support and guidance after graduation. Studying at the NCA opened up opportunities to me I would never have otherwise had such as completing an internship at a clinic in China and being able to volunteer to work in India for the charity World Medicine. Since graduating I have opened a clinic in Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast and I now look forward to going to work. I love the freedom of being self-employed and the variety of patients I see makes every day interesting and the learning continuous. However, the real buzz is seeing the improvements my patients experience in their health and the difference this makes to their lives."
Laurie Heaps (Pictured on left with her friend Nicola)
"As a massage therapist and therapy rooms manager for 13 years, studying acupuncture seemed like a logical progression. Studying Chinese Medicine and acupuncture at NCA was like learning a new language whilst travelling in a foreign country. It’s a fun and exciting journey with first rate tutors guiding you through the ups and downs of being an adult learner. I started practising acupuncture on 2nd September from a busy Glasgow city centre clinic. Within three weeks I was busy, with both new and existing clients keen to try acupuncture. I have learnt more skills than I ever envisaged and my confidence in my abilities as a therapist has grown, thanks to the excellent training I received. The course has given me the flexibility to combine my new career with ongoing MSc studies, as I chose my working hours to suit my priorities. It’s a pleasure to go to work these days and know the learning never stops. I can honestly say attending the NCA acupuncture course is one of the best things I have ever done."
Pip Bolland (Pictured central with her family)
"Starting out in a new career in my mid-fifties has been a real privilege. I feel so lucky everyday to have found this amazing job. It is something that I have dreamt about doing for a very long time. I enjoyed my acupuncture course and being a student once again. Although it wasn’t always easy I felt that I was finally on the right path in my life. I learnt so many new skills and met some wonderful, inspiring people. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the academic challenges and even grew to love research! But most of all I looked forward to my clinic days. So I’m finally a fully fledged acupuncturist working from a complementary health clinic in Skipton town centre. I still have trouble believing that I work in such a beautiful location. I am gradually building up my patient numbers. Each new patient has me running back to my books, the research (Lara you’d be proud!) and of course my acupuncture friends for advice and support. I enjoy every minute of the work and get an enormous amount of pleasure seeing the needles work their magic. I have decided to focus on women’s health and have recently written a piece for the local magazine on acupuncture and the menopause. Next year I plan to do some CPD around fertility and become Zita West affiliated. 2019 will be an exciting year with so much to look forward to as I develop my skills in the most fascinating and rewarding of jobs."