Acu 1

Acu 1

On Dec 1, 2013, at 9:43 PM, wrote:
Dear Dr JEON Jaewon,

Your required textbook 400 acupoints to pass the exam may kill me at 74 year old.

I shall happily learn 50 to pass the exam, or you can fail me as you please. In the pre-exam review class tomorrow, Monday, 2 December 2013, would you be so merciful as to tell me which 50 acupoints I must learn—just to pass the exam? I am only interested in points that are most useful, most used, with best results.

I’ll have only seven more days to memorize the points before this mid-term exam on Monday, 9 December 2013.

Guanyin Bodhisattvaya!


KWAN Lihuen 关理煊 (LH Kwan)
88-2768 West King Edward Avenue
Vancouver, BC,
Canada V6L 1T7
Phone: 1-604-222-3033
Web pages:
Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2013 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: Acupuncture Exam 2013-12-09

Dear Mr. Kwan,

The Acu 1 midterm covers about 250 points, not 400 points.
I am really sorry to tell you this, but I cannot give you a list of 50 points in order for you to pass the exam. If I do that, it won’t be fair to your classmates.

You’ve been doing great so far on weekly quizzes. I wouldn’t be worrying too much about passing the exam, if I were you.
I just hope that you do your best. If you fail (I actually doubt that it will happen), you can talk to me again after the exam.
See you tomorrow,

Jaewon Jeon

—–Original Message—–
From: J Jeon
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 9:03 PM
Subject: Cataract

Dear Mr. Kwan,

I heard you sent me email regarding cataracts treatment, but I did not receive it. I assume you forgot to add me when you sen out email.
Anyway, if you want to get treatments for your eye condition, I advise you to seek a licensed TCM doctor who is specialized in treating eye disorders. It is not safe for you to practice acupuncture on your own because you have not had any training yet to practice acupuncture. Consult with a TCM doctor, and see what he/she can do for your eye condition.

About the acu 1 midterm: because the main component of this course is mastering acu points, I did not make any change on the exam to accommodate your demand. I would bend the rule if I am tutoring you only, but this is the course for students who will need to practice acupuncture on patients later on; I do not think knowing 50 points would be sufficient enough for them to be competent practitioners in the future. Students in the past have had no problem studying the same amount of materials that were given to you, so I think you and your classmates will do fine as well.

Best regards,


Sent from my iPad

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 11:39 PM
Subject: 250 Acupoints for Mid-term Exam

Dear Teacher Dr Jaewon,

Thank you very much for your response!

I shall do my best with the mid-term exam on Monday, 9 December 2013. Since
you will not bend, I shall bend to study all the 250 points, even though I
am not studying acupuncture to make a living or even earn a little more
money, since I have three pensions to live on.

I am studying Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, because I am
interested in the philosophy of Chinese medicine, e.g. the theory of Yin
Yang and Five Elements.

I study acupuncture because it is surgery with the needle as surgery with
the scalpel in Western science-based medicine. The needle and the scalpel
are both steel weapons, invasive and terrible, and can both more easily kill
patients than herbs or chemotherapy, so much so that patients are too scared
to doubt them, the scalpel or the needle, as unscientific metaphysical

I study Chinese medicine because many people still think Chinese medicine,
including acupuncture, is placebo or nonsense. I want to explain how
Chinese medicine, herbs, acupuncture, and Chinese medical psychology, are
scientific because they can be, though not yet, testable and falsifiable
like other sciences.

Today, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are practised as unfalsifiable
metaphysics, or religion, or astrology, because you can never prove the
theories false: errors are either covered up or explained away, as in
religion or astrology.

Unfalsiable conjectures are, for example, assertions of reincarnation or
nihilism, that God exists or does not exist, that the stars in the universe
add up to an odd number or even number, that there is a one ton diamond
somewhere in the universe, or there is a cancer cure in Chinese medicine,
only if you could find it.

I want to show that Chinese medicine and acupuncture are not only a
pseudo-science, like astrology and geomancy (fungshui). I want to show that
Chinese medicine and acupuncture are not nonsense.

I want to show it with the needle.

Problem: Legally I shall not be allowed to use the needle unless I pass the
public exam administered by the College of Traditional Medicine
Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA).

Examinations strangle curiosity, interest, enthusiasm, doubt, criticism,
challenge, argument, and, worst of all, kill questions and discussion in
your class. Examinations scare students into silent submissive cowards.
They have no time for questions or argument. They have to memorize 400
points for the final exam.

I have witnessed few questions, little discussion, and never argument in the
classes at our School, International College of Traditional Medicine of
Vancouver, in the courses of Chinese Tuina Massage, History of Chinese
Medicine, or First-year Acupuncture.

They choked my enthusiasm. I have struggled and survived so far, though I
do not know how much longer. I have thought more than once of dropping out
from your class, because it had been stressful and frightening, even though
you are a young and beautify woman as my teacher, unlike tough but immature
macho men like Harper. I live better with teachers like Bertrand Russell or
Socrates than Plato or Hitler.

I don’t know whether I can survive a Margaret Thatcher, who cannot smile.

You smile, innocent and fresh.

Truly and respectfully,
Your student,

> —–Original Message—– From: Luc Ortelli
> Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2014 1:14 PM
> To:
> Subject: Next Acu 1 class
> Dear Mr Kwan,
> After what happened last class and the months before I really felt the
> need to write you. I would like to avoid any heated discussions during the
> class hours in the future, and therefore I think it’s better if I express
> my thoughts by email.
> If my words sound harsh or rude, please forgive me, but I will have to be
> straight with you.
> I have to be honest with you, your comportment towards Jaewon, is a
> behaviour that I have never experienced during my time as a university
> student, which is a total of 10 years. Never have I heard a student talk
> with so much disrespect and anger to a teacher, who is just doing her work
> properly. The amount of aggression that can be heard in your voice, and
> the content of your words are rude, intimidating, and don’t fit the
> purpose of why we are all in class for.
> During the last class you accused the class of “only caring about the
> exam” and “not being really interested in the subject”. I can tell you
> from the bottom of my heart (and I dare to speak for all my fellow
> classmates), that you are seriously mistaking. You are the only one who is
> taking just 2 courses, and who is doing them to write a thesis about the
> “mistakes of tcm”. We are here to pursuit a career in healthcare with the
> ultimate goal to help people in their healing process. We actually really
> care about everything we learn at school, because we know that the
> material is valuable for us becoming a good and professional practitioner
> in the future. This is also the reason why almost all of us are passing
> the exams, we take them seriously and work very hard for them.
> We have all clearly understood that you have build up a lot of frustration
> after failing the midterm exam. But there is absolutely no reason to point
> the finger at the teacher for you having insomnia, high blood pressure and
> being depressed. Accusing another person of problems that you have created
> yourself is mean, in this case completely untrue and inappropriate.
> Your behaviour towards the teacher and in general inside the classroom, is
> disturbing for all of us. I don’t believe you realize that you are
> interrupting the teacher almost in every phrase. You don’t even put up
> your hand or ask for permission to ask a question, you just overpower her
> with your voice. Almost without any exception, your questions are
> questions that are not helping anybody in the class, and if you would ask
> me, I don’t believe they are helping you understand the material as well.
> Most of your questions are questions that would fit classes such as
> “foundations of tcm, diagnostics, and acupuncture 2”.
> You often forget the purpose of acupuncture 1, which is only to learn the
> “locations” of the points. And nothing else.
> I can speak for the whole class of full time students that we disapprove
> your behaviour towards us and the teacher. Calling us “white ghosts”,
> wanting to get needled in the class, and constantly challenging the
> teacher in her knowledge of the “mandarin point names”, and the
> effectiveness of the acupuncture points, is not helping the productivity
> of the class.
> I want to share with you that certain have considered filing a complaint
> against you, but haven’t due to your age. Therefore I want to kindly, but
> strongly ask you to change your behaviour during class, and stop
> interrupting the doctor during her teachings. Until now, our class has
> been very patient and respectful towards you, but like mentioned earlier,
> this patience is reaching it’s limit. You are not having a private lesson,
> but you are situated in a collective group, and you will need to adapt and
> respect the needs of the class.
> I hope you will take my advice into consideration. So that we can continue
> our acupuncture 1 classes with respect towards each other, and more
> important, towards Jaewon.
> With best regards,
> Luc Ortelli

>>> Sent from my iPhone-

> On Feb 10, 2014, at 12:41 AM, wrote:
Attachment: >

> Dear Luc,
> Thank you very much for your honest and frank criticism. I accept your
> criticism.
> My voice was like thunder, my words like thunder bolts striking Dr
> Jaewon JEON I was rude. I was mad.
> I shall in class say sorry to my teacher Dr JEON and to the whole class
> for my rude behaviour and ask all to forgive me, especially Dr JEON.
> Please feel free to forward this message to our classmates whose e-mail
> address you may have and which I don’t, or you can print out this message
> together with your criticism and circulate them together to the whole
> class.
> Even truth does not justify rudeness, let alone dubious truth. Even
> Socrates was not rude to the sophists, let alone an insignificant foolish
> old Chinaman.
> Sarah advised me to think twice before I apologize, because she found me
> apologizing too easily and too much at our restaurant lunch. In this
> case, however, I don’t need to think twice before I apologize. You felt
> offended: the whole class felt offended. It was our teacher Dr TEON who
> was the patient Buddha: I saw her smile, her never-fail smile.
> Yours truly,
> Kwan

From: xiaojing li
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 12:45 AM
To: Lihuen Kwan
Subject: Re: Acu 1

Stay calm, Mr. Kwan. No need for any more apology.
If you are different, be different. But try to cooperate with others.

Xiao Jing

———————-Original Message———————-
From: Luc Ortelli
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: Acu 1

> Dear Mr Kwan,
> Thank you for your positive and humble reply. It is very much appreciated.
> I have sent it to my classmates, and I am very sure they will appreciate
> it as well.

I’m very happy! We can move on now and forget it ever happened!

See you next week and I truly hope you are doing well.

With kind regards,

> Sent from my iPhone

From: Dr TEON Jaewon
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: Acu 1

Dear Mr. Kwan,

Thanks for your email.
I am glad that you had a moment to think about how others may have felt in
class for the last few weeks.

I know that the nature of this course could be dry and boring because it
requires lots of memorization; but it’s how the course and the program are
designed, so I cannot make much of modification to suit your learning needs.
I hope that you can find your own way to enjoy your learning as I did in the

Just let you know that questions are encouraged in class, but if it is not
related to the subject matter in ACU 1, please save it till later. You could
ask me questions during office hours or via email. Then I will be glad to
answer your questions.

Best regards,

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 7:31 AM
To: Dr JEON Jaewon 田宰媛老师
Cc: Dr Henry LU 吕聪明院长 ; Prof. Joseph Agassi 艾格思教授
Subject: Acu 1

Dear Teacher Dr Jaewon JEON,

I am sorry that from depressions and insomnia, my accumulated. suppressed
frustration and anger exploded and drove me mad in your Acu 1 class. Please
forgive me!

I shall sit in front so that you can hear me whisper my requests and
questions when I again fail to hear or understand you. My English listening
skill is not good.

Popper in “Agassi’s Philosophy of Education” (attached) explains how the
rigid design dictated by CTCMA College of Traditional Chinese Mediicine
Practitioners and Acupuncturists) for the Acupuncture programme,
compartmentalized and disintegrated for administrative control, is
un-educational. You are chained by it, and I am strangled and choked by it,
killing me. My cry in class is that of a trapped animal.

I do not understand how you smiled through the whole drama. Are you a

Year of the Horse, wishing you
“Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, Wise!”

Truly and respectfully,
Your student,

—————Original Message—————-
From: Kee Y. LAM (Professor Emeritus, UBC Maths.)
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 11:38 AM
Subject: acupuncture class

Dear Kwan,
From the e-mails you forwarded to me recently, I can
see that you have some difficulty with your acupuncture
class, especially with the teacher.
I think the classmate who sent you a long e-mail is
quit4e reasonable. Careful consideration of his remarks
might be a way to dissolve some of your frustration. If
you feel that talking the matter over on the phone may
help, then I can be a listener.
Hope things will improve soon.

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:05 AM
To: Prof. Kee Y. LAM 林己玄教授
Cc: Dr JEON Jaewon 田宰媛老师 ; Dr Henry LU 吕聪明院长 ; Prof. Joseph Agassi 艾格思教授
Subject: Acu 1

Dear Kee.

Thank you very much for your advice.

My classmate Luc’s criticism is valid. I have apologized for my rudeness,
and shall apologize again in class on Monday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m. I
shall first request Luc to read aloud his criticism in full. Then I shall
read aloud my written apology or improvise a new one.

Even Socrates was not rude to the sophists, and he drank the hemlock,
verdict by democracy. Jesus was crucified: he madly drove the hawkers out
of the temple. Confucius asked questions on everything he was introduced to
in the state temple on his official first visit, and was criticized for his
ignorance as a well-known rites master. Confucius answered, “That is
reverence demanded of me by the rites, for fear that I may have
misunderstood and am in error about the rites.” (“子入太庙每事问,或谓(孔子)不知礼,子曰:是礼也。”
the Buddha says, “Without doubt, you cannot gain wisdom.” Confucius and the
Buddha were smart, and were not killed. Kwan is only an insignificant ant.
With the acupuncture needle, you can easily kill the patient. Questions and
reverence are necessary. But NO rudeness or madness.

University curriculums and exams are designed for the convenience of and
control by the professors and administrators. They are not
student-centered. My hiking big brother Charles Arthur said, “Ever since
the universities announced the admission mark, say 80%, from school exams,
grade 12 students have no time or interest for questions or enquiry.
Everything is obediently under control, and so ends the headaches of the
teachers from curious students.”

My apology will not solve the problem. I shall politely and gently ask
questions on what I don’t understand or study problems I cannot solve
myself. The problem is there is no time for questions in the weekly
three-hour class. Acu 1, first year of the three-year syllabus, allows only
the memorizing of locations of 400 acupuncture points. For the past five
months, not a single demonstration treating a sick student in class was
allowed, though requested. Indications (conditions for treatment), needling
techniques, or clinical observation or practice, have to wait for the
second and third years in due course.

The three-year acupuncture course at school costs $20,000. Acu 1 costs
$1,200 for 82 hours of class. Three tines I paid $50 for a two-hour
private tutorial. Three times I paid $60 for a one-hour acupuncture
treatment by professional acupuncturists for my illness to experience
acupuncture and learn the points used. I have almost drained out my savings

1. Could students practise acupuncture on themselves or on one another?

2. Could there be school tutorials of small groups, say four students each
group, each
led by a tutor for questions and discussions, in addition to the teacher
reading out from the text book or projected text on screen in class?

3. Teacher Dr Jaewon JEON’s new one-hour office time, 1:00 2:00 p.m. before
class, available for student questions, is graciously generous. It will
solve problems from the previous class a week ago. not when the problems
arise and fresh in class. And you cannot monopolize the whole hour to
yourself. And you won’t hear problems from other students or answers by the
teacher to those problems.

My rudeness has no defense.

Yours truly and sincerely,

—————–Original Message—————–
From: Peter Ballin
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: Acu 1

“I shall first request Luc to read aloud his criticism in full. Then I
read aloud my written apology or improvise a new one.” (Kwan.)

Kwan, since you are open for advice, don’t do this. It’s a further
imposition on class time. Good luck, with hopes of a happy outcome for all.


—–Original Message—–
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:35 PM Subject: Acu 1

My dear teacher Peter,

Thank you very much for your wise advice!

Learning Biology in Hong Kong disgusted me. Learning Biology from you, I
fell in love with the subject. In Hong Kong, I had to memorize 20 names for
a single plant for petty biology; you made it fascinating teaching me
macro-biology, e.g. the theory of evolution, and identifying ten
interesting indigenous or migrant birds with their sighting location, time
of the year, their sizes, shapes, colours, behaviour, etc.

Homework. self-guided field trip, observing animal behaviour, puzzled by one
bird mounting on another on land, and a different species doing the same on
water, was enlightenment when you answered me that it was mating season.
The class field trip to Tofino study of the inter-tidal species was also new
and wonderful discovery to me.

Geometry I found beautiful, simple, yet powerful. But when my grade 12
chemistry teacher put me down for asking too many questions, questions he
said not even scientists of he day still had no answer to, I changed school
and studied Macbeth: “Is this a dagger which I see before me? Come, let me
clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not,
fatal vision, sensible to touch as to sight?” Father Sheridon had us boys
play the roles on the school stage. I still remember the lines. But
vanished was my wish to study medicine, without biology or chemistry.

I love Chinese medicine, and want to sort out its science, pseudo-science,
metaphysics, superstition, and nonsense.

This is important, as one bright and humorous student, Jayred, in the
History of Chinese Medicine class said when the teacher Dr Claire KAO asked
in the first class why we took the course, “I want to kill as few people as
possible. ” My answer was, “I want to find out the great and glorious
mistakes in its three-thousand-year history, mistakes covered up and still
repeated today. In other words, I am interested in the exposure and
elimination of errors in Chinese Medicine. Science is the elimination of
errors. (Popper/Agassi.) Today, Chinese Medicine, as it is, is as
unreliable and also successful as Chinese astrology or Chinese Fengshui
(geomancy), all three proudly claiming to be based on experience (实践科学
science of experience) rather than experiments (实验科学 science of

Imagine covering up the error of an earth-centred planetary system in our
sun-centred planetary system, or the honorable error of Newton that a beam
of light always travelled in a straight line, which Einstein;s relativity
proved false, that the light beam could be bent by the gravitational pull
of the sun. The knowledge of such great errors are enlightenment for me,
which makes the study interesting and fascinating.

I believe so it is in Chinese Medicine.

Your student,

—————–Original Message——————
From: Peter Ballin
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: Acu 1

I suspect that many of those around you do not understand the beauty and
complexity of the type of seeking in which you are engaged. For too many,
one is either for or against.

To: Peter Ballin
Cc: Dale Beyerstein 白士田 ; Prof. Joseph Agassi 艾格思教授 ; Prof. Kee Y. LAM 林己玄教授
Subject: Acu 1

Dear Peter,

You understand, Prof. Agassi understands, Dale (Byerstein) understands, and
Prof Kee LAM understands: that is many. Thank you! I feel consoled.

I am not defending my rudeness, nor my madness, which have no defense, but
only need to be apologized for, and I have.


—————–Original Message—————-
From: Luc Ortelli
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:41 PM
Subject: Re: Acu 1

Dear Mr Kwan,

I agree with peter, it’s just a waist of time reading everything out loud.
The class has read both the emails like you requested, so they know about
your apologies. Change is the only thing that matters. Thank you for
forwarding your emails. I think you do a mug better job expressing yourself
in writing than during class hours! And this is a compliment!

See you next monday.

With best regards,


Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 12, 2014, at 5:31 PM, wrote:

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 8:11 AM
To: Luc Ortelli
Subject: Acu 1

Dear Luc,

Thank you very much for punching my mad conduct in class. You punched me on
my Yin Tang acupuncture point, between my two eyebrows. It woke me up.

That was the acupoint I begged our teacher Dr Jaewon JEON to needle and
treat me for my flaring liver fire (uncontrollable anger) in class, for me
to be healed on the spot, and to experience the teaching. She was teaching
that point that afternoon.

My Tuina physiotherapy teacher Dr Cyndia YOU three years ago treated me in
class to demonstrate the teaching when I had broken my shoulder blade into
three pieces, broken two ribs, and punctured my lung, from snowboarding.
She did it in two classes in the two weeks. They were good lessons: we all

It is legal for a teacher, a registered acupuncturist, to needle a student
in class, though not the other way round.

‘Yin Tang’ means ‘the Seal or logo of the signboard overhead at the entrance
of a hall. The name aptly describes the location of the acupoint, whereas
EX-HN-3 is obscure, requiring memory effort to decipher.

That explains my request to Dr Jaewon to give me the name, not necessary in
Chinese pronunciation, since it would be as difficult for her as it is for
me to memorize the locations of 400 acupoints, but simply the translation of
the name in English, to make it easier for me to know and follow what she
was talking about, otherwise I should have to search for the name myself
before I could understand and follow her talking, for which I should be left
behind and miss what she would be going on talking and teaching, and she
spoke fast, and my English listening skill was poor.

My Chinese blind students, graduates from universities in Chinese Medicine,
Acupuncture and Tuina Physiotherapy had never heard of the modern Western
acupuncture meridian point numbers. They were tutoring me for my tests,
mock-testing me. When I gave an acupuncture number with the meridian name,
the intelligent girl WU Jia, specializing in infant Tuina therapy, said,
“Grandpa Kwan, if I had to tell you the name of the meridian of the point,
I’d be giving you the answer already, defeating the purpose of the test.
And if you merely give me give me the number without the name of the point
for me to help you, it would be you testing me, not me tutoring you. You’re
joking.” I said I was not, but that was how acupuncture was taught in the
West. My normal-sight 4th year students at the Guiyang College of Chinese
Medicine, including acupuncture, had never heard of the meridian
acupuncture point numbers either.

The number device is only by and for foreigners, nick-named ‘barbarian old
friends’ (Lao3 Fan1) in good humour, or ‘Fan1 Guai2 Lou2’ in vulgar
Cantonese, literally ‘barbarian ghostly guys’. I did not say ‘white
ghosts’. But even ‘ghost’ [gui3] in Chinese medicine means the
disintegrated consciousness returning to nature, in contrast with the living
‘spirit’ [shen2] still growing. [shen2] means the being that is extending,
growinng, the wood and fire phases; [gui] means the being that is
‘returning’ hone to nature, the metal and water phases of the life cycle in
Chinese Medicine..

Our classmate Stephen, professional physiotherapist, said the meridian point
numbers were difficult for him. He said he was not good with numbers. He
dropped out from class and vanished after four weekly tests. He was kind to
me, strong and healthy, but quiet and modest. He had expected that with his
physiologist background the class would be easier for him than it was for
me. I miss him.

Thiago, Sarah, and you were my friends in class. I felt support from Thiago
and Sarah. As my friend, you did the right thing required of a true friend,
i.e. to point out my errors, for correction. That is what friends are for.
Between a father and a son, demanding good conduct from each other harms the
loving bond. It falls on the shoulders of the true friend to honestly and
frankly tell us our errors in conduct. You did.

We can afford to lose friends, but we cannot afford to lose our father or
son. This is the teaching of Mencius, a skip-generation disciple and
successor of Confucius.

As between a student and his master, I erred.

Thanks to you!


From: Eugene TSIANG Ph.D. Astrophysics
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 11:45 AM
To: Kwanlhuen

I admire your courage in challenging your acupuncture class into doing some critical thinking, but it sure doesn’t look like it’s the right venue. The students are in it to learn the craft for making a living and can’t care less if it’s physics or metaphysics, Popper or Dawkins, falsifiable or verifiable..


“Acu 1” compiled by Kwanlihuen
Vancouver, Canada
2014 02 16 07:00
File: Acu 1 draft 2014 02 16 0700

KWAN Lihuen 关理煊 (LH Kwan)
88-2768 West King Edward Avenue
Vancouver, BC,
Canada V6L 1T7
Phone: 1-604-222-3033
Web pages:

4965 words



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