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London, England: Ka Hang Leoungk

Fast facts
Practice type: Private
Specialties: Back pain, general wellness, insomnia, musculoskeletal pain, stress
Styles: Facial rejuvenation acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Why did you become an acupuncturist?
Growing up in Greece, I had no contact with acupuncture. At school I really enjoyed chemistry and biology and I always knew I would work in the sciences. In fact I started studying to become a geneticist thinking I would solve the mysteries of degenerative eye diseases, but I realized lab work is a very solitary business. What I really liked about acupuncture was the chance to solve riddles (two people presenting with a headache may have different causes) but also the interaction with patients. It satisfied my curiosity and passion for health and the human body and there’s nothing better than seeing someone leave my treatment feeling better than when they first walked in.

What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
I know what it’s like to have no idea about acupuncture so I make sure my patients understand the concepts in a language they can relate to. Some people prefer to hear about Yin and Yang, and others want it in relation to Western medicine. Still others like examples from everyday life and I appreciate that. Obviously having a successful treatment is the aim of what I do, but I also make sure every single patient gets the fullest attention and comfort possible. I don’t see why getting an acupuncture treatment means you can’t feel absolutely gorgeous at the same time.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
It is definitely the satisfaction of helping a patient feel better, whether it’s pain relief from an injury or helping them with stress. After all this time and countless treatments I still marvel at the effects and simplicity of acupuncture. It’s also great to be able to help patients see that our wellbeing is one big picture that needs attending to, not just separate individual problems. Our society is slowly remembering that diet, lifestyle and mental and emotional health all affect us. This has been acupuncture’s message all along and it’s fantastic to be able to be part of it everyday. My patients make it enjoyable too. They are all people I am responsible for, who look to me for help. I am intimately related to them in one way or another. It’s a great privilege.

What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
When people tell me that it doesn’t work because they’ve had it once and nothing changed, which to me is like not having your car checked for years and then wondering why it broke down. When you take it to the mechanic, it’s obviously not going to be as simple a job as an annual check up. If you’ve had back pain for six months you will most probably need more than one treatment.

How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I practice moderation and mindfulness. Being healthy is more than concentrating on the physical aspect—I believe it’s all about fulfilment. When it decides to stop raining in London I like to bring out my kick scooter and it’s a great way to embrace the fresh air. I indulge in the occasional treat and try to make sure most of my nutrients come from real vegetables and food rather than supplements. The most important thing is, I try especially hard to never go to bed angry.

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The Hale Clinic: 7 Park Crescent, London W1B 1PF, England

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