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Africa, Here We Come!

Friday, 15 November 2019 04:09

Chi Institute of TCVM: South Africa
Roselle Hartwigsen, BVSc, CVA, Director of Chi-South Africa

I wish to greet you in the African spirit of Ubuntu: I am because we are. It is with the contribution of each person that all succeed. We are happy to have received contributions from many people to be able to bring you the success of TCVM in Africa this past year. 

This last year has been a fruitful and exiting year for TCVM in South Africa. The Chi Institute South Africa opened their own designated training facility, Qi House. Students can now enjoy learning in a peaceful setting in the African bushveld away from the Xie Qi and stress in the city. This year five students completed the mixed species acupuncture course including an international student from Argentina. Registration for the 2020 acupuncture class is now open!

The team from Chi South Africa did an outreach in Botswana and presented an intro to TCVM including demo sessions at a local clinic. It was very well received by the local veterinarians. TCVM is an excellent modality to add to rural practice where resources are scarce, and veterinarians need to be innovative when diagnosing and treating their patients. Hopefully we will have another visit in 2020.

The faculty of veterinary science in Pretoria started a new course called Ethnoveterinary medicine which includes an introduction to TCVM. The students are very interested in natural remedies and Dr. Roselle Hartwigsen was invited to lecture on the use of herbal medicine in veterinary practice. The students were inspired to start their own Complementary Veterinary Medicine group under the umbrella of the WATCVM. They have been inviting speakers in the complementary field to share their knowledge. The WATCVM aims to work with the student body and faculty members to make TCVM a permanent part of the curriculum in future.

Research on acupuncture is being conducted by the companion animal clinical studies department at the faculty with two clinical trials currently being done. One of the students conducting the research received funding from the WATCVM to complete her study. We are hopeful that this will open the door to even more studies on acupuncture and herbal medicine. The Chi Institute has also donated a scholarship to a faculty member to complete the acupuncture course in 2020.

In South African veterinary practice, TCVM, and especially acupuncture, seems to be growing in popularity and in availability. More and more clients are seeking these treatments for their pets after seeing or hearing about successful cases from friends and family. Social media has also been very successful in spreading the good news about acupuncture with Chi graduates frequently posting and sharing their experiences. Our future goal is to have at least one veterinarian that can offer these services in every veterinary clinic in the country!

In 2020, the Chi Institute South Africa will be co-sponsoring the Complementary Veterinary Medicine Group Conference in St. Lucia, South Africa. We are planning to host excellent international and local speakers and the conference will be combined with exciting safari tours! Please feel free to contact Dr. Hartwigsen should you be interested in presenting or attending.

Over the last couple of years, TCVM has slowly been able to establish a good foundation in the South African Veterinary community. With the hard work from everyone at the WATCVM and the Chi Institute, our wish is to pick up momentum and start accelerated growth in the field over the next couple of years. We would love to invite you to participate in making this goal a reality by donating to the WATCVM or contributing in any way you feel. Together we can make a difference in many African lives!

Keep up the good Qi! - Dr. Roselle Hartwigsen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

S Africa Photo 1

Fig. 1: Teaching acupuncture points at the Chi Institute South Africa is
often one on one. Here Dr. Fernando Autet from Argentina is mastering
the hind limb points with Dr. Hartwigsen.

S Africa Photo 2

Fig. 2: Veterinarians from all over Botswana enjoying an introductory
TCVM lecture presented by the Chi Institute South Africa.