Learn more about my overarching mission in the acupuncture industry by listening to this podcast interview I recently had with Ann Théato of the Psychic Matters podcast.
Ann: With me in the studio today, I have a fascinating guest who is joining me all the way from New South Wales in Australia, Dr. Alex Joannou. Dr. Alex is the leading global expert on depression and acupuncture. He is an award-winning speaker, a two times number one, best-selling author, and a highly accredited GP. His 40-year medical career spans 400,000 patient consultations, and with 24 years as an acupuncturist, he has given over 60,000 acupuncture treatments. He is here today to talk to us about transformational acupuncture, which is both a scientific and a spiritual treatment that he has created for helping people with depression and anxiety to raise their consciousness and to find peace. Dr. Alex, welcome to Psychic Matters.
Dr Alex: Thanks, Ann. Most of my patients call me Dr. Alex, so that’s good.
Ann: Brilliant, okay, well, let’s start there. Dr. Alex. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the current work that you’re doing.
Dr Alex: Yes. Well, I’ve been a GP for over 40 years in a small town called Coffs Harbour. It’s a fishing town, tourist town, for anybody who’s been around this part of the world. It’s home with the big banana, it’s called [The Big Banana Fun Park] which is a gigantic banana that tourists come and visit and get their photos taken.
Ann: How brilliant.
Dr Alex: I moved from Sydney 40 years ago and came to Coff’s Harbour and considered it home. And about 25 years ago, I got into acupuncture, which I was drawn to that area because I’d already done a touch for health course, which uses kinesiology. Other aspects of that sort of medicine was drawing me because I’d had my own health issues with a problem called Crohn’s Disease, which is a very nasty bowel disorder.
And the first I knew about it was I was in extreme pain and really run down and. It had followed a period of working incredibly hard, seeing 250 patients a week in general practice, and it was an insane amount of hours and time, but I felt the urge to do that, being in a healing profession. I was admitted to hospital, put on antibiotics and drips and so on, and within a week I had two feet of intestine cut out and two large abscesses in my abdomen removed and well, it was a long road to recovery, but before I left hospital, I asked the surgeon should I follow any particular diet or anything like that. And he said, oh no, we’ve taken out the bad bit and you’re cured now. And I thought, you beauty. I’d lost 15 kilos in the process.
Once I got my appetite back, I started eating and literally within six weeks I started getting symptoms again. So, I thought that this is no good, and the surgeon threatened me with further surgery. And this is back in 1992, a long time ago.
So I started my search for alternate therapies specifically [for] my own health needs, first and foremost. And that opened up a whole new world. Initially, there was a friend of mine who was another doctor who was into mega doses of vitamins and diets and so on, which seemed a foreign concept at the time. It was pretty out there for a medical doctor to do that.
But he put me on a gluten-free, dairy free, nut-free, caffeine-free, meat-free diet for a while, which was hard to stick to. It wasn’t hard to stick to at first because I felt much better on that diet .
Then I had, prior to that started recovering, straight away. But, within a year I had recurrence of symptoms and that got me looking further afield and, another friend introduced me to a shiatsu therapist, which is a Japanese massage technique and I could feel the improvement straight away. I’d only seen the specialist [that] day [but] before seeing her, [my doctor] had felt a mass in my abdomen and said like the Crohn’s back. And I actually had a small bowel series kind of x-ray too, which demonstrated that it was back again.
I’m thinking, this is not good. But I went to the shiatsu therapy and he started me on high dose steroids. And then within the hours [of] treatment of shiatsu, the mass disappeared. [I] could feel it going down by the minute as she was pressing on various pressure points. And that just like blew my mind to think, how can you possibly do that?
So that really intrigued me [that] I [had] recovered from [what] I had and I’d literally only had one tablet beforehand, but he attributed it to that. Yeah, that got me really searching further afield. And as I say, I did a touch for health course just after that time, which opened my mind to the Chinese concepts of Meridian channels and so on. And the following weekend actually, I went to an acupuncture workshop put on and I went to that. And I don’t know, [it’s] just the whole concept that the Chinese had figured out a lot of this stuff 2000 years ago I find really amazing and stumped because you think, I’ve been through medical school, which was the University of New South [Wales in] Sydney, which was considered the best university in Australia for medicine at the time. And I think they didn’t teach us any of this. In fact, I think in the whole course we had like one hour on nutrition. Literally it’s incredible. So that’s the focus of medicine, which is away from as far as you can get from natural and using the body’s own healing powers. Anyway, long story short, over the next few months, I did some work on myself from a mental and spiritual point of view and then I realized one day when I was telling somebody about my Crohn’s disease, I got the thought, [it] came to my mind that I was lying. And I’m thinking, look, what are you talking about, lying? You’ve got Crohn’s disease. And then it was like the message came to me. No, you haven’t. It’s gone.
That was in 1998, I think. And, it hasn’t [come back], I haven’t had any symptoms since.
Ann: What an extraordinary story.
Dr Alex: Yes, yes.
Ann: In your experience then as you look back on that experience of Shiatzu, do you have an explanation for why that mass would’ve reduced?
Dr Alex: Yeah, well, the mass is partly there because of oedema, swelling, and inflammation. And pressing on various pressure points can shift, the lymphatics and so on.
Part of the mass I think was because basically that part of the loop of the bowel had stopped functioning, but you literally get filled with crap in that area.
And so, pressing on it, I could feel the tummy gurgling and that sort of thing, and feeling movement and the pain reducing and the mass going away, which was really quite startling. But it convinced me that like, I thought, how much don’t I know? I gotta check this out.
Ann: Did you go and study Shiatsu then?
Dr Alex: Not specifically. It was acupuncture actually. I don’t know. It just happened that there was a one-day workshop in Coff’s Harbour. It’s the only one that’s been put on in 40 years in this town. And, that the doctor, the acupuncture doctors at the time thought it’d be a good idea to try spreading the word of acupuncture to the country. And they picked Coff’s Harbour of all places. And, I was just totally fascinated with the scientific concepts. And then when I actually did it, it felt easy and natural, it’s hard to explain. But the thing was the patients kept saying, wow, this is amazing. You know, like literally after a one weekend workshop I had tried needling, some people [and] a few patients of mine had severe arthritis in the knees and were waiting to have surgery and they were in pain. And, there was two or three of ’em, and they weren’t responding very well to the painkillers. So I said, well, let’s try acupuncture you’ve got nothing to lose. And they kept improving and they kept coming back and they kept telling their friends. So, I got busier and busier, which got me in the area mostly of chronic pain, which is common to a lot of acupuncturists.
And then in around 2010, there was a friend of the family, [who] ended his life when he had an argument with the neighbour, literally. Just after a rage of arguing with a neighbour and then he went and hung himself unfortunately, which was just shocking to his partner and family and well, just friends generally, cuz there he seemed such a nice guy and was always helping people and a real practical-minded person. Yes. Yeah. So that was the last thing that I expected from him. Because being doctors, you’re always going to workshops and things. And I went to a workshop, an acupuncture workshop from a doctor from the United States that was teaching it and it literally, almost literally blew my mind. It transported me to another world when I was having the treatment. And the design of this acupuncture, which I’ve developed into transformational acupuncture, is to raise your level of consciousness. And, when I was having the treatment, it was just, It’s the most amazing experience, if I can tell you this.
Dr Alex: When I tell some people, they go, well, you must have been on something. But for all the world, it seemed like a trip. Not that I’d ever taken any drugs before, but while I was lying there, the first thing I noticed was I felt like I had wings beating, like flapping, like six-foot wings, not under the wings. And they’re just that slow beating feeling vibrating through my body. And then, [I] was actually flying over the countryside about 200 feet up, looking down, and I could see people down below. And then when I looked closer, I could see some people. I recognized some friends that had caused me harm. You know, I thought of them as being friends and [it] felt like I’d been stabbed by it and as a Christian, I had wrestled with forgiveness for a few years over this situation, 10, 15 years, and read all I could on the Bible about how you forgive someone? And it’s easy to say the words, but the thing was when I was looking down on them, I saw that what they were doing was a [form of] harm that came to me was a by-product of their own drama.
As soon as I had that recognition, that thought came to mind that it was just a by-product, they didn’t mean to hurt me. It was just a feeling of my heart opening up and just this flood of compassion came out for these people. And, that was the first time I’d really, I think in my life, ever experienced the feeling of compassion as an emotional sense. And then, when I looked further, I saw that I was down there amongst all these other people as well, and then I realized I was as just this mortal, frail, weak human being [like] them and as anybody else. And as soon as I thought that there was, again, my heart opened up with this flood of compassion for myself and it was like this huge weight lifted from me because I’d always been very much a perfectionist type person which I guess a lot of doctors and professionals get in because of that and, and the hours of study and so on.
That was a life-changing experience for me. As I say, it felt as real as anything. And yet I knew I wasn’t really flying, I couldn’t possibly be flying, but it felt like the real me, this was the real me and the closest I can see is people who have taken psychedelic drugs. Not every patient that I’ve treated gets this kind of experience, but a lot do, a lot of people have had experiences like one woman, she was lying there and she said her brother came to her, who was dead. And, he spoke to her and she said it was for all the world, it was like he was just standing there in front of her. She could see every feature of him. It’s not like you recall somebody how they look, it’s …
Seeing them and you know, she had a conversation with him and there’s always tears because she told me afterwards that she didn’t get to speak to him before he passed. And that was such a healing thing for her to go through that and to experience that.
Ann: And did you discuss that feeling of compassion and those experiences with the person that gave you that treatment that day?
Dr Alex: Yes. Yes. And that set me on the path of like, okay, I’ve gotta learn, learn this all about it because I wanted to give other people this kind of experience. And the concept is that it’s different from the traditional Chinese medicine because what you’re doing is using acupuncture to manipulate the chakras. So, you work out, and I’ve devised a questionnaire to work out where the energy is blocked, which chakras have the issues.
And the questions all relate to not only the spirit, but the mind as well as the body. So, some questions relate to physical symptoms and some questions relate to more emotional states and some questions relate to how you’re feeling spiritually. So, and when I combine it, it gives me an idea of which treatment they need, which chakra to work on. And the idea is that the chakras, which is a Hindu concept, runs parallel to the traditional Chinese view, but the Chinese focused on the meridians, whereas the Ayuvedics focused on the chakras, the energy centres. But from a Western viewpoint, you can connect them to endocrine organs and also, nerve plexus, so that way you can work on a treatment of any person’s problem at the level of whether it’s a physical illness or whether it’s more a mental illness or spiritual aspect.
The idea of treating depression, you know, I’d like to think I had a, a set out right from the start to focus on that, but I hadn’t. But it was when I treated one, because I used to tell my wife, who’s also a medical doctor, about the successes I was getting with my patients, and she says, oh, you gotta research this. You gotta study this. And I’m going, oh, no, I know it works. It’s good fun. And patients were not only [treated for] their various problems, like back pain or whatever improving, but they were saying, oh, I’m a lot better at work, or I’m a lot happier at home with my wife. We don’t argue anymore. And things like that. I used to get these comments, but one particular patient, which was about 12 years ago, I was treating her for osteoarthritis and she had just been put on by another doctor in the practice onto opioids, which are pretty strong painkillers. And, she wasn’t keen on the idea, but she felt she needed it because the pain was so bad and she had it in her hands and knees and hips. So I thought I’ll give her this kind of acupuncture and see what happens because I like experimenting with things always considering [that] every case has an opportunity to try and work out what’s going on and try to see if I can improve my techniques and after a few weeks, well, within three weeks [or] third treatment I think she came in and said she hadn’t needed any opioids the previous week, just cause all she had was some the occasional Panadol. And I was going, this is terrific. And I kept treating her. And then after about a couple of months, she said to me, can I stop my antidepressants? And I said, oh, tell me about them. And she had been on antidepressants for 16 years. And she said, I don’t feel like I need ’em anymore. And this is a woman who’s in her mid-sixties.
And I thought, well, maybe she didn’t really need to be on antidepressants, you know, people go onto drugs and then they just keep taking it because they keep getting prescribed it. But she said no. She’d seen one of the other doctors in the practice the year before and he tried weaning her off them and just halved the dose and within a few weeks all her symptoms returned, so she had to go back on the full dose. So, I said well, we better take this carefully. And I reduced the dose and kept treating her with the acupuncture. And after a few more weeks, she stopped them. And that was,I think in 2012. And she hasn’t needed any antidepressant since. So, she still sees, other doctors in the practice and apart from Panadol, which she takes occasionally, she doesn’t have any other painkillers. She’s now into her seventies and still going well and not depressed.
Ann: That’s extraordinary.
Dr Alex: Yeah. When I saw her, I thought, oh, I finally relented and said to my wife, okay, let’s follow a few people. So I got in with a few people, half a dozen people with depression. And started scoring them with a DA score, which is depression, anxiety, stress scale. It’s a validated tool that doctors and psychologists use to assess a degree of depression.
Dr Alex: And so, I started measuring at the start, gave ’em the courses of acupuncture and lo and behold, most of them dramatically improved. In the space of eight weeks, that’s eight treatments over eight weeks and followed them all up over the following year and, they all remained really well and not depressed, so, that’s begun this journey of thinking more and more, my goodness, there’s 280 million people in the world with depression…
I realized years ago I can’t even treat the full number of people in Coff’s Harbour with depression, though other doctors send their patients to me. So, a few years ago I started training acupuncturists in this method, initially Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but now I’ve started actually doing it online and I’ve got some Canadian acupuncturists who have started learning this method now, and from the feedback I’m getting, they’re getting great results as well.
Ann: It’s just extraordinary in terms of when you had your shiatsu and you spoke about the mass reducing because of the pressure points releasing, et cetera. So, with depression, when you are using your needles in various parts of the body, how is that? How does that work?
Dr Alex: Well, that’s a good question. I think, there’s several ways of looking at it. One is that we tend to store emotions. According to Chinese theory, we store emotions associated with different organs. Like, grief can be with the lungs and we can hold it there. And it’s also connected to the large intestine in Chinese medicine. So, you could get symptoms from either place or, when you’re releasing the energy to flow. Often during treatments, you can needle a point and the person will burst out with an excruciating sort of like yell, pain, cry. But my needle technique is no different from all the other needles I’ve put in. It’s just [that] the release of emotion can come that fast. I’ve had people look [like they’re] fine when they leave. And then over the next 48 hours they’re just a mess. Just crying and crying and crying and sometimes not even [knowing] why they’re crying. It’s just releasing stuck emotions. It was one of the first cases with depression. When I gave her treatment and she said on her way home that day, she found herself singing in the car and she thought, oh, I haven’t sung for ages, you know for years. And it spontaneously came to her to start singing. She was listening to some music on the radio, in the car, and yeah. And so, I get stuff like that happening and you might write it off as being just coincidence, but I’ve been doing this kind of acupuncture for the last dozen years now and see it consistently with people.
So, that’s one aspect. I guess you can look at the aspect of working on the various endocrine glands, so it’s rebalancing the body. Often people, you know, they’re in a very sympathetic aroused state because they’re constantly stressed or threatened with violence at home and things of this nature. And it is like you can switch off that part of the nervous system and the person immediately relaxes and they’re going to a much calmer and nurturing state with the parasympathetic nervous system switching on. And I think also, because one of the endocrine glands we can affect is the pineal gland which in the chakra sort of relates to the third eye usually.
And the pineal gland has been shown to have a high concentration of DMT dimethyl tryptophan, which is the ingredient in I Ayahuasca that sort of sends people on trips.
In my way of thinking, we know opioids work on what we now call opioid receptors in the body to stop pain. But those opioid receptors weren’t put there because one day somebody was gonna eat a poppy and get pain relief. It was because, there is beta endorphin, which is the body’s natural substance that has that opioid effect. So that’s why the receptors there, I’m assuming that in the brain we have receptors. And the reason why psychedelic drugs work is because there are receptors that you can stimulate because of a naturally occurring substance in the body, which would be the DMT, probably. And that can induce as I said, an altered state of consciousness. I mean people can get to that state through meditation. I’m sure you’ve heard and read people that can do this.
But I found that people, even if they haven’t particularly tried those methods before, can have the acupuncture and get into that sort of state, which was really, quite amazing to see, but I haven’t really been able to predict who reacts that way. But generally, people who meditate and [do] yoga and that sort of thing are able to get into a deeper state quicker. With the acupuncture and then, when they go away and do their meditation or yoga, then they can get into a spot easier because of the reinforcement of the acupuncture.
Ann: Do you think it’s a faster treatment then, for those types of people?
Dr Alex: Yeah, I think so. Yes. Absolutely.
Ann: And I hadn’t really considered before speaking to you that there are different – I dunno if this is quite the right word – modalities or methods within acupuncture itself? I hadn’t really thought, I just thought, okay, acupuncture is one thing you put in a needle somewhere on the body and you twiddle it around or you just, I dunno what you do, you can tell us in a minute, and it’s just a treatment. But it seems to me from what you’re saying, there’s actually many different ways that you could treat somebody with acupuncture.
Dr Alex: Yes. And it’s different. I mean, there’s all sorts of acupuncture techniques, and this one is quite gentle because you’re trying to work on a person’s state of mind. it’s not like a big, heavy, bloke who’s injured a shoulder and you’re trying to sort of unlock a muscle or something like that.
Where it requires a more physical type treatment, if you know what I mean.
Ann: Yes, of course.
Dr Alex: Like a massage. They’d need a really deeper, heavier kind of massage than your general relaxing massage. And I think the acupuncture’s like this in a way, and my way of thinking is, and I’ve seen it a few times now, is it’s easier to get someone to stop drinking alcohol than it is to heal a liver that’s been pickled by alcohol or alcoholic hepatitis or something like that.
And I thought of it in that way particularly after I had one patient who came here for the first time. She told me she was a lawyer and was getting quite stressed with her work. So, she would have a few drinks when she came home at night to wind down. And then the next day she was so dopey, she would work herself up with a lot of caffeine to get her going again. And she created this lifestyle which was not very good at all, and she couldn’t seem to break this cycle. She was telling me this and I didn’t sort of comment on it. I just try and let the acupuncture do its job. And when I came in at the end of the treatment, she says that she decided to stop drinking, that it wasn’t doing her any good, which is something we all know, but when you actually feel it and own it for yourself, it becomes much more meaningful. And when she came back the following week, she said that her foggy head [was] gone. She felt a lot clearer, happier, and she’d lost two kilos in weight, which was probably fluid retention from the inflamed liver and all of this. So, she didn’t come in for more treatments, many more treatments because, she had made those health changes [or] decisions herself. And it’s always better than just going to a doctor and a doctor saying, you shouldn’t do that. You should do this. Because [I’ve] been there and done that and people don’t listen most of the time. I think it was like my story with forgiveness, once it came from within me that changed everything. And I think this woman just realized what she was doing to herself. It was the realization, and I’m gonna change it. And she just did.
Ann: It’s extraordinary. The only thing I can think of similar to that, [was] when I had acupuncture to stop smoking and it worked wonderfully. I haven’t smoked since I was 32, I think, or something like that.
Dr Alex: Good on you.
Ann: Yeah, it was a really lovely thing having acupuncture, I was a bit worried about it [and it] didn’t hurt in the slightest, And I remember the acupuncturist had a needle and on top of that needle was like a glowing coal of something. It was fiery…
Dr Alex: Moxa.
Ann: Is that what it was?
Dr Alex: Yeah. It heats the needle.
Ann: It was just to the side of my shin. That thing. And she just left the room and I was thinking, oh my God, I’m gonna burn to death here. Cause she’s got this burning thing on my leg.
That was one thing that stood out. Other than that, it took two or three days and then all of a sudden it was gone. That desire to smoke was just no longer there. And it was soft and gentle. It wasn’t like, I’m gonna be stressed about not smoking. I’ve gotta not think about it. And, you know, all the tension. It was just smooth and easy.
Dr Alex: Yeah, it’s fascinating stuff, acupuncture, because you see photos of people with needles and you think it must be painful, but it’s not generally.
Ann: It’s not, no.
Dr Alex: And, most cases, a large proportion of cases, my patients fall asleep for 30 minutes or so, and then wake up feeling like they’ve had a full night’s sleep.
Ann: Yeah. It’s nice. It’s going to somebody for that healing. We need it so much, I think, as human beings, especially in this day and age. To have somebody look out for you, look after you treat you, help you, there’s something really beautiful about that.
Do you think, because you train people now online as well, which I find fascinating. You train people how to be an acupuncturist online. Can anyone train?
Dr Alex: Well, no, these are people who are already acupuncturists.
Ann: I see.
Dr Alex: They’re licensed acupuncturists. I’m teaching them a different method and guiding them as to which points to use because in this form, you’re using sacred geometry to create connections between the needles. If the person can actually visualize that, like, for example, on the crown chakra to create a square pyramid on the top of the head. Sounds weird, but it’s often when you’re just lying there and you feel the needles, you can, those images come to you. And that does strengthen the treatment. I know when I’ve had it done on me that, if I’ve repeated a pattern a few times, I can lie in bed, visualize the points, connecting together and activating the points, creating the, opening up the, the channels. So, you can do that just from, I think, the body’s memory of the needle points.
Ann: It’s extraordinary. I just find it absolutely extraordinary. So if somebody’s listening to this and they are already a trained acupuncturist who’d like to come and learn your methods, how do they do that? Where do they go?
Dr Alex: Yeah. Well, literally, if you go to my website, which is www.stickittodepression.com and click on the button, start here. I’ll be in contact within a couple of days.
Ann: Your website is a great resource. There’s so many things on there. Blogs and posts and videos.
Dr Alex: Yes. I’m trying to educate doctors [who’ve] got patients, you know antidepressants can work, and thank goodness, where it doesn’t work very well, or they’re getting side effects from it. This is a beautiful treatment that can be an adjunct to what they’re already doing. Or if they’re seeing a psychologist and talking through issues, the acupuncture can bring up stuff which they can then share with their psychologist and work through issues quicker. So, it blends in with those as well as using [it] as a standalone treatment [for] those who don’t want to go on drugs, you know? I see some people who’ve been to psychologists numerous times and they say, oh, I’m sick and tired of telling my story all about my bad childhood and what happened to me and so on. And that’s the beauty of acupuncture. You don’t have to tell any of that story. You just lie there and receive the treatment. Yeah. So that makes life a lot easier, don’t worry.
Ann: How many treatments do you think somebody needs over a period of time? I guess it varies.
Dr Alex: Yeah, it varies, but generally within eight treatments, over eight weeks, most people are either dramatically better or can feel an improvement, and we usually score them at the beginning and towards the end and then see how they’ve gone. But,if you wanna do it really fast, [like] when I went to Canada recently, I was sort of demonstrating this technique to some acupuncturists. And I had a patient who was a friend of a friend. He came every day for a week and I treated him every day for a week. And, his story was, he was on antidepressants for 18 years [for] post-traumatic stress disorder with terrible childhood and he had been said he tried all the different antidepressants. None of ’em really worked, but he took ’em because that’s all his doctor could give him. And when at the start of the treatment, I rated him as being moderately depressed and severely anxious. And this is on the drugs. And I gave him six, seven treatments in seven days. And at the end of that time, his DAS score has come down to zero, which meant he was not depressed, he was not anxious, and he wasn’t stressed anymore, and he was feeling happy. And he said, the feeling he had was very rare, he couldn’t remember the last time he felt that happy. I wouldn’t say I’ve cured him, but if he’d continued on with weekly treatments and then fortnightly and once a month, I’m certain that would’ve been able to withdraw him off the antidepressants. And often people find that when they’re on antidepressants, they mightn’t feel so depressed, but they’re not happy either.
It sort of holds people in a sort of a numb state. Some people describe it as feeling numb. Yes. This [is what happened to my] first patient [who] had osteoarthritis, I got her off the antidepressants and it was about a month or two before Christmas. And then the next time I saw her, she said, oh, well, a couple of important things had happened, but one was she was watching a film and it had a sad spot in the film, and she burst into tears at the sadness of which she really felt. The sadness of the situation. And then, a few days later, some Christmas carolers came around to her house and started singing Christmas carols, and then she burst into tears. But she said it was just a real [happy] feeling of joy. She said she hadn’t experienced that for years and years, and I think that’s partly what antidepressants do is stop the extremes of emotion, which is good if you’re extremely depressed, but stops the happiness as well, I think.
Ann: That’s a beautiful story. That’s so nice. And then Dr. Alex, do you have from the acupuncturists who come to you for training or from all over the world, online.
Dr Alex: Yeah.
Ann: Do you then hold some sort of directory of practitioners?
Dr Alex: Yeah. On my website. I’ve got interest from an acupuncturist in England and one in Ireland at the moment. But, hopefully they’ll sign up soon.
Ann: Oh, let’s hope so.
Dr Alex: I love so many English acupuncturist, cuz as I mentioned to you beforehand, I was born in England and grew up in London, so it would be great to give something back to the mother country.
Ann: Yeah. That would be really beautiful. And then we could all go and access the acupuncture for ourselves.
Dr Alex: Yes, absolutely. It’s exciting when I see other acupuncturists light up with success and [get] a Canadian acupuncturist and she said, this was after the very first workshop, she tried it on a patient of hers who was 94 and in chronic pain. And, she gave her the pattern I’d recommended, which is the one I teach people from the first workshop. And she said the woman just rang her the next day. She was ecstatic that she woke up for the first time in 20 years without pain and she had slept through the night for the first time in a long time. She couldn’t believe it. She’s been treating her since. She says it’s just amazing to see the change in her.
I think that’s fantastic if I can just through the wonders of modern technology, teach someone half the planet away this method. And it is simple, for an acupuncturist it’s easy to pick it up.
That’s the beauty of it.
Ann: How is the work that you are doing sitting with Western medicine? Is it becoming more and more accepted by your peers in medicine?
Dr Alex: Yes and no. I think I’m, well personally, I’ve had more doctors refer their patients to me cuz they’ve heard I wave my magic wand or something. But they don’t really, I don’t, most doctors don’t really understand what acupuncture is doing. So, I wrote a book, Stick It to Depression, another tool in your Doctor’s bag, which is specifically written for GPs and psychologists who are looking to understand acupuncture and how it can help their patients. And I’ve written it in a fairly, sort of, conversational style and just point out some of the negatives of the western medical system, the emphasis on drug therapies and so on, and how it’s not necessarily serving our patients. well.
Ann: And you’ve written two books, Another Tool in Your Doctor’s Bag and Get Your Life Back Naturally.
Dr Alex: Naturally. Yeah. It’s written in a bit easier English for the general reader to understand. So, any of your listeners out there, if you go to my website, get a link to Amazon and I’ve got it at a really low price. So, it’s not a reflection of how short the book is, no, but it’s, just because I want people to actually read it and have the ability to freely read about it and take action. Hopefully.
Ann: You’ve got this passion, haven’t you, Dr. Alex?
Dr Alex: Yeah. Yeah, that’s me.
Ann: I read on your website, I think, where you’ve said the time I have left, you know the real [time] you [have] in this light time, you can make a massive difference in this world.
Dr Alex: Well, yeah, that’s exactly right.
Ann: I just think that’s a powerful statement and beautiful…
Dr Alex: Yeah, thanks. I started off as a solo GP for many years and then, about 20 odd years ago, I decided to build it into a group practice, and it’s, up to 12 doctors and allied health, nurses and so on but a year ago I sold the practice so I could focus on, on the acupuncture training. So yeah, I’m committed.
Ann: Yeah, totally committed. So just another question before we go. you talk about your method of acupuncture involving sacred geometry which I really find fascinating. So, have you gone and learned about sacred geometry or where, how did this come into your practice?
Dr Alex: Yeah, from the doctor who was originally doing it, he’s stopped practicing now a number of years ago now, but he introduced that concept and I just sort of got it and ran with it. I suppose it’s one way of putting it. But yeah, he’s not a medical doctor. He’s a naturopathic doctor. And his focus was on those who are meditators and to raise their level of consciousness, which it does. But my focus was on helping the masses of people with depression and anxiety to help them raise them. So, I had to switch the system completely around, to make it gentle enough that you could bring along a person who is depressed. Because if you use a pattern that’s too strong for them, it can freak ’em out. So, because it’s too much too soon. They don’t know what, you know, they don’t know what [to] fiddle, literally.
I’ve made it sort of gentle enough and that’s part of my training with the acupuncturist as to how to recognize those things and what to do about it, too, to get the person, help them through the process.
Ann: Fantastic. So, if you’ve got somebody who’s listening to this podcast they can’t access an acupuncturist, but they’re fascinated by the work that you do, is there anything they can do at home without any needles or without anything that can help them [with] their health?
Dr Alex: Yeah, that’s a good question. I was planning on writing a booklet soon on just natural things people can do to help themselves. Yeah. So, when I do, I’ll get, I’ll get that up on the website, so keep an eye out. But yeah, if any of the listeners who aren’t acupuncturists can still, click on the start here button on my, stick it to depression.com website and they’ll get newsletters from me and updates. So, it will keep them in the loop. And, I’m pretty keen to train acupuncturists anyway, so if somebody knows an acupuncturist who might half be interested, get ’em in contact with me. Yeah. And maybe they can be a Guinea pig for that acupuncturist.
Ann: Absolutely. Fantastic. You’ve got a very busy schedule of course. Do you have other plans to, to create things in this lifetime, regarding your work as a GP, your work as a doctor, or an acupuncturist.
Dr Alex: Yeah. It’s more of the acupuncture side of things, because I think it’s such a powerful but underrated system that it helps people to help themselves is what I like. When you go to a doctor in a sense, you’re a passive victim of the doctor; hopefully a good doctor and not a bad doctor. But, things are done to you whereas, In the case of acupuncture, it just triggers the natural body’s healing ability, I think both from a physical level, but also from a spiritual and mental level as well.
So, I’ve created a level one program, sort of the beginnings of it, but I’ve got plans for level two, level three, and level four, so, right.
Ann: So, there’s lots to come.
Dr Alex: That’ll keep me occupied for a while. Yes.
Ann: It’s great. Dr. Alex, it’s been so great talking to you. I just wanna say thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and of course I’ll put all the links to get people directly to you, in the show notes. For this episode, [I] just wanna say, keep doing what you’re doing. It sounds just so worthwhile and so worthy in the world. It’s amazing work. Thank you.
Dr Alex: Thank you. Bless you.
Ann: Dr Alex Joannou – how brilliant is the work he’s doing out there in the world? Training acupuncturists in his own methods and modality of acupuncture, honed over decades of experience, years and years and decades of study. I love the fact that he uses both science and spirituality to take the healing art of acupuncture to a uniquely new dimension. Phenomenal work which gets phenomenal results. If you are a trained acupuncturist – do go to his website and sign up to one of his online courses.
And if you are someone like me who is genuinely interested in acupuncture – definitely visit his website which is full of fabulous resources and fascinating videos and blogs and while you are there you must sign up to his mailing list so that you can be kept informed of when his next incredible book is released. Dr Alex Joannou – a dedicated teacher and powerful healer of healers.