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Open Dag
Zaterdag 27 augustus

2021 Graduation Ceremony

The 28th Graduation Ceremony of Shenzhou Open University of TCM (SOU) was held at SOU main campus in Amsterdam on 15 October 2021.

The ceremony was attended by  Ms. Wilma van Maarschalkerweerd, member of the board of the Dutch Acupuncture Association, Mr. Zhilin Dong, SOU president, as well as teachers, graduates and their families and friends.

Welcome by Rob van Hees

2020-2021 was a difficult year for training institutes. Face-to-face (on-site) education was not possible for many months. Nevertheless, Shenzhou has successfully made it through the transition from on-site to hybrid education.

Opening by Rob van Hees Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM
Graduates and invitees at the Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM
Gifts from ZHONG at the Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

Students receiving presents from Zong.

By splitting theory and practice, we were able to continue the lessons via online media. During the periods when on site education was possible again, thanks to the efforts of teachers, students and coordination, we were able to catch up with practical education intensively, so that we were still able to complete the original curriculum.

We are very grateful to all those involved for their commitment and flexibility.

Dr. Dan Tan

Dean of SOU

Graduation Day is always a special occasion. But today feels particularly momentous. Who knew what all our students would have to go through when they first signed up 3 years ago?

Successful graduates have always worked hard to achieve their rewards. But everyone here has not only had to master the very tricky subject of Chinese Medicine, you have all had to battle through the biggest health emergency in 100 years.

Speech by Dan Tan Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM
Dan Tan with one of the students

“The success of Shenzhou is inseparable from the success of our graduates. We live in unpredictable times in terms of politics, climate, economics and many more aspects – all these have an impact on people’s physical and emotional health. With your skills and enthusiasm you can be at the forefront of meeting these challenges and helping the people and societies in which you live maintain good health and wellbeing.”

A very good evening to our Distinguished Guests, Director Dong, our colleagues and, most importantly, a very warm welcome and congratulations to our Graduates!

Graduation Day is always a special occasion. But today feels particularly momentous. Who knew what all our students would have to go through when they first signed up 3 years ago? Successful graduates have always worked hard to achieve their rewards. But everyone here has not only had to master the very tricky subject of Chinese Medicine, you have all had to battle through the biggest health emergency in 100 years.

But humans are resilient, resourceful and determined. Nelson Mandela said: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”. And Confucius had a saying (Confucius had a saying for every situation!): “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”.

That is how I feel about you all here today. You did not give up. You did not let difficult circumstances prevent you from reaching your goal. You got back up, carried on and succeeded!

And I would like to think that myself and all my colleagues at Shenzhou helped you get back up, helped you adapt and helped you succeed. Together we have kept going through incredibly unusual and difficult circumstances over the past 18 months. And you, our Graduates, are the end result that makes everyone’s hard work worthwhile.

You may wonder if you are graduating at a difficult time. Will your new skills in Chinese Medicine be useful in a post-Covid world? My view is that you are graduating at an historic time that offers you fantastic opportunities. The Covid Pandemic has taught all of us to be resourceful and adapt. It has brought communities closer together in looking out for each other. And it has definitely taught us that we cannot take good health for granted. We must constantly look after ourselves and our communities: physically, mentally, emotionally. And what better set of skills to help you do that than those you have learned at Shenzhou in your time with us?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has always been equally focused towards prevention, not just cure. I am sure this aspect will continue to grow as people realise good health is something we have to “top up” every now and then. Also, only this week we have seen in the news that the herb Andrographis paniculata, known as chuān xīn lián (穿心莲) in Chinese Herbal Medicine, has been approved in Thailand to treat mild and asymptomatic cases of Covid following successful trials. These crossover breakthroughs make Chinese Medicine more relevant and useful today than it has ever been. You are graduating at an exciting time!

 

I stood here in 2019 in my first year at Shenzhou and told the 2019 Graduates:

 “The success of Shenzhou is inseparable from the success of our graduates. We live in unpredictable times in terms of politics, climate, economics and many more aspects – all these have an impact on people’s physical and emotional health. With your skills and enthusiasm you can be at the forefront of meeting these challenges and helping the people and societies in which you live maintain good health and wellbeing.”

I think those were very prophetic words given everything we have gone through together since then!

But now is not the time to be too serious. We have been prevented from getting together as much as we planned and so this evening is a chance to relax, socialise, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate what you have achieved at Shenzhou. Celebrate with friends, family, classmates, teachers and coordinators. You have definitely earned it!

Finally, allow me once again, on behalf of President Dong and all the Shenzhou teachers and coordinators, to express our most sincere good wishes to you. We hope you will continue to be resourceful and determined in your future careers and that you will thrive in the field of Chinese Medicine!

 

你是我的骄傲
nǐ shì wǒ de jiāo ào
I am proud of you!

Jidong Wu

Celebrate and welcome 64 graduates

It is my great pleasure to be invited to attend Shenzhou’s Graduation Ceremony in 2021 and give a speech on behalf of the academic staff, especially after nearly 20 months of hibernation.  In fact, today is my first overseas trip, away from England since the beginning of 2020. My first voyage after lockdown is to celebrate your graduation, just as Ramon, my friend and colleague, who travelled from Spain today.

Since the beginning of 2020, this world and our society has changed dramatically. Covid-19 has made us to rethink the value of our life, how vulnerable we are although the troublemaker is just a micro-organism!  How important it is, that we maintain the balance in nature! TCM, on the other hand, has a big part to play in this respect.

Opening by Rob van Hees Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

We have all witnessed disruptions to our daily life. However, at Shenzhou we kept on delivering our lectures and teaching programmes. 

That is why we are here to celebrate, and welcome the 64 graduates who are leaving Shenzhou with certificates and more importantly, with professional skills.

It is not easy to achieve these goals in the current circumstances. I would like to express my sincere thanks to our Shenzhou academic staff, administration team, and especially to our great group of students. Well done! Congratulations to you!

 From now on, no matter what you are planning to do in the future: to practise or to do more research or something else, you will never forget the time you spent in Shenzhou. With the solid foundation which you gained at Shenzhou, I believe you can and will achieve your ambitions. 

 There was a notable Chinese medical practitioner who made a very interesting statement in the 7th century. He said:

After spending three years at a TCM school, you would think that there is nothing you can not cure. After three years of practice, you would think that you can cure nothing.

TCM is a lifelong learning process. Due this character of TCM, it has been passed on for two millenniums.

There are Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities which are organised by Shenzhou Open University and other institutes. Please do keep upgrading your knowledge and skills.

Should you need support in the future, we are happy to help!

Thank you!

Opening by Rob van Hees Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

Ga Fung Chong

Representative of Zhong and chairman of their committee for continuing training 

Delivered a speech to the graduates during the Graduation ceremony. It was a fascinating speech with a humorous twist here and there. It was also a spontaneous speech, so unfortunately, we can’t reproduce it here.

Ms. Wilma van Maarschalkerweerd

Member of the board of the Dutch Acupuncture Association (NVA) 

Dear members of the board, mr. Dong, Mrs. Tan, thank you for inviting me to this graduation ceremony, on behalf of the Dutch Acupuncture Association, NVA.

As a member of the board I am honored to be able to congratulate you all with this day. In the first place the teachers of this university, as you delivered a group of fresh, well-trained acupuncturists. It started all with your curiosity after acupuncture and Chinese medicine. And after your study you became eager to spread your knowledge, teach others the wonderful theory and the profound skills in practice. And you not only offered your knowledge, but also your understanding, your patience and your encouragement. Once again, thank you!

Speech by Wilma van Maarschalkerweerd - Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

But above all I’d like to congratulate the graduates. You did it! Congratulations to all of you! This day marks the transition from being a student into becoming a practitioner in Chinese Medicine. That is very exciting and at the same time also pretty scaring.

I remember my own graduation as an acupuncturist. Our senior teacher said in his speech: ‘none of you is ready to start practicing.’ We all fell silent. But then he continued: ‘But you have to and you will learn in practice. And keep writing down and memorizing lists of signs and symptoms, TCM patterns, indications and location of acupuncture points etc. over and over again. Learn from your patients, keep studying, take courses, go to congresses!’ These words helped us to relax and have faith.

And remember, if you really don’t know what to do, just treat Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4, bilateral. Good chance your patient will tell you at the next appointment: I don’t know what you did, but I felt so relaxed.’ And that is a wonderful start!

The last thing I would like to tell you about is the NVA, THE association for acupuncturists and TCM-practitioners in The Netherlands. I think it is great to be part of NVA, it is a good association with a solid board and a professional office to serve you.

You can apply as an acupuncturist for membership with a medical education of 40+ ETCS, so feel welcome to apply! Visit our website www.acupunctuur.nl, also for information about a professional liability insurance for example. If you find things complicated, just ask and we will help you through.

As soon as you are a member you can find everything you need to help you in your practice on our members portal. Information about law issues, like privacy and patient rights, health insurances and PR. With our weekly digital newsletter we keep our members informed as well.

If you have any questions as a member, just ask the office. The more you ask, the sooner we get to know each other. We want YOU to do the things you like, that you are trained for, taking care of your patients. WE will take care of the rest, I promise!

Thank you!

Mrs. Wilma van Maarschalkerweerd

Member of the board of the Dutch Acupuncture Association (NVA) 

Speech by Carsten Smink - Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

Carsten Smink

Graduate

Hi everyone, I am very happy to be standing here tonight with all of you, and I feel honored to have been presented with the opportunity to also say a few words.

My name is Carsten and I studied at Shenzhou for the past 3 years. After hearing all of these great experts and teachers, I would like to share some of my personal experiences studying here over these past 3 years.

I think my interest in TCM and Chinese culture started at an early age watching Chinese kung fu movies. When I finished highschool in 2007, my best Friend and I had just turned 18 and we saved up some money and flew to China to travel the country for 3 months. This experience was so inspiring that I knew I had to come back someday.

Speech by Carsten Smink - Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM
Speech by Carsten Smink - Graduation 2021 Shenzhou Open University of TCM

A few years later I started practicing Tai Chi and many of my training partners had already studied TCM. Inspired by their stories and wanting to improve my Tai Chi, I googled for a TCM school in Amsterdam and happened to come across Shenzhou. Little did I know then how lucky I was having this school so close by!  

I Was quite happy with my full time job and not at all looking for a career switch, nor had I ever experienced acupuncture, but I thought: Lets just sign up for the open day, and see what happens.

I remember that during the open day a teacher asked if there were any people with complaints willing to volunteer. A woman with pain in her wrist came to the front and the teacher started asking very specific questions about things that to me were completely unrelated to her wrist. The volunteer however, recognized and confirmed them all. I was immediately intrigued because it was very clear to me that the teacher could see things that I could not see. Eager to learn what to me looked like a superpower I figured, you know what? Let’s sign up for the foundations of Chinese medicine year and again see what happens.

I signed up for the English class and it was during the introduction when people started saying where they were from, that I started to realize that Shenzhou is not Just any school. We had classmates coming from Germany, Poland, Iceland and even from South Africa, all traveling to Study here!

I really enjoyed the topics we studied during this foundations year and I liked our group too so without too many expectations I applied for acupuncture class as well. Then when we started learning about the meridians and practicing with each other, I soon realized that actually applying the theory and working with real people was even more interesting.

The second year of acupuncture followed right after and flew by before I realized it. And now I find myself here today thinking again, let me just start treating family and friends and see what happens from there. So more and more I’m starting to realize that this initial “lets sign up for the open day and see what happens” was not as random as it felt at the time, and might have set me on a lifelong path exploring the richness and intricacies of traditional Chinese medicine. And I am very happy to have landed at this school, because what I think makes Shenzhou quite unique is the fact that many of the teachers were thoroughly trained in China and could enrich their teaching with many years of practical and clinical experience.

Our years of study together were not without challenges however. Difficult decisions had to be made. Should we have Soup, Thai, or Chinese for lunch? And should I buy a new car, go skiing or spend my savings on Maciocias book, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine? And then, once I’ve finally figured out that I should get the book, which edition should I get?

In the beginning many of us struggled to wrap our minds around the differences between the western understanding of the body and the traditional Chinese one. Fierce discussions on where the blood is actually made kept reappearing, up causing Liver Qi stagnation in all those involved. But as the initial year passed and with each other’s help the Liver Qi stagnation resolved and gave way to mild cases of Spleen Qi deficiency when our deadlines approached.

In the end I think we’re here tonight with a very rich and diverse group of graduates. All of us together represent a wide array of nationalities, professions, ages and cultural backgrounds. Over the past years, I have become friends with people whom if it weren’t for TCM and Shenzhou, I think I would have never met. Especially towards the end of the second year, When we were allowed to come to school again after the lockdown, I had the feeling we became a close group and we were all in this together. I also noticed that openly discussing stool consistencies, poking your tongue out every other day and sticking needles in each other also does wonders for creating a bond.

But next to all of our differences, I think we have some important things in common as well. It still feels a bit uncomfortable, but after three years of serious study I feel like it’s time for me to start quoting from the Yellow emperor’s classic of Medicine too. In chapter 14, called “The Art of Medicine”, Qi Bo states that a good healer must have: the correct attitude, sincerity, compassion, and a sense of responsibility. And I believe it is these qualities that brought all of us together here at Shenzhou and that it will be these qualities that ensure our success in the future. Congratulations all!

2019 Graduates of Acupuncture

Meer informatie over SOU

Met 30 jaar onderwijservaring, hebben we een uitstekende reputatie in ons vakgebied opgebouwd, waar zowel de school als de alumni trots op zijn.