A Little About My Journey

Aaran Church Acupuncturist

Aaran Church

Dip. Acupuncture Traditional Chinese Medicine
Dip. Tuina QiGong
Member of AcupunctureNZ
With Over 25 years of experience, I am here to help.

 My journey began in 1987, I'd had a severe back injury as an 11 year old and experienced pain on a daily basis for 9 years. Pretty much I was fed up with it and decided to seek help outside of conventional doctor's visits. I tried a number of things such as massage, physiotherapy and although I got some improvements the pain kept coming back.


 Somebody recommended me to go see an Osteopath which was the defining moment in my life, although his approach was somewhat strange his advice changed my life. Basically he looked me in the eye and said I'm going to tell you what you need to do and if you're not prepared to do it don't bother coming back as you'll be wasting my time. He told me to stop playing rugby as I'll be a lot older for a lot longer than I am younger and when your older you'll be in a lot of pain ( I was playing representative rugby at the time so that was a blow ) he then told me to go learn something I'd never heard of before, he said take this number call them up and go learn how to play Tai Chi.


 I thought what on earth is that I'd heard of the word Tai ( tie ) you put one around your neck or you can tie something up but I'd not heard of the word Chi before. He told me to give it at least 3 years, now I wasn't ready for that as I'd hoped to be pain free in 3 weeks, I recall him laughing at me telling me that I'd just told him I'd been experiencing pain for the last 8 or so years, and reassured me to give it time and to trust the art.


 Although I found his manner a little bit outside of the box but there was a part of me that liked it too, as for the first time in a way I felt empowered to know that the solution lay inside of myself. Much to the disappointment of my rugby coach at the time I followed his advice and never looked back.


 I started to learn this Tai Chi and diligently practiced it on a daily basis. I proved the osteopath wrong I only saw him one time after my initial appointment, he'd told me to give it 3 years what I noticed was that after about 1 year the pain in the lower back was no longer there and to this day I have been pain free for over 32 years.


 It was from learning Tai Chi that I began to develop an interest in alternative medicine and In 1997 I took on the opportunity to be a first year student with the New Zealand School Of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. When I graduated I took myself off to Mainland China, Shanghai and underwent internship training in both Acupuncture and Tuina ( Traditional Chinese Body Work / Massage ) at the Yue Yang Hospital Of Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  


 Over the last 20 years I have continued my study into what I now call integrative medicine and practice a number of modalities to be able to assist my clients.


 Looking back and in reflection, I'm so very happy to have been given the advice I received that day. 

 I spent the better part of my career working in practice alongside physiotherapists in Auckland. One half day a week for 9 years I was part of a therapy team at Eastern Bays Hospice Dove House providing services to patients experiencing life threatening illness. Am currently a service provider for Sweet Louise which is a foundation supporting women with incurable breast cancer.

AAran Church with his Acupuncture teacher
Aaran Church With His Acupuncture teacher
Aaran with Dr Chen Yue Lai. Shanghai China 2002.
Aaran with Dr Zong Lei. Shanghai China 2004.

This documentry was made by the BBC, at 14mins 16 seconds you'll see my teacher above Dr Zong Lei being interviewed in clinic at the Yue Yang Hospital Of Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China