Bringing traditional Chinese medicine to modern Australia
Traditional meets moden

Bringing traditional Chinese medicine to modern Australia

The healing properties of Chinese medicine have long been known and practised in Asia and in parts of the Western world. The AJN chats to Daniel Spigelman of Purple Cloud Institute about the powerful effects of Chinese medicine.

What attracted you to Chinese medicine?
I have a passion for martial arts but had a string of recurrent chronic shoulder injuries in my early 20s that stopped me from competing at a high level. I had already had a surgery with an unsuccessful result, so I was hesitant to go under the knife again and turned my attention to traditional Chinese healing arts such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and Tai Chi. Although not rapid in effect, my shoulders showed steady improvement and they no longer dislocate like they used to. I saw there was great value in these arts that were little known in the Western world, and this sparked a curiosity to study them on a deeper level.

How did you end up in China?
After commencing my studies in Australia, I wanted to dive in deeper and immerse myself in what I was learning. I received a full scholarship to study at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, where I completed a Bachelor of Medicine (Chinese medicine) all undertaken in Mandarin Chinese language. During this time, I travelled around China, trying to learn as much from as many skilled and renowned teachers as possible.

What can Chinese medicine treat?
Chinese medicine was the dominant medical modality in Asia for thousands of years up until the early 1900s. In China, up until fairly recently it was known simply as “medicine”, not “Chinese medicine”. It was employed to treat a vast population through life and death, famine, war and epidemic, and all the diseases involved with such events. If you are wondering if Chinese medicine can help you with a specific condition, chances are it is something that has already been treated historically in Chinese medicine.

How is the Chinese medicine you practise different?
Chinese medicine is about observing natural patterns and relationships and applying them to the human body to maintain health and recover from disease. Far more than just acupuncture, or even herbal medicine, it includes health exercises, diet, lifestyle counselling, and an overall philosophy of understanding living in harmony with your environment instead of fighting it. Pockets of genuine full-strength Chinese medicine can still be found, and I am lucky enough to have had access to them over my years of training. I am happy to bring this to Australia where I can share it with my patients and change their lives for the better, in the same way I have experienced these benefits in my own life.


About Daniel Spigelman

The founder of Purple Cloud Institute, Daniel Spigelman has specialised clinical training in China, the United States and Australia in Chinese medicine and has worked closely with medical professionals at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Westmead Hospital Sydney and Xiyuan Hospital, Beijing. Daniel hopes to act as a bridge between the East and West and pursue this work in tandem with the medical community, continuing to develop the knowledge and practice of Chinese medicine in the wider community.

For more information, contact Daniel Spigelman on

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