Question time: ‘It’s my dream job being an acupuncturist’

Rhiannon Griffiths
Rhiannon Griffiths

We speak to Rhiannon Griffiths, an acupuncturist who practices from The White House in Thame, 13a Upper High Street

What do you wish they’d taught you at school, but didn’t?

That emotional intelligence is as valuable as intellect. Learning about empathy, and being taught that sensitivity is a strength would make for a much nicer world.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be and why?

I honestly wouldn’t want to be doing any other job, being an acupuncturist is my dream job. However, in an ideal world I would love my own clinic or holistic retreat centre.

You can invite three people - living or dead, from any period – round for dinner. Who are they and why?

Sun Simiao, the ancient King of Chinese medicine, who is thought to have started the tradition. I would ask him to be my mentor and for him to teach me all his secrets, so to be an even better acupuncturist.

The Dali Lama has such an energy, and it would be an honour to be in his presence. I’d want to know how to stay peaceful and present no matter what situation you encounter – I haven’t quite mastered that one yet.

Stevie Nicks is a magical and talented musician who I have loved since I was a tiny child. Her words really resonate with me, so it would be great to connect with her over dinner!

And if you could write your own epitaph or come up with famous last words in advance, what would you pick?

Three words on the headstone: Goodness, Mindfulness and Love.

How do you relax?

I practice meditation on a daily basis, and as part of my New Year’s resolutions I have started doing a gentle type of yoga that reduces stress called kundalini. Though friends would tell you that a cup of tea will calm me in an instant.

What’s your greatest fear?

Fear is associated with the water element in Chinese medicine. So with my own constitutional element being water in the five element style of acupuncture, pretty much everything has some level of fear in it for me.

But the plus side of this is that it creates a huge amount of drive and determination.

If you had to give up something tomorrow, what would you find it hardest to live without?

Acupuncture. As a practitioner, but even more so as a patient. It is incredibly relaxing, balancing and harmonising, treating the body, mind and spirit. I have had acupuncture for 11 years and couldn’t be without its amazingly magical powers.

What’s the most important lesson that life has taught you so far?

Not to be confined by what you feel you should do, or by what others think, but to imagine the greatest, most sparkling version of your true self, and aim for that. Don’t settle for anything less.

If you could leap forward to the year 2050, what would you expect, or hope to find there?

At the age of 68, I would hope to find the focus in society has shifted, driven by wellbeing on all levels – physically with the food we eat and exercise we do, mentally with healthy relationships and fulfilling, worthwhile careers, and spiritually with inspiration and happiness.

Websites you use/value the most?

I’m on my own website (www.rhiannongriffiths.com) and blog daily, but I’m often also on MindBodyGreen.com, which is a great site about meditation, yoga and holistic health.

Favourite places to eat within 20 miles of Thame?

The Thatch in Thame is a favourite haunt – the superfood salad (spinach, beetroot, tuna and pumpkin seeds) on their winter menu was delicious.

Amazingly blood nourishing according to Chinese food energetics, plus a boost of zinc from the pumpkin seeds. Truly super indeed.

For a homemade sweet treat whilst relaxing with friends or family, I head to Little Italy in Haddenham. Incredibly friendly and a beautiful energy, a home away from home.

What do you go out of your way to avoid?

All dairy, especially cheese, and other damp-forming food according to Chinese food energetics.

This also includes bananas, peanuts, wheat, refined sugar and concentrated orange juice. They block my nose, damp foods can contribute to that sluggish feeling, in mind and body.

Always leave them laughing.

One of my patients was very proud of this joke he tailor-made for me:

Doctor doctor, I feel like an acupuncture needle.

Well, I can see your point.