Professor Jack Reginald Worsley (“JR”) died in the early hours of June 2, 2003 in Miami, Florida. Born and raised in Coventry, England, JR was an internationally renowned and revered Master Acupuncturist, author, consultant and teacher. In the early 1950’s he journeyed to Taiwan, Singapore and
Korea and received his Doctorate of Acupuncture. His Classical Five-Element Acupuncture® teachers Ono and Hsui bestowed the rare and honored classical designation of “Master” upon him. He founded the College of Traditional Acupuncture (UK), the Traditional Acupuncture Institute (TAI-Sophia) (USA),
the Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture (USA) and the Master Apprentice Program (MAP) and was associated with many schools and organizations internationally.
There are so many stories of Dr. Worsley. He was an extraordinary man who brought love, insight and depth to all his encounters. He saw each patient, each student as an unique individual. If you were his patient, he was there one hundred percent for you. Hundreds of patients relate the extraordinary
feeling they had of being “seen” by this man in a way no one had ever seen them before. Those who studied with him over the years were given the same undivided attention. As his student, you had the fortune to be given just what you needed—perhaps not what you wanted—to move forward in your work. And he would be there again and again, with precious pieces of learning perfectly timed for your next step. In addition to more technical information, these treasures were often keen insights into your life and what needed to change within you to be the best practitioner you could possibly be. He modeled for us the knowledge that a master acupuncturist is made from within.
He was captivated by Asian philosophy and wisdom and its understanding of the power of nature to heal. He was an avid believer in this power and reminded us often that the practitioner does not heal the patient, but nature does. He
fought fiercely to preserve a tradition that saw each person as more than an assembly of parts or symptoms. Dr. Worsley was a patient advocate in the deepest sense. His whole approach revolved upon the needs of the patient. He was not satisfied with helping only a part of a person, he wanted everything for
them; a complete, vital, full life. He wanted the best from them as well. They responded as we all do when our deepest selves are addressed with genuine love and concern; they rose to the occasion.
It would be hard to imagine acupuncture in the west without his contributions. He stood alone thirty years ago insisting that acupuncture could treat the spirit and mind of the patient as well as the body. He led the way advocating for the study of the names of the points and their spiritual connotations. He was committed to teaching the importance of the intention of the practitioner as an important element in the effectiveness of treatment. Now these ancient traditions are part of the acupuncture conversation in the west and again in the east.
Strangely, it was hard to feel sad at his passing. He lived a full life doing what he loved the most. He gave fully. He touched the hearts of thousands of people. He traveled around the world seeing patients and teaching students; the last four years while suffering from debilitating heart disease. Until the very end, it was hard to tell he was ill. For a man who gave so much it would have been selfish to want one more day from him.