The concept for the Flying Needle Project was created and developed by Gidon Levenbach. The name Flying Needle Project was chosen due to the relevance of delivering this medicine to parts of the world where they are not readily available. The “flying needle technique” is one of the many techniques used in acupuncture. It is the practice of “flying” a needle into the skin from the surface. It is commonly used in auricular acupuncture, which is prevalently performed in public health settings. Auricular acupuncture is one of the modalities responsible for the introduction and popularization of Chinese Medicine in the West. In the U.S.A., it was originally implemented in the Lincoln Hospital drug treatment program in New York.
Gidon Levenbach graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in August 2007. He has been a licensed acupuncturist since November 2007 and has volunteered his time working in public health clinics such as Mercy and Wisdom, Outside In and the HIV day centre (all in Portland, Oregon). His interest in Chinese Medicine began in 1995 when he completed a course in Acupressure Massage at the Acupressure Institute (Berkeley, California). He then volunteered to do acupressure, moxibustion and needle extraction at the Quan Yin Healing Arts Center (San Francisco, California). The patients at the Quan Yin Healing Center were primarily HIV and Hepatitis C positive. It was through his experience at Quan Yin that his desire to become an acupuncturist was solidified. Seeing how important this treatment was to patients with HIV and full-blown AIDS inspired him to dedicate his practice to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 1996, Gidon studied Bone Setting and a Chinese massage style called Tui Na with Dr Michael Lan in Cape Town, South Africa. He has also studied both Eastern and Western herbal medicine from multiple teachers. Gidon practised at the 7 Star Acupuncture Clinic in Portland, Oregon which offers low cost/ sliding scale treatments in group and private settings. He is committed to public health and providing service to those in need. He is an advocate of Chinese Medicine and its vast benefits. Gidon is currently living and practising in Santa Rosa, California and lends a supportive hand to FNP from afar.
Shaul Freedman is an acupuncturist who is originally from Israel and has been living in Cape Town since 2000. He studied acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, and studied further in China. He works from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective and has been in practice since 1999. He has worked in Israel and now has a private practice in Cape Town treating a wide range of conditions with acupuncture. He lectured on acupuncture for two years in the School of Natural Medicine at the University of the Western Cape.
Simone Kredo‘s work incorporates over two decades of diverse learning and practice in complementary medicine. She first studied herbal medicine and bodywork in South Africa, while attending UCT, and then decided to pursue a degree in Naturopathic Medicine. She trained in Sydney, Australia as a Naturopath (1995) and Seattle, USA as an Acupuncturist (2000).
Simone has a special interest in public health work, psychoneuroimmunology and female reproductive health and wellness.
Dr Vinay Jagjivan qualified as a practitioner of Chinese medicine and acupuncture at the University of the Western Cape in 2011. He has worked with the Flying Needle Project since the end of 2012. He is passionate about bringing affordable and accessible healthcare to all.
Angela Assad is a Chinese Medicine practitioner, who has been working in private practice since 2011. She graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2011 with Summa cum Laude in both her degrees of BSc (Community and Health Sciences) and B.Comp Med (Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture). During her studies, Angela was placed on the Dean’s Merit List in 2010.Angela has a particular interest in treating acute and chronic pain and is a member of the Pain SA Academy. She also facilitates a morning Qi Gong class for elderly ladies, with a focus on joint mobility and longevity. Angela is excited by the opportunity of being involved with the Flying Needle Project.