Merlin Young is an acupuncturist living and working on the edge of the Black Country which was, until recently, the industrial heartland of the UK. Before discovering acupuncture he was in turn: a failed English Literature undergraduate (as a result of reading and enjoying the work, of Kurt Vonnegut Jr rather more than those of William Shapespeare); a youth worker in inner-city Birmingham; a bench joinery estimator; and an overly stressed-out construction project co-ordinator.
After studying acupuncture he developed specific interest in Japanese acumoxa techniques particularly on account of their finesse and delicacy: he is a registered academic member of the Toyohari Medical Association of Tokyo.After learning about the extraordinary work of Dr Paul Farmer and Partners in Health in Haiti and Peru, he became increasingly interested in fundamental issues of global healthcare inequality, especially in relation to the growing threat from drug-resistant TB, and began to ponder what traditional East Asian medicine might truly have to offer the bottom billion (or two) of humankind in the twenty-first century.
In 2008 be co-founded the Moxafrica charity with Jenny Craig PhD. The charity was set up specifically to investigate whether small-cone direct moxa might have a part to play today in the desperate battle against drug-resistant TB in the developing world, particularly in Africa with its terrifying rates of co-infection with HIV-AIDS. Most of his energies over the last four years have been focused on this quest which is ongoing. At the time of publication, this has developed into a collaboration with a team of pharmacologists at the famous Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda resulting in a Phase II RCT looking at the serological, immunological and radiological responses to adjunctive moxa treatment for TB patients in Uganda , the first time that something of this sort has been attempted.
He now wishes so very much that he`d paid more attention in his science classes when he was at school. He considers the Moon over Matsushima to be as much foundation stone for the Moxafrica project as much as it is a general book on moxinustion.