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Acupuncture Cultivation The practice of practice

The Sunset of a Practice • Charlie Braverman • Qi172

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Our medicine teaches us that all things move through cycles of generation, flourishing, decline and disappearance. It’s the way qi moves through this world and so not a surprise that at some point there is an end to the practice that has sustained us and allowed us to help others along the way.

In this conversation with Charlie Braverman we discuss the sunset of an acupuncture practice. The opportunities that arise while you still have time to learn something new. The importance of having a kind of support when beginning that goes beyond getting the diagnosis right, and how success sometimes means it is time to move onto something else.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • What got Charlie’s attention that it was time to wind down the practice
  • Criteria for retirement
  • The magic of a letter to patients
  • Becoming an acupuncturist at 46
  • Not good at sales, but good at communication
  • Another “now what” moment
  • Lessons learned as a real estate agent
  • The importance of support and supervision after graduation
  • Knowing for yourself what success means
  • Getting comfortable with ambiguity

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Experience isn't Expensive, it's Priceless


I retired in July, 2020, after practicing for 20 years in Albany, NY. I treated the wide range of issues (and their patients) that present to most acupuncturists. I specialized in treating chronic pain, digestion issues and herpes zoster.

Like so many of us, I combined parts of several disciplines and modalities to create a practice that was uniquely my own. (1) Japanese palpation and pulse, to diagnose (in addition to conversations that would, ideally (but not always), clarify the main complaint and reveal things essential to knowing and treating the patient). (2) Japanese ion-pumping-cord EV treatments as a first, balancing step. (3) Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, an imaging system to treat pain. And (4) for the last 18 years, 80% of the time, the go-to workhorse modality I used was Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy.

Every treatment ended with The Explanation and The Expectation: I made sure my patient knew what we had done that day to move us closer to their goals. And I told them what gains to look for: pain that lessens or shifts or becomes more localized. This was to direct their self-observations and to mitigate their unexpressed expectation of complete relief.
I asked my patients to partner with me. and I would often take a few minutes to simplify and trim back complicated exercises that a physical therapist, or similar, had prescribed.

My belief was that doing some exercise was better than doing none (which was often the amount they were doing when the first came in). And doing a simple movement correctly was better than doing a more ambitious one incorrectly.

 

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Links and Resources

I relied on 3 books over the course of my practice: Alon Marcus’ Muscularskeletal Disorders: Healing Methods from Chinese Medicine, Orthopaedic Medicine and Osteopathy, which expertly connected Asian and Western perspective on the same pathology.

Microcurrent Electro-acupuncture, by Darren Starwynn. And Acupuncture Point Combinations, by Jeremy Ross, which is my most dog-eared text. ACP is a comprehensive acupuncture text: the work is organized by Western pathologies, yet each disease is described in TCM terms with clear point combinations. It has a glut of single page summary tables, including Combinations for Burnout (p 449). My personal burnout syndrome was #4.

 

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Fillers

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Categories
Acupuncture Cultivation

Inner Development of the Practitioner • Peter Mole • Qi171

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Good cookware requires seasoning. A hearty stew takes heat and time. Good wine needs a few years; whiskey, that requires a decade or more. And to develop as a practitioner of Chinese medicine, that ripening can take a lifetime.

In this conversation with Peter Mole we explore the dynamics of doubt and certainty, along with the role of intuition and artistry in the development of an acupuncturist.

Listen into this conversation on the inner journey of becoming a Chinese medicine doctor.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Peter’s path into Chinese medicine
  • Curiosity and an interest in people is a requirement for being a successful practitioner
  • We need to understand and work with a patient’s relationship with their illness
  • Getting through emotional times
  • If you are to heal the sick, first you must forgive them
  • The dynamics of doubt and certainty
  • Checking to be sure our treatments are being helpful to our patients
  • The role of a patient’s vitality
  • Working with Western medicine
  • Thoughts on practicing in the later stages of life
  • Having meaning in life

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As Albert Schweitzer put it “It is our duty to remember at all times and anew that medicine is not only a science, but also the art of letting our own individuality interact with the individuality of the patient.”


Peter Mole

After I finished studying Modern History at Oxford University I started training to be an acupuncture practitioner in 1976.  I studied and worked with JR Worsley until 1992, receiving his Master of Acupuncture qualification from him in 1984.

I studied TCM in the 1980s. I have been teaching acupuncture since 1983, first in Leamington Spa at the College of Traditional Acupuncture and later at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, where I am the Dean.

I am the author of a book for the general public, Acupuncture for Body, Mind and Spirit, and I am the co-author of the text book Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture. I have lectured on Five Element acupuncture in Europe, the U.S. and Israel. I was a founding council member of the British Acupuncture Council.

My style of acupuncture is an integration of the Five Element Constitutional style with TCM. I am particularly interested in psychological complaints and physical complaints that have arisen largely due to the internal causes of disease.

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Categories
Acupuncture

Researching Attitudes Toward TCM • Brenda Le • Qi170

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In this conversation with Brenda Le we both explore how TCM is seen in our Western Chinese medicine world, and how doing this research opened her up to aspects of medicine and practice that she did not previously see.

Listen in to this conversation on inquiry, exploration and discovery.
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  • What drew Brenda to doing this research
  • The purpose that research serves
  • That is TCM?
  • How this research changed Brenda’s perspective
  • First look at the person, then attend to the illness (先看人,後看病)
  • Unruly medicine

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Follow an experienced practitioner. Their first-hand clinical insights are invaluable.


Sometimes, the best medicine can be a simple, home-cooked meal. A quiet moment in nature. Or a laugh shared with loved ones.

I believe wellness – and illness – are often related to dietary and lifestyle factors. As a dietitian and Chinese medicine practitioner, my goal is to help patients not only restore their health, but also maintain their health over time. Although I am very, very far from being a “superior physician” (上醫 shàng yī), I am inspired by the philosophy of treating disease before it arises (治未病 zhì wèi bìng).

I am learning that our medicine can be full of surprises. I started out thinking that Chinese medicine needed validation from scientific research – only to realize that this complex, dynamic system does not conform to linear or reductionist modes of reasoning. Now, I am exploring how to practice dietetics in a way that respects and celebrates the Chinese medicine worldview.

 
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Links and Resources

Read Brenda's research paper both for inspiration and to get a nuanced view of TCM.

And see what she's up to over on her website.

 

Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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Organic and Free of Grain Fillers

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Categories
Acupuncture

The Path of Moxibustion • Felip Caudet • Qi169

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My initial introduction to moxibustion was the classic Chinese mugwort cigar. I hated it. But only because my lungs are the weak link in my chain of being. The smoke was intolerable.

Japanese rice grain moxa, that was a whole other universe. It’s not that less is more, it’s that the focused and directed aspects of Japanese moxibustion invite a completely different experience of heat and sensation.

In this conversation with Felip Caudet we follow his path of discovery with moxibustion.

Listen in to this discussion on mugwort, calling and surrender to the path that beckons.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Moxibustion and Felipe’s story
  • Felipe’s journey to learning moxibustion
  • Doubts and challenges
  • How to keep moving forward when you’re not 100% sure this is the right decision
  • What Felipe does with moxibustion
  • Moxibustion vs needling

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Apply moxa with your heart. First, listen to the patient’s words, after, listen to the body with palpation. Only palpation can explain why, where and how moxa can be applied


Felip Caudet

I have been a physiotherapist and acupuncturist for 20 years. One day, years ago I fell in love with japanese moxibustion. I decided to leave needles and work only with moxibustion. Big shocks on my life were to meet Fukushima sensei and Shinma sensei (son of the famous japanese moxibustionist Isaburo Fukaya) and be accepted as student.

Going deep in moxibustion, I discovered that traditional japanese practice was not too much known outside of Japan. After that, I took the challenge to spread the work of this beautiful therapeutic art and the style of Fukaya.

Moxibustion can be a way of purification and healing the body and the soul. It allows you to go from the head (mind) to the hands (heart), from the idea to the true action.

 

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Links and Resources

Shinma, H (2015). The Treasure Book of Points Fukayakyu.

Young, M (2012). The Moon Over Matsushima. Insights into Moxa and Mugwort. Godiva Books

NAJOM (North American Journal of Orientl Medicine). Journal full of articles (and amazing clinic tips) written by all kind of practitioners of japanese healing techniques.

moxafrica.org (British Charity dedicated to investigate direct moxibustion inmunomodulation as an adjunctive treatment for tuberculosis, particularly when drug-resistant).

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Categories
Acupuncture

Balancing the Koshi • Jeffrey Dann • Qi168

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The medicines and martial arts of Asia have long considered the lower belly and back to be of significant importance in health, wellbeing and as a kind of seat of power and presence.

In this conversation with long time practitioner Jeffrey Dann we explore the structural powerhouse of the Koshi, the dynamic lower abdomen with all it’s energetic and physiological functions.

Additionally we explore how to approach the body and appreciate the body and develop a sense of listening and connection that becomes the compass that guides our work.

Listen into this discussion of discovery, appreciation and medicine.

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  • How Jeffrey found his way into East Asian medicine
  • The power of putting your hands on people
  • Importance of the dynamic reciprocal relationship
  • The Koshi and its central role in the body
  • The Gall Bladder as a fascial organizer
  • Using your hands to get information
  • What happens when the symmetry is off
  • Mapping acupuncture points onto visceral junctions and connections
  • Investigating the fascia

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“The difference between a master and great partitioner is in the details.

Master tip: Instead of just driving a needle in thru the guide tube, pause as the needle touches the skin. “Listen and Follow” is the response to the tip of the needle in response to the tissue.

Example: Does the person’s energetic field and tissues welcome OR resist the
presence of the needle. Find the welcome. Meridian therapy tells us to support the ease before dispersing the resistance.


Jeffrey Dann, L.Ac

More than 45 years of study and practice has led me to see acupuncture as a manual medicine. I combine refined palpation, movement, the meridian system, and the structural fascial matrix producing an integrative approach to mind/body wellness. I began this journey as an anthropologist studying martial arts body-mind education in Japan. After studying acupuncture in Beijing, Hong Kong and Hawaii throughout the 1980s, I studied structural acupuncture, SeiTai, Shinpo, and Sotai movement therapy in the 1990s. I then deepened my knowledge of Meridian therapy while bringing leading Meridian Therapy sensei to the US.

I started to put together the Koshi Balancing system with the support of Shudo Denmei in the early 2000s, and for the last 10 years have integrated Barral’s osteopathic Visceral Manipulation into hara abdominal work. Koshi Balancing is the culmination of my never-ending passion to deepen my holistic education while teaching acupuncturists and body workers to integrate manual medicine with the structural and visceral foundations of Traditional East Asian Medicine.

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Visit Jeffrey's website

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Fillers

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Categories
Acupuncture

Treating Cancer with Acupuncture • Yair Maimon Qi165

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Jing, Qi and Shen— the three treasures. Like so many of these pithy quotes about Chinese medicine there is a lot here if you have taken the time to investigate it and see how it fits within your experience of practicing medicine.

In this conversation with Yair Maimon we touch on the three treasures as they relate to treating cancer with acupuncture, immunology from Chinese medicine perspective, and ways of working with research that help us to further our understanding of our medicine here in the modern day.

Listen in to this discussion that touches both on the classics and modern day perspectives in health and healing.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How Yair got in to treating cancer patients
  • What kinds of things is TCM good at treating
  • Prevention of recurrence and the treatment of cancer
  • Researching acupuncture and Chinese medicine
  • Immunity from the Chinese medicine perspective
  • Numbers in TCM
  • The importance of good communication

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Dr. Yair Maimon is an internationally renowned figure in the field of Integrative and Chinese Medicine with over 30 years of clinical, academic, and research experience. He is the president of ETCMA, the European TCM association.

Dr. Maimon has been leading a unique research in herbal medicine and acupuncture at Center of integrative oncology at the institute of Oncology, in the largest hospital in Israel and the middle east- Sheba Medical center. Director of Refuot integrative medicine center.

He has published several outstanding research articles in prominent scientific medical journals showing a unique, promising results on the effect of herbal medicine in cancer care and prevention. And is the President of the International Congress of Chinese Medicine in Israel (ICCM).

Founder of the eLearning: TCM Academy (TCM.AC), which is an innovative online platform for expanding the knowledge of Chinese medicine worldwide.
Over the years, Dr. Maimon has developed a special insight in diagnosis and treatment of variety of psychological, autoimmune disorders and cancer, stemming from a deep understanding of Chinese medicine.

In addition to being a man of research and a teacher Dr. Maimon is a fully active integrative and Chinese medical clinician, treating numerous patients and devoted in order to ease suffering and promote healing.

 

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Links and Resources

Visit Yair's website
And here's where you can read about the research he's been involved with

 

Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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This Episode Comes toYou with Support From

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Deepen Your Understanding of Saam Acupuncture

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Categories
Acupuncture Cultivation Herbal Medicine

The Resonant Hum of Yin and Yang • Sabine Wilms • Qi164

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Chinese is not that easy, and the 文言文 (wen yan wen) the classical Chinese, that stuff is a whole other order of magnitude in challenge to the modern Western mind. 

And yet if we are going to practice this medicine with deep roots into a long gone time and culture, we need access to the stepping stones that have been handed down to us over centuries through books and writing. 

Translating language is one thing. But translating culture, bringing something of the mind and perception from another time, that is a whole other task. 

It helps if you can understand the poetry, the stories, the world view and beliefs of the time. And it helps if you can track the changes in the meaning of words and ideas across the centuries of commentary. 

In this episode we are sitting down for tea with Sabine Wilms, a self described “lover of dead languages,” for a discussion of Resonance from chapter five of the Simple Questions.

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  • Sabine loves dead languages
  • Medicine is a powerful way into culture
  • Farming is about fertility
  • Why Su Wen Chapter?
  • The importance of commentary on ancient texts like the Nei Jing
  • Thinking of the Five Elements as Dynamic Agents
  • Connecting macro and microcosm
  • The paradox of how not-knowing helps us to understand
  • Types of change
  • Understanding change is the key to being a doctor, a sage, a farmer or a ruler
  • Some clinical examples of Bian and Hua type changes
  • Treatment as interference
  • When you think of the element “earth,” think “soil”

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”About show guest” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ text_font_size_tablet=”51″ text_line_height_tablet=”2″ header_font_size_tablet=”51″ header_line_height_tablet=”2″]Clinic Tip: Slow down, breathe, smell the roses, pay attention to the messages in your dreams, and make it a habit to regularly do something you love.


Sabine Wilms 

Even though I don't have a license to practice medicine and don't stick needles into people, I consider myself a practitioner of Chinese medicine in the true and grand sense of “medicine” as expressed in the Chinese classical literature: the harmonizing of Heaven and Earth in our pivotal role as humans. While I do have a serious academic background, with a PhD in East Asian Studies and Medical Anthropology, I have always been more interested in exploring the practical applications of what I read, study, and translate, both for myself and for clinicians. As a biodynamic goat farmer in the mountains of northern New Mexico, I learned many valuable lessons on agriculture in my younger years that I find eminently relevant to my ability to comprehend the classical medical texts. Managing waterways, ruling a country, freeing blocked flow, distributing moisture and nutrition, fending off external invasion, restoring fertility, or simply “nurturing life” (yangsheng)… all of these are reflections of the sage’s ability to attune yin and yang and to align her- or himself with the ever-changing transformations of qi that occur in the various microcosms in resonance with the macrocosm. 

I do love to teach and to share my understanding of Chinese medicine, and of classical Chinese culture, philosophy, literature, and religion, with modern Western clinical practitioners and students. So until last year, I was teaching full-time in the doctoral program at the College of Classical Chinese Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. These days, though, I prefer a much quieter simpler life and am happy as a clam in my new home on magical Whidbey Island north of Seattle where I write, translate, and publish (as Happy Goat Productions), and go for a blissful swim in the sea when my brain needs a break. In addition, I do some traveling for lectures and retreats and am in the process of building a mentoring program (ImperialTutor.com) for the more personalized instruction style that I love best, to teach Western practitioners of Chinese medicine how to read the classics.
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Links and Resources

Visit Sabine's website for her books, blog and speaking schedule.
Looking for some mentoring? The Imperial Tutor is at your service.
Did I mention in the podcast conversation that Humming With Elephants is a delicious read?

Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Filler

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Categories
Acupuncture Cultivation

The Path of Journey • Daniel Schulman • Qi163

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We venerate the masters, hold them up as shining examples of what we would like to be one some day, but let’s be honest here— most of us will never be masters. Those rarified characters are few and far between. And the process it takes is not one most of us would willing sign up for. We do however have a good shot at being a fine journeyman or journeywoman

Why it’s hard to become a master? Master’s are usually forged in troublesome fires. They may be living through a time of war and disease and their medicine comes through the crucible of deep suffering. Perhaps they’ve gone through a terrible illness or accident of their own. Or they are acutely sensitive in ways that make every life difficult. 

The journey we take with practicing medicine is not to become like one of the masters we idolize, but to become the practitioner with our particular  slant on the medicine that is our’s to become.

This episode is a discussion of inquiry over time. The discovery's that come not from understanding a book, but rather from the drip, drip, drip of experience from our clinical work that over time teaches us to focus in a particular way. A process that does not guarantee, but rather sets us up, so that one day we read something in the old books and get it. Get it not with so much with our minds, but rather our heart and being. Because it is something that we have grown into. And so we can better understand the writing of others who have also grown into their experience.

Listen in for a discussion how to become a good journeywoman or journeyman.

 

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The streams of tradition scholar-doctor and of modern integrative medicine
  • What to do when you know you don’t know
  • Knowing when there is a moment of graceful connection, when an opportunity has ripened
  • It seems like there is more to this medicine than protocols
  • Don’t get distracted by the symptoms, and don’t ignore them either
  • Grounding the work in palpatory experience
  • Approaching the six levels through palpation
  • A curious finding with the ren-ying cun-kuo pulse and six levels
  • A case study of severe anxiety and depression
  • Leaps of faith
  • How do you get from nothing to something?
  • The archetypical aspects of the six levels
  • Using palpation to access which of the six confirmation to treat
  • How do you know if you have been helpful when people just stop coming for treatment
  • The importance of attentive inquiry

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Daniel Schulman

I graduated from acupuncture school in 1999. My first week in practice I realised three terrifying things;

1. Anything can be anything (in other words, dysfunction in just about any channel or channel combination could be underlying just about any symptom)
2. Most of my patients exhibited no less than 12 ‘patterns’ and often more
3. At any moment in the clinical encounter, there were 10,000 things happening and at my utmost level of awareness and presence, I could become aware of at most 30-40 of them

Noise and ignorance! Immediate existential despair in the clinic! What do I hang my hat on? I could just needle Liver 3, Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6 on everyone. Surely there is more to this than that. I had just completed a full year of study and apprenticeship in the Kiiko Matsumoto/Nagano system. I am forever grateful for this gift. Thank you Kiiko! That gave me a solid palpatory basis on which to depend. And so I did. In the ensuing 20 years, I have reinforced that palpation-focused system with Nei Jing studies, the works of Wang Ju Yi and many other influences.

I now practice what I would call a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ style of acupuncture. When a new patient arrives in my clinic, after no more than 5 minutes talking, I have them on the table, palpating them from their toes to their nose. Only after palpating and sometimes only after observing their initial treatment response, do I begin to ask questions more deeply and assemble ideas around what system dysfunctions are likely to be in play.

I have found this to be a tremendously rewarding approach that continues to grow, deepen and evolve in my clinical practice. Most recently in my clinic, a clear resonance between the six conformations and palpation findings has emerged – and I find it places me reliably and effectively well below the level of the ten thousand things, the symptoms, the veneer of things – at a level of complexity integration where I am finding Acupuncture seems to really shine. In this ‘reverse-engineered’ palpate-first-ask-questions-later process, most patients who come to my clinic appreciate almost instantly that I am paying attention to them in a very different way; that we are partnered in a very dynamic mutually engaging process. I almost never have a boring day in clinic – even after 20 years.

 

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Links and Resources:

Daniel is a writer in addition to being an acupuncturist, give this a read!

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Furthering the Path

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Categories
Acupuncture Cultivation

Spirals, Stems and Branches: The Structure of Unfoldment in Time and Space • Deborah Woolf • Qi162

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Stems and Branches are old Chinese science. Our medicine touches on it, but most of us rely on the more modern perspectives for our clincal work. The Stems and Branches speak to a perspective of the universe and our place in it that is foreign to our minds not because of language and culture, but because we live a world that focus more on humanity than cosmos.

In this conversation we touch on the influence of numbers, the spiral nature of unfoldment and change, a few things about the Hun and Po that will surprise you, how time and space give us different glimpses into reality and how a sense of playfulness wtih medicine and philosophy just might be a most wise approach.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How Deborah found her way to studying the Stems and Branches
  • Closing of the heart septum and its relation to Imperial and
  • Ministerial Fire
  • Are we looking from heaven or looking from earth. From the creative or the created?
  • Chinese medicine and philosophy is numbers based
  • 五運六氣 five movements and six qi, Su wen 66-74
  • A deeper look at Hun and Po
  • The three in one
  • Orienting in Time and Space
  • How to read the Su Wen
  • Considering the extraordinary fu
  • Latest interests and projects
  • Advice to new practitioners

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Keep it simple; if you can immerse yourself as much as possible in classical Chinese way of seeing the cosmos/body then you will always do things better!

Keep going back to the basics: what everything is based on gives you ALL the clues… that's why theory and study of classical Chinese history/culture/language helps acupuncturists to be much better practitioners


Deborah Woolf, L.Ac

I am crazy keen acupuncturist and super enthusiastic lecturer, who, by chance, have discovered and loved the cosmology and numerology inherent in Chinese Philosophy and Medicine. I was lucky to start studying (10 years after I know I wanted to be an acuouncturist) at the UK college that teaches the most philosophy and theory, based on Five Phases, wuxing 五行, and Stems and Branches, wuyun liuqi 五運六氣. My course was a 5 year long extravaganza, and I came out the other side, exhausted, changed and driven. Since then (20 years ago) I have not stopped treating, teaching and studying: these three activities interact fruitfully with each other, allowing me to deepen my understanding and practice of this amazing approach to health, the body and the cosmos.

As I am the daughter of academics I took what I was taught and read around the subjects, so that I was able to immerse myself more fully in ancient Chinese culture. I have followed Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee for 25 years, and have studied classical Chinese for at least 15 years. I may not be able to ask for soup, but I can make a stab at translating very obscure classical Chinese texts! This immersion and reading and teaching has allowed me to apply my ‘apprentice' style learning to my practice. I thoroughly appreciate and love what I do and am grateful daily for the opportunity to learn more and more and so be able to help my patients even more!

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Links and Resources

Number six in the Umbrella Academy is Ben, the dead one. Or is he?

We talked in this episode about the magic square, here's more intel on it. We also discussed other ways of divining the cosmos.

Su Wen 11
“Brain, Marrow, bones, vital circulations (mai), Gall Bladder, Uterus: these six are produced by the qi/Breaths of Earth. They store the Yin and they reflect the image of the Earth. Their name is ‘the extraordinary and permanent fu’ (qi heng zhi fu).

The St, Co, Si, Th, Bl, these 5 are produced by the Breaths of Heaven; their Breaths reflect the image of Heaven; this is why they make flow and do not store. They receive the unclear Breaths of the 5 zang. Their name is ‘the fu for transmission and transformation’. They cannot keep for a long time without transmitting so as finally to flow out/evacuate… Thus the 5 zang store the essences/Breaths [Jingqi] and do not make flow… The 6 fu transmit and transform and do not store.”

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The Power of Concentration

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Categories
Acupuncture Cultivation

Vitality, Attention, & Sensing: Learning to Listen in Stillness • Chip Chace • Qi161

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There are many ways to attend to our patients in clinic. We can work through mental models that we’ve acquired from our schooling, study, and clinical experience. We can also use our innate human ability to touch, palpate and sense.

In this episode with Chip Chase we discuss the importance of down-regulating our nervous system. Along with the use of palpation and sensing references to anchor our ideas about what might be going on for a patient, and to track the progress of the treatment as it unfolds.

Additionally we touch in on the use the eight extraordinary vessels and their relation to internal cultivation, take a look at the relatively new emergence of using the divergent channels, and discuss the difference between intending and attending during the treatment process.

 

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  • What it means take qi seriously.
  • The importance of down regulating our own nervous system.
  • How action happens against a background of stillness.
  • Building a palpatory vocabulary.
  • The recent archeological find has the Dao De Jing not starting with “The Dao that can be named is not the true Dao,” but rather “First there are fluids.”
  • Dao De Jing is a Chinese book that transcends culture
  • The ways in which not-doing is not the same as not paying attention.
  • The importance of settling, suppling, integrating and opening when attending to the engagement of vitality
  • How with practice the yang qi of the body is palpable, as are the fluids.
  • The eight extraordinary vessels and internal cultivation.
  • The lack of historic reference to the channel divergences, and the relatively recent emergence of their use in clinical treatment.
  • The difference between trying to attend to the patient’s qi with our attention as opposed to our intention.

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Anything worth taking seriously is worth examining critically. If you have the courage to try to disprove your fondly held ideas, then you’ll find you arrive at the right approach more quickly.


The guest of this show 

My abiding interest is in the dynamic between clinical practice, textual analysis and palpatory experience. I’ve spent the past 30 years studying the pre-modern Chinese literature and trying to bring it to life in my practice. In the process, I’ve done a far amount of translation work, most notably the first textbook of acupuncture from 100 C.E., from 100 C.E., The Yellow Emperor’s Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Huang Di Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing) with Yang Shouzhong, and with Miki Shima, Li Shizhen’s Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao, the seminal text on the extraordinary vessels.

Textual study can be very abstract and intellectual. Palpation is a way for me to ground those heady ideas in something I can touch and feel. The first class that I took when I got out of acupuncture school in 1984 was in cranial osteopathy. It was immediately apparent to me that osteopathic palpatory sensibilities have a lot to offer the practice of Chinese medicine. I’ve been exploring that ever since, most notably in the Engaging Vitality work that Dan Bensky and Marguerite Dinkins and I have been developing. We now teach this approach in the US, Europe and Australia.

I’ve been a meditator since I was 18 and this has nurtured a long-standing interest the way that internal cultivation practices inform what I do in the clinic. The palpatory tools I’ve developed make accessible lot of material that would otherwise seem pretty abstract. That too is an ongoing area of research for me. Finally, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time alone in the back-country. That has been a life-long practice in its own right. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that it's the soil in which all these other interests have grown.

 
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Links and Resources

Engaging Vitality is a way to listen to the qi and learn to follow the intelligence of the body.
Investigating The Shape of Qi
Considerations when needling:  The Pivot of Nothingness
Merging of the Ways: Understanding Channel Divergences
A Synopsis Of The Eight Extraordinary Vessels In The Chinese Literature of Internal Cultivation

Practicing Alone In The Wild

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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