Categories
Herbal Medicine

Cycles of Transformation- Tang Ye Jing and Women’s Health • Genevieve Le Goff • Qi175

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Chinese medicine has a treasure house of methods and treatment for women’s health. From the work of Sun Si Miao to modern day practitioners women’s health has been a key concern in our medicine.

In this conversation with Genevieve Le Goff we explore the transformations of qi through the five phases and six confirmations as we discuss Fu Xing Jue and the mythic lost text, Tang Ye Jing.

Listen in to this discussion of women’s health and some ways of thinking about our medicine from a non-modern perspective.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Submerging the yang
  • Making sense of things in time and space
  • How the Tang Ye Jing fits in with other classics and treatises
  • Being your own devil’s advocate
  • Treating menstrual pain
  • Don’t confuse the transformations of the five phases with the transformations of the six conformations
  • The Shaoyin pivot
  • Sovereign and ministerial fire

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Genevieve Le Goff, L.A., is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. She practices an ancient form of Chinese medicine that has its roots in the Classical Era of Chinese history (Han dynasty and prior). 

​Classical Chinese medicine views the human body as a microcosm of the universe. Therefore the health of the planet is inseparable from ours. In keeping with the highest precepts of the classical Chinese medical canons, a good doctor seeks to understand physiology in an ecological fashion, and to honor the roots of these insights by the observation and protection of natural rhythms.

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Environmental Studies & Ecology, and the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences with a MS in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Genevieve received special training in midwifery and gynecology, as well as extensive post-graduate training in Classical Herbal Formulation from the Institute of Classical East-Asian Medicine. This formulation system is in the lineage of Tian (Bawei) Heming, who practiced in the tradition of Zhang Zhong Jing's Shang Han Za Bing Lun. She is constantly engaged in research and study to further her ability to help her patients, and is now pursuing a second post-graduate degree at the Hunyuan Institute.

 

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Categories
Herbal Medicine

What Acupuncturists Need to Know About CBD • Chloe Weber • Qi174

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CBD is a big deal these days. Is it really the panacea that is constantly being sold to us? How does this substance and cannabis in general fit in with our thinking in terms of Chinese medicine? How do we separate the wishful thinking from fact, and how do we know what constitutes a reliable and pure product from those of inferior grade?

In this conversation with Chloe Weber we investigate CBD from the perspective of Chinese medicine practitioner.

Listen in to this conversation CBD, cannabis medicine and how Chinese medicine practitioners can think about how to integrate this medicinal into their thinking and practices.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How to know you’re getting a quality product
  • CBD isolate vs full-spectrum extracts
  • Differences between cannabis and hemp
  • CBD and the gut biome
  • Role of terpitens 
  • Contraindications and drug reactions
  • Differentiating indica and sativa
  • Using CBD with Chinese herbs

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Clinic tip here​


I developed an interest in public health and medicine after being diagnosed with Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in high school. As one of the first cases diagnosed in Costa Rica, I was drawn to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder where I began to understand how diseases evolve along with us and the deep connection between humans and our environment. Eventually, I was drawn to Chinese medicine as a way to address public health issues. I received my Masters of Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder and spent time studying at Heilongjiang University Hospital in Harbin, China.

After graduating, I followed my heart and co-founded a non-profit sliding-scale walk-in Chinese herb clinic called Urban Herbs. Running the clinic I was able to see just how beautifully Chinese herbs translate from culture to culture and how essential it is to make our medicine affordable and accessible. Shortly after starting the clinic, my son Remy was diagnosed with an incredibly rare genetic disorder called STXBP1. I dropped everything and Remy and I began our epic adventures in neurohacking.

Working with Remy has lead me to extensively study integrative and developmental neurology and functional medicine and has motivated me to find ways to help children with neuro-developmental issues and epilepsy. While Remy and I both felt better with the many hemp extract oils that they tried, nothing stopped Remy's seizures. As an herbalist I knew I could create a stronger formula to help those with seizures, joined forces with Bart, and Radical Roots was born! In order to help further support other families with loved ones with Neurological disorders, I recently launched a resource website remysrevenge.com and will be launching a podcast around neuroplasticity in the new year!.

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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”

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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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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Filler

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Categories
Acupuncture Herbal Medicine

Five Movements and Six Qi • Sharon Weizenbaum • Qi160

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We often consider the Five Phases when doing acupuncture, and the Six Conformations when treating our patients with herbal medicine.

In this Part Two conversation with Sharon Weizenbaum  we consider the interplay of “wu yun, liu qi” the five movements and six climatic qi from the perspective of diagnosis and understanding not just what problem a patient has, but also its progression through time.

Listen in to this discussion on understanding the cycles and interplay of yin and yang that will help you to better understand why a patient’s illness has manifest and how to use both the movement of the phases and the influence of the conformations to treat illness and help your patients.

 

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The classics are a way to shift your worldview
  • The way the Shang Han Lun is organized is part of the information it has to transmit
  • The importance of tracking the Yang
  • The Nei Jing is about understand physiology through numbers
  • The five phases is about seeing what is happening now, the six jing is about seeing how problems arise and potentially resolve
  • The wu yun liu qi is about time/space motion
  • Zang-fu diagnosis is helpful, but it’s static, it does tell you about the dynamic of the organs with the fluids and blood
  • Tracking the yang through open-close-pivot
  • Diagnosis are more reveled than discovered, when you see clearly how things ares
  • A case of leukemia treated with Bai Hu Tang
  • Blood stasis is always a branch
  • Problems of yin conformations is the failure to store, problems of yang conformations are the failure to move through
  • It’s not so much about trapped pathogens, but more about the body not functioning properly
  • The six conformations are not layers, they are a circular flow
  • Lu Li Hong’s Classical Chinese Medicine

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I can hardly believe that it’s been 38 years since I heard about Chinese medicine and caught the bug. Little did I know that I would never recover from my intense involvement in this endlessly interesting medicine. The path of Chinese medicine, for me, has been sleuth-like and consequently circuitous. Though I didn’t know it at the time, graduating for acupuncture school left me with crude tools for healing. There were gaps in my ability to see into a patient’s pathology clearly and to effectively help. What am I not seeing? How do I see more clearly so I can be more effective? I had a fundamental assumption that the fault was not in the heart of Chinese medicine itself. It was in my access to the heart of it and in my ability to really GET it.

So began a journey into the Chinese language, extraordinary teachers and the classics of Chinese medicine, always with the questions as my guides: What am I not seeing? How do I see more clearly so I can be more effective? I was lucky to be able to study with two super smart Chinese medical ob-gyn doctors in mainland China, Dr. Qiu Xiao-mei and Dr. Cheng Yu-Feng.

Then, The discovery of the depth of the Shang Han Za Bing Lun and its relationship to the Nei Jing and Tang Ye Jing, was a landslide event in my journey, permanently implementing a process that, to this day, clears my clinical vision. Through my own reading and studying, and through the help of teachers like Dr. Huang Huang, Fu Yan-Ling, Feng Shi-Lun, Arnaud Versluys, Edward Neal and soon-to-be Yu Guo-Jun, the path unfolds.

Throughout, I have not been a follower or disciple of a particular tradition. I like to be attuned to what makes sense to me. I like to learn and be aware of what resonates, clarifies, opens up knowledge and what feels limited, contrived, heady or unhelpful. I encourage this process in my students because ultimately, all of us have to make this medicine our own, learn, receive and enact it in a way that speaks deeply to us and gives us those “oh I SEE” moments with our best teachers, our patients.

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Calm Shen, Clear Focus

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Categories
Acupuncture Herbal Medicine

Voices of Our Medical Ancestors- Using the classic texts in modern practice • Leo Lok • Qi159

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We give a great amount of respect to the Classics in Chinese medicine, but understanding these foundational texts of our medicine can be challenge, even if you do understand the old form of Chinese.

Just as many of struggle to get through the brilliance of Shakespeare, the classics of Chinese medicine require a particular kind of attention. And it doesn't hurt if you actually can understand the “gu wen” classical Chinese language. It's even more helpful if you engaged the other classic literature of China from an early age.

Our guest in this episode Leo Lok did just that, and in this conversation we see how terse lines from the classics can speak eloquently to confusing cases in the modern clinic.

Listen in and get a glimpse at how the classics can be applied to difficult clinical cases. You'll be wanting to spend more time with the Su Wen (Simple Questions) after this!

 

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Show Highlights

  • The classic Chinese literature and its influence
  • Modern mind and its perception of the ancient world
  • Using images to bring more understanding of the philosophy/non material things
  • Case discussion, Paleo and banana diet
  •  How to better understand the context of concepts, like children learning language through emotion response to scenarios
  • Case discussion, sprained finger and healthy diet
  • Case discussion, some trouble with breathing
  • Suggestions to listeners to get better understanding of the classic
  • How the classics can be a bit dry and how we can put the juice back into it
  • Connecting the ancient texts to modern experience

The guest of this show 

Leo Lok L.Ac. (M.Ac.O.M) is a licensed practitioner of Chinese Medicine and has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He is also the creator of “Voices of Our Medical Ancestors” (www.facebook.com/cma.Voices), a Facebook page that highlights the vast historical treasures of Chinese medical literature via multimedia presentations.

An avid contributor of the 4500-member group: “Scholars of Chinese Medicine“, Leo has helped researched and answered more than a thousand questions on the historical development, interpretations and translations of Chinese medical topics for colleagues worldwide.

 


Links and Resources

Visit the Voices of Our Medical Ancestors over on Facebook.

 

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The Classical Medicine You Love

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Categories
Acupuncture Herbal Medicine

Following Balance and Flow • Jake Fratkin • Qi155

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It is surprising where life can take us. We follow a hunch or a nudge and somehow gain some momentum that in time generates wind for our sails.

Not many westerners in the 1970’s started along the road of Chinese medicine. In this long ranging conversation with Jake Fratkin we discuss his perspectives over time and his current thoughts on medicine.

Listen in for a conversation about herbs, TCM, Japanese acupuncture and the curious road of practice that unfolds when you follow your interests.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Always interested in medicine, but then ran into the biology vs chemistry perspectives
  • An unusual encounter with qi
  • The connections between meridian therapy, qi gong an taichi
  • How TCM acupuncture differs from meridian therapy
  • The Nan Jing’s influence on how Jake thinks about acupuncture
  • How deficiency and excess relate to other and why tonifying a deficiency can correct an excess
  • Acupuncture points are more than a location, there is also a directionality
  • Working with muscle testing
  • Pathology and treatment of the divergent channels, eight extras and the regular channels

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When confronted with a patient with a long history of multiple complaints, determine what is excess and what is deficiency. Always treat the excess first: move qi and blood, calm the affected zang-fu organ. Don't start with deficiency. Don't throw tonic herbs just because the patient is tired. This will only aggravate the stagnation. Treat deficiency much later. And if in doubt where to begin, treat the liver first. Remove stasis of qi and blood, clear heat, moisten yin and boost blood.


I started clinical practice in 1978. That's over 40 years! Yikes. There were no acupuncture schools when I started. I apprenticed with a Korean master for 7 years, in Chicago. He practiced meridian therapy, and and felt that all health problems can be fixed by “balancing the meridians!”. Later, I apprenticed with two herbalists, one a Chinatown doctor from Hong Kong, the other a well-trained TCM doctor from Lanzhou, China. I was fascinated by the colorful boxes of the patent medicines in the Chinatown pharmacy, and I wrote my first book on Chinese patent medicines in 1986. In 2001, that book got expanded into “Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines”, and then that book got completely rewritten in 2014 as “Essential Chinese Formulas”, concentrating on the GMP available products. It combined traditional indications, with commentaries from my own personal experience. I love this last book, it has so much practical information! I spent a year in Chinese hospitals studying herbal medicine in 1987-1988, which really developed my clinical skills, and then I taught herbal medicine since 1982 at various TCM colleges in the US, and to graduate seminars. In clinic, I specialize in internal disorders, respiratory, GI, pediatrics, and infections.

As for acupuncture, I still subscribe to the meridian balancing method as developed by Japanese practitioners. Currently I use a computerized meridian diagnostic program. I have synthesized the work of Yoshio Manaka, Shudo Denmai, and Miki Shima into the “3-Level Acupuncture Protocol”, which I discuss on my website. This is a great approach for internal disorders, immune enhancement, and stress reduction. I do not do much musculoskeletal work. My acupuncture approach is related to my qi gong practice, which I have followed even before my acupuncture studies. In conclusion, I am a great believer that East Asian medicine is far superior to Western medicine for most outpatient conditions, and I am so happy that you are also pursuing one of the many available pathways of our medicine and art.

 

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Links and Resources

Articles written by Jake:
Three Level Acupuncture Protocol
Using muscle testing in meridian therapy
Other articles and topics

Recommended reading:
Chinese Herbal Medicine: The Formulas of Dr. John Shen
A Walk Along the River: Transmitting a Medical Lineage through Case Records and Discussion

 

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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Medicine From the Heart

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Coupling precision inquiry with embodied presence to enhance patient outcomes

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Categories
Herbal Medicine

Tracing the Wind Part II, Implementing a Research Study for Covid19- Practical Application • Qi152

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The Chinese say 活到老學到老 hou dao lao, xue dao lao, which can be translated as “continue learning for as long as you live.” It’s good advice, and when it comes to the practice of medicine, it’s essential. Our work gives us an endless opportunity to learn and deepen our understanding.

In this conversation with Kathy Taromina, Craig Mitchell and Dan Bensky we discuss what they have been learning about using Chinese herbal medicine in responding to the symptoms of Covid-19, as they carry out a study that is being done at the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine.

Doctors of the past have left us a treasure trove of ideas and clinical strategies for treating epidemic illness and all of these methods are coming into play in our modern world, as we learn more about how the Coronavirus affects different people.

Listen into this conversation on how experienced herbalists are learning from the wide range of presentations that are showing up in the clinic. And how you can access the information that is being collected from this study for your own learning and use in the treatment of infectious illness.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How the treatments are done and the challenges of telemedicine
  • The full range of infectious illness models is showing up with Covid19
  • Dampness is an element that seems to tie together disparate symptoms
  • Apparently there are some issues with blood stasis with Covid
  • Studying Chinese medicine on Chinese medicine’s terms
  • The importance of differentiating pattern and differentiating disease
  • Chinese medicine is not industrial medicine
  • All methods of medicine are noticing that Covid causes serious problems with the fluids
  • It’s important to keep close tabs on your Covid patients, things can change quickly
  • One of the issues with using Chinese medicine is that we don’t fit so well in a factory/industrial world
  • Telemedicine can give us the opportunity to treat more infectious illness and get better at it
  • We need to be more prepared in terms of treating infectious illness
  • Learning to treat infectious illness is something that is within any practitioner’s grasp
  • Before the 1930’s any Chinese medicine herbalist worth their salt could treat infectious disease
  • Recovery is a problem for many people
  • Surprising things can happen with telemedicine. 

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Katherine Taromina, DACM, L.Ac
 Katherine is the Academic Dean and faculty for the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine (SIEAM).  She has been in clinical practice since 1998, practicing in both private practice and hospital-based settings.  

After 20 years of studying and eventually specializing in treating adults and children with cancer both on-therapy and into survivorship, she now teaches advanced classes and continuing education for practicing acupuncturists on topics relating to Chinese medicine as supportive care for cancer patients.  

Kathy is also a clinical researcher with an interest in the conducting clinical trials that will expand patient access to East Asian Medicine.

Craig Mitchell, P.hD, L.Ac
Craig Mitchell received a Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco (1993). Craig completed his PhD from the China Academy of TCM (Beijing) in 2006. He has written numerous articles and translated several Chinese medical texts, including On Cold Damage: Translation and Commentaries. Craig has been in private practice since 1993 and has been actively teaching since 1997. He is the President of the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine, where he is also a clinic supervisor and teacher. Since 1997, Craig has taught classes on Chinese herbal medicine, internal medicine, medical Chinese, acupuncture techniques, and tuina.

 

Dan Bensky, D.O.
I’ve been interested in things East Asian since I was a boy and stumbled into Traditional East Asian Medicine [TEAM] by chance in the early 1970’s. At the time it was not only very hard to find a place to study, it was even hard to know what or how to study. This sense of wonder has stayed with me for the past 45 years. My experiences, in Taiwan, Japan, China and the US have shown me that the greatest thing about this medicine is that it has so many tools that aid in being open to paying attention to and helping our patients on a multitude of levels. Similarly, engagement with the medicine demands that we dive into the traditions without being stuck in them so that we can connect to and be a part of them. I have been helped along this path when, again by chance, I became interested in osteopathic medicine in the late 1970’s and had the good fortune to go to Michigan State University where I was able to work with some amazing teachers. It became quickly obvious to me that TEAM and osteopathy were complementary on many, many levels and I’ve been working on integrating them and attempting to understand how each illuminates the other ever since.

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Filler

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Intro to Saam

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Categories
Acupuncture Herbal Medicine

Chinese Medicine & Covid19- The Perspective From China • Shelley Ochs & Thomas Garran • Qi151

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The Chinese and people of East Asia deal with epidemic disease on a regular basis. And every time a new bug comes to town, they learn a little more.

While we in the west have access to some of the classic materials on treating epidemics, we don’t have the same level experience. It’s not really our fault, epidemics don’t roll through here in the west as often, and even during the cold and flu season most people don’t seek us out first. So our skills are not as polished as we’ve not had the experience to hone our clinical skills.

In this speical edition conversation with Thomas Avery Garran and Shelley Ochs we discuss their new eBook on Chinese medicine and Covid-19.

Listen in to this conversation on how the Chinese are using traditional medicine at a scale we simply don’t see here in the west.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Introduction and How Shelly and Thomas ended up in Beijing
  • Working on their book about growing herbs
  • How did they write the COVID book
  • How to treat millions of people with herbs
  • How did those on the front lines stay healthy?
  • Are China’s numbers accurate?
  • Treating patients as they should be treated
  • Shelby and Thomas’s thoughts on the future of Covid and possible future waves
  • Important steps for immunity in Chinese medicine
  • Adjusting to treating during a pandemic
  • What have you learned from doing this book?

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Always listen to your patients with a empathetic and compassionate heart. Be willing to make a mistake, and more importantly, be willing to admit it and learn from it. We are all practicing.


Thomas Avery Garran, P.hD
I've been at this herbal medicine thing since I bought my first herb book in 1989 while traveling to California. Not long after that, I found Chinese medicine and instantly fell in love. I've never looked back and now integrate my initial love of herbs with Chinese medicine, which can be found in my first two books about using Western herbs in Chinese medicine (2008 & 2014). In fact, my PhD work here in China was a comparative study of history, genetics, and chemistry of European motherwort and Chinese motherwort.

I believe that the system of Chinese medicine is awesome and beautiful, and evolving. I enjoy learning about how others have interpreted our medicine's theory and find the study of how plant usage has changed over time fascinating and insightful. These are the pillars that inform me when I write a prescription; the understanding of how the theories and application of medicinals has evolved and must continue to do so to stay relevant.

In recent years I've become more involved with farming herbs including the practical and research aspects of that profession, which has captured my heart; the translation of Growing Chinese Herbs (2019) was a step to begin to bring authentic cultivation information to the English reader. While I continue to study and write about application of herbs, I have shifted a significant amount of energy to the production of our medicinal plants, from seed to finished product. This, I believe, is a major part of Chinese medicine that is missing outside of China and I am working to change that even as you read this.

 

Trust your sensory perceptions. We encounter patients with all of our faculties and being open to the full range of information they give us makes us the best practitioners we can be.


Shelley Ochs, Ph.D.
My first encounter with Chinese medicine was as a patient in Taizhong, Taiwan back in 1989 when a friend of mine strongly suggested I go to see his Chinese herbalist to help me with the recurring upper respiratory tract infections I was suffering from. The herbs worked like a charm and I was so impressed that I made him my family doctor from then on. That same friend later attended my graduation from ACTCM in San Francisco in 2000.

Before and after graduation, I was very fortunate to be able to work in free or low-cost clinics serving anyone who walked in the door, often including homeless people and those with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and drug addiction. I learned what acupuncture can do when it’s all you have. It was heart-wrenching work at times, but what I learned there about being a doctor is still with me today.

It’s been thirty years since I first began studying Chinese, and it’s led me through literature and politics to medicine, and finally to history and translation studies. My initial motivation was simply a desire to better understand the people who were a part of the dynamic culture and society of Taiwan in the early 90s. Later, as I entered the stream of classical Chinese medicine, I wanted to know how we might participate in a conversation with the recorded tradition that still informs and inspires many of our colleagues and teachers. I hope that my current work will help bring people who do not read Chinese into a more meaningful engagement with this living tradition.

In 2013 I completed a Ph.D. in the History of Chinese Medicine, focusing on what the legend of Bian Que tells us about cosmology and the origins of acupuncture in China. I plan to expand this now that more material has been excavated and write it up in English. More immediately, I am collaborating with others here in Beijing to translate texts that are both clinically and philosophically relevant to practitioners around the world.

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Links and Resources

Download and read Chinese Medicine & Covid19, and donate to help support the work.

Visit Thomas' Passiflora Press website for more information on the growing, research and production of Chinese herbs 

 

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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Categories
Herbal Medicine

Tracing the Wind- Designing and Implementing a Study on the Treatment of Symptoms from Possible Covid19 with Chinese Herbal Medicine • Lisa Taylor-Swanson & Lisa Conboy • Qi145

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The scientific method is useful. It helps us to better understand the world by screening out our biases, beliefs and wishful thinking. The process of crafting a good hypothesis begins not with a great question, but first the more yin process of observation. Seeing what is present, and from there we can begin to distill out questions worth asking.

Much of traditional research is not that helpful in understanding Chinese medicine, as our medicine does not lend itself to the binary world of double blind studies. Our medicine requires research methodologies that can handle emergent dynamic systems. And lucky for us, those models exist and one of the researchers who is keen on these models also happens to be a Chinese medicine practitioner.

In this special podcast episode researchers Lisa Taylor-Swanson and Lisa Conboy share with us the design of a study that is currently being carried at the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine on the treatment of symptoms that may be related to Covid19 disease using Chinese Herbal Medicine. This study is geared toward collecting data that will help to guide further research. It’s a study that considers Chinese medicine on its own terms. And this study’s design principles are not unlike the principles of our medicine.

Listen in for a look at how this study is being structured, and then check back in a few weeks as we’ll have a conversation with the practitioners at SIEAM who are treating patients and collecting the data.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Gaps in evidence base of knowledge
  • Researching Chinese medicine on Chinese medicine’s terms
  • Using pragmatic design
  • Need for clear observation before deciding what questions to ask
  • Truth vs Emergence
  • Information is alive
  • Empathy and observation
  • Is there a perfect state of health?
  • How the SIEAM study is constructed and what we are looking for
  • Emergence and living systems are inherently unpredictable
  • The exqusite beauty of a big dataset
  • Who we ask, how we ask and cultural assumptions

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Lisa Taylor-Swanson, Ph.D, L.Ac
 I am a happy geek who has fallen in love with both clinical practice and with research. Let me tell you a bit about each part of my career, and how they connect with one another. I started out as an undergrad investigating mother-infant communication. At about age 21, I discovered dynamic systems theory. That theory pretty much sums up how I see, think, and feel. It's the idea that the whole is not merely the sum of its parts and that to best understand any phenomenon, we must study the whole. It was a natural fit, then, for me to study traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) given the holistic framework we use to diagnose and treat people. It was with this whole systems, whole person framework that I moved from Utah to Washington to study at Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine.

Research is fun. It is creative, generative, and dynamic. I am interested in discovering how we can more fully experience our body – embodiment, or embodied self-awareness – and live less in our heads.

We are inherently social beings and that social context, re-created in healthy and nurturing clinical contexts, supports embodiment and being present in one's lived experience. My research is investigating these topics, and a few others. I've been so incredibly fortunate to complete at PhD at the University of Washington and most recently join the faculty at the University of Utah (my undergraduate alma mater!). I'm one of a couple of handfuls of acupuncturist-researchers and I'm happy to live my dreams.


Lisa Conboy, Sc.D
Lisa is a social epidemiologist and a sociologist with an interest in the associations between social factors and health. 

She is published in the areas of Women's Health, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and qualitative research methodology. An Instructor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, she is also the research director and faculty at the New England School of Acupuncture where she teaches research methodology and oversees multiple projects. 

She is also a founding member of the Kripalu research collaborative which examines the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga, meditation,

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Categories
Acupuncture Herbal Medicine

Treating Hashimoto’s with Chinese Medicine • Heidi Lovie • Qi139

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You’ve probably seen patients who are on thyroid medication and the numbers are “fine” according the their conventional doctor, but they just don’t feel right. We know from our experience as practitioners that often our patients are deeply frustrated because they’ve been through thousands of dollars of testing and yet they are told “there is nothing wrong with you.” But the truth of situation more often is “we have not been able to find the source of the problem your having.”

In this conversation with Heidi Lovie we taken a deep enough dive into the hormonal interactions of the thyroid that you’ll be able to better understand the numbers on a thyroid panel. And we then flip into how Chinese medicine, especially the ideas of Li Dong Yuan, can help you to make a substantial difference in your patient’s life.

Understanding the story that certain key factors of the bloodwork tell along with the methods and perspectives of Chinese medicine can make a big difference in the life your Hashimoto’s patients. Listen in and find out how!

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • An experience with acupuncture changed how Heidi felt about her thyroid issues
  • The Synthyroid Racket
  • The Liver and Spleen play a huge role in thyroid issues
  • Li Dong Yuan nailed it, his methods from the Pi Wei Lun are very helpful in treating thyroid disease
  • Chronic systemic inflammation is a major factor to address, and setting the Earth phase healthy is critical
  • Getting the right blood work is important and also knowing how to read it
  • A typical Hashimoto’s profile
  • Hashimoto’s is primarily a taxation issue
  • A clinical look at two women who seem the same, but aren’t
  • The MUTHR variation and what it means to your Hashimoto’s patient
  • Nothing gets better if the methylation/detox pathways are congested
  • A look at the role of antibodies
  • Why gluten is such a big problem
  • Guasha for the throat and back of the neck

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The Hashi game is all about the anti-bodies; so test, and test often. The three biggest ways to play that game are:

 

•  Go gluten free

•  Clear or calm any Gu (i.e. gut critters, EBV, Lyme’s, Cytomegalovirus, candida, etc)

•  Acupuncture, tui-na, and gua-sha the neck every time you get your hands on the patient to clear out any soft scar tissue caused by anti-bodies so that the thyroid has some breathing room.


Heidi Lovie, L.Ac

My patients are my teachers, my inspiration, and my heart. They are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Their stories move me to tears and make me a better person. Being human is hard. Our bodies and minds, which are designed to provide an experience for our spirit, come with so many issues. But watching my patients navigate, overcome, and conquer their issues heals my own my broken humanness. I can’t imagine a better job.

I believe that the best Chinese medicine practitioners know acupuncture is a last resort. That true healing happens when blind spots are illuminated and that my job is to act as a sherpa guiding people towards the best version of themselves using Chinese medicine as the guiding light. Something transformative and magical happens when people are self empowered, given knowledge, and prescribed resources to take outside the treatment room.

You can find the full back-story to my adventures with Hashimoto's and what brought me into Chinese medicine here.

 

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Links and Resources

How To: Quick tutorial Heidi did with author, Phoebe Lapine, on how to gua-sha for Hashimoto's.
Book Recommendations: The sequence of books Heidi usually recommends for people in terms of Hashi readings:

 

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

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