Categories
Acupuncture

Medicine From the Heart- The Practice of Saam Acupuncture • Toby Daly • Qi154

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Chinese medicine is not one medicine; it’s a kaleidoscopic plurality. There is no one true acupuncture; we have a rich ecosystem of perspectives and methods.

The trouble with learning something new is that we have let loose of our current understanding usually acquired through effort and hard work. It’s hard to release what we’ve struggled to learn. Our limited understanding of the terrain becomes our turf. It takes a certain amount of confidence in ourselves, and recognition we know we don’t know, to be able to learn something new that may contradict or call into question that which we comfortably feel like we can rely upon.

Two years ago I started learning Saam acupuncture on a hunch after reading Toby Daly’s article from the Journal of Chinese Medicine. It was at first unpleasantly mind-bending, it took me far afield of what comfortably felt like competence. It invited me into another perspective that eventually came full circle, in that it connected up some of the streams of herbal medicine that I’d been following over the years.

In this conversation, two years after my first podcast discussion with Toby, I’m able to bring a different set of questions and perspectives now that I’ve got a taste for how the Five Phases and Six Conformations connect in ways I could not previous see.

Listen into to this conversation to get a sense of lenses and perspectives of the Buddhist monastic stream of Saam acupuncture.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Michael’s experience of learning from clinical experience by having the Saam system be the teacher
  • Four points is plenty if you diagnosis is accurate
  • Each point you put in takes a little qi from the patient, because you are asking the body to do something
  • Stay with and go deep on the basic principles
  • Questions on the Kidney/Small Intestine counterbalance
  • The Kidney consolidates fire and water, and the Small Intestine disperses it
  • Balancing the entire system means everything gets a little better
  • Clinic is like a mixed martial arts fight
  • Experience helps with recognizing patterns in a reliable way
  • Treating the trauma that comes from rapid and ceaseless change
  • You can supplement the Lung to help with the sadness and grief of this time, and to help with emotional shielding you can tonify the Liver
  • Attending to excess and deficiency is a key element of making sense in the chaos of clinical
  • Rapid clinical feedback hones your diagnostic skills quickly
  • You know you’ve got some skill when you know the right times to refer out
  • Practice makes progress

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One way to tell if your treatment is correct or not is to watch the complexion on the face. If it gets white, red or blotchy, then the treatment is not right.


Toby Daly, L.Ac, P.hD
I began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. I earned a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2002 upon completion of training at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and Chengdu University in China. During my four years of training in San Francisco, I interned with Dr. Angela Wu who taught me how to apply the lofty theories I was studying in school into the pragmatic setting of a busy clinic. She also taught me how to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting! In 2013, I developed the Chinese Nutritional Strategies app to provide digital access to the wealth of Chinese dietary wisdom.

In 2016, proving once again that some people never learn, I completed a PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen.

 

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Links and Resources

Episode 45 is the first of several conversations on Saam acupuncture. 
This is the follow-up conversation that goes deeper into the character of the channels.
Andreas Bruch also studied Saam acupuncture from the scholar lineage.

 

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

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The Language of Connection

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Categories
Acupuncture

Saam Acupuncture, the Scholar Tradition • Andreas Bruch • Qi128

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The Saam tradition traces its roots back four hundred years to a monk who as part of his meditative practice received some insight into medicine that allowed him see and work simultaneously with the five phases and six conformations. But monks are not doctors, even if they can relief a lot of suffering with a few needles. And so the methods of Saam have over the years found their way into scholarly and educational traditions of Korea. To the degree that with search through Pubmed?? (Fact check this) you’ll find all kinds of modern research acupuncture using the Saam method.

Andreas Brüch has spent time in Korea and was studying Korean Hand Acupuncture. But there were some things that were just not quite making sense. That’s when he started studying Saam and all kinds of things began to fall into place. 

Listen into this conversation on the more scholarly stream of Saam Acupuncture, which can give you a whole new way to approach thinking about and using the antique transport points. 

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How Andreas got in to Saam
  • Saam 101
  • Clinical example – neck pain
  • Draining and Tonifying
  • Four needles and branch treatment
  • Knowing if the treatment is working
  • How the metal element relates to back pain
  • Considering the transport points from a Saam perspective
  • Orthodox vs Modern methods

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One of the simple and obvious single pointers I can give from my Saam background is that Spleen3 (Taibai) is not for all patients a good point to tonify Spleen Qi although it is so widely used for this purpose. According to Six Qi theory Taibai is the most dampness-promoting of all points. Such, it is contraindicated to tonify Sp3 for patients with spleen Qi deficiency who show signs of dampness observable in their constitution (overweight = damp) or in their clinical symptoms. For thin/skinny (=dry) people or patients with a normal physique it is a good point, though.


Andreas Bruch, Heilpraktiker

I work and live in Germany near the city of Muenchen. I am licensed as a “Heilpraktiker” (lit. translating as “healing practitioner”) which is the certified alternative medicine profession here. Originally, I encountered Asian philosophy, culture and health practice through the study of Taekwon-Do which I am still learning and teaching now for over 35 years. Additionally, my original academic training is a Ph.D. in psychology. In this context I researched and published on intercultural communication between Germans and Koreans and worked freelance as an intercultural trainer for overseas assignments to Korea, Japan and China. These influences eventually led me to study Asian medicine.

In 2009 I graduated from TCM school and have been operating a private clinic since then. I made regular visits to South Korea to learn Qigong and Korean medicine since 1996. Since 2015 I have been teaching Saam acupuncture in Europe. In 2017 I published the first textbook on Saam acupuncture in Germany.

Even after 10 years of experience with Saam, I am still very enthusiastic about this style. I especially like the systematic approach and the quick practical application. The climatic energies of the Six Qi and the Korean constitutional approach in Saam acupuncture give valuable, additional perspective compared to “conventional” TCM. The opposing dimensions of the Six Qi – dampness vs. dryness, heat vs. cold, the direction of wind going inwards vs. outwards – add a lot to clinical understanding in oriental medicine. Thus, Saam definitely can give you additional weaponry to fight your patients` diseases, however you must be open to aim at new targets.

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Links and Resources

Andreas is eager to share his clinical experience with Saam acupuncture. He frequently teaches courses in Europe.

You can visit Andreas’ website (in German) at www.asiatische-medizin.com.

Andreas has written a book about Saam acupuncture (in German).

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

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Categories
Qiologician Podcasts

Mistakes and Discoveries- group discussion on learning Saam acupuncture

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Mistakes and discoveries go hand in hand. And there is really no way to get it right in medicine without getting wrong on the way to getting right.

This is another in a continuing series of conversations between Toby Daly and some practitioners who are actively engaged in learning the Sa’am acupuncture method.

While we know that the practice of medicine requires of us constant study and sometimes diving into a new perspective, it is usually easier said than done.

Listen in to this conversation for some areas of uncertainty in the midst of learning a new system, and for the clinical insights that come from attentive and thoughtful practice.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Engaging the process of mistakes and discoveries
  • The clinical perspective that opens up when you connect the six confirmations with the five phases
  • The case of the high strung violinist
  • Focus and attention when needling
  • Discussing Kidney water and fire
  • Kidney consolidation vs Sm Intestine dispersing
  • Treating pain
  • Symptoms and weather changes
  • Treatment of insomnia
  • A textbook case of san jiao excess

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This is a conversation with with two previous guests of the podcast


Laura Christensen, L.Ac  
Guest of Qi033 Treating Sciatica; Unkinking the Hitch in Your Get-Along

I never planned to be an acupuncturist. My participation in this medicine evolved from curiosity about how to use safe and natural methods of healing to help people. Various events, people's comments, my own curiosity, and inner wisdom have brought me to where I am now, running a general practice clinic with an emphasis on orthopedics and pain, in Iowa City, IA

I'm afraid of thinking I've got it figured out. I know that leads to bad outcomes for our patients. We must continue to question ourselves, stay curious about the medicine, and be honest about our mistakes and shortcomings. Enthusiasm is wonderful, but now that I am an older practitioner I find more comfort in curiosity and not knowing. This makes some other practitioners uncomfortable, but I know that each health journey is unique. A big challenge is actually patient education and managing their expectations for treatment. I work hard to help patients become owners of their health journey and help them stay focused on what they can do for themselves with my assistance. As a profession we still have a huge amount of education to do, to help our patients and future patients understand what to expect from our medicine and how to gain the most from what we do.

 

Sharon Weizenbaum, L.Ac
Guest of Qi070 Stages and Cycles of Practice
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.

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.

 


Toby Daly, PhD, L.Ac

Guest of Qi045 Four Needles, Buckle Up- An introduction to Saam Acupuncture Saam – The Acupuncture of Wandering Monks
I began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. I earned a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2002 upon completion of training at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and Chengdu University in China. During my four years of training in San Francisco, I interned with Dr. Angela Wu who taught me how to apply the lofty theories I was studying in school into the pragmatic setting of a busy clinic. She also taught me how to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting!

In 2013, I developed the Chinese Nutritional Strategies app to provide digital access to the wealth of Chinese dietary wisdom. In 2016, proving once again that some people never learn, I completed a PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen.

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Categories
Qiologician Podcasts

Further Discussion on Learning Saam Acupuncture

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It is always hard at the beginning. It's difficult to learn to see and move in the world in ways that feel foreign and uncomfortable. We like to feel like we know what we're doing. We want to be of service to our patients and help in the best ways possible. And when learning something new it brings back all the discomfort of anytime we have had to grow into a larger version of ourselves.

This is another conversation with a couple of practitioners and Toby Daly on learning to use the Saam method in their daily clinical work.

Really, the only way to learn the work is to do the work. And it really helps to have the perspective of someone who has a little bit more experience.

Listen in to this conversation as practitioners puzzle through adding this method to their clinical repertoire.

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Kristin Wisgirda
My interest in Chinese Medicine started from the herbal side while I was laboring on organic, small scale farms. Being too lazy to learn Chinese and trek to China, I enrolled at PCOM San Diego in 1995, and was delighted to discover to learn that I love acupuncture too.

The teachers and mentors that have shaped my practice include Sharon Weizenbaum, Kiiko Matsumoto, Dr Wang Ju-Yi, Dr Yitian Ni, Chip Chase, Dan Bensky, JJ Hadlock and now Toby Daly. I am grateful for their patience and generosity. 
 
Direct feedback from patients has been my greatest teacher of all. Helping my patients to attend to and communicate their actual experience makes for the most rewarding clinical encounter:  I learn how to engage the qi more effectively and patients get better results.
 
 

Tim McGee
My roots of being an East Asian Medical Practitioner lie in my previous profession of organic and biodynamic farming. For ten years my livelihood revolved around working with the land and its rhythms, bringing me a sense of well-being and health. Farming healed me in profound ways and opened my eyes, and heart, to the importance of working with natural rhythms. I have found that East Asian Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, exercise, nutrition, and Qi gong) provides a map for working holistically with those rhythms.

My wife and I own and operate a clinic in Everett, WA. In my freetime I try to get my hands in the earth as much as possible. I grow medicinal herbs, vegetables, fruits, and am learning about our native Northwest herbs

 

 

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Links and Resources:

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Categories
Acupuncture

New Year Reflections, The Practice of Practice And A Look At The Small Intestine That You’ve Probably Not Considered • Michael Max • Qi065

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Ahhh, the new year.

A moment in time to reflect on the path recently traveled and what’s up around that bend in the road.

This is a solo show reflecting on some of the podcast highlights of the past year, a glimpse into some things already on the calendar in the coming year. Along with my clinical observations about using the Sa’am acupuncture method in clinical practice, how it has helped me to better understand the connections between the 六經, the six levels and the 五行, the five phases, and some thoughts on the forgotten fu organ in TCM— the small intestine.

 

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In This Episode We Discuss:

  • A look back at 2018
  • What to look forward to in 2019
  • Thoughts on business and marketing
  • Watch out of complaining, it does not help
  • Find ways to show your generousity without discounting your prices
  • Personal reflections on learning and using the Sa’am method
  • The six levels and five phases are not separate ways of viewing the body
  • The fu organs carry just as much weight and influence as the yin organs
  • We have learned to see the six levels through the lens of pathology, but rarely consider their use from the perspective of health and proper physiological functioning
  • Starting simple helps you gain clarity
  • Careful attention to tonification and sedation is vital in this working with this method
  • Use your current methods and diagnostic markers in accessing your treatments
  • Some case studies

 

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Links and Resources

Join us at the Shen Nong Conference
Toby's Chinese Nutritional Strategies App has your phone doing the heavy lifting of coming up with food therapy lists for your patients
Learn Saam Acupuncture, we have ongoing classes and other opportunities to learn

 

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

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Categories
Qiologician Podcasts

Clinical Questions on Saam Acupuncture: Group Discussion

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In this conversation we have a couple of practitioners who have listened to Toby’s podcasts on Sa’am acupuncture and read his article from the Journal of Chinese Medicine ask questions based on their experience of using this perspective in their clinical work. 

This not a discussion of theory, but rather clinical applications from practitioners who are engaging the method. 

If you are starting to work with the Sa’am method, or thinking about it, you’ll appreciate this nuts and bolts discussion with Sasha Kremer and Nkosi Pierre-Kafele.

 

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Categories
Acupuncture

Saam – The Acupuncture of Wandering Monks • Toby Daly • Qi045

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Learning the basics of promoting or controlling the flow of qi  through the Five Phases is an elemental part of every acupuncturist's training . We learn how the antique points can be used to nudge a response or invite a different kind of resonance into a patient's life. 

The Korean Saam acupuncture tradition has been passed down through a lineage of monk/practitioners. It not only uses  “wu xing” elemental qi transfer, but additionally blends it together with the the six confirmations, yin/yang organ resonance, the yi jing, and constitutional body types.

If you think that acupuncture done well is transformative, but if less skillfully applied will simply do nothing, then you'll want to listen in to this conversation and hear how our guest really took someone off the rails with four thin needles. 

Powerful things can happen with this style of acupuncture and correct diagnosis is essential. Listen in and get the basics on how to begin learning this powerful method that will not only help you to help your patients, but help you better connect up what seemed like different theoretical perspectives.

 

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In This Episode We Discuss:

  • How Toby was introduced to Saam acupuncture
  • A brief history of the Saam lineage
  • A case sciatica going down the back of the leg to clarify the principles of treatment
  • The organs are paired in a different way than you might usually think
  • You are going all in with these treatments, so your diagnosis has to be spot on
  • Using tonification and dispersion
  • Generally speaking, it is better to add something by tonification of the deficient meridian
  • There is a lot you can learn from a person’s posture, because posture can’t be faked
  • Treating allergic rhinitis
  • A reminder that clear diagnosis is essential
  • Watch for if a patient is passive or aggressive
  •  The jueyin / shaoyang connection
  • Correcting your errors when you’ve tonified the wrong channel

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“Experts at curing disease are inferior to specialists who warn against diseases. Experts in the use of medicines are inferior to those who recommend proper diet”   Zhi Chen, 11th century 


I began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. I earned a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2002 upon completion of training at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and Chengdu University in China.

During my four years of training in San Francisco, I interned with Dr. Angela Wu who taught me how to apply the lofty theories I was studying in school into the pragmatic setting of a busy clinic. She also taught me how to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting! In 2013, I developed the Chinese Nutritional Strategies app to provide digital access to the wealth of Chinese dietary wisdom. In 2016, proving once again that some people never learn, I completed a PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen. 

 

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Links and Resources

Here is a copy of Toby's article on using Saam Acupuncture from the Journal of Chinese Medicine
There are not many books on Saam Acupuncture, this one is a good start

There is a “part two” over on the Qiologician page for contributing subscribers. In that conversation we get into the “archetypes” of the organs, and Toby helps Michael to sort out some of problems that he's run into while learning to apply Saam acupuncture in his clinical practice.

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

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Categories
Qiologician Podcasts

Puzzling Through Saam Acupuncture – Questions, Clinic Cases, Organ Archetypes and Getting Out of Hot Water

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This “part two” conversation with Toby Daly came about because I've been trying to learn the Saam system of acupuncture as he detailed it a recent Journal of Chinese Medicine article. 
 
In that process I've had some surprising good results, as well as a few cases that I really took in the wrong direction. 
Toby points out, when you get it wrong, it's really wrong and you'll know pretty quickly. Unless you're still fairly new at it and not yet tuned into the warning signs of trouble. 
 
This discussion comes from my own clinic experience with trying to learn the diagnostics and how to tune my clinical thinking. 
Toby really makes the Saam perspective come alive with relevant clinical examples as he helps me to “correct my errors in the forest of medicine.”
 
If you have an interest in employing this powerful method of acupuncture, pull out a notebook and pen, because you are going to want to take notes!

 

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Images and symbols to help navigate the channels
  • Archetypes of the organ systems
  • Climatic resonance of the organs/channels
  • A helpful clinical rule of thumb is tonify the deficient channel. Add that they don’t have or are lacking. 
  • How to recognize and reverse a mistake in treatment

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”About The Guest” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ _i=”2″ _address=”1.0.0.2″]

I began studying Chinese medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. I earned a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2002 upon completion of training at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and Chengdu University in China.

During my four years of training in San Francisco, I interned with Dr. Angela Wu who taught me how to apply the lofty theories I was studying in school into the pragmatic setting of a busy clinic. She also taught me how to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting! In 2013, I developed the Chinese Nutritional Strategies app to provide digital access to the wealth of Chinese dietary wisdom. In 2016, proving once again that some people never learn, I completed a PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffery Yuen.

 

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