Classics

The Development of Wind Aetiology in Chinese Medicine: Part I and II

By Acupuncture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine, Neuromusculoskelatal

Historically, the demon wind resided in caves, tunnels, or valleys created by Pan Gu as he emerged from the egg (ancient China’s version of the big bang theory) (Zhang and Rose 1995). These caves, tunnels and valleys are also used in acupuncture literature to designate points in the skin through which qi is able to penetrate the body (as well as flow out) and at which it is appropriate to apply needles in order to influence the inner qi (Unschuld 1985)…

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The Sinew (Tendino-Muscular) Meridians

By Acupuncture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Neuromusculoskelatal

The Sinew meridians are called Jing Jin. The character Jin represents something forceful, bamboo, inside the body. That is it is the power of the muscles, which like bamboo are striated and have regular intervals, knots. The Sinew meridians can be seen as muscles regions which can be tapped into at the knots, just like bamboo can be cut at the knots, and which provide the animation/rhythm of muscular movement….

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Channel Palpation

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

While traditional pulse palpation is observation of the internal environment through the medium of blood vessels, channel palpation may be thought of as diagnosis through observation of interstitial fluid pathways.  Classical physicians believed that the openings and spaces one feels when palpating the channels not only make up a crucial part of physiology, but can also reflect the state of internal organs…

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Wu Wei Zi: A Great Herb, A Little Caution

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine

Wu wei zi and ganjiang are similar in temperature but have opposing properties. Wu wei zi acts to retain and collect fluids. It retains lung qi and enhances the kidneys’ ability to receive lung qi (納氣 naqi). While wu wei zi is warm, ganjiang is hot and spicy. Wu wei zi’s nature is stillness; ganjiang’s is movement. Thus ganjiang acts to disperse cold and flush out phlegm and fluids from the lungs while invigorating the spleen and…

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Opening Through Stasis

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis, Women's Health

If we think of the Ren vessel/Bao Tai as a tubular pathway extending from the upper body (Heart and chest) to the womb, physiologically, this tube provides the route for the Heart fire to descend to warm the womb and for the Kidney water to ascend to control, moisten and cool the Heart.  This pathway allows the communication and interaction of fire and water between the upper Jiao and womb…

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Gu Syndrome: Treating Chronic Inflammatory Disease with Chinese Herbs

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

Gu syndrome has not just been mentioned in a single classic, but every notable book by every master in the past generally featured a chapter on Gu syndrome, because it was such a major part of what a Chinese doctor practicing anywhere between 500 BC and the 1940’s was facing.  We should add here that Gu is not an anthropological phenomenon, a bizarre disease in the swamps of ancient China that does not exist anymore,.  Quite the contrary…

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On the Sublime Sincerity of the Eminent Physician

By Asian Culture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives 

In all cases, when you treat disease as an eminent physician, you must quiet your shén and fix your intention, you must be free of wants and desires, and you must first develop a heart full of great compassion and empathy. You must pledge your desire to rescue all sentient beings indiscriminately from their suffering… When seeing the suffering and grief of others, you must act as if it were your own and open your heart…

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A Bitter Taste in the Mouth: A Case of Cholecystitis

By Case Histories, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

In the formulas used above, the essence of both Xiao Chai Hu Tang and its cousin Da Chai Hu Tang can be seen. Of these, Da Chai Hu Tang is more commonly indicated for the treatment of cholecystitis. In prescribing, however, I considered Xiao Chai Hu Tang as the core formula because the tongue coat was not yellow, the pulse wiry but not forceful, the stool was normal and there was no irritability. At the second visit, I added Bai Shao in order to soften the Liver and relax spasm, as well as to preserve the yin in the presence of so many draining herbs..

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All Disease Comes From the Heart: The Pivotal Role of the Emotions in Classical Chinese Medicine

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

While ancient Chinese philosophy considered emotional sensibility as our greatest assest in the process of fulfilling human destiny, it also regarded human temperaments as our greatest liability due to vast pathogenetic potential…It is no accident that the modern Chinese term for psychosomatic medicine is xingshen bingxue, literally the science of how (primary) physical form and (secondary) spirit relate in the disease forming process…

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Comments on and Excerpt of Translation of a Warm Disease Treatise

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, History, Theory and Diagnosis

The Gǔang Wēnyì Lùn is a 17th century book discussing the clinical appearance of and treatment strategies for a variety of warm disease entities. The date of publication and even the authorship are uncertain though investigation of sources makes it seem likely it was published between 1675 and 1695 A.D. and the author was one Dài Tiān-zhāng..

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Meditations on the Meridians

By Acupuncture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit

The meridian system is an invitation to meditate on the nature of our lives in human form. The characters Jing Mai, as that system is called in Chinese, imply that. Jing is normally translated as a meridian, but it also means a sutra, or canonized classic as in Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor Inner Classic) or Xin Jing (Heart Sutra). The character implies an organized, systematized network, like the threads of silk…The character Mai means pulsation, or something that flows/pulsates in the body. We can say that the Jing Mai are the Sutra(s) on life’s pulsation, or life’s animation, and are thus an invitation to look deeply at life…

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