The vast wealth, and it is a wealth, of writing on Chinese medicine is in Chinese. Granted, at this moment in time there is enough material that has made its way into English that you wouldn’t be able to read all of it in one lifetime. And that’s far cry from the handful of books of 40 years ago. Still, the history and perspectives that have found their way down to the present in Chinese. It’s like an alternative universe. Maybe several of them.
In this episode with Michael Brown, Will Cerveles , Eran Even, and Ivan Zalava, we have a discussion not just on translation, but more importantly the varied perspectives of practitioners whose work others thought was interesting enough to print and re-print through the decades and even centuries.
These guys are the new wave of practitioner/translators and they are fired up about what they’re discovering. And keen on sharing it with the rest of us.
Listen in for a lively discussion on the perspectives of some doctors you’ll only meet through the written word.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- Studying in Taiwan and discovering brilliant insights in old books
- The importance of understanding context and illness mechanisms
- Treating presentations vs. disease names
- Considering ST40, Feng Long
- How studying the classics changes your thinking and worldview
- Combining acupuncture and herbal medicine
- Tung acupuncture, bleeding and qi streets
- Exploring Wen Dan Tang
- Illness mechanism vs the triad of Formula, Presentation and Person
- How reading Chinese texts instills humility, but also confidence
- The work of modern translators bringing texts to the West
- Bridging connections between texts and clinical applications
- Reciprocated learning
Try to link one of your diagnosis, treatment methods, or treatment to a source – this will bring you the closest to practicing Chinese medicine as it was in the traditionally practiced.
Michael is a practicing scholar-physician of Chinese Medicine in Brisbane. He is head lecturer for the Academy of Source-based Medicine, which he founded in 2022 with his colleagues. He has worked on over 5 translations, including arguably the most important acupuncture text – Explanations of Channels and Points (Vol 1 & 2) 經穴解.
In addition to editing the three works in the Zhang Jingyue Complete Compendium 景岳全書 series. His interest is in applying the traditional literature to modern clinic as well as translating these works for others to utilize them.
Focus on one lineage or style, but always be open to new clinical methodologies and perspectives, do not pigeonhole yourself as a practitioner of such and such a style, this is a surefire way to limit your growth.
I am a practitioner, translator, scholar and teacher of Chinese medicine. I completed my rigorous 5-year Chinese medical training in Taiwan's China Medical University Post-Baccalaureate program and became one of only a handful of foreign practitioners to pass the Taiwanese medical boards and go into clinical practice on the island.
While in practice, I also completed a masters in China Medical University's Chinese Medical Classics and History department, penning a Chinese-language master's thesis on 19th century materia medica master Zou Run-an's singular analysis of the pathomechanisms of formulas in Zhang Zhongjing's seminal Han dynasty classic The Treatise on Cold Damage and Miscellaneous Diseases. This research helped me to develop deep insights into the mechanisms of actions of herbs in jingfang (經方) formulas and informs my own practice and teaching.
Since then, I have continued to practice and write and will soon be offering classes on jingfang through the newly established Academy of Source-Based Medicine, which I established with Michael Brown, Ivan Zavala and Allen Tsaur.
Visit Will on the Academy of Source Based Medicine's website
Never stop learning! How can we be expected to fully grasp a medicine that has developed over the last two thousand years in one lifetime? Even though I’m in my twentieth year of practice, I am constantly engaged in the study of this medicine by returning to the classics, studying it’s evolution, surrounding myself with people the inspire me, like the fine folk of this episode and learning directly from my patients
My name is Eran Even, Ph.D., Dr.TCM. I am a Doctor of Chinese Medicine practicing in beautiful Port Moody, B.C. in Canada. I earned my doctorate from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine under the guidance and mentorship of Professor Huang Huang, and have been in practice and engaged in the practice of ‘Jing Fang’ (Classical Methods/Formulas) for the last 20 years.
I am the translator of Chen Xiuyuan’s Formulas from the Golden Cabinet with Songs, volume 2, and the co-translator of Professor Huang’s latest book, which is to be published later this year through Eastland Press. In addition to teaching through my own Classical Medicine platform,
I am honored to join the incredibly talented crew at the Academy of Source Based Medicine.
Mastery of clinical medicine requires one to understand where the disease pattern is likely heading, while at the same time being utterly focused on unraveling the present state.
Ivan Zavala II is the founder of Cloudgate Acupuncture and specializes in autoimmune, oncological disease and general internal medicine. He was the Department Head of Foundational Theory and Advanced Diagnostics and professor at Chicago College of Oriental Medicine, where he developed and taught several foundational classes and advanced herbalism and acupuncture methodologies and diagnostics.
Ivan is also an international lecturer in Latin America and Europe, where he teaches Shang Han Lun and Tung style acupuncture. As a practitioner and professor of Chinese medicine, his interests lie in treating severe and complex disease with direct insight and guidance from the Chinese medical classics. Over the years, he has answered thousands of clinical and medical literature questions of practitioners from around the world, becoming a specialist in the illumination of the canonical corpus into practical application
Visit Ivan on Facebook.
Links and Resources
Visit the Academy of Source Based Medicine's website.