“My Po made the decision.”

I’m usually skeptical about most explanations of the “Spirit” of the five Zang viscera. Not that I don’t indulge speculation myself, I most certainly do. But given these ideas come down to us from another time, language, and culture. Given they’ve traveled through through the millennia I’m mightily reluctant to stake a claim on     what the ancients might have intended.

That said, the guest of today’s conversation Karine Kedar said the above quote towards the beginning of our discussion and it landed with an in-the-bones sense of “that’s right.” Which is an interesting place to start when the topic is polyvagal theory and East Asian medicine doesn’t even recognize a nervous system.

This conversation comes with a warning label. Probably best not listened to while driving or if your attention needs to be focused out into the world. There is a notable inward falling of attention as we traverse the landscape of the polyvagal not so much talking about it, but rather strolling through the landscape it offers.

Listen in for a felt sense of parasympathetic polyvagal tone, a possible way the Spirit of the five Zang might be involved, how the interplay of the nervous and hormonal systems helps create social bonds and the pre-heaven influence of epigenetics.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The spiritual practice of embracing uncertainty
  • Understanding Chinese medicine through the elements like soil, metal, water
  • The importance of the hormone oxytocin for social bonding
  • Epigenetics and fetal programming even before birth
  • Re-framing perimenopause as a time of wisdom and strength
  • Invisibility as freedom rather than something to resist
  • Estrogen's role in shaping caring behavior and priorities
  • The nervous system working together with hormones
  • Focusing on patients' resources and strengths, not just pathology
  • The importance of embodiment and structure along with energy/software
  • Cultivating personal experience of Chinese medicine concepts
  • The gift of not-knowing and entering uncertainty with patients

Instead of asking what is the problem or what's your complaint, ask: how can I help you? What do you need for your health and wellbeing. Listen. Listen to your patient's story, listen to the story you heard. What difference do these stories have? What is your patient really asking you?

I'm Karine; I've been practicing Holistic Women's health for 20 years now. I'm an acupuncturist and herbalist, but most of all, I'm an educator and advocate for women's health. I've been practicing Chinese medicine privately (“Women's Place Clinic”, Israel) and in a hospital setting exploring the use of acupuncture and herbs for aiding IVFs and IUIs. A few years ago, with a group of outstanding women, we founded “Keren Briah”, an Israeli non-profit organization for voicing women's needs regarding their health.

I love accompanying women in their feminine transitions, from budding womanhood to becoming a fertile young woman, a working woman trying to balance it all, the journey of conception and pregnancy, motherhood, the perimenopausal shift, and the becoming of a mature woman. I've been lucky enough to care for women until their last day on earth.



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