Crafting the meaning in life, choosing our purpose and then having the courage and wherewithal to unfold that is not an easy task. Are we puppets in the hands of fate, or do we have the capacity to influence the rudder and chart our life path? 

Human beings have long grappled with questions surrounding our fate and destiny. And according to traditional Chinese medicine, the answer may lie in the extraordinary channels. Accessing the Chong meridian may be key to tapping a stable foundation that allows for accessing our truest nature. 

In this conversation with Ann Cecil Sterman, we unravel the notion that all intention is heart-centered unless interfered with by the mind. The topic takes us down a fascinating path where we mull over the idea of accessing the Chong meridian and uncovering the blueprint of our life. We also explore what it means to be a proficient practitioner, the issue of the mind defending against destiny, and why acupuncture is all about the channels.

Listen into this discussion on mind, intention, fate, and navigating the blueprint of one’s destiny.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The body as a vehicle of manifestation of the unconscious mind
  • The open Chong channel 
  • The ‘blueprint’ of one’s life 
  • The issue of lost purpose and regret over your legacy 
  • Does the ‘perfect’ practitioner exist? And should you be detached from results in the clinic?
  • What goes into being a skilled or proficient practitioner?
  • The issues of the mind defending against destiny 
  • Yesterday’s solutions as today’s problems and the idea of being fluid in time 
  • Being in touch with the channels – Acupuncture is not about points; it’s all about channels
  • The character/spirit of the different channels

Here’s a clinic tip taught to me fifteen years ago by my dear student Rebecca Tracey. I’ve used it every clinic day since and my patients love it. – When you’ve finished needling your patient, take each corner of the bottom sheet and gently draw it toward the navel of your patient.

Then fold the bottom edge over the feet and the side edges toward the navel. You can even take the top edge and fold it over the forehead. Rebecca called it the burrito wrap. It gives the patient a feeling of being gently swaddled, allowing them to fall asleep more easily, greatly enhancing the treatment.

Remember always to needle the ribcage very obliquely and this will always be safe. 

Ann Cecil-Sterman is the author of the widely acclaimed books: The the Art of Pulse Diagnosis, Tongue Diagnosis and Advanced Acupuncture: A Clinic Manual a required text in many acupuncture schools. Currently she teaches a six month training and mentorship immersion program to students on five continents every year. She also travels extensively to reach students in person for refining practice of the Complement Channels, pulse diagnosis, and with her husband, Andrew Sterman, the use of food as medicine.

For many years she taught Advanced Clinical Observation and was a senior clinic supervisor at the school of acupuncture in New York founded in 1997 by the great master Jeffrey Yuen, who was her teacher for over twenty years. Her patients— children and adults of all ages—have come from all over the world to work through illnesses or on personal cultivation. She lives in Manhattan with her family.

Links and Resources

Visit Ann on Instagram or on her


You can also hear our conversations in episode 252 on acupuncture and in episode 274 where she was a panelist on the subject of wei qi.
Also for another perspective on the importance of the Chong channel, listen to episode 272 with Kubota Sensei.



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Shop talk with Lisa Lapwing on Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy


In this Shop Talk on BPH, we cover common causes, symptoms, biomedicine treatments, TCM differentials and a few basic points. Use the points I presented in your clinic with the next BPH patient you see to start successfully treating this condition! 

BPH  responds so well to acupuncture! For a more in-depth understanding on BPH and other common men’s health conditions you can take one of my courses. Information on my upcoming courses will be announced on my blog at: 

I also offer consultations services and am always open to just talk to other practitioners about this subject, of which I’m so passionate about! You can contact me directly at any time at: Thank you for listening! I absolutely love talking men’s health so reach out anytime!

I’m Dr. Lisa Lapwing a specialist in men’s health (Andrology). As you may be aware, we’re not taught much about this subject in school and I therefore, had to learn about it myself through reading/researching, talking to other professionals and trial and error. Now, over a decade later, after treating various sexual health conditions for men and women, I’m filling in the gaps in education on Andrology in TCM. As an expert in this field I have spoken for and have had an article published with SUNA (Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates), I’ve taught classes for AOMA and FSOMA

Find the links to sign-up for my upcoming Men’s Health focused classes; A TCM Perspective of Andrology & Integrative TCM in Prostate Cancer Care below!

A TCM Perspective of Andrology and Integrative TCM in Prostate Cancer Care.