In this conversation with Jeffrey Dann and Mark Petruzzi, we touch on the concrete yet nuanced experience of reading the body through touch, including how to create space for a more therapeutic connection for both the patient and practitioner. We explore the need to be attentive, the value of appreciation in our clinical work, and the application of the teishinread more
In this conversation with Sean Fox, we traverse the world of shamanism and how it connects with our work in the clinic. How it can be a bridge between time and reality. We explore how we can use physical sensing and guidance from non-ordinary reality to intentionally set up spaces for healingread more
Everyday we sit with people in our clinic and puzzle through the questions of “What is going on for them,” “Can I see clearly what they need,” and “Do I understand how this person is an expression of yin/yang, heaven and earth?”
Our patients have a story. And so do we, except we usually call it Chinese medicine theory and we are seeing if we can take our Western minds into the world of East Asian medicine, and come back with something helpful. Our Western minds orient us towards the linear, but Chinese medicine thinking– that has us going in circles, cycles and waves.read more
In this conversation with Mike Kay, we decipher websites for acupuncturists—including where to begin, the platforms to use, useful design elements and imagery, tuning up your SEO, and perhaps most importantly—creating compelling website copy. Tech-talk aside, we also touch on clinical work, discussing topics such as the need for boundaries in practice, the importance of engagement with patients, and finding value in skepticism.read more
Defining addiction has long attracted a medley of explanations—with some leaning towards nature, some nurture, and others towards a perfect storm of both. It’s a complicated subject. Especially when our addiction fueled behavior is seen as socially acceptable, or perhaps even valued.
In this conversation with Randal Lyons, we step into the dark forest of addiction, recovery and Chinese medicine. According to Randal, we need the right language to recognize and treat each patient’s different expressions of addiction. We discuss the concept of spirituality in medicine, inviting patients to participate in their healing, leaning on remembrance, and how being present goes a long way in connecting with our patients.read more
In this conversation with Ann Cecil Sterman, we explore the potency and mystery of acupuncture, how it works, the importance of through intention, being present, and approaching the treatment with an element of certainty. We also touch on the need to trust acupuncture, the power of the mind, and the great luo of the Stomach.read more
In this conversation with Sabine Wilms, we explore the complex dynamics of power and the idea of a virtuous hierarchy borne out of the authority of competence. We also bat around the inadequacies of translations and the limitations of language. And as a storyteller at heart, Sabine weighs up the concept of yangsheng using some popular Chinese teaching tales.read more
In this conversation with Merlin Young, we talk about the mission of Moxafrica in designing a cheap, adaptable, and safe intervention for COVID long-haulers. We explore how his non-profit is trying to replicate the positive results they saw in moxa treatment for antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. And how the results of their research could make a difference for long-haulers and provide our East Asian medicine community with valuable research on how moxa might help with the sequela of the coronavirus.read more
Character, Nature and Fate— Navigating the Human Realm with Polestar Astrology • Gregory Done • Qi249
Where do we come from, where are we headed and what should we do in the interim? Is the blueprint of our life set in stone, or do we have the free will to control our destiny? It is so very human to contemplate our mortal fate and infinitesimal position in the cosmos.
But what if the answers to life’s most elusive questions are written in the stars? What if we can catch a glimpse, a silhouette, or a knowing of how our stories unfold? According to Chinese Polestar Astrology life is a dance between Fate, Nature, and Character…read more
In this conversation with Bess and Kyle, we explore their journey of creating a free student-run acupuncture clinic as an avenue to mature as professionals and scratch an itch for social justice-oriented and community-based work. We touch on the existing disparities in health care and their desire to change the narrative around acupuncture, its perceived accessibility, and how it is a potent medicine for healing that invites people into their own power.read more
Change is inevitable. Our lives are a series of transitions. Winter blooms into spring. Weekends slow down to Mondays. Puberty arrives and rearranges our psyche, feelings, and sense of self. And for half the population, menopause occurs. Change is constant in life. It’s always swirling around us, pulling us into its wake, and some changes are more transformative than others.read more
Our tools don’t just expand our faculties. They change what we can do by training our physical and cognitive senses. They temporarily become part of who we are. In a sense—we are the tool in our clinical work. We act as a kind of both filter and mirror for our patients, and help them tap into latent resources they did not know they had.
In this conversation with Gary Klepper, we investigate the idea of perceiving the Teishin as a listening post to amplify our attention and how to interpret and utilize that sensory stream of information within clinical settings. We also explore the topic of cultivation, working from home, and how online tools help open up new lines of communication to facilitate the practitioner-patient relationship.read more
Yin and Yang flow through every aspect of our lives. Understanding their ebb and flow gives us a glimpse into the nature of the universe, and our place in it. In our formed world forces exist to interact with the other; to maintain balance; to sustain life. This dynamic is one of the pillars of our medicine, which teaches that health arises from the harmony between people and nature.
As Chinese medicine practitioners, facilitating balance is a central element of our trade. A question from today’s episode is, can we master the integrity and awareness to articulate a connection between our work with our patients and the health of our planet?read more
According to the Chinese philosopher Confucius, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Imitation, observation, and reflection can help fine-tune our competencies, but true wisdom comes from experience.read more
When traveling do you turn on the GPS and follow the instructions, look at a map to orient yourself, or do you have a sense of the terrain and the capacity to navigate by landmarks, waterways and a sense of where north lies? In your clinical work,...read more
The image of China’s Barefoot Doctors struck a resonant chord with those in the West who were looking for simple and effective means of helping people with medicine that was not tied to an established medical hierarchy.read more
Learning is continuous, not episodic. As the Chinese say, 活到老學到老, huo dao lao, xue dao lao, learn throughout your entire life. Resilience and capacity is built through the, at times, curious harvest of our experience. Life’s lessons don’t come with a syllabus. Sometimes wisdom comes from misfortune; other times, you just stumble on it. Regardless, what we learn along the way helps us along the way.read more
“Using the right tool for the job” may come off as rather clichéd, but it’s true nonetheless. Knowing our tools, and that includes our theory, methods and skills is incredibly important. Our tools don’t inherently make us better at our craft, but rather facilitate our capacity to help our patients. Producing our best work as practitioners isn’t about the tools themselves, but rather how we use them and knowing when to use a particular tool. It’s about finding what’s suitable for a particular conversation – i.e., the relationship between the tool, the practitioner, and the patient.read more
Building a successful practice is rewarding, but it's rarely a smooth ride. It's a path that takes us beyond our healing work and into the depths of business practices—from marketing to managing finances. Amid the multitude of details that go into...read more
As practitioners, it’s easy to ignore or fail to take note of the red flags that imply we’re headed for burnout. Not until the billowing smoke of burnout is blocking our view. When you feel burdened by your responsibilities, it’s important to carve...read more
We’ve long turned to the stars for guidance, from foretelling our destinies to celestial navigation. Chinese Polestar astrology was developed as a means to describe our interaction with the cycles of Qi using a system of calculations and imagery,...read more