I was born and raised in Peace River, Canada. Then wound up going to China to study Chinese medicine after I became disillusioned with a degree in psychology. I spent over twenty years there being completely enamored with the medicine and acquiring a few degrees. After returning to North America spent some years teaching Foundations of CM and other basic courses at NUNM. I’m back up in Canada now working on a foundations book to explain the energetic and philosophical bases of the medicine with an eye to using the classics and historical texts as my sources.
Clinically, I started out using the TCM system, but I couldn’t really get it to work like I thought it should. I stepped out of CM academia and spent a lot of time with “folk practitioners” and cultivators. There are a lot of hidden gems in China though living there and speaking/reading the language was definitely required. Through this, I discovered I could feel and sense the Qi in the channels and eventually began to get a sense of the Qi field of my patients. I learned to manipulate these with herbs and acupuncture to help my patients return to health. After returning to North America, I started taking courses in Japanese acupuncture, notably Kiiko Matsumoto style and further developed my diagnostics using the abdomen. I also began to explore sound healing and gemstone therapy all of which I now happily combine in clinic.
The study of CM is endless, it’s a puzzle I am determined to crack. My most recent course in CM (October of 2019) was with Qiological, Toby Daly and the Introduction to Sa’am Acupuncture course. Blew my mind and expanded my understanding of CM yet again. Yes!
For students of CM medicine, learn to understand the classic texts. Mostly, they don’t say what you think they do. If possible, learn some written Chinese. Find some way to gain an understanding of the principles of abstraction and an opening into the abstract/integrative/creative mind. Once this opens up, it can re-integrate with the theories proposed by the rational mind and open up a whole new world of understanding. Cultivation, especially meditation and Chinese energy work — Tai Chi, Qigong — also support this way of thinking. Get out into nature and steep yourself in its presence. Nature and our mindful interaction with her was our first classroom. Most of all participate in your life and be happy. This is the medicine of the Heart whose medium is joy. When there is a quiet joy to what you are doing, it reveals a truth and integrity of being.