Treating what you see sounds easy. And it is essential if you want to craft a targeted and effective treatment. It’s those well aimed treatments that hit the mark that conflated with magic.

But seeing clearly the underlying dynamic that gives rise to the troubles and symptoms for which patients seek us out. That is more complicated.

In this conversation with David Toone we discussion the perspectives and work of the blind Japanese acupuncturist Dr Bear, who passed away a few months ago.

Listen into this discussion where we untangle excess and deficiency, consider the troubles that arise from having a salvational mindset, and consider the vital importance of invigorating the yin with yang.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Listening for the body’s signal that says “treat this point”
  • If something is beneficial to one part of the body, you should be able to feel it in another part of the body
  • Why Dr. Bear did not put much emphasis on constitutional acupuncture
  • Treating what you see, does that make you a good doctor, or not?
  • Uses and limits of theory
  • Punk rock acupuncture
  • Shooting for 70-80% improvement in the patient’s presenting issue
  • Dealing with the problems from overtreatment
  • Using reducing to tonify
  • Blood as a medium to transmit yang
  • Yang is the key to moving to fluids, and necessary to bring movement to the yin
  • The influence of our western salvational mindset in the practice of medicine
  • Who does the healing?

Trust what you “see” with your hands — always “check” every point for treatment before you needle. Hard becomes softer, lax firms and everything becomes moderate; then treat each point confidently knowing you are giving the body exactly what it needs at that time.

I was originally trained as an Attorney, but made the decision to study Chinese Medicine after working in the technology sector in San Francisco and Amsterdam.

My interest in Oriental Medicine sprang from the study of the Japanese martial art, Shorinji Kempo. I began studying acupuncture with my teacher, Dr. Bear during my first semester at AIMC – Berkeley.  Studying with him as often as possible in the United States and Japan. I founded Red Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, south of Atlanta, Georgia, and patterned this clinic as closely as possible to Dr. Bear’s clinic in Morioka, Japan.

I studied with Hai Sha and Bo Shi Ni, before finding my Jing Fang teacher, Dr. Arnaud Versluys and began learning the Tian lineage. Currently in private practice, I teach as an Assistant Instructor at the Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine, and sit with the good folks at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center.


Links and Resources

Visit the Dr. Bear discussion group on Facebook 
Interested in reading up on Dr. Bear's methods and perspective, here's the book!


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