show episodes
 
Oriental medicine was not developed in a laboratory. It does not advance through double-blind controlled studies, nor does it respond well to petri dish experimentation. Our medicine did not come from the statistical regression of randomized cohorts, but from the observation and treatment of individuals in their particular environment. It grows out of an embodied sense of understanding how life moves, unfolds, develops and declines. Medicine comes from continuous, thoughtful practice of what ...
 
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show series
 
Heartbreak is unavoidable. It’s not a flaw in character or make up humans, it’s a feature. It’s what allows us to grow beyond the bounds and limits of family, friend group, peers and whatever group identity we find that gives a sense of belonging and security. Heart break expands our boundaries, the question is does it break you open or break you c…
 
It’s easy to have beliefs about people we don’t know. Especially if they tick the boxes of our biases, prejudice, ignorance and the opinions of our friends. When you think about successful stock market investors you’re probably not thinking about people with compassion, curiosity, spiritually and a sense of fair play. But for some of the top level …
 
I’m reminded of the stillness of cats. How they can sit both still and yet completely and serenely attentive. So too with resonance, there is the yin aspect of stillness with the yang expression of vibrating with the influence of the environment. And in the middle, ren, person, the human heart. In this discussion with Diane Fabian-Smith we look int…
 
How we are with ourselves affects how we are with patients. Our own difficulties in life can assist us in helping others, but it requires that we are able to come to a sense of neutrality with those traumas of the past. In this conversation with Seanna Sifflet we discuss using our own feelings, the healing potentials in empathy and forgiveness, and…
 
“What is my purpose? Why am I here?” These are questions that we all grapple with at one time or another in our personal and professional lives. But finding the right answers is often elusive—mainly because our focus tends to be narrow and we fail to ask the right questions. In this discussion, we welcome back Sam MacLean to delve into the topic of…
 
Language creates walls or openings. We can attempt to coax our patients into our view of the world, or softly and with respect enter into theirs. There are clever ways to use language as a trick. But in the therapeutic setting it is far better to use language with respect, and that respect comes from a deep rooting in our presence and embodiment. I…
 
Grief and fear are a potent combination of influences, and when you add the pressure cooker effect of Covid-19 and all that entails it can be powerfully disruptive to our collective wellbeing. Seanna Sifflet and Heidi Lovie explore how our medicine and our presence can help our patients and our communities to navigate through the choppy waters of o…
 
When we think of the essential aspects of the human being, we think Jing, Qi and Shen. When you think about the health, wellbeing and flourishing of your business; what are the essentials you consider? If you did not consider marketing, you might want to think again. And give MB Huwe a listen here, because marketing is an essential aspect of your p…
 
Shaoyang issues have a kind of cyclical nature. The problems come and go with a wobbly periodicity. Not unlike the wheel of a bicycle that is slightly out of true. The flaring of heat and uprising of qi can be seen through this lens. In this case presentation with Eran Even we get a glimpse of this shaoyang dynamic and see how a clinical presentati…
 
Knowing a little medical Chinese can be very helpful in learning and practicing the medicine. This review of the Chinese Medical Characters app will give you a good overview of the app, along with some encouragement for the process of helping yourself by learning the basic characters that will help you to better understand and think about our medic…
 
It’s easy to think of our practices as “acupuncture.” But the truth is our practices are first and foremost— a business. An infrastructure that allows us to do the healing work we do. The business is as separate from the practice as the mind is from the body. Which is to say; not at all. If you’re taking the pulse of your business, the overhead is …
 
Through the boundaries of time, language and culture East Asian medicine has found its way into the West. But there is a cultural component that we often don’t consider. And that can make a difference in the effectiveness of our clinical work. Furthermore, our modern culture disportionately values curing over healing, and sometimes there is no cure…
 
Any seasoned practitioner leans on the patient practitioner relationship. There is something in the interaction that cannot be separated from the response they have to our treatment. In this conversation with Vitaly Napadow we discuss the Art of Medicine and how fMRI imaging from the brains of patients and practitioners with an established clinical…
 
The ancient Chinese were not the only people to observe nature and develop medicine in the service of relieving suffering and promoting health. But they were the only culture that wrote it down and managed through the centuries to preserve significant portions of it. In this conversation with Edward Chiu we discuss writing case reports, which is a …
 
There is a saying in Chinese, 以人為本, Understanding a person is basis of knowing how to treat them. Our work requires we both understand our medicine, and understand how it applies to that individual who sits before us in our clinic. In this conversation with Bryan McMahon we explore the importance of congruence in health and illness, take a look at …
 
There is a moment in between sensing and allowing what is felt to enter the world of cognition and concept. It’s a liminal space of being and feeling and if you can linger there for a moment there is information that is beyond the ken of words. In this discussion with Nigel Dawes we explore how palpation allows us an opportunity to imbibe that sens…
 
Forty years is a long time to practice medicine and gives plenty of opportunity to follow your interests while helping patients. Our medicine includes various kinds of hands on bodywork, and in this conversation we explore the use of micro current. While electricity is often applied to needles in our work, Malvin Finkelstein has found a way of usin…
 
Barry Danielian is one of the most in demand trumpeters and arrangers in NYC, having recorded on over 400 CD’s. Barry’s music is used throughout the television and media industry. His touring and recording credits include diverse artists such as: Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Jay-Z, Tony Bennett, Sting, Tower of Power, Queen Latifah, Eddie P…
 
Research when done well is an inquiry that can shift the foundation of your cognitive model. And that’s exactly what it is for. In this conversation with Brenda Le we both explore how TCM is seen in our Western Chinese medicine world, and how doing this research opened her up to aspects of medicine and practice that she did not previously see. List…
 
Jing, Qi and Shen— the three treasures. Like so many of these pithy quotes about Chinese medicine there is a lot here if you have taken the time to investigate it and see how it fits within your experience of practicing medicine. In this conversation with Yair Maimon we touch on the three treasures as they relate to treating cancer with acupuncture…
 
We often consider the Five Phases when doing acupuncture, and the Six Conformations when treating our patients with herbal medicine. In this conversation we consider the interplay of “wu yun, liu qi” the five movements and six climatic qi from the perspective of diagnosis and understanding not just what problem a patient has, but also its progressi…
 
It is surprising where life can take us. We follow a hunch or a nudge and somehow gain some momentum that in time generates wind for our sails. Not many westerners in the 1970’s started along the road of Chinese medicine. In this long ranging conversation with Jake Fratkin we discuss his perspectives over time and his current thoughts on medicine. …
 
The prolific science fiction write Issac Asimov wrote “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny …” The wonderful thing about research is that it invites delicious questions and opens avenues of inquiry that lead us beyond the borders of our maps of the world.…
 
Listening is not a skill that I expected to develop. I thought I’d get good with palpation or pulse reading. After all, the masters are said to get what they need with the pause and a few questions. That’s what I was aiming for, however it did not work out that way for me. I’ve found over the years that there is a way of listening to a patient that…
 
You’ve probably seen patients who are on thyroid medication and the numbers are “fine” according the their conventional doctor, but they just don’t feel right. We know from our experience as practitioners that often our patients are deeply frustrated because they’ve been through thousands of dollars of testing and yet they are told “there is nothin…
 
Some of the difficulties faced by many of us in this time of pandemic are the disorientation, anxiety and fear that arise from uncertainty. But if you look more closely, you’ll see that there never is in this life the guarantee of certainty. It can feel that way because of habituation, but when you strip away the daily habits and sense of continuit…
 
The Saam tradition traces its roots back four hundred years to a monk who as part of his meditative practice received some insight into medicine that allowed him see and work simultaneously with the five phases and six conformations. But monks are not doctors, even if they can relief a lot of suffering with a few needles. And so the methods of Saam…
 
The practice of medicine is not completely about what we do, it’s also informed by how we are. How our presence, perception and allowing ourselves to abide in that space between knowing, sensing and being can invite a quiet, non-rational part of ourselves into the clinical encounter. Michael McMahon, like many of us, did not initially set out to be…
 
Daoism and Daoist thought is something that many acupuncturists have been exposed to. It might have been part of what launched our interest in studying medicine. And perhaps you’ve had the experience of reading books like the Dao De Jing and come away more with a sense of confusion than clarity. It’s challenging for us as modern westerners to grasp…
 
The classics are helpful not just because they contain pointers to how medicine works. They are helpful because of the discussions they have generated amongst practitioners over the twin distances of time and space. They are a kind of thread that connects us with the doctors of the past who have gone to this well for the wisdom within. Listen in to…
 
We can approach the business and financial aspects of our practices a distasteful task that we’d prefer to delegate to someone else. Or we can take it as the opportunity it is to work through our shadow material around the issues of money, power, authority and integrity. In this conversation we explore how wealth allows us to interact more fully wi…
 
We rely on the skills of experts. The car mechanic, plumber, web designer, business coach. We want to trust the people that are in the position where our lack of knowledge leaves us vulnerable. We’d like for them to have our best interests in mind, and we also know from experience that we question the car mechanic’s assessment when they find more p…
 
Fake it till you make it is not a helpful strategy for acquiring confidence. Any halfway competent human being can sniff out inauthenticity. We can only work at, and improve from, our genuine growing edge of ability and skill. Cultivating confidence requires time and experience, generous amounts of both failure and success, and a kind of dogged per…
 
We often think of moxibustion as a potent way to add heat and yang into the body. But if you only think of moxa as heat, then you’re missing the power of the perspective that moxa is about creating a specific kind of stimulation in the body. Listen in to today’s conversation as we explore how Japanese moxa techniques can be helpful in treating anti…
 
We mistakenly thought our conversation with Dr Yu had ended, but what can I say… wrong again. There is a little more of the conversation genereated from Dr Yu’s thoughts on the qi transformation of the six confirmations and the role of theory in the clinic. Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to…
 
Learning formulas is far more than memorizing as series of functions and indications in a book. It requires a kind of attentiveness. A sort of rigorous and yet flexible way of parsing a patient’s signs and symptoms and checking it against both your book knowledge and clinical experience. In this discussion we explore that tender edge of knowing, no…
 
Discussing medicine with a seasoned practitioner is like drinking well aged whiskey. Dr. Yu Guo Jun graciously agreed to sit down with Michael Fitzgerald and myself after his morning lecture at the Shen Nong Society’s conference. If you’re an herbalist, you’ll enjoy this discussion of the six confirmations. Listen carefully, there is something in h…
 
When we are putting herbs in a bag, or mixing together granules we are probably not thinking about the various laws and regulations from the FDA, or the historical arc that actually allows us to work with herbs in the way that we do. In this conversation we go into the history and impact of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. T…
 
The Yi Jing speaks in the language of image, resonance and metaphor. Its not a good place to go for direct answers, but can be helpful in finding some guidence. Our converation today touches not just on the ways it is used for divination, but more importantly how it is a mirror and once you have a knack for it, you don’t need it for divination. We …
 
Ahhh, the new year. A moment in time to reflect on the path recently traveled and what’s up around that bend in the road. This is a solo show reflecting on some of the podcast highlights of the past year, a glimpse into some things already on the calendar. Along with my clinical observations about using the Sa’am acupuncture method in clinical prac…
 
Inflammation is a popular topic in the worlds of both alternative and conventional medicine. It’s a pathologic process that is the result of certain disease processes and the generator of others. It is also something that can be treated very well with East Asian medicine. In this episode we explore how the fundamentals of the Liver/Spleen relations…
 
Liver qi constraint might be one of the most common diagnosis in the modern Chinese medicine clinic. But the role of the Liver has changed over time, and at one point it was even considered to be part of the neurological system. In this episode we take a nuanced look at that wide and slippery constellation of symptoms that falls under the general r…
 
These days we worry about getting through school, passing the boards and then getting a practice started. But there was a time when there were no schools, or national accreditation and practicing acupuncture was a felony. That world was not so long ago, and as is often the case, it is difficult to understand the present moment without a sense of th…
 
Learning the basics of promoting or controlling the flow of qi through the Five Phases is an elemental part of every acupuncturist's training . We learn how the antique points can be used to nudge a response or invite a different kind of resonance into a patient's life. The Korean Saam acupuncture tradition has been passed down through a lineage of…
 
The words "qi and blood stasis" frequently work their way into our diagnosis of a patient's situation. But getting blood stasis from the realm of theory and into our perceptual vocabulary takes some practice. And this can be quite helpful especially when working with cases that don't resolve the way we think they should. In this conversation we loo…
 
We are trained to know a lot about a person from looking and touching. And while we have our “10 questions” or other interviewing checklists, there is a lot that comes from the interview and relationship with the patient that can help us to better understand them and hopefully be of service to them as well. In this conversation we take a look into …
 
As practitioners we all work with a mix of theory, clinical sensibilities developed through years of practice, and the immediate moment of encounter with our patients. What we feel with our hands can deeply help to inform our treatments and ground our mental models into the physicality of the present moment. Our colleagues on the shiatsu side of th…
 
There are many ways to attend to our patients in clinic. We can work through mental models that we’ve acquired from our schooling, study, and clinical experience. We can also use our innate human ability to touch, palpate and sense. In this episode we discuss the importance of down-regulating our nervous system. Along with the use of palpation and …
 
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