Experiential Formulas

The In-between Time

Okay, what if I am starting to feel that I am coming down with something and am feeling like I’m getting very sick?  What do I do?  The message we are all getting is to stay home in isolation until or unless our symptoms become critical.  In the main media, there is not much offered as to how to care for each other when we are in the in-between time of sick but not critical.

Although I know Chinese herbal medicine can be helpful to people before you are sick and in the critical period, it is this in-between time that is super important for us Chinese herbalists now.  We have the possibility of preventing the illness from becoming critical and of relieving a tremendous amount of suffering.  We may have the skill to keep people off of respirators and out of hospitals.

However, before talking about how we might best treat this issue as our patients come down with it (which I’ll do in the next posts), I’d like to offer a note of caution: […]

Meta-Practice? What’s That?

On March 21-22, 2020, Volker Scheid will be teaching on Developing Meta-Practice in the Treatment of Menstrual Disorders at the Shen Nong Society Conference.

In the world of gaming, the word “meta” is used to refer to the “most effective tactic available.”  Although there are several meanings of the word “meta,” in general it means to have a greater, more comprehensive view of a subject.  There is metaphysics or metamathmatics.  A metaphor gives us an understanding of a subject by standing back from the subject and seeing what it is like in the context of other things or phenomena.  Taking all this into account then, meta-practice can be defined as a practice that allows us comprehensively review medical texts and teachings and integrate that which is valuable.

These ideas so reflect my own approach to practice and teaching.  Although I teach primarily from the view of classic herbal medicine, for me, the practice is a living, breathing, open-source dance with available material.  For example, I studied with the late Dr. Qiu Xiao-Mei in Hang Zhou, PRC long ago.  She was highly influenced the Fu Qing-Zhu and wrote a text of her own experience as a Chinese medical gynecologist and obstetrician.  She created her own experiential fomula called Supplement Certainty Decoction, which causes […]

Yu Guo-Jun Course Explained

I made this short video to explain just what the upcoming course with Dr. Yu Guo-Jun offers. I think you will see that this is an innovative and rich learning environment. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Bai Zi Ren 白子仁

How do we get to know herbs?  Zhang Jing-Yue says

“There are many medicinals, each with their own respective natures. Because the countless indications and contraindications are diverse, it is difficult to know them all. If he who uses the medicinals does not grasp the essence, it is inevitable that he will make many mistakes. If he only considers the which governs, or only considers the secondary actions; if he only cares about ‘what benefits this but does not benefit that’, then his ignorance about what is true and the rigidity in his attempts to lasso the wild horse will result in a lack of effectiveness.”

What does it mean to “grasp the essence” of an herb?  Zhang goes on to say:

“There is only one truth for the use of herbs, and that is the mastery over their qi and taste, along with the knowledge of their yin and yang. This way, even though there are many of them, one will be able to grasp their essence.”

We often learn herbs simply in relation to their listed functions.  “What does this herb DO” is the place […]

Walk Along the River II: Review for The Lantern

Dr. Yu Guo-Jun

I am writing a review of Dr. Yu Guo-Jun’s new book, A Walk Along the River II for The Lantern Journal.  This text, published by Eastland Press, is meant to come out soon, March hopefully!  One reason I wanted to write this review is so I could read it as soon as possible.  Given how remarkably excellent volume I is in regard to clinical value, I figured that Dr. Yu has much more to teach me.  I am not disappointed!  The new book is a powerful companion to his first book with chapters on the following:

Disorders of Qi, Blood and Body Fluids
Generalized Disorders
Gynecology and Obstetrics
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat
and an appendix of Time and Space in Chinese Medical Therapeutics

It’s a stellar text!  However, not only do we have this text coming to us soon, we have the chance to study directly with this massively brilliant, warm and articulate physician. In case you have not already registered, Dr. Yu will be teaching live and live-streamed in Amherst, MA March 15-17, 2019.   The topics are Learning From Mistaken Treatments, From Complexity to Simplicity and Dr. Yu’s Ten Favorite Formulas.  We hope you can join us!  In addition, Dr. Yu will be teaching at the Shen Nong Society Conference on […]

Coming to White Pine! Dr. Yu Guo-Jun, Author of A Walk Along The River

White Pine Institute is proudly announcing a three-day seminar with Dr. Yu Guo-Jun.  Dr. Yu is the author of A Walk Along the River, one of the most informative and accessible Chinese medical texts to ever be published.  Dr. Yu is known for his friendly, warm and rich teaching style.  His instruction is based on his long apprenticeship with the well-known Sichuan practitioner, Dr. Jiang Yu-Guang and his fifty years of practice with classical formulas.  Dr. Yu started his career as an economist, but due to the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the countryside.  This is where he learned Chinese medicine in the traditional manner.  In spite of, or perhaps because of Dr. Yu’s lack of formal institutional training, his way of working and teaching are unique and profoundly traditional.  Dr. Yu became a practitioner at the Leshan hospital where he works to this day, taking over the teaching of seminars from Dr. Jiang.  It was Dr. Yu’s seminars that became the basis of his first text, A Walk Along the River.  Volume Two is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2019.

We are also thrilled to have Michael FiztGerald as Dr. Yu’s interpreter.  Michael […]

Bad Flu causes Scary Bleeding

This was an intense case in which the patient really did not want to go to the hospital. I had to both support this wish while making sure she was remaining safe. It is important to allow for the possibility that my skills may not be enough! I find it important to make agreements with patients in cases like this such as - after an agreed upon period of time or if symptoms get worse, they will go to the ER. Without this, I am not comfortable working with these kinds of crises. On the other hand, with this kind of clear communication, it is great to see what the herbs can do.

Placenta Encapsulation: A Traditional Chinese Medicine for Post-Partum Healing

My personal experience has been nearly 100% positive, with mothers reporting feeling strong, bleeding times shortened, milk supply coming in full, and an overall sense of well-being. The clearest evidence, though, has come to me from second-time mothers who report feeling so much stronger and in control, even with a toddler to run around after in addition to the newborn. The placenta can easily be combined with a customized herbal treatment to provide the mother with full post-partum recovery.

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