Famous Doctors

Treatment of Mutes: Children and Horses

In Chinese medicine, treating young children is sometimes referred to as the treatment of mutes.  This points to the fact that young children are unable to communicate their experience with words.  Practitioners have to rely on signs, most often with the help of the parents.  Does the child throw off their blankets at night or do they want more covers?  Are they clingy or resistant to being held?  Is their cry loud or whimpery?  Treating animals is much the same.  Though, as a practitioner, I try to hone my observation skills, like most practitioners, I also rely on the patient’s verbal articulation of their experience.  Treating beings who cannot express this way can be quite difficult.  This is why my confidence in treating animals is shaky.

A recent case in point:  My horse Jasper has had a chronic cough.  It was never a bad cough but enough that I noticed.  Over time I have tried moistening his hay in case it was caused by dust and I’ve tried several herbal formulas.  Admittedly, the formulas I chose were not well thought out.  It was more of a “maybe I’ll try this” approach.  I think this approach is common for practitioners when we don’t have a lot of confidence and part of the reason for […]

By |2021-01-25T06:12:01-08:00January 25th, 2021|Classic Formulas, Yu Guo-Jun|0 Comments

Running Piglet and Depression


sleeping Piglets Sleeping Piglets

Hi Friends,

I am busy preparing an Ebook for the White Pine Circle‘s February resources.  Our theme is Ge Gen and so I am translating material on classical formulas that include Ge Gen.  One such lesser known formula is Ben Tun Tang (Running Piglet Decoction).  Sometimes I run across a case that rivets my attention and I am sharing one of these today.  I love that the doctor, Dr. Xióng Jìbǎi 熊继柏 is writing in a narrative style and that he is clearly using this case to teach us.  I found this case in The Path of Clinical Experience with Classical Formulas for Modern Distinguished Physicians《当代经方名家临床之路》.   I also love how the pharmacy was missing a key herb,  Li Gen Bai Pi, which is the peel of the plum tree root, so he went out into the valley and dug some up himself!  Enjoy the case!

The patient, Ms. Cheng, was age 46 and was a peasant.  At the start of her illness she had dizzy spells with restlessness and palpitations.  She shut herself in a room and gradually would not get out of bed.  She had photophobia so she kept the room […]

Hu Xi-Shu, Jing Fang Doctor, on Wen Bing

Recently I was speaking to my friend and teacher, Andy Ellis about Wen Bing.  He told me about a book I had not heard of.  This text is by the late Dr. Hu Xi-Shu called

Understanding Warm Disease through Six Channel Differentiation of Patterns

Below is my translation of his introduction to the text with commentary. (Thank you to Sabine Wilms for helping me with the translation). This is also meant to give an introduction to two talks that are happening today in regard to working with people who are suffering from The Virus:  Caroline Radice is teaching on Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang.(12:00 pm EST) I am speaking on San Ren Tang and Huo Po Xia Ling Tang.  (3pm EST)

Dr. Hu writes:

For the purpose of elucidating the rules of transformation and the diagnostic principles of “10,000 diseases, one origin” Zhang Zhong-Jing wrote the Shang Han Lun.  Thereby making clear the range of tools.  (showing us our options) Therefore, I often say, “The treatment method of 10,000 diseases is already exhaustively covered in the single book, the Shang Han Lun; and yet, the treatment formulas for the 10,000 diseases , verily are not complete within this single text.

Dr. Hu is telling us plainly that, […]

Can Chai Hu Excessively Raise the Qi?

When I first learned about Chai Hu, I learned that, among other functions, it serves to “raise the Yang Qi.”  In combination with Huang Qi, it is used for this purpose in Li Dong-Yuan’s Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang.  Because this function has been attributed to Chai Hu, I learned that I must be very cautious using it.  I could over raise the Qi.  My guess is that other practitioners are familiar with this caution as well.  I was under the impression that I could, in using Chai Hu, raise the pressure in a person’s upper body by sending the Yang up.  Indeed, the Formulas and Strategies cautions us to avoid using Chai Hu in cases in which the liver Yang is rising pathologically.  Many practitioners take this to the extreme of avoiding Chai Hu for any case of headache or hypertension.  Zhang Xi-Chun cautions us in this respect as follows:

“For raising the liver, Chai Hu is the most effective.  However when there is a pattern of liver not rising and stomach not descending, Ma Ya should be used instead of Chai Hu.  This is because, Chai Hu not only raises the liver, it also can excessively raise the stomach Qi. On the other hand, Mai Ya can not only raise […]

Insufficient Lactation Case

Last week I saw a woman who was having difficulty with nursing.  She was 2 1/2 weeks postpartum.  She brought her beautiful daughter with her which was such a treat!  Then her husband took the baby so we could have some good time to look at what was going on.

After a good birth a bit after term, her baby had difficulty latching on.  The days of effort left the mom’s nipples feeling very raw and painful.  It’s much easier on the nipples when a baby really latches on.  But, she also felt that her baby was frustrated because the milk supply was not robust.  Since the birth she had not felt any sensation of fullness in the breast nor any sense of let-down.  She began to supplement with formula some to make sure her daughter was getting enough and also pumped to keep what milk she had available for the baby.  She was worried that her daughter would get so used to the ease of the bottle that she might not want to nurse any more at all.

Why was there not enough milk?  It’s normal for the postpartum woman’s breasts to be engorged with milk and for the let-down to allow milk to flow […]

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.

For privacy reasons Vimeo needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

Incredible Interactive Online Classic Formula Learning Opportunity

Have you ever wanted to go deeply into a body of Chinese medical knowledge, taking your time, making sure you really get what is being taught in a way that allows you to integrate it into your clinic?  Have you wanted to do this with the guidance of supportive leading practitioners and scholars in our field, able to ask them questions and clarify your confusions?  Have you wanted to do this in a community of learners that you get to know over time as you share your clinical quandaries and successes?

Well, here is your chance.  Based on the highly successful learning environment created by White Pine Institute for the Graduate Mentorship Program, a unique learning opportunity has been created.

Last March, Dr. Yu Guo-Jun,  author of A Walk Along the River, and A Walk Along the River II, came to the eastern United States to teach.  He taught two lectures at the Shen Nong Society conference in NYC, on Wu Mei Wan and Ministerial Fire.  Then he taught for three wonderful days through White Pine Institute in Amherst, MA teaching 1) From Complexity to Simplicity, 2) Learning from Mistaken Treatment and 3) Dr. Yu’s 10 Favorite […]

By |2019-06-15T19:20:42-07:00June 14th, 2019|Classic Formulas, Our Courses, Yu Guo-Jun|0 Comments

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 […]

A Confused State Precedes a “Trial Treatment”

The excerpt below is from Volume II of Dr. Yu Guo-Jun’s excellent text entitled A Walk Along the River.  (Thank you Eastland Press!) This volume will be released in early spring of 2019, just before Dr. Yu’s visit to the United States, Seattle, New York, and Amherst, MA.  This case gives you an idea as to the depth of Dr. Yu’s thinking process when treating this patient’s chronic fever. As you will see when Dr. Yu teaches, he uses Cheng Yu frequently.  Cheng Yu  are short Chinese phrases similar to sayings like “it takes two to tango” or “six of one, half dozen of the other.”   His texts are riddled with meaningful Cheng Yu.  In this case, it is 茫無頭緒先“試探” “A confused state precedes a trial treatment.”

About Dr. Yu’s Teaching in Amherst, March 15-17, 2019 (Learn More ››)

For many of us, being confused about a case can easily make us doubt our own abilities.  Here, Dr. Yu uses the fact that the case is confusing both to diagnose and to set up his intentions as “trial.”  Acting on diagnosis as hypotheses followed by an experiment allows Dr. Yu to learn from the case.  Confusion, in this case, means two things: first, it means that it is likely that the […]

Go to Top