Shang Han vs Wen Bing? What is Shang Han Lun Theory?

Shang Han Lun

Beware: Long Post, hopefully interesting and helpful!

To be able to treat the manifestations of Covid-19, one must understand, not just the nature of how a virus manifests in the body but also how the body works to process it and the outside world in general.  In a previous post, I discussed the two vectors that are involved with the way an illness like Covid 19 manifests in the body and the idea of using herbs to help the body process it.  I described health and a healthy immune system not as a function of being able to keep things or get things out, but as a function of being permeable and able to be in relationship with and able to process the things that come in from the outside world.  For me, the physiology that is inherently described within the Shang Han Lun is key to being able to help a body process the world in general and a virus in particular.

I want to start this multi-post discussion with transparency as to my own bias.  We all have a particular way of viewing the way the body works and […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

Upcoming Classes and Diagnosis Presentations

This past winter I traveled to 6 cities to teach a class on understanding physiology through classic formulas.  The 7th and final city in which I am going to teach this course is the city of my birth, San Francisco. This class will be live and streamed this weekend, May 3-4, 2014.  This tour has been very successful with about 200 students being able to attend the course so far.  I hope some of you can attend!
Recently I also taught two consecutive Medigogy webinars online.  You can view the first part  on diagnosis here.  The second part will be available very soon.  This is all in preparation for the upcoming Graduate Mentorship Program 2014 which starts May 23rd, 2014.

You can see from this picture that we are all getting in shape for the course!

Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these courses.



By |2017-07-24T19:00:24-07:00April 28th, 2014|Classic Formulas, Diagnosis, Our Courses|1 Comment

Classic Formula Course

There is a saying that there is a difference between a good herbal treatment and a correct herbal treatment. We all can work at a level in which our patients do well enough on the herbs we give them. However, when we have had the experience of stumbling upon a truly accurate herbal formula and seeing our patient’s complex issues resolve almost magically, we get a glimpse into the true power of Chinese herbal medicine.

By |2013-11-10T07:20:04-08:00November 10th, 2013|Classic Formulas, Diagnosis, Our Courses|0 Comments
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