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Blog

A collection of notes on the topics of classical Chinese, medicine, and traditional culture.
 

This blog is a collection of ruminations, translations, and personal opinions by Sabine and some guest authors. Reflecting my own personality, some posts are academic, some clinical, and some personal, some are excerpts from existing books and some may become part of future books. Please leave comments with feedback, questions, constructive criticism, and differences of opinion as long as you argue your reasons for disagreement logically. Any personal attacks, uncivil remarks, or self-promoting comments will be deleted.

Look through the Archive by Topic or Search the Blog:


Revising Spelling of Classical Titles in Pinyin

Based on much thought and some very helpful information shared with me by the librarian at Stanford University, I have decided to implement a major (and pretty painful) change in how I format classical Chinese titles in pinyin for Happy Goat Productions. Note that this post is very nerdy and probably irrelevant to many innocent readers.

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Sabine WilmsComment
Question 29 on Lower Leg Qi

The following is another excerpt from my ongoing translation project, the “Hundred Questions of Gynecology” 女科百問 by Qí Zhòngfǔ from 1220 CE. “Question Twenty-Nine: What is the Reason for Women Suffering from Pain in the Ten Toes as If They Were Being Fried in Oil, and Experiencing Heat Pain When Covered up and Cold Pain When Exposed to Blowing Wind?” … The key points to take away from earlier medical literature on the disease of Lower-Leg Qì are as follows: It is a condition that can express itself in numerous ways and does not have a single cause or even key symptoms. Nevertheless, it is, at least was originally, associated with pathological wind that invades the body through the feet. …

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Sabine WilmsComment
Genevieve LeGoff on Question Six in Qi Zhongfu's "Hundred Questions on Gynecology"

Chinese medicine is a medicine of Time. Its principles are derived from the careful observation of time passing through the seasons, an elusive constant with ever-changing faces… Much of ancient Chinese medical literature is concerned with harmonizing with the latter, be they the seasons of the year or the seasons of life.

Sabine’s translation of Qi Zhongfu’s wonderful work (Channeling the Moon) highlights an idea which is pivotal to the correct practice of Chinese medicine, but is often forgotten under layers of vulgarization: the idea of attunement…

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Sabine Wilms Comments
Cultivating Yin, Practicing Wuwei, and Disengaging from Social Media

…I have always taken it for granted that as life-long students of this deep, complex, and complicated medicine, we all embrace this challenge and appreciate it when other people, with different backgrounds and skills, teach us things that we don’t know. In my experience, people are attracted to the field of medicine and the role of physician primarily for two reasons: Most students I know get into medicine because of a pure and sincere desire to alleviate suffering and to help others. Some people, however, are attracted to the role of the doctor because it makes them an authority, because it gives them power because they are put in the position of telling others where they are wrong and of “fixing” them….

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Sabine Wilms Comments
The Divine Farmer on Thunder in the Body

A recent inquiry from an attentive reader whose opinion I value highly caused me to revisit my translation of the Shennong Bencao Jing 神農本草經 (“Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica”), which I published a few years back. … They (correctly) noticed that in my rendition of the entry on xìnghérén (a.k.a. xingren, apricot seed, Prunus Armeniaca kernel), I present this list of symptoms as…

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The State of Traditional Chinese Gynecology in the West

In the context of my most recent book publication, a translation and discussion of the first section of an important thirteenth century text on gynecology, I have been thinking a lot about the current state of clinical practice of what I call “traditional Chinese gynecology” in the West. To be frank, for years now I have been hearing or reading statements that are appalling to me in their arrogance and ignorance vis-a-vis what I consider one of the crowning achievements of traditional (note the small “t”) Chinese medicine.

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Sun Simiao's Fertility Treatments

The following is an excerpt from the 75-page historical introduction to my newest publication Channeling the Moon, a translation and discussion of the first fourteen questions of Qí Zhòngfǔ’s 齊仲甫 Nǚ Kē Bǎi Wèn 女科百問 (“Hundred Questions of Gynecology,” published in 1220 CE). This excerpt includes a brief introduction to the Bèi Jí Qiān Jīn Yào Fāng 備急千金要方 (composed by Sūn Sīmiǎo 孫思邈 in 652) and a survey of Sūn Sīmiǎo’s ideas on fertility. For more on early Chinese gynecology and fertility, see the information page for my book Channeling the Moon in my ONLINE BOOKSTORE HERE. The photographs below, most of which have also made it into the book, are from around my home on Whidbey Island, but here you get the colored version.

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Guest post by Di Lu on the Tang Ye Jing

Many scholars and practitioners of Chinese medicine now consider the Tang Ye Jing 湯液經 (Classic of Decoction) as the basic reference for Zhang Ji’s 張機 (style name: Zhongjing 仲景, c. 150-219 AD) Shang Han Lun 傷寒論 (Discourse on Cold Damage). But is such an opinion on the relationship between the two texts unquestionable?

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Sabine Wilms Comments