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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.

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Treatise on the Ten Kinds of Childbirth

1) Whenever humans give birth, you must first know the signs and symptoms of these ten [types of] childbirth so that the woman in childbirth will never suffer injury to her life.

2) For the duration of childbirth, [saving] life is the most important issue.

3) In fortunate cases, the child is born with ease, but people don’t [even] know how blessed they are. One in ten thousand has a bit of difficulties and then within an instant, the lives of the child and of the mother are as if hanging from a strand of hair. ..

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Guest Post: Rebecca Avern on "Children and Fright"

Rebecca Avern is the founder of and clinician at The Panda Clinic, an acupuncture centre for the treatment of babies and young people in Oxford, UK. She is a senior lecturer and clinical supervisor at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine. She lectures widely on paediatrics and is the author of Acupuncture for Babies, Children and Teenagers, published by Singing Dragon.

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Water Blog, Part Three: Li Shizhen on Terrestrial Waters

Running Water: The explanations found in this entry offer valuable insights into Li Shizhen’s understanding of medicinal efficacy and the way in which a substance is affected by its surroundings. I believe that most of us modern people, used to eating lifeless greenhouse strawberries in February and heavily processed food from distant continents out of plastic containers, cannot even begin to comprehend the reasoning expressed here. It is just one more expression of this notion of “resonance” (ying 應) that strikes me as the foundation of the classical Chinese way of living in harmony with the universe.

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Water Blog, Part Two: Li Shizhen on Celestial Water

The section on Waters is the first of 16 major parts (bu 部) in this text, and the second shortest section, about twice as big as the one on Fires and just a bit shorter than the one on Earths, which are the next two sections in the text. … is divided into two large categories (lei 類): Celestial Water 天水 and Terrestrial Water 地水, which are further subdivided into 13 and 30 “types” (zhong 種) respectively. Because this text is just so much fun to read, I couldn’t help translating or excerpting much of it here. Let us first look at Part One, namely water that comes from Heaven, or in less poetic terms, falls out of the sky:

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The Therapeutic Use of Water in the Bencao gangmu, Part One: Introduction to the Text

This post is written in preparation for a lecture I will be giving while soaking in the hot springs at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico, in the framework of a retreat on Chinese herbs and the Chinese medicine classics taught by Z’ev Rosenberg and myself in Taos on August 19-23, 2018. For more information on that retreat, see here. My interest in water is obviously also inspired by my current life on the Puget Sound on Whidbey Island where I go wade, swim, and play in the blue stuff almost every day.

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Humming with Elephants???

An explanation for the strange title of my new book “Humming with Elephants”:

As a whole, the Great Treatise on the Resonant Manifestations of Yīn and Yáng discusses the correlations and correspondences, or in my favorite translation “resonances” (yìng 應), between the actions and movements of Yīn and Yáng in the macrocosm of nature at large and in the human body and an infinity of other larger and smaller microcosms, from the cells to plants and animals to society and the stars in the sky. Without going into too much detail here, I would like to suggest that what English-speaking scholars of philosophy, science, and medicine have been referring to as “correlative thinking” or as the “theory of systematic correspondences” deserves a stronger and more concise term to describe this relationship of “stimulus and response/resonance” gǎn yìng 感應.

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