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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:


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
Misogyny in Chinese Medicine…Not What You May Think!

As a scholar who has closely studied and translated the works of Sun Simiao and early Chinese gynecological literature for several decades, the time has finally come for me to clear up mistaken views about this important figure and his work that I encountered some years ago. Given Sun Simiao’s significant contributions to Chinese medicine and to gynecology, he deserves to have someone speak up for him.

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Seal penises and testes in gynecology

The following is an excerpt from my current book project, a translation and discussion of Qí Zhòngfǔ’s 齊仲甫 Nü Ke Bai Wen 女科百問 (A Hundred Questions in Gynecology), published in 1220. It is one of two formulas attached to Question Sixteen:

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Sabine WilmsComment
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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Sabine Wilms Comments
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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Sabine WilmsComment