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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:


Posts tagged gynecology
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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A Lactation Consultant's Perspective on Placenta Encapsulation

Guest blog by Sarah Hollister, RN, PHN, IBCLC: As a nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), I have the opportunity to work with nearly every pregnant woman and new mom and baby at a group of four primary care health centers in Northern California. I would like to share my experience, concerns and request for collaboration to closely examine the new practice of placenta encapsulation, as it has grown to become a component of the postpartum experience for the new moms who I work with and throughout the United States. I have encountered assumptions that placenta consumption increases milk production, is a prevention for postpartum depression, and has existed in history as an ancient human practice. I will provide a summary here of the work I do and what I have found with my clients involving this practice.

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Placentophagy and Chinese Medicine

Disclaimer: The following blog is merely a collection of notes and not a serious scientific research paper. There is obviously a pressing need for more research. My intention with this blog post is not to make any conclusive statements about the practice of placenta encapsulation or placentophagy, which I am not qualified to do anyway, but merely to offer the classical Chinese perspective as an urgently-needed correction to some misinformation promoted in popular and Chinese medicine circles. 

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Postpartum Recovery from Birthing a Book

Perhaps because I am teaching a gynecology class right now while dealing with the very final last-minute revisions and the release drama of my new book, the "Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica," it has struck me lately how similar the production of a book is to the conception, pregnancy, labor, and birth of a real child, and then the postpartum recovery.

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No Coincidence

While I was really hoping to announce the release of my forthcoming (and over-due) translation of the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica, we are still fine-tuning it. It is a precious text that needs to be treated with reverence and presented correctly. So please be patient and accept my apologies for the delay. Any day now though....literally!

In the meantime, I have a sweet little story to share with you: A friend recommended that I check out the work of Jane English, translator, publisher, shaman, nature photographer, and apparently just somebody whose work I would really relate to. 

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Fertility and Gynecology - Biomedicine, Chinese Medicine, and Common Sense

Let me start  by quoting the obvious (from Sun Simiao’s  Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang, vol. 5 on Pediatrics:

故今斯方先婦人、小兒而後丈夫、耆老者則是崇本之義也。

“Now the present collection of treatments is arranged by placing the treatments for women and children first, and those for husbands and the elderly afterwards. The significance of [this structure] is that it venerates the root.”

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A Response From a Classical Chinese Medicine Perspective to a Lecture on Early Greek Gynecology

Last night, I was fortunate to enjoy a highly entertaining and informative lecture by Dr. Helen King, Professor of Classical Studies at the Open University in the UK, presented at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. As the leading authority on medicine for (and by) women in ancient Greece and early Europe, she managed to provide a survey of early gynecology that was impressive in its comprehensiveness in spite of the unfortunate time limitations of her presentation. I was elated to have her touch on many subjects that I often discuss in the context of classical Chinese gynecology...

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