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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In an escape from current politics and to regain my balance and faith in humanity, I have been burying myself once again in Suwen 5, which may or may not evolve into the next book-length publication by Happy Goat Productions. What follows is probably the nerdiest blog post I have ever written, but it has brought me great satisfaction. Feel free to share constructive criticism, questions, or any other feedback in the Comments section below. I am perfectly aware that I am trying to put something in written words that is ultimately better approached intuitively. The passage below is found about two thirds through the chapter, following directly after the famous passage where Qi Bo explains the associations of the five directions with the dynamic agents, organs, climatic factors, sounds, flavors, etc etc. I am aware that the references of traditional gender roles in my discussion below may strike some readers as offensive, but I ask you to reserve judgment that comes from a modern Western perspective. Yes, I have opened another can of worms there and I promise to address that can in a different blog post in the future.Read More
WATER IS YĪN; FIRE IS YÁNG. YÁNG IS QÌ; YĪN IS FLAVOR.
A commentary on this line from the Lèi Jīng:
“Thus in Heaven, the sun and moon are water and fire; in the Yì Jīng, [the trigrams] kǎn and lí are water and fire; in medicine, the heart and the kidney are water and fire; and in alchemy, essence and qì are water and fire. Now the kidney is water, and the generation of qì inside water is precisely true fire; the heart is fire, and the generation of fluids inside fire is precisely true water. The mutual storage of water and fire within each other, this is where the utmost Dào is located, and this is what any physician should first examine attentively.”Read More
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.Read More
...this text should be on every herbalist’s desk, and would also serve as an excellent introduction to herbal medicine for acupuncture/ ’moxabustionists’ as well. I’m looking forward to taking the Shen nong ben cao jing into the forests, as I commune with the plants and minerals in the fields. Or as Zhuangzi once said, ‘cloud hidden, whereabouts unknown’.Read More
Guest blog by Rotem Rakovsky.
"Anxiety is a fascinating term in Chinese medicine, although it is hardly ever studied and it appears in only few writings. This term describes a condition in which there is an involvement of the Upper Burner/ Shang Jiao and the Lower Burner/Xia Jiao in the body simultaneously, as the throbbing of the heart is accompanied by fear and a sense of quivering at the sides of the navel....Read More
Last week, I received a copy of the new book published by Monkey Press, "Chinese Medicine From the Classics: A Beginner's Guide" by Sandra Hill. Reading through it these past few days has inspired me to write yet another blog, even though I really should be working on translating the Divine Farmer's Classic...Read More
Let me start by quoting the obvious (from Sun Simiao’s Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang, vol. 5 on Pediatrics:
“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.”Read More
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...Read More