In this one-day seminar, we shall be exploring the classical foundations of Chinese gynecology, from the Han dynasty through Sun Simiao’s writing in the seventh century to the Hundred Questions of Gynecology, one of the Song dynasty classics published in 1220 CE. Based on Sabine’s intensive works with this body of literature, we will explore the following topics:
• the theoretical reasons and justifications for a special body of “separate formulas for women”;
• the significance of the menstrual cycle and female bleeding in the context of menarche, conception, pregnancy, birth, lactation, and postpartum recovery;
• related to this, the role of blood in female physiology and pathology, and diagnosis and treatment;
• women’s emotions and the role of the heart;
• women’s association with Yin, and possible practices to nourish Yin and thereby restore the balance of Yin and Yang, if needed.
To conclude our day by bringing it to the present, we shall explore the unique challenges and gifts of inhabiting a female body in contemporary Western society and how we, as practitioners of Chinese medicine in the largest sense of that word, might be able to “harmonize Heaven and Earth” by supporting women’s health in clinical practice, in our personal lives with friends and family, and in society at large.