Reflections on Chinese Medicine, Resolved

June 14th, 2010 § 9 comments

The reflections continues.

This fall I will be starting a program in Chinese Medicine and best quality cialis Acupuncture. I am excited to generic form of viagra'>generic form of viagra start a new adventure down the healing path, but I also have a few points of concern.

The main concern I have is try it viagra best price a common one for me: local versus global. Western herbalism is present in my backyard and spice rack. I can walk three steps out my front door and harvest nettles (yes, I stupidly planted nettle right in front of best prices on viagra'>best prices on viagra my house), chickweed, plantain, yarrow and more.

My family is of European descent, I live in the viagra online no prescription'>viagra online no prescription USA, I grew up acculturated in Western linear, rational thought, and have been studying Western herbalism for over eight years. My roots lie here.

Chinese medicine is present around me too, but more in theory and than practice. Acupuncture needles don’t grow on pine trees, and even if I did have Chinese herbs growing around (which I do, actually), I don’t know a lot about harvesting or preparing them.  How do you make ‘raw’ versus ‘cooked’ rehmannia? What herbs have to be aged? Soaked in wine? Boiled for days? How do they make those little teapills I see everywhere?

Like most (all?) medical and healing traditions, Chinese medicine has within its roots legends of how people met certain plants. But by and large, there isn’t a whole lot of green vitality present in Chinese medicine. Growing and buy canada in viagra'>buy canada in viagra gazing at plants has helped me learn and appreciate the medicine and beauty they offer. Will a lack of live plants influence my appreciation for and understanding of Chinese herbalism?

When I was taking a tour of the gardens at the school I’ll be attending, someone pointed to little plantain and asked the typical question, “what’s this one good for?”. The tour guide said, “Oh that? It’s just a weed. The seeds of super levitra a related species are the source of psyllium”. To me, plantain is one of those plants that scream green, fresh, juicy aliveness. I haven’t heard of any herbs being used fresh in Chinese medicine (I could be very wrong, though).

The process of writing this has cleared the air! I feel a lot better already…

First, as if I have grown or met every single herb that I have taken. Ha!

Point in case: right now I am loving ashwaganda. It kept coming up in books, intuition and conversation, and seemed like a good herb to try. Just because I don’t have ashwaganda plants around me doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it’s healing power nor have some sort of connection with it.

Secondly, it’s no shock that I am interested in a “global” modality. My BA is in anthropology, and I have always been seeking to learn about the levitra prescription label canadian pharmacy levitra'>canadian pharmacy levitra people and their ways of life on this planet we all call home.

And so what if my ancestors would’ve used Western herbs in their homelands? They also ate rotten cod soaked in lye and we like it viagra sales in canada drank horrendous coffee that sure isn’t native to Sweden. There’s no harm expanding the palate, of food, medicines or philosophy, especially if done so consciously and sustainably.

Another thing that just resolved itself is that I can’t try to make three and a half years studying Chinese medicine anything it is not. I am not doing this to best price for levitra'>best price for levitra learn a ton about growing herbs or Western herbalism. It’s not the point. It’s not called “Western Medicine School with a dash of epsfa.com Plant Spirit Medicine”.

Instead, let me recall all the fun reasons I have pursued this in the first place; to take pulses, look at tongues, learn the organ systems, five element theory, energetics, acupuncture (I’m a body person, of course I’d be attracted to a modality that incorporates working with my hands with a manual yet energetic form of healing), and on and on.

Most of all, I pursued this to help people. I wish to develop skills to assisting others on their healing path. This is propabranda.com just one of many ways to do so.

§ 9 Responses to Reflections on Chinese Medicine, Resolved"

  • Tim says:

    That’s awesome, going to Oregon to how much levitra'>how much levitra study Chinese medicine, on top of your existing knowledge, awareness, and skills. I love your blog (having only recently discovered it) and hope that you still find time to write!

  • Renée A.D. says:

    Aye! I just finished studying 5-Element medicine (for the last 3 years) meeself. I found the concepts and frameworks (which is really observing the levitra pfizer'>levitra pfizer cycles of change in the seasons and people) to be illuminating. But the kicker is that we didn’t learn Chinese herbs applications, but local plants for treating elemental imbalances and blocks in the meridians. We each have our different walks as healers.
    And hey, got my BA in Environmental Anthro too! But it’s made me be more wary of the cultural appropriation bit. My family’s European also, I like to stay rooted in tradition and visit our site buy viagra online from canadacheap viagra tablets locality whilst being innovative. But sometimes I’m drawn to exotic plants (like corydalis, oh my goodness!) and I just roll with it.

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m in Chinese medical school in LA, and it’s one of my main issues with the school–being a lover of all things wild… in one of my first herbal classes I asked my teacher about one of the herbs we were studying (I think it was opiopogonus (sp?)) where it grew, what conditions it liked, etc. I mean, for me, these are key points. He looked at me and said “Look, I’m not a botanist, I’m a herbalist”. And I wanted to cry.

    Like you, I’m there for the pulses, tongue diagnosis, the five-element theory, and most importantly, the license. And I’ll take from everything else what I want. I LOVE the basics of www.ekstasis.net TCM theory, and I love how it’s so earth-based, so connected to the seasons and the cycles of life. I find it kinda funny (ok, hilarious) that most people interpret that to mean “eat chinese food and use chinese herbs”… like the creator (if you believe in a creator) said “ok then, I’m going to put all the good food and herbs in China, and everyone else just has to viagra mexico'>viagra mexico wait till globalisation gets invented… bwa ha ha ha”. And then there are certain things– like dairy being pure evil– that I just dismiss as being cultural. I’m Scottish, not Chinese, so my genetic predisposition towards certain foods is going to be different. Raw milk makes me feel great. Soybeans give me the worst gas and stomach cramps and make me feel like I’m dying come period time.

    There are good things to balance out the bad. I love acupuncture too. And all the theories. I don’t appreciate how herbal medicine is taught at my school, but I love western herbs SO much that I don’t know if I could just switch over anyway. There are a few Chinese herbs that I’ve been getting to know that I feel comfortable using now, but these things take time, for me at least.

    I’m rambling… But yes, thanks for sharing this. I’m so glad to hear that there are other greeny people who see that because for some reason I feel very much alone when I try to share these opinions with people at my school.

    Good luck with your move and with starting school :)
    -Rebecca

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m in Chinese medical school in LA, and it’s one of my main issues with the school–being a lover of all things wild… in one of my first herbal classes I asked my teacher about one of the herbs we were studying (I think it was opiopogonus (sp?)) where it grew, what conditions it liked, etc. I mean, for me, these are key points. He looked at me and said “Look, I’m not a botanist, I’m a herbalist”. And I wanted to cry.

    Like you, I’m there for the pulses, tongue diagnosis, the five-element theory, and most importantly, the license. And I’ll take from everything else what I want. I LOVE the basics of TCM theory, and I love how it’s so earth-based, so connected to the seasons and the cycles of life. I find it kinda funny (ok, hilarious) that most people interpret that to mean “eat chinese food and use chinese herbs”… like the creator (if you believe in a creator) said “ok then, I’m going to put all the good food and herbs in China, and everyone else just has to wait till globalisation gets invented… bwa ha ha ha”. And then there are certain things– like dairy being pure evil– that I just dismiss as being cultural. I’m Scottish, not Chinese, so my genetic predisposition towards certain foods is going to be different. Raw milk makes me feel great. Soybeans give me the worst gas and stomach cramps and make me feel like I’m dying come period time.

    There are good things to balance out the bad. I love acupuncture too. And all the theories. I don’t appreciate how herbal medicine is taught at my school, but I love western herbs SO much that I don’t know if I could just switch over anyway. There are a few Chinese herbs that I’ve been getting to know that I feel comfortable using now, but these things take time, for me at least.

    I’m rambling… But yes, thanks for sharing this. I’m so glad to hear that there are other greeny people who see that because for some reason I feel very much alone when I try to share these opinions with people at my school.

    Good luck with your move and with starting school :)

  • celia says:

    I like what you all said about taking what you need from your TCM education and rolling with it. You are so right, it’s all additive!

  • celia says:

    Maybe we should start a western herbalists in chinese medicine support group ;)

  • Susan says:

    Yes, you folk studying the Chinese way…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use the Western herbs in the modality! Peter Holmes’ and Jeremy Ross’ books are good starting points…but you, Dandelion…you already have the Western herbs in your blood…you can bring it together! I’m a Western herbalist (only – not an acupuncturist) and I am always so frustrated by the unquestioned use of the dried, powdered, oxidized, sometimes-adulterated, and nearly “dead” Chinese herbs by acupuncturists in this country…folks who are literally walking over medicine every day outside the clinic. Yes, YOU GO GIRL!!!

  • Rebecca says:

    I completely agree! And I’d love to start a western herbalists: TCM support group :) Or maybe we can just share blogs about it…

    It’s funny– I told my herbs class once that I wanted to use Western herbs in a TCM practice and http://amphoraoptimus.at/levitra-without-prescriptions I got these looks like I’d come out and said “I have sex with my cat” or something like that. As far as I’m concerned, just spending time with the plants gives an energetic understanding of them. I often feel them go to certain meridians, or act in certain ways, so I don’t see why we can’t form a pharmacopeia of Western herbs for Chinese medicine diagnoses… I have Thomas Avery Garran’s book– it’s good, though there’s so much more that’s unmentioned. A teacher tried to tell me that Chinese herbs are just better and stronger. Sounds like a bit of brainwashing to http://urbanpresentations.com/levitra-for-daily-use me….

    Susan, in one class we were discussing dandelion (pu gong ying) and everybody was ASTOUNDED to hear that a common ‘weed’ was a potent medicine. Literally walking over it indeed… and to think people have these irradiated ones shipped over from China *smacks head*.

  • celia says:

    Susan, I wasn’t aware of Peter Holmes’ and Jeremy Ross’ books but I’ll seek them out now – they are exactly what I am what I’m looking for!

    Thomas Avery Garran, I’ll look him up too; Thanks Rebecca. Wow – a teacher told you Chinese herbs are better + stronger?!?! Wow.

    I totally understand how you can say “…just spending time with the plants gives an energetic understanding of them. I often feel they go to certain meridians”. Well, I am glad to know that there are people out there (like you all) who are interested in combining aspects of TCM and Western herbalism in ways that can help people. Why not?

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