chinese medicine

Wheatgrass for Twitter

An old, rediscovered friend passed along a question to me via Twitter. Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck, proprietors of the sublime and ever-inventive Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington, were friends in the 70s, when we were all immersed in a golden era for wilderness equipment specialists — they, Early Winters, and I, Rivendell Mountain Works. …

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‘Cutting Edge’ Medicine

Who Needs It? If you had a life-threatening illness, what would you do? Would you line up for your turn in front of the machines of conventional medicine and hope for the best? If you had an undiagnosed condition which was destroying your life, would you sit half the day in the waiting room of …

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Life Expectancy in the United States

One of the most common refrains I hear when I’m trying to put conventional medicine in a realistic perspective is an enthusiastic, “Well, life expectancy is up, isn’t it?!” Even if this sadly worn illusion were true, it says nothing about the quality of life citizens experience in this country. That, too, is nothing to …

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Tom has been a client since 1994. He works hard and works smart. In that time he has become very successful. In order to remain successful, Tom has had to learn how to balance the intensity of his work with choices that support his mental clarity, his focus, and his physical health. He has had to learn which choices achieve those goals and which choices fail. Recently, Tom was given a glimpse of the value of this process…

Empty Sweet

In first year Oriental medicine school, I remember the Chinese teacher explaining the ‘flavors’ or ‘tastes’ associated with the organs. Each of the yin organs (heart, lung, kidney, liver and spleen) benefits from a specific taste of food or herbs. The corresponding tastes are bitter, pungent, salty, sour, and sweet. I remember quite vividly the class response when she told us that the spleen benefitted from sweet. Deep, approving murmers of satisfaction moved palpably through the group, accompanied by a slightly self-righteous and smug embrace of desire’s affirmation.

An Image of Liver Qi

The reason I chose this photograph and layout for Future Medicine Now — The Contemplation is that it is an iconic portrayal of what liver qi (chee) should be. Liver, like all the other systems in the body, has its own qi, which has a personality, functions, emotional tendencies, and energetic directions of travel.