Chinese Medicine and Health

Becoming who we are: Daoism and health

‘It is one of the commonest of our mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all that there is to perceive.’ – Charles W. Leadbeater When comparing and contrasting modern society’s view of health to that of Daoism, it is...
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Window of the Heavens Points

There are many different classifications of points within Chinese medicine, some are commonly used and some less so. One of the more misunderstood classifications of points are the ‘Windows of the Heavens Points’. Unlike many of the other point...
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Bi Gu (辟谷) – Giving Up Food…

An important aspect of Daoist alchemical practice is Bi Gu (辟谷) or ‘abstaining from grains’. The term often appears within books on the internal arts but there is rarely anything in the way of further discussion of what the term actually means. In many cases the term...
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Hubris and the plight of Ignaz

Acupuncture has undergone a substantial transformation over the last century. Whereas for many years it was confined to the Far East, it has now spread across the planet, and is now so commonly practised that it is routinely prescribed within the modern healthcare...
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Ghostly Points in Acupuncture

Chinese medicine contains many remnants of ancient Chinese beliefs. These beliefs stem back to an age where the majority of people saw the realm of the living as only one plane of existence. This plane ran parallel to the realm of the dead. The sensible person learnt...
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Five-element theory for *neigong* – part 3

part 3 – practising the wuxing qigong the five-element cycles Whenever we practise a specific qigong exercise, it can be helpful to try and understand how this exercise aims to affect our position in the larger existential frame that surrounds us. This is...
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Five-element theory for *neigong* – part 2

part 2 – creation and the five elements formation of the five elements In order to understand the five elements (wuxing) and how they interact within the human body, we have to go back to the origin of creation. Before humans manifest on the physical plane, they...
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five-element theory for *neigong* – part 1

part 1 – zang-organ theory Daoism always emphasises the interconnectedness of the physical, energy and consciousness bodies. Our general state of being—including our physical health, emotional balance and degree of spiritual attainment—is dictated by how those...
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The threefold path of Daoism

In modern societies, many people study the Chinese martial arts without necessarily having any knowledge of the Daoist philosophy that underpins them. Thus, taijiquan students might go to a weekly class to learn this particular art; they might do so for many years...
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*Qigong*: a method for restoring illumination

Light The Yellow Emperor said to Qi Bo, ‘The very first principle of acupuncture is that it must be rooted in shen.’ – Lingshu, chapter 8 The essentials of acupuncture lay in understanding how to correctly regulate yin and yang. When yin and yang are correctly...
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Window of the Heavens Points

There are many different classifications of points within Chinese medicine, some are commonly used and some less so. One of the more misunderstood classifications of points are the ‘Windows of the Heavens Points’. Unlike many of the other point...

Bi Gu (辟谷) – Giving Up Food…

An important aspect of Daoist alchemical practice is Bi Gu (辟谷) or ‘abstaining from grains’. The term often appears within books on the internal arts but there is rarely anything in the way of further discussion of what the term actually means. In many cases the term...

Hubris and the plight of Ignaz

Acupuncture has undergone a substantial transformation over the last century. Whereas for many years it was confined to the Far East, it has now spread across the planet, and is now so commonly practised that it is routinely prescribed within the modern healthcare...

Ghostly Points in Acupuncture

Chinese medicine contains many remnants of ancient Chinese beliefs. These beliefs stem back to an age where the majority of people saw the realm of the living as only one plane of existence. This plane ran parallel to the realm of the dead. The sensible person learnt...

The lungs: the canopy of breath

The lungs (fei) are one of the easiest organs to compare across modern physiology and traditional Chinese medicine. They are considered to have similar functions, with a few extra energetic aspects discussed from the Chinese medical perspective. Both consider the...

The Mingmen

A fascinating aspect of Chinese medicine is it’s rich connection to the ancient beliefs of the Chinese people. It is part of the beauty of the art that the patient is seen in conjunction with his or her path through life and destiny as much as with regards to what is...

Salt, sex, blood and bones

Foresight and Enquiry in Daoism (part 1) ‘I apologise in advance for writing such an unnecessarily long article. I recommend going out and practising some Taiji instead!’ (Dr Seb Smith) The arts deriving from the Eastern philosophical traditions such as...

The Spleen – Pi – Assimilation and Control

Within Western medicine, the Spleen is considered merely a store of blood and a (albeit major) part of the lymphatic or immune system. Within Chinese medicine, the Spleen has a very different function. It is the Spleen, rather than the stomach or intestines, which...

Acupuncture as permaculture

A process as described is not the process as it exists; The terms used to describe it are not the things they describe. That which evades description is the wholeness of the system; The act of description is merely a listing of its parts. Without intentionality, you...

The Heart – Xin – Monarch of the Mind

The Heart is given great importance within Traditional and Classical Chinese medicine. The character for the Heart “Xin” also encompasses the mind and emotions. Within a traditional understanding of the body, the heart was believed to be the seat and...

Living with the Seasons – Autumn

Living according to the cycles of nature is a key teaching within Daoism. Studying Yin and Yang and their various gradients. Nature and the seasons are a manifestation of the constant change and fluctuation of Yin and Yang. Winter is the peak of Yin and summer is the...

Nature’s Medicine

“When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation, when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation… it always comes with just one happy realization; “I need do nothing” ACIM – 18.VII 5 (7)   One of the side effects of our modern...

Yang Sheng Fa – Healthy Living in Daily Life

How to practice conscious awareness of your way of living, eating and moving, and emotions that arise throughout the day to promote internal change, balance and spirituality. Some small tips to start transforming everyday normal life into a spiritual and flourishing...

Knee Pain and the Internal Arts

Knee pain is quite common among practitioners of the internal arts and is something I have struggled with myself when doing extended periods of zhan zhuang or qigong exercises that involve a lot of standing. Knee pain is usually experienced because of some incorrect...

Dao Yin Organ Pathogens

Another video clip taken from a lecture I gave in Sweden this summer. This time I am discussing the nature of pathogenic substances when they are given off by the organs in the body. The last video in this series was a bit too gaudy with regards to the background...

The Value of Skepticism

  These days, it is quite fashionable to be a skeptic. Atheism is probably more popular now than at any point in history and there are numerous skeptics societies, websites and magazines around the world. This trend seems to be particularly prevalent among well...

Foot massage – Acupressure Points

On this video you will find a short introductory sequence for foot massage which can help both with your health and in your Qigong practice. I use these points in my Shiatsu practice and also find them helpful when running my Qigong classes. Please note that the...

The Liver – Gan – The Great Mover

The title of this article may be a bit confusing to those familiar with Nei Gong practices or similar,as the Lower Dan Tian is often considered the water wheel which moves Qi and indeed the most important factor in movement. However from a Zang Fu perspective (and in...

The Kidneys (Shen) – Fire and Water

The Kidneys are considered a Zang or solid organ and their Fu counterpart is the Bladder. In energetic anatomy, the Kidneys are responsible for far more than the filtration of water. They are one of the first organs to form during pregnancy due to their role as the...

The Spine and Kidneys

This is there first in a series of articles which are going to be posted up here over the next year or so. They are all excerpts from theoretical lectures given by me on courses I have taught across the UK, Sweden and America. These transcriptions often jump from...

Chinese Medicine Organ Theory

Daoism always emphasises the interconnectedness of the physical, energy and consciousness bodies. Our general state of being—including our physical health, emotional balance and degree of spiritual attainment—is dictated by how those three bodies interact. Before we...

Acupuncture as Qi Gong

Alchemical or internal work lay at the heart of all the practices which have been born from the Daoist tradition. An understanding of the nature of our inner universe is integral to understanding arts such as Gong Fu and Qi Gong as well as those that may not at first...

The Pineal Gland

It is interesting to note how different cultures have placed great importance upon the pineal gland with regards to their spiritual practices. Almost without exception the pineal gland has appeared within the teachings of different ancient groups who assigned the...

Meridian Acupuncture

One of the most widely practiced art forms born from Daoist teachings is Chinese medicine. Consisting of massage techniques, joint manipulations, herbal remedies, acupuncture, medical exercises and other, more esoteric, modalities, it forms a complete system of...

Wu Xing and the Emotional Spirits

When existence is born forth from the Dao, the first plane of vibration exists within the spiritual frequency. As the vibration changes, the energetic realm comes into existence and further change brings about the physical realm from the mass of information stored...

Feeling the Energy Body

Here is an article which was originally written for Blog on Singing Dragon’s website. It concerns the process of feeling the energy body; a large part of the Heavenly Streams book. Anybody engaging with the internal practices of the Daoist tradition will no doubt...