Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Moxa?

Episode #34: Why Moxa?

Lorraine Wilcox, THE MOXA QUEEN, joins the show today to discuss all things moxa.
  • Properties of mugwort
  • How the use of moxibustion predates acupuncture
  • Why some ancient masters of Chinese medicine used moxa instead of acupuncture
  • Differences between direct and indirect 
  • What is the best moxa wool? 
  • Properties of moxa smoke
  • Unique temperature spikes while moxa burns
  • What science is discovering about the use of moxa 

Lorraine Wilcox is a Chinese medical translator, author, licensed acupuncturist, and professor of Chinese medicine at 3 schools in Los Angeles. Books she has authored include "Moxibustion: The Power of Mugwort Fire", "Moxibustion: A Modern Clinical Handbook", "Raising the Dead and Returing Life", and "The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Volumes: IX and V"

Available continuing education classes taught by Lorraine about moxa include "More than you ever knew about moxa sticks" and "Mugwort and Moxa Floss".

Other subjects touched upon briefly during this episode include the importance of channel theory and palpation based acupuncture which appear in the Nei Jing, and the important role of female physicians in the development of Chinese Medicine.

Lorraine's recommendation to learn more about channel theory acupuncture is to take classes from Ed Neal.  Ed Neal has been practicing acupuncture for over 20 years and was originally a trained western physician.  He currently is Director and Senior researcher for Neijing studies at the Xinglin institute.  The Xinglin institute is dedicated to the study of early Chinese medical texts to search for and find solutions to current global health issues.  Classes for Ed Neal can be taken HERE.

Lastly, in regards to the important role of female physicians in the development of Chinese Medicine.  Lorraine speaks highly of a book published in 1996 called "A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History" authored by Charlotte Furth.  Below is a description of her book.

This book brings the study of gender to Chinese medicine and in so doing contextualizes Chinese medicine in history. It examines the rich but neglected tradition of fuke, or medicine for women, over the seven hundred years between the Song and the end of the Ming dynasty. Using medical classics, popular handbooks, case histories, and belles lettres, it explores evolving understandings of fertility and menstruation, gestation and childbirth, sexuality, and gynecological disorders. 

 Furth locates medical practice in the home, where knowledge was not the monopoly of the learned physician and male doctors had to negotiate the class and gender boundaries of everyday life. Women as healers and as patients both participated in the dominant medical culture and sheltered a female sphere of expertise centered on, but not limited to, gestation and birth. Ultimately, her analysis of the relationship of language, text, and practice reaches beyond her immediate subject to address theoretical problems that arise when we look at the epistemological foundations of our knowledge of the body and its history.

This book can be purchased at

This Episode is Sponsored by:
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Formulas From the Golden Cabinet with Songs

"There is a defining moment in the study of Chinese language when you realize that the page of text you are looking at is actually right side up. While this seems like a ridiculously simple skill, it is, in fact, one of the cornerstones on which one builds a foundation of understanding. In any endeavor, we must be able to orient ourselves; we need a compass that helps us to navigate." 
 -Michael Max-

Eran Even, owner of Rocky Point Acupuncture in Port Moody Vancouver, has navigated the world of classical Chinese language and translation and has produced an incredible new book titled Formulas From the Golden Cabinet with Songs. This is a translation of Chen Xiuyuan pivotal work discussing the Jing Gui Fang Ge Kuo volumes IV-VI. These volumes are commentaries on the formulas that appear in chapters twelve to twenty three of the Jin Gui Yao Lue ( Essential from the Golden Cabinet), the famous Han Dynasty formulary and companion volume to the Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage) by Zhang Zhongjing.

  This is a monumental task as many of these chapters had not been translated into English and this is what inspired Eran to complete this work. As one reads Eran's book, it cannot be helped to catch a glimpse into historical medical practices, learning and thought processes of the time, but also we can envision a medical intervention plan to care for the sick at a time when Western medicine and its tools were infants or did not exist at all.

  Many practitioners of today may ask, "why should I study these books?" A fair question, but as Eran points out so eloquently that all formulas utilized today have mostly all come from traditional formulas. It is the essence of understanding the formula and how it was designed. It was not designed with biochemical analysis, but a thorough understanding of flavor relationships and the interaction of the six conformations (Taiyang-Jueyin). These formulas are based on thousands of years of great success and the test today is to apply these to modern clinical situations and observe their respective efficacy.

  Eran Even is not a hobbyist translator either. Eran began his studies in Chinese medicine and language in Vancouver and continued in China at the Beijing University of Chinese medicine training  under one of China's great acupuncturists, Dr. Bai Yu Lan, to further his understanding of Chinese medicine. He also studied under Professor Fan Zheng Lun at the Ping Xin Tang clinic and with Dr. Huang Huang at his clinic in Nanjing. This experience is what Eran brings to his work, his life, and his book that he has painstakingly translated over the past several years. It is a book to not only keep on your shelf, but to exhaust its wealth of information in your clinical experience.

  Volume 1-3 of this translation was first produced by Sabine Wilms.  Even though this episode was with Eran Even, her dedication and work in the translation of the first 3 volumes cannot be understated or overlooked for a second.  Click here to see Sabine's other publications.

  Eran and his wife Christine also have a business that includes plant-based oils and essential oils, along with food-grade ingredients and Chinese herbs, to make products that are both highly effective and honestly natural. They have a consistent philosophy to test their products on the "two-legged" participants and not the animal kingdom. Their skin care line is called Sola Skincare and they are skillful at choosing ingredients based on their specific properties to enhance one's skin. Here are a few examples.

Sola Skin Care Products

"Translating texts such as the Jin Gui Fang Ge Kuo is difficult at best, and Eran has done a marvelous job in rendering the original Qing Dynasty Chinese into English. This is an important achievement that deserves wide study" 
-Z'ev Rosenberg-

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