Clinical gaze

"'Clinical gaze'... to look at something seemingly very complex, and see simplicity within it... that's the challenge and goal in every clinical interaction. To find the elegant simplicity that underlies all the things that are happening."

Phil Settels LAc, from Qiological podcast #Qi084 ("Following the Process: Classical Thought in the Modern World") 

(listen to 41:20 for how open-close-pivot (開闔樞) relates to the Six Conformations (六經) of Chinese medicine, from the Shang Han Lun 傷寒論 perspective)

Qiological is my favorite Chinese medicine podcast in English. I think it's our best podcast for Chinese medicine practitioners in the USA. It might be a bit much for the lay person, but still very interesting. Give a listen!

Podcasts - qiological

Becoming a Qiologician helps us at Qiological to bring you the weekly conversations you love. It also gives you access to some special content that is exclusively for those who help to support the podcast. Check out the Qiologician page for more details!

Pictured: "Owl shaped pottery jars with ash glaze" from the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. From the Han dynasty (206 BCE- 220 CE)


Kaptchuk, Placebo, and Acupuncture

Ted Kaptchuk wrote "The Web That Has No Weaver," one of the first books about Chinese medicine in the USA. He's been doing research about the placebo effect, and its relationship with Chinese medicine. Fascinating. Two studies (described here) show that acupuncture is almost twice as effective as optimal mainstream care in treating chronic lower back pain. However, acupuncture and sham acupuncture achieve similar clinical effects... but work in the body in different ways.

"... while both genuine and sham acupuncture equally reduced noxious stimuli, needle stimulation inhibited incoming noxious stimuli with a peripheral-central bottom up somatosensory modulation, while sham acupuncture activated a top-down modulation of pain and worked through the brain's emotional circuitry." (1)

Read the whole article, here:

See more of Kaptchuk's research, here:

(1) Kaptchuk TJ, Chen Ke-Ji, Song Jun. Recent Clinical Trials of Acupuncture in the West: Responses from the Practitioners. Chin J Integr Med 2010 Jun;16(3):197-203
 Kong J, Kaptchuk TJ, Polich G, Kirsch I, Vangel M, Zyloney C, et al. An fMRI study on the interaction and dissociation betwen expectation of pain relief and acupuncture treatment. NeuroImage 2009;47:1066-1076.

Summer Solstice Ceremony

View this post on Instagram

We harvest and surrender, in Autumn. We rest and dream, in Winter. We plant seeds and create our visions, in Spring. We tend our plants and flower our visions, dancing with fire, in Summer, time of greatest movement and activity. . As we enter this fiery season, let's clarify our intentions and actions. Come welcome summer's brightest blessings with our Summer Solstice Blessingway Ceremony, on the longest day of the year: Saturday, June 22 at @the_mama_cocoon with @intothewild.yoga and I. Jessy's weaving the ceremony container. I'm helping you create something sacred, beautiful, and tangible (it’s a surprise). . Sign up at @venturewellyoga or https://www.venturewellyoga.com/events/summer-solstice-blessingway . Happy Summer Solstice! . Photo story: The dirt road winds on and on, up and over mountain passes. It's getting dark. There are no clear pull-off's, so I pull as far off the road as I can, stuff my pack with my sleeping bag and journal, brush my teeth, then tromp up-hill to sleep. I climb just over the barren hill, out of sight of the road, with no trees overhead, and a clear view of the brightest of stars and Milky Way. The winds start howling around 11 PM, picking up speed until I must anchor myself down with stones, to stop my sleeping bag from noisily flapping in the wind, and prevent my pack's attempts to fly away. The wind renders me practically naked in my old down bag. I shiver in fetal position all night, body curled tight to stay warm, waiting, waiting, watching with bleary eyes as stars march across the sky, Milky Way slowly fades, and Sky finally starts changing color. I weep with gratitude when the Sun finally rises. Every cell of my body sings in celebration as Sun's heat kisses my face, that kiss warming and spreading through my body as its' Fire licks my own internal Fire back to life.
A post shared by Jiling 林基玲 (@linjiling) on