Chinese medicine is based upon unique concepts of the body and the cosmos which differ from both modern, Western medicine and other forms of “natural” medicine. This class will show students how the core ideas of Han dynasty philosophy have formed the foundation of concepts of health and disease in Chinese medicine all the way up to the present day. We will then see how these key ideas are applied in the practice of acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary therapy. Each class will include lecture, discussion, and hands-on practice.
About the Instructor:
Shelley Ochs has been a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture since the year 2000, and received her Phd in the History of Chinese Medicine at the Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. Ms. Ochs lived in Taiwan from 1989-93, and has been in Beijing since 2007. Her training includes an M.S. in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Bilingual Program of the American College of Traditional Chinese medicine in San Francisco, and traditional apprenticeship training with senior acupuncturist Dr. Wang juyi in Beijing. She was a co-translator of Ten Lectures on the Use of Medicinals, published in 2003 by Paradigm Press, and has published articles on Chinese medicine in both English and Chinese. Her current research focuses on the origins of Chinese medicine in Shang Dynasty shamanistic culture.
CCC's mission is to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture by offering a wide variety of cultural activities and events to our members. Fees to certain programs such as this are provided on a non-profit basis and are meant to only cover actual costs of that specific program. You can help us by registering in advance of the program so that we can minimize the cost of these programs. Your contribution helps us to continue offering such programs in the future.
We will discuss the concepts of Qi, yin-yang, five phases (elements), and the internal landscape of the body. The body is a microcosm that reflects patterns of change and continuity in the macrocosm of the universe. Martial arts, landscape painting, feng-shui and medicine in China are all based upon this insight. Understanding these central ideas helps us see how Chinese medicine is an essential component of Chinese culture. Students will also engage in a writing exercise and a guided meditation to further explore how and why Chinese physicians insist upon using bodily experience to directly grasp the reality of qi and its movement.
The core of clinical Chinese medicine is an understanding of patterns of disharmony in the body and the modalities to re-harmonize or regulate those imbalances. We will discuss the internal organs and their functions, as well as the roles of qi, blood and fluids. The “gestalt” nature of organ patterns of health and disease will be explained though case examples. Students will have an opportunity to practice analyzing case studies and to complete a survey about their own health in order to better understand the nature of “diagnosis” in Chinese medicine.
The acupuncture channel system has been used to diagnose and cure ailments for at least 2500 years, making it one of the oldest forms of healing on the planet, yet many questions regarding its efficacy and mechanism of action remain unanswered. Acupuncture channels are neither purely anatomical nor are they purely “energetic.” They make use of multiple structures in the body without being reducible to any one set of anatomical tissues. This class will explore the paradox of clinical evidence showing the positive results of acupuncture treatment and the lack of a “scientific” explanation for its effects. Students will also practice palpating the channels with their hands in order to understand how they reflect past and present injuries and disharmonies.
Almost all cultures have used plants to heal ailments and improve health. Chinese herbal medicine is exceptional, however, for the continuity of its tradition and the scope of the medical literature on the use and preparation of herbal medicines. The recognized, mainstream canon of traditional texts alone contains more than 10,000 volumes, of which less than 5% have been translated into any European language. In this system, plant, animal and mineral substances are classified into categories based on their properties and physiological functions. This class will introduce the principles of Chinese herbal medicine and their main applications in decoction, patent, and external medicines. We will also sample teas made by steeping one to three herbs that can be used at home to maintain healthy digestion, sleep and moods.