My Sprained Ankle… Healed with 7-star hammer

Below is a little movie clip of me using the 7-star hammer on my ankle to draw blood…read on.   Two days ago I went out riding alone on my Connemara mare, Dellah.  It was a spectacular spring day.  She’s got some “issues” out on the trail that I’ve been slowly attempting to help her with by building her confidence.  She gets flustered easily by things like flowing water, white maple syrup buckets, bicycles, and all manner of imaginary threats.  She was going great until we came to the Roaring Brook River.  She’s crossed it many times before and would have had no trouble if another horse had been in front of her.  We began to cross and, as she moved quickly to the other side, she got flustered, moving quickly to the left and then quickly to the right .  I felt my ankle twist in the stirrup and found myself on the ground on the other side of the river.  Bummer! Continue reading

Posted in Adjunctive Therapies | 5 Comments

Da Zao in Classic Formulas

Last November Dr. Fu Yan-Ling came here to teach on the use of classic formulas in the treatment of digestive disorders.  This was a wonderful course that gave us all more skill in our clinic.  One patient who appears in the course suffered from years of Crohn’s Disease. After seeing Dr. Fu during class and following up, has been disease free now for 5 months.

I am in the process of editing this material now and thought this clip would make a good blog entry.  I place it here in the spirit of helpful tidbits.  This bit was part of Dr. Fu’s discussion on Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang.

In this short presentation Dr. Fu also speaks about the origin of Zhang Zhong-Jing’s formulas. He refers to Dr. Yi Yin, 伊尹, who was a cook originally!

I think you will learn something here about how and why to use Da Zao in your formulas.

Click here to open the presentation

We will be offering this entire course beginning in June as a 6 week online course.  Registrants will have the opportunity during the 6 weeks to ask Dr. Fu questions and discuss the material between themselves.  3 hours of the presentation will be posted each week for a total of 6 weeks/18 hours.  This innovative interactive course gives 18 CEUs.  Stay tuned for more information!



Posted in Classic Formulas, Dr. Fu Yan-Ling, Individual Herbs, Our Courses | 1 Comment

First Class a Success

The first weekend of the Graduate Mentorship Program launched the new 2012 program.  40 students attended the program live while over 50 streamed live all the way from the Netherlands, Israel, Vancouver, California and beyond.  There are another 25 who are doing the program totally through the distance learning format, watching the video footage after the weekend and participating in the mentorship aspects.  It was such a great group of students!  Really, it is so nice for a teacher to have students looking awake and interested for 3 whole days.  It seemed that students felt comfortable as well.  They asked many great questions so there was a spirit of  conversation and exploration.  Students who were streaming live were also able to ask questions through the chat function and moderator.  When ever I asked a question, many students piped up and spoke as well.  For me, the weekend was really fun.

I’m very excited for the remaining time with this group.  So many smart and inspiring people!

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This is inspiring..Center for Sustainable Medicine

I met Didi Pershouse when I was pregnant with my daughter so it must have been 20 years ago.  Didi was a student at the Northwest Institute of Oriental Medicine in Seattle where I was then teaching.  Didi decided to move east about the time my daughter turned 2 and I made the same decision. Didi was planning on driving a big truck and I, since I had toddler, wanted to fly so Didi hauled all my stuff across the country.  At that time Didi was not long out of school and was just getting started.  Though I knew Didi was a scholar, writer, visionary and a good part fairy healer little did I know what interesting projects she would be up to!  Check this out and get really inspired.

And check out Didi’s website

You can make a donation to support her book..contribute here


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Graduate Mentorship Program

In just over a month, on March 9th, the 2012, 2-year Graduate Mentorship Program will begin.  This is the 6th time this course has been offered.  The program is almost full with 40 new participants and 18 past students taking it again.   The reason we can accommodate this number of students is that the course is not only live. Many of these students are taking the course from their homes in places like California, Vancouver or Texas. The course is also live-streamed AND it is filmed and broken down into weekly shorts.  This option to take the course in small increments is available to all registrants.  I’ve designed the program this way in accordance with the wisdom written about by Annie Lamott in her wonderful book on the writing craft Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.  I’ve learned over time that a three-day weekend is wonderful.  It gives students a chance to sink into and immerse themselves in a topic.  In a way, spending this time is like being on retreat.  Letting go of the work-a-day world to swim in the material allows the material to seep in and become part of you.  However, the weekends are full of details that can easily be forgotten.  There are so many times I have attended a weekend course, feeling that I absorbed so much and then – reviewing my notes later – I feel astounded at all the details I forgot….Completely! Continue reading

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Kampo – Low Abdominal Pressure?

Yesterday I received my newest edition of my favorite journal, The Lantern. Not only is this edition full of excellent and inspiring articles, it also features an article by Nigel Dawes!  The article is entitled “Evidence is More Valuable than Logic”. In addition, Nigel is going to be teaching in Australia, for our Australian readers.   His class is called “Fukushin in Modern Practice”. For other information about Nigel’s teaching and practice, check out his web-site as well as Michael Max’s informative 2-part interview with Nigel.

On to our final installment of my questions for Nigel:

Not wanting to take Nigel’s generosity too far….I finish my questions (for now!)

Okay, one more and I’ll leave you alone….at least for a little while..

On the  handouts you gave us at the start of class – the ones with the pictures of Osaka’s 13 abdomens – the ‘Inside Emergency’ # 9 says that the ‘Li Ji’ is a result of overstrained rectus abdominus compensating for low abdominal pressure.  I don’t get what this means.  Could you explain it to me a bit more?  How do the muscles strain in response to low abdominal pressure? Continue reading

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Kampo – Pulsations on the Abdomen

Here is installment 2 of 3 blog posts on Kampo.  Again, this post has been taken from a written conversation between Nigel Dawes and myself.

Many kinds of pulsations can occur on the abdomen.  Here, Nigel helps me tease this all apart.

I am also trying to understand pulsations in general.  It seems they can be caused by:

1. water – which in turn could be more Kidney (Zhen Wu Tang), Spleen (Bai Zhu/Sheng Jiang type formulas) or excess water (Wu Ling San type) – all of which over lap.  Am I missing something in terms of what could cause water accumulation/splash sounds?

Yes this is right. Water accumulation causes the Qi to stagnate (or vise versa) leading to pulsations. Continue reading

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Kampo – When are Shells and Bones used?

As promised, here is the first installment of a short series of entries on Kampo.  These next three entries are all taken from a written conversation between Nigel and myself, in the form of questions and answers.  I hope you all find this as interesting and useful as I do!

In a deficient person with a tight abdomen and pulsations – how would you differentiate whether to use Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang vs. Zhi Gan Cao Tang?

Firstly on the abdomen the location of the pulsations will be different for each formula. Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang will often have pulsations along the midline in the upper portion of the abdomen especially around Ren 12/13/14 (though they can also occur lower down at the navel area). In the case of Zhi Gan Cao Tang Continue reading

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Kampo Questions and Answers with Nigel Dawes

When I was in acupuncture school more than 30 years ago and after – I had the opportunity to study Hara diagnosis (The Hara is the abdomen)with Kiiko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch quite intensively. They wrote Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea (Paradigm title)

In my own practice I have consistently felt the tummies of all my patients in every session, finding the abdomen an invaluable source of clear diagnostic information.  When I first heard about the use of abdominal diagnosis in relation to herbal diagnosis I was excited to find out how I could integrate this.  Then I met Nigel Dawes.   Continue reading

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White Pine Year-End Newsletter

Winter is coming.  My horses are getting fluffy – the better to keep me warm. Here at White Pine Institute we had a busy year.  Here is an update on what we have completed and what is to come!

Continue reading

Posted in Classic Formulas, Dr. Fu Yan-Ling, Huang Huang, Liu Du-Zhou, Newsletter, Our Courses | 3 Comments