Monday, October 22, 2007

Back on track

These are my study cards for point location. I'm a visual type..!

Hi Blogs,
A couple people come up to me in the week and said when’s your next entry? So here it is.
Firstly excuses: Since I got sick I got a bit unmotivated and then some mid semester exams railroaded me. I was doing my work, but what I had let slip before towered over me for a few weeks. With so much info building up each week I was losing a psychological battle! Plus I have had some personal emotional factors distracting me.
Anyway got re-inspired, I’ve beaten my current deadlines by a week or so and I’ve just started revising for what’s coming up in 4 weeks-End of sem exams, then its one year over-amazing!
So perhaps what really helped was: mum’s home cooking, a few acupuncture treatments, new summer weather, Dalai Lama chatting with George Bush, and a revitalized way at looking at clinic. Everybody thinks Clinic, actual hours in the student clinic with patients from the real world, is quite a drag. Basically it’s a bonus time to me. The practical application is helping out a lot and I reviewed my attitude to clinic in a few ways and it has helped me to keep inspired:
1) A few years of patient records is a wealth of info to check out
2) Experiment. Don’t be dictated to by all the protocols-God knows in my own clinic I will never have this much freedom and ability to try new things!
3) In down time, go through massage techniques with some fellow students and then throw in point location and channel location, perhaps a few needles.
4) Make tea for everyone and try out all the herbs in the dispensary.
5) With patients, call them up to find out more about their treatment-we have their details on record-why not?
6) Just be proactive. Get stuck right in and join the practitioners, don’t be lead by the hand the whole time. For example I got asked to do the cupping on one patient last week just because I was right in the practitioners face so much!
7) Lastly do not spend the whole session in the tea room or studying for other classes. It’s a valuable experience-squeeze it for everything you can get out of it and then suck the last dribbling entrails off from your wrists to the elbows!!!!MMM Tasty

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scorpions and Urine Test...

Hey it’s great to get hits on this blog and I really appreciate it,so thanx!
Fully recovered after getting my virus! Its great to be alive again!! The lesson learnt seems to be: no matter how weird or boring or dull some bits are, its really great when compared to feeling delirious and sweating for 3 days in a row… My Uni work backed up for a week which left me pretty unmotivated…At about midnight last night I seemed to begin to understand something of my Mid Semester Exam for my major subject of Chinese Medicine Foundations which was today…I’ve now promised myself to GO OVER IT and NEVER TO LEAVE IT!

Other stuff that happened:
Here’s a great ingredient: SCORPION! Great for headache, it’s ok, non toxic in small doses!…

More other stuff that happened:
Below are some shots of the multi stix urine test we did in Western Medicine practical. Unknown urine was presented to us for analysis…So me and a friend used are own… My ketone levels are up, apparently due to losing a kilo or so while sick and my body now feeding off its own fat reserves. Told you.
One of my lecturers agreed to an interview, so that will be on the way, further experiments with herbs too and the clinical acupuncture practicals are rolling: That’s getting less painful and stressful which is a bonus.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Deep Fry

This is a pic of some Chinese bloke cooking something Chinese-Give you an update about that fascinating vegetarian restaurant some time soon, but one thing is that they use their feet to control the gas ( the levers are at foot height) leaving their hands totally free to cook: clever and interesting insight into their cultures thinking...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Heal Thyself...

Wednesday: I was enjoying the new warm weather, looking forward to a commitment free study weekend for a looming mid semester exam. Thursday, whack, I go down with what I fear to be flu ( Australia has also received equine flu for the first time in its history…more about that in a mo). Self examination: Cold shivers, clear runny mucus, fragile feeling, aches in muscles and joints, irritability, fatigue, tongue: pale moist white coat. So I diagnosed a “cold condition” and drank ginger, cinnamon and fang feng decoction. Tasted ok, but didn’t really help. Friday sweats, yellow sputum, now coughing, dizziness tongue still pale though. So I called the mum doctor and she came over with a pharmacy product containing paracetamol, codeine and phenylephrine hydrochloride. Didn’t really want to take it, but under pressure to finish natural medicine study deadlines…didn’t really help. Anyway Saturday I went to the Western Doctor. I asked him if I had equine flu as a joke, and he said what’s 2 plus 2 and I said 4, and he said I didn’t as I hadn’t stamped the answer out on the floor. Hahaha. He said to just take plenty of fluid and stop taking the pharmacy product as I had a viral infection with a very inflamed throat, but no temperature. Saturday evening now and I feel I should be right for study on Sunday. The interesting observation is how far away I am from consulting a Chinese Medicine practitioner from the onset of an illness and how challenging it was to take a pharmacy product. I was disappointed that my decoctions hadn’t really helped too. So many questions…I guess it was an experiment...
As an additional note on Monday we did somewhat random acupuncture points practice and Tuesday I started a programme of herbs for 2 weeks and it was a full moon on Wednesday...Related to my current condition???

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Decocting herbs on a warm full moon night with an auspicious!

Me having pulse taken and Warren doing his thang
Five packets of herbs, decocted three times each, 15 days of herbs :)

Herbs close up with formula. You can work this backwards to the diagnosis, if your some kind of genius..!

Today I booked in for a practitioner consultation at the herbal clinic. Taste test coming up and mind boggling ingredient soon! The good thing about this is a special deal on the raw herbs, getting to know the lecturer a bit more, experimenting and finding out more about the herbs and then checking them all out as the packets are prepared in the dispensary and so on. I must admit having an extra 8 pairs of eyes on you, all the students join in the consultation, is at first a bit daunting. But no one is judging you-simply finding out more! Especially about you- but anyway! Everybody took my pulse and Warren, the lecturer and practitioner for herbs, asked me a few questions and everybody looked at my tongue as well.
I must admit I have had herbs before. This load I’m drinking now is ok. Think of coffee without the milk, less bitter with richness and fruitiness. Actually this one is quite drinkable and I’m enjoying it as I’ve got more of an idea why I am drinking it and what supposed to be happening. Maybe he let me off easy on my first consultation!

It’s a great time to check out and experiment too. As my herbs were made somebody got a brew on and we all watched as some kind of seed thingo that was placed in the hot water surprisingly expanded to much bigger than its first size. That lead to the comment of different ingredients in herb mixtures and somebody stated they actually had drunk BAT DUNG as part of thier herb decoction..!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Acupuncture first needling

Sydney harbour last week...

Sydney harbour this week...

Feels like the beginning of Spring today, went for swim in the harbour after uni. Beautiful sunset.

First practical acupuncture workshop today! That means the first time for inserting needles…
Was a bit hesitant, as I must admit I do not like needles-who does? But medicine is not supposed to taste good if you know what I mean. We tried on ourselves first. Interestingly we were told to find a non-acupoint. Suddenly challenging as everything before that has been acupoint orientated even though there’s more skin than points! Pain-not as bad as I was worried about. At one point we were told to rotate the needle 360 degrees a few times. No pain. However try removing it- you cant! It gets stuck due to wrapped muscle tissue. Nothing worse than having a needle you feel as though can’t remove! This problem is solved by waiting a short time before removal. Another person told me they had practiced already: “On who?” I asked, her dog…
Anyway we progressed to pairing up and needling three points on some one else. Glad to report the whole process was zero drama and a lot easier than I had imagined.

“De Qi”, BTW, is the arrival of the Qi. This is the sensation felt with needling by the patient. A practitioner should notice it before the patient reports it and should be able to differentiate from any pain sensation!

Finally our lecturer, the ever up beat and non-cynical ( sarcasm) , he who must be obeyed ( own words, deserving of his own blog entry at some point) left us with this quote from one the greatest practitioners of the Qi “ Do or do not, there is no try”. Yoda.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Got to love spontaneous massage

Also today…
At lunch some kind of festival of culture spun into UTS. Wu Wei (the UTS Chinese Medicine Club) had a stall and a spontaneous massage event was created. Wu Wei means the art of non-doing doing, sort of a natural flow of a creation BTW. On the stall are examples of herbs, Demet is massaging wearing a styled up Wu Wei t-shirt and James is looking cool, right before he rips off Michael's arm…Tsering, in the background, is meditating…as she is Tibetan...

Tongue Diagnosis-Strong Heart Qi, front end tongue flip

Talking about tongue diagnosis this happened today: the 180 degree front end flip. Sophie, fellow TCMer, amazed me with this. I thought I’d seen heaps of variations, but never even heard of the front flip before today. “ Manifestation of healthy HT Qi …the tongue having a red body and being free in motion” ( Garvey 2007, p49.). Red and bendy, congrats on having the best HT Qi in the southern hemisphere, if not the world.

Garvey, M., 2007, Chinese Medicine Foundations 2: Course Notes: Semester 2, 2007. College of TCM, UTS, Sydney.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tongue Diagnosis-intense Heat, possible Liver Fire...

It was nice that in my Western Science practical lecture today we cross referenced to Chinese medicine tongue diagnosis. Lucky to be in such an open minded place. Apparently western science is taking more note of it and doctors will examine a tongue with more of those principles in mind.
We checked out this tongue diagnosis link:
Incidentally Giovanni Maciocia is definitely Italian! I must admit I was surprised when I first saw his name amongst the books in the library, however he has a lot of Chinese Medicine experience and his books are well known. In fact I picked up a book today called Chinese Materia Medica Combinations and Applications, written by Xu Li and Wang Wei and he'd written the forward for it! I didn't even think twice about it until I was writing this. That's inspiration for non-Chinese back ground people!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fire Jar Cupping

That's burning hot fire aimed at my shoulder...Or Small Intestine 11 to be more confusing...
After a slide show of burns and abrasions on people's backs that looked as though they had been created that day: " this picture taken...10 years after excessive cupping...". We were given the command go forth and burn my children.
What it does: releases "excess "or "Shi" or "fullness" or "repletion" or angst. Basically gets rid of heat in the body-got a fever? But can be as far reaching as gynaecological issues, to stroke.
The flame in the cup removes all the oxygen and the is placed on the body and sucks up the flesh. Then you can do the real crazy stuff-move the sucked on cup all around the body.
Actually is quite a pleasant sensation considering all the drama involved. And finally I was given a great massage by Alice-the flame thrower in the pic. Not bad for a rainy Monday morning...

Friday, August 17, 2007

More Herbz-Goji berry buzz

Goji berry is being marketed hard at the moment. Been watching the build for a while now: from flyers on lamp posts, street press magazine adds, market stalls and gradually to the super market. Names are Himalayan goji berry, Wolfberry etc. Pharmacological name is Lycium Barbarum. DO NOT BUY the $50 litre juice-which is mainly apple... or worse water, I reckon. Simply head down to China town, where its been the whole time, and buy a kilo for ten bucks. Eat raw, make a tea brew ( the pic above) or sprinkle them on your breakfast in the morning." the berries... enjoy a time tested, documented reputation for enhancing vitality, beauty and longevity"!!!!! (Holmes 2002, p 290).


Holmes, P., 2002, The Traditional Chinese Medicine Materia Medica Clinical Reference $ Study Guide, Snow Lotus Press, Boulder,USA


I have to know 155 of these at the moment. What each does in the obscure world of chin med ( eg Dispel wind heat etc) , the Chinese name, some characters and the pharmacological name too ( mainly bloody latin) . Still there's something romantic about raw herbs and the latent power they possess. In this photo is the pin yin names and dosage for each. Can you match them? I can only do one at the moment...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bubbles-love it

UTS ( University of Technology, Sydney) is not the most beautiful campus, voted most ugly building in Sydney last year I think, but it does have its nice bits-someone blowing bubbles in the sunshine on the green. Incidentally the interior of tower one was designed so that when sitting in the class room you couldn't see outside. This was to prevent distraction from study. Unfortunately some of the best views in Sydney are obscured therefore making it fairly ugly and straightforward on the inside too. You get to see an inspiring glimpse before you sit down, and then when you leave...

1st of 365 points

This is my first acupuncture। The acupoint is LI 4 ( the 4th point along the meridian). It is stated that this area has the largest Dai Qi or energy pull of all the points. Great practice spot. Wasn't too sore.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You, Me and Chinese Medicine

Welcome to my Blog on Chinese Medicine and studying and participating in it all.
Maybe it should be called ChiMedlog? Anyway check out my diary, insights, ideas and pics ======================================>


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