Spring Stream Podcast

A new Chinese Year and a new format. The focus will be on meridians and their themes according to the body.



Tiao and Du 调,度

Zhang Yanhua’s book, Transforming Emotions with Chinese Medicine, is a genuine mesh of anthropological, contemporary analytic, and Chinese Scholarship. It examines how Chinese Medicine has change over the past 100 years in modernisation. It examines how in this brief period, compared to the history of the medicine, it has struggled in its legitimacy against western bio-medicine. In comparison, He uses Tiao and Du, as valuable tools for a Practitioner in achieving results.


Tiao, attunement, is a gauge where health is a negotiation between the Practitioner and the Patient. Tiao is the patient’s sense as where his health is an where it is going. For the Practitioner, it is the constant assessment of the patient’s state at any particular time, whether it is measured by pulse, tongue, examination, and relation. The Practitioner does his best to understand from where the patient is coming from, and this leads us to Du- position or degree. Du, tells us everything about the patient, whether, his circumstances are created or caused by environmental, accidental, emotional, or other particulars. It is the intensity and the severity of the said illness, or discomfort. The Practitioner, does his best to ameliorate, abate, or strengthen from the position that as most efficacious. Clinically different methods could be used, but most importantly is the one of connection. Though, the Practitioner is not a therapist or psycho-analyst, He/She must do what is necessary to relate and extract the most salient information from the patient so as to create the best situation for healing. This is a very insightful book, since it give a glimpse into what Chinese Medicine can be at these crossroads in time

Transforming Emotion with Chinese Medicine.

More Podcasts

These are the last two months. Enjoy.

Ancients of Mu

Mu or Mo points associated with the Zang-fu or visceral organs of the body, are surface points on the yin side, the front of the body. Commonly translated from Chinese, they are known as “Alarm” points since the character that describes them is that of troops being gathered for a coming attack. Many have seen these as that, and have used these points when to use in acute situations with the particular organ in trouble. As a sort of mustering troops to fight an impending illness. Others have translated them as “Gathering” or “Collecting” points, using the translation as to gather and collect troops so as to dispense them when in need. In an interesting article by Peter Eckman, in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture, He suggests that the Mu surface points are areas where the jing comes to the surface for that particular organ through the process of the Respiratory system, the Lungs. Using Daoist conceptualizations, he points out that in old practices it was believed that the jing circulates at birth in the first breath through the Mu points. When the child takes his first breath, a post-natal cycle emerges with the pre-natal. The air enters first through the Mu point of the Lu, then the Mu point of the LI, and so forth following the 5 element cycle. Metal-Water-Wood-Fire-Earth, through their Yin/Yang organ counterparts. In a preliminary preparation for Tendon and Bone marrow washing Qi Gong, Dr. Jwing-Ming Yang has a breathing technique, where one concentrates on the progression of Metal to Earth using the Mu points to collect qi for each of the organs. One can say that the Mu points are the closest areas on the surface of the body that the Jing may bubble up.

The Ancients of Mu, a fiction created by The KLF, have nothing to do with this article.

Of organs, and meridians

The way one’s own body is perceived, is a very curious daily experience. We tend to hold our bodies in the predominant routines in our lives. Whether, we consider ourselves an athletic person or not, these routines over the year shape and form our body, or are even they are predetermined by our body type. Nature or nurture shapes and are shaped in the form we keep or are kept in. Our genetic disposition makes us according to polymorphic types- endomorph, exomorph, or mesomorph, predisposed to playing the particular sports that we find ourselves easily playing. As someone with a runner’s build would be more apt to become a runner, rather than one who has the genes of a linebacker. In aging we are more apt to choose those routines that fit our comfortable body types that we have found ourselves settling in, and likewise find ourselves with the aches and pains that come also with those routines, body types and dispositions.
In Classical chinese medicine, Element theory breaks it down into 5 elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each element has a different phase of intensity in the wheel of life, as well as a disposition. Similar to Hippocrates’ four temperaments and its variations, the 5 elements reflect the seasons of the year, and likewise one’s temperaments during those periods. The body evoke images that would pertain with the element. A woody person, as the element would be expressed is one that springs forth into action, very forthright, and assertive. The could be tall, lanky, and sturdy. A Fire person in the similar fashion would be passionate and forth-warming. The could be effusive, vigorous, strong, and swarthy. Each of the elements conjures up their own image, correspondence, and type. Originally derived from the I Ching, the book of changes, the elements chart the progress of the seasons. Viewing the body as a microcosm in a macrocosm, and following the adage as above, so below, the internal landscape of the body was an projection of what was also outside of ourselves. The body also followed its own seasons with its changes.
Each organ of the body therefore has a predilection for a particular element, as its functions, and actions are characterized as such. The heart, and its warm, effusions belongs to the fire element, and the kidneys with its discharging belongs to the water element. As each organ is intertwined with in a network of communication within the body. Each one is in a particular system in the greater functioning of the body, reaching forth extending its influence. The communication of the organ to the great extent of the body, came to be know as a meridian in Chinese Medicine.