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This blog website is named after a genus of plants that includes a well-known species used in Chinese medicine for calming the spirit. It would be a welcome consequence if reading this blogs helps to calm your spirit too. The Chinese name of this species also means 'great aspirations', and is the lofty ambition of this site to put forth an interesting and useful collection of articles and resources on the extensive topics of both traditional Chinese medicine as well as language and translation.

Chinese Medicine

“余聞上古之人,春秋皆度百歲,而動作不衰”

“I hear that people of ancient times, would live through one-hundred springs and autumns, without becoming weak and feeble in their action,” enquired the Yellow Emperor to his royal physician many centuries ago (黃帝內經素問第一卷).

Traditional Chinese medicine is a health system originating out of Chinese civilisation, drawing from ongoing contributions that have replenished and refined its ideas over the eons, while essentially remaining a continuous body of experience which has stood a test time. It may be used to varying degrees for the treatment of all ailments. Qìgōng exercise and meditation techniques within Chinese medicine confide in the proposition of qì, that is, the life energy that flows through the body, which may be manipulated by the hands, acupuncture needles, and other implements. In the modern day, Chinese medicine may excel in engaging with conditions where no apparent cause of illness can be identified by biomedical parameters.

 

“一生二,二生三,三生萬物。萬物負陰而抱陽,衝氣以為和。”

“From one there are two, from two there are three, and so forth ten thousand things. The ten thousand things contain yīn and yáng (the two), and thus coincide with energetic harmony” (道德經第四十二章).

Chinese medicine has been strongly influenced by theory, to which yīn and​ yáng have proven to be fundamental. Like binary elements which lie at the core of the complexities of computer science, yīn and​ yáng are not just polar opposites, but the products of reason and discernment, which can be extended to provide precise and detailed assumptions. Zàng-​fǔ, or 'organ', theory; along with the theoretical systems of level division within the dimension of external pathogenic invasion, give context to the broader Chinese theoretical concepts within the medical paradigm.

The hundreds of herbs used in Chinese medicine, including plant roots, twigs and leaves, along with other naturally occurring biologic and mineral medicinal substances, each with its own unique identity, are combined in recipe prescriptions of up to a dozen or more ingredients, to allow for a finely-tuned effect.

 

“濡其尾,无攸利;不續終也。雖不當位,剛柔應也。”

“With tail moist (the fox that is swimming across the river) is not far from profit, without yet connecting to the mark. Though secure position is not yet established, a combination of strength and suppleness ought to be adopted” (易經未濟).

Self-initiated therapy by means of appropriate lifestyle practices and dietary routines are central tenants of the preventative nature of Chinese medicine; where not only persistence, but also reflection and adaption are valued; health being not just the absence of disease, but a state which may continuously be tempered and tested toward a more favourable course. The Chinese philosophy of the five movements, also known as the five elements, helps to account for the ever-changing nature of the universe, and likewise, of physiology and pathology within the human body. Intuitive understanding is accomplished not only through introspection, as it is also inspired by analogy, via observance of the way of nature in our external environment, in accordance with the holistic approach of Chinese medicine.

About The Author

Chad Ryan began studying Chinese medicine at the Southern School of Natural Therapies in Melbourne in 2012. He completed his health science degree in Chinese medicine from SSNT at the end of 2016, and shortly thereafter undertook a five month study trip, aimed at increasing his clinical experience, to È-Dà Hospital in Kāohsiúng of Taiwan, Dézhōu City Chinese Medicine Hospital in Dézhōu of Shandong, and Tzú-Chì Hospital in Táipěi of Taiwan. In 2017 he also registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and became a member of the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association, and in August of the same year established Chad Ryan Chinese Medicine, a sole practice which has since served patients foremost around the Warrnambool region of Victoria. As a foreign language enthusiast, Chad completed both his two-year Chinese language diploma, through Deakin University, and a four-and-a-half month CELTA certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, in the year 2020.