A major component of Chinese culture which has been exported to the rest of the world is their traditional medicine system. Most towns across the western world now have an acupuncturist or herbal practitioner. Within the Daoist tradition Chinese medicine was absorbed as a practice to fully balance out the martial arts. A balance of Yin and Yang was required in all practitioners cultivation to avoid distortions along the ‘path’. Though not 100% Daoist in origin, Chinese medicine was certainly influenced heavily by the tradition and it is rare to find a Daoist master who does not practice Chinese medicine in one form or another.
Damo’s study of Chinese medicine began when he was a teenager in the form of Tui Na medical body work. From here he moved into the use of acupuncture needles and Qi emission which was a part of his Nei Gong training. He completed a western University degree (at a later stage in his development) in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system of practice and continues to study the older, more esoteric, systems of practice which form the mainstay of his treatment style.
Damo has a particular interest in classical forms of diagnosis such as Pulse and channel diagnosis as well as treatment according to channel (rather than the more common organ) theory.
Imbalance as an Expression of Xing and Ming
Xing can be translated as meaning a person’s ‘nature’ and Ming is an expression of their ‘path through life’. Xing takes in the wider study of the influence of spirit and consciousness upon a persons developmental health whilst Ming includes a persons physical well-being, constitution and place in life. Xing and Ming are classically seen as two aspects of human existence which must be brought together in order to harmonise a persons state. Within Chinese medicine, when Xing and Ming can be regulated, their health will improve. This means a very wide look must be taken at a patients condition in order to fully diagnose and treat. This stands in direct contrast to a very reductionist, symptom-based style of working that has sadly become prevalent within many contemporary Chinese medicine styles.
The state of Xing and Ming are manifest into the mind and body of the patient as each of us are simply an expression of the wider relationship between Heaven and Earth according to classical thought.
Wai Qi Liao Fa
Qi emission is a much misunderstood form of treatment in Chinese medicine. There are a great many energetic mechanics involved in the application of Qi-based modalities when working with a persons health. Firstly the practitioner has to have developed a high degree of skill in Qi Gong/Nei Gong and secondly they must have a full working knowledge of Chinese medicine diagnostics and treatment theories. Essentially this means that they need all of the knowledge and skill of a Chinese doctor as well as expertise in Qi Gong. That makes it one of the most complex and long-winded areas of Chinese medical study…not that you would know it from all the very short course you can currently study in Qi emission across the western world!
Imagination and visualisation are not (and never have been) a part of authentic classical Qi emission practice. Instead the therapist works by conducting vibratory forces out from their body to the hands (generally). This ‘Qi’ then causes a repatterning to take place within the patients body. The Qi field surrounding each of their organs and channels is adjusted according to the Qi of the therapist and this in turn begins to change the physical health of the patient. Treatments, like acupuncture, are carried out according to a full diagnostic procedure.
When this kind of Qi emission is combined with acupuncture you may start to use the needles as a focal point for your own Qi. The needle enables you to bypass the external physical borders of the patients body so that you may directly access the meridian system. In the case of Tui Na, more advanced skills such as Zhen Fa become available to you meaning that stagnation deep within the body can be shaken loose.
Within the school we teach various aspects of Chinese medicine to qualified acupuncturists as well as to new students who generally complete a three year long Diploma in Chinese medicine with us as a foundation for their practice.
Acupuncture and Tui Na Body Work
The two main treatment modalities the form the basis of Chinese medicine are acupuncture and a form of medical body work known as Tui Na. These two systems are used to balance the relationship between channels of the body as well as bring the spirit into harmony and treat localised damage to the tissues. Assessment of a patients condition is based upon a thorough diagnosis including questioning, observation and various methods of palpation. This information is combined with astrological details of the patients psychological makeup based upon the ‘four pillars’ of time. Very few needles are used during thew acpuncture phase of the treatment, generally around 3-5 and never more than 9 during one treatment. The ‘art’ of the treatment is correct selection of and then insertion of needles so that they fully connect with the correct depth of the channel.
Xian Tian College of Chinese Medicine
Most of the Chinese medicine teaching takes place through our partner school ‘Xian Tian College of Chinese Medicine‘. This is a professional college of Chinese medicine established and run by Damo Mitchell and fellow Chinese medicine practitioner Rob Aspell. The college runs our three year long Diploma training courses as well as shorter training courses for qualified acupuncturists. As well as this, we also put the details of our Chinese medicine training dates up on the events section of this website.