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weather: light rain
outside: 5°C
mood: studious
As I said here, I'm taking a Classical Chinese Medicine Studies course. I've always been fascinated with this subject. Even when I was very young, I had a blast playing "Healer Woman" in my backyard by myself. I had no siblings, no friends and didn't want to be a social creature. =)

I decided I want to transcribe some of my notes because actively doing things with the information helps me learn. Over the next little while, I'll post some self-discussion of my notes.

I was going to make it all private, but I thought other people might be interested in it as well. And maybe people can ask me questions that I can't answer so that I can bring them to class and look like a SuperKeenerGirl. =D But if it causes problems, I will remove them all and put them in another private journal.

I feel like growing up in the West has taken me too far away from Chinese culture, which is no one's fault but my own. There's a desire to know, understand, be able to explain, express, pass on the traditions of my people and my culture.

Some disclaimers:

  • What I say is my interpretation of what the instructors cover in class. I try to pay attention, but there can be holes in my understanding of the things they say. Or I could be plain wrong.

  • I have no delusions that I'll ever be a Traditional Chinese doctor. Although my aspirations of actually doing it professionally, or even in a supporting capacity, are there if I show aptitude. I'll have to see. Someone once asked me, "What would you do if you could retire, if you didn't have to work?" I think I've finally found my answer.

    The purpose of the course I'm taking is not to actually train me to be one. The purpose of the course is for the appreciation of an art, a science and long standing tradition that has been a cornerstone of an ancient civilization spanning thousands of years.

    Much like the cooking classes I took a while ago. I have no delusions of ever being a chef. I'll never work as a cook in any food service establishment, but I'm interested in knowing how, understanding and just not killing anyone with my cooking.

  • None of this is original content, if you're fussy about things like that. I'm reluctant to mention the organization that is offering the courses because of liability issues. I don't want to embarrass them if the stuff I say is totally whacked. But I may, sometime in the future, if I decide to show 師傅 my online notes and he doesn't think I'm a total disgrace. Until then, all of the instructors will just be collectively known as 師傅, "The Masters". =)

  • There are bazillions of books and websites on Traditional Chinese Medicine that do claim expertise on the subject. If anyone is looking for actual medical advice, I suggest you go elsewhere. And I have no recommendations at this time because I'm still building my own library and bookmarks.

  • I make absolutely no guarantees on the completeness of my notes. My posts are not intended to be a complete set of notes from my classes. I'm writing what I feel like transcribing, on topics that I find interesting or the topics that I understand and have something to say about. I may or may not want to transcribe stuff I don't like or stuff that confuses me.

  • I have no idea as to what the accepted English terminology is for any of these concepts. I give it my best Google, but if that doesn't help, I'm making it up. Given that my level of Chinese proficiency is at most only a notch or two above "I Suck", I wouldn't have a lot of stock in me either.

  • I also don't guarantee timeliness. I have class every other Sunday evening and there's a long Christmas break coming up. Some topics might take me forever to understand, so I may take forever to finish the subsequent parts of a series of posts on a topic. I'm not sure if I want to write all the parts to a series first, then post them one at a time or post things as I'm going along.

I'm purposely not joining any of the related LJ communities. I had a quick look. I'm still far from being able to participate in those and it would be a distraction to me at this time.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2004 05:33 pm (UTC)
Interesting. There is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese medicine near here. My wife has periodically suggested that I go to see her ...
Dec. 7th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC)
It might be interesting to get another perspective on whatever is bothering you. But I would never discount the advice of your GP, that should always take precedence over any other alternative healing you're trying.
Dec. 7th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thats the idea... but the thing is, she (or is it a he? I can never remember) is an MD as well.

Plus the office is really cool looking, with the large herb chests and everything. :)
Dec. 7th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC)
is an MD as well.

Ah, so she's from Mainland China? They have both disciplines in the same colleges. I don't know how licensing in North America is now for foreign doctors...

I went to one as well, I couldn't quite just tell her things from my blood tests and what my GP said without explanation, but it made me feel better that she conversant in both.
Dec. 7th, 2004 09:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to do this - it's fascinating stuff. I've just started going to a Chinese-trained chriropractor/naturopath (who's also consulted to NASA on urine recycling, of all things!), and am amazed by his insights.

... and is "playing Healer Woman" anything like "playing doctor?" (lucky neigbor kids!) XD
Dec. 7th, 2004 10:15 pm (UTC)
"playing Healer Woman" anything like "playing doctor?" (lucky neigbor kids!) XD

No =) No social interaction.

Our backyard was a really nifty place. I made a little corner into a "workshop".

I took a small piece of brick that had broken off the wall and ground it into a fine red powder with another rock I found laying around. I found stones of different colours, white, grey, yellowish and pounded them into fine powders as well. I put them into little clear bottles and small paper packets about 1"x1.5". I lined them up on a ledge and that was my "medicine cabinet".

On the herb side, I had dried dandelion leaves, dried grass and some dried leftover stalks and leaves from the stuff in my Mom's vegetable garden... which was the Healer Woman's own vegetable garden too because it was my job to water my Mom's veggies.

From what I remember, this Healer Woman lived alone, had no friends, didn't want any friends. She lived in a forest. She was single with no partner and no intentions of marrying.

_I_ didn't have any friends. Our backyard was very lush with trees and vegetation. That would be the age that children are repulsed by the opposite sex.

No real stretch of the imagination there. =)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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