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Reflections on the Relationship of Traditional Wisdom, Precision, and Clinical Efficacy in the Herbal Science of Chinese Medicine, Part I and Part II (English and Chinese, German and Chinese)
by Heiner Fruehauf
Part I: 5 pages, $6.00 USD; Part II: 4 pages, $6.00 USD
Part I: 5 pages, $6.00 USD; Part II: 5 pages, $6.00 USD
These essays represent Heiner’s contribution to this year’s Fuyang luntan (Discussion Forum on Supporting the Yang), China’s premier conference dedicated to upholding the roots of classical Chinese medicine. In Part I, he notes the enormous transformative potential that natural medicine holds in the precarious times we live in, and underscores the importance of clinical efficacy in the process of promoting our medicine. In particular, he points out the importance of the “technological” details of the clinical encounter in Chinese medicine, which have been the basis for optimum clinical results in the past. In Part II, he shares some aspects of his personal journey toward mastering the details of precise herb prescribing.
In the context of Chinese herbal medicine, the general clinical guideline of supporting the yang (fuyang) leads us to an appreciation for the long-term clinical power of formulas that prominently feature warming herbs, such as Fuzi (aconite), Gui (cinnamon), Jiang (ginger), Wuzhuyu (evodia), and Sharen (amomum). While the time-honored Chinese science of formula composition–fangji xue–literally means “ballpark medicine,” indicating that as long as a prescription is going in the right direction (such as warming or cooling), the exact details maybe secondary for the purpose of achieving clinical results.
This article is in English and Chinese (2 parts) and German and Chinese (1 part; part 2 is forthcoming).
The German translation of this article Reflektionen über die Beziehung von Traditioneller Weisheit, Präzision und Klinischer Wirksamkeit in der Kräuterwissenschaft der Chinesischen Medizin is by our associate Markus Goeke.
Preview Part I (PDF)
Preview Part II (PDF)
Preview Part I (PDF)
Preview Part II (PDF)
In the spring of 2011 Heiner Fruehauf, PhD, LAc sat down with his student and colleague, Bob Quinn, DAOM, LAc to discuss the finer points of “Brain Gu” syndrome, specifically as it pertains to the treatment of Lyme Disease. This discussion is best understood as a long-awaited follow-up to and elaboration of the ideas presented in Heiner and Quinn’s earlier interview about Gu syndrome published in the fall of 2008 and available this website. (Includes tables of categories and herbs used Chinese herbal treatment of Lyme Disease and other chronic parasitism conditions, and recommendation of professional use of Prof. Fruehauf’s Classical Pearls Herbal Formula line for treatment)
Note: Upon verification of your credentials, licensed healthcare professionals have free access to this article at ClassicalPearls.org on the Resources page.
“The biggest challenge with Lyme is not so much that there is a shen disturbance, or that it may be difficult to treat from a standard TCM perspective. The most difficult thing is the “syphilitic” aspect of the patient’s psyche, which is most often expressed by a gaping feeling of hopelessness. Most Lyme patients have an underlying voice in their head that seems to say, “I have already invested 15 years in the process of getting better; it didn’t work,” and perhaps, “I will prove that your treatment will not work, either.” In a certain way, this mentality is part of the disease.”
The Lung and the Tiger Image: An Example of Decoding the Symbolic Record of Chinese Medicine
by Heiner Fruehauf
This essay examines how the image of the tiger—a traditional symbol associated with the season of fall, the phase element metal, and the organ network of the Lung—transmits a host of intricate information about Lung function in the spheres of the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. This most recent article by Heiner Fruehauf, moreover, serves as a concrete example of how the symbolic code employed by ancient Chinese writers can be read to extract hidden clinical gems.
As is the primary attribute of all symbols, the image of the tiger translates abstract immaterial function into the three-dimensional sphere of the physically tangible and viscerally compelling. The various characteristics of the the lung and the tiger image: an example of decoding the symbolic record of Chinese medicine tiger point to the multidimensional web of functions that are ushered in by the first month of spring in the sphere of the macrocosm, as well as those administered by the Lung network in the sphere of the microcosm
Developing the Core Essence of Chinese Medical Science: An Interview with Lu Changlin (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy)
by Lu Changlin
Translated by Heiner Fruehauf
In these translated excerpts from a comprehensive interview, one of China’s leading theorists explores the philosophical differences between Eastern and Western modes of thinking, and how they shaped two distinct systems of medicine: Chinese medicine, described as a medicine of time, and Western medicine, described as a medicine of space.
From the essay collection Lu Changlin: Chinese Medicine: Philosophical Views on the Profession.
The Chinese system of science is based on time. The nature of time is empty, and its characteristics are change and continuous flow…The time oriented system, therefore, embraces the dynamic flow pattern of the holistic body of nature, and from this general attitude derives the assumption that the whole determines and governs the parts. The subcategories of Chinese medicine, such as yin yang theory, five phase element theory, zangxiang theory, channel and collateral theory, differential diagnosis and treatment theory, herbal energetics theory—all of these systems stem from the symbolist way of thinking, and all of them are used, in essence, to describe phenomenological patterns.
A Classical Chinese Medicine Perspective on the Nature of Aging and Longevity
by Heiner Fruehauf
This essay explores the process of aging by exploring the symbolism of the Chinese organ networks that are initiating the downward and inward spiraling motion on the Chinese organ clock, namely the heart, the small intestine, the bladder, and the kidney.
Originally published in German as “Ein Blick der klassischen chinesischen Medizin auf die Natur des Alterns und der Langlebigkeit,” in Andreas Noll, Birgit Ziegler, ed. Der ältere Patient in der chinesischen Medizin (The Aging Patient in Chinese Medicine). München: Elsevier, 2006.
In the most general terms, the Chinese notion of aging can be summarized as the spiritual evolution toward a state of consciousness that exchanges a strongly guarded sense of self for the age related values of community, humility, and tradition. By no means, therefore, is the ancient Chinese quest for immortality limited to the predictable mechanical techniques aimed at keeping the physical body alive. “Who stays attached to the status quo may live long,” stated the Daodejing 2,500 years ago, “but who practices dying without vanishing lives forever.”
The Principle of Supporting Yang
by Lu Chonghan (Chengdu University of TCM, Department of Fundamental Studies)
Translated by Kendra Dale
In this recently published transmission, the main successor of the Sichuan “Fire Spirit” school of aconite, ginger, and cinnamon usage issues a rare manifesto of the leading role of yang-qi in macrocosm and microcosm. In a challenge to the textbook parameters of TCM, Dr. Lu contents that support of this precious yang is one of the hallmarks of classical Chinese medicine, which must override most superficial symptoms of heat and yin deficiency. Translated into English by our associate Kendra Dale.
Originally published in Liu Chonghan: Fu Yang Jiang Ji [Lectures on Supporting Yang]. Beijing: Traditional Chinese Medicine Publishing House, 2006.
Going back to the causes of pain, lets review why channels in the body become blocked. As mentioned above, the source of pain lies in cold and water. Chinese medicine practitioners all know that cold is in charge of congealing and contraction, and as a result it can directly affect the freedom of flow in the channels. But besides this, why would cold affect the heart so specifi cally? The answer lies in the concept that the heart is the organ that represents Yang within Yang. Namely, it is the body’s inner sun. If our heart’s Yang is sufficient then our body can’t be affected by cold and water.
Selections from Shan Yutang Annotated Excerpts from the Shanghan Lun with Suggestions for Acupuncture and Moxibustion Therapy (1984): “Shaoyang”
by Heiner Fruehauf
One of modern China’s last masters of acupuncture interprets shaoyang function and provides a model for transforming Shanghan lun information into elegant point prescriptions.
Shaoyang represents the birth of yang, and its basic energy is fire. Shaoyang fire is like the initial kindling of a flame, and when it is in a state of disease then it will flare up and make its way into the orifices. It is for this reason that the main shaoyang symptom complex is “bitter mouth, dry throat, and blurred vision.” Shaoyang is the central “door hinge” of the body, which is in charge of moving things, particularly through narrow positions… When treating it by needling, one has to focus exclusively on this hinge function of moving things in and out and to and fro…
Hanfa: The Diaphoretic (sweating) Method
by Cheng Guopeng (Scholar, Qing Dynasty)
Translated by Heiner Fruehauf
Cheng Guopeng is one of the seminal scholar-physicians of the early Qing dynasty. At the height of his career, he synthesized his personal insights derived from a life-long study of the classics, especially Zhang Zhongjing’s Shanghan lun, and his clinical experience by writing the book Enlightened Insights into the Science of Medicine (Yixue xinwu, 1732). This thin yet influential work first spelled out the system of the so-called Eight Parameters (bagang) and the Eight Treatment Methods (bafa), which since have become the standard diagnostic parameters of Chinese medicine. His introduction to the “Sweating Method” (Hanfa) is an excellent example for the original depth and attention to detail which ancient master physicians brought to their craft.
Also, we should be aware that disorders of the three yang stages are located within different layers, and therapeutic action should thus follow a certain order. If the condition is located in the Taiyang layer and you disperse the Yangming layer, you are already one step off the mark. If the disease is in Taiyang/Yangming and you relieve Shaoyang, then you practically entice the robber to penetrate deeper into the house. If the disease is in two meridians at the same time, but you only focus on treating one, you are overlooking the other.
From the Book Yin and Yang
- Cosmological Thought in Europe and China, An Introduction (4 pages)
- Image and Script (5 pages)
- Heaven and Earth (9 pages)
- The History of Heavenly Sacrifice (4 pages)
by Frank Fiedeler
Translated into English by Gabriel Weiss
$6.00 USD each
These original translations are chapters from the book Yin and Yang, by the late Prof. Frank Fiedeler, one of the best modern interpretors of the Yijing, and who is one of the few scholars who have made the symbolic methodology of Han and pre-Han dynasty thought accessible for the field of Chinese medicine.
Originally published as “Yin und Yang (Yin and Yang),” Köln: Dumont, 1993.
The most impressive and powerful of all phenomena was naturally the sky with its “divine lights” (shenming): the sun, the moon, and the stars. Through their movements, these luminaries produced the eternal interplay of day and night, full moon and new moon, summer and winter. It was thereby obvious that the creatures and events on the earth in their apparent forms obeyed the celestial phenomena…They (earthly creatures and events) changed their appearance and behavior in undeniable correspondence to the changing celestial pictures of the time of day and year and also the alternation of weather such as rain, and thus “came” quite clearly from the sky.
-from The History of Heavenly Sacrifice
Cosmological Thought in Europe and China, An Introduction
Image and Script
Heaven and Earth
The History of Heavenly Sacrifice