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Elisabeth Rochat De La Vallée, Next Online Lectures 2020-2021

Names Of The Points: Explore the names of the points by using Chinese names to create a deeper understanding. Improve your clinical use of these points and deepen your understanding of their function.

Blending the rich poetic quality of the point names with their practical application, this lecture
presents an in-depth study of the point’s names as the result of years of research in the Chinese
classics as well as work and discussion with practitioners of Chinese medicine.

Friday Oct.30 : 10 am to 1 pm PDT – 2 pm to 5 pm PDT
This class explores the rela/on between the point’s name and loca/on as well as func/ons.
Discuss how the point’s names are related to the body form or func/on, cosmic order, royal
palace, heavenly bodies as well as earthly features. Explain metaphors and analogies.

Monday Nov. 2, 9, 16 : 12:30 to 3:30 PDT
Each of these classes will study a specific group (or series) of points, connected or instance
either through a common character in their names, or a similar loca/on on the body, or their
belonging to one sec/on of a meridian and the story told by that sequence.

Information, CEU and registrations:

explore FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS in Chinese Classical Thought, on Tuesday, 10 am to 12 pm PDT – 1 to 3 pm EDT –
6 to 8 pm England – 7 – 10 pm Israël

  • Tuesday January 5 The Mawangdui Funeral Banner
  • Tuesday January 19 Life and Death in Ancient China
  • Tuesday February 2 The Hun and Po souls

Tuesday March 16 & 30, April 13 & 27 : What is QI ? The Different kinds of Qi.

Information & registrations:

Link to the PDF

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“The Banner for a Chinese Lady Going to Paradise”

This week we sent Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée’s remarkable work, “The Banner for a Chinese Lady Going to Paradise,” to production. It is a major contribution to the literature on Chinese philosophy and medicine. It also is an innovative eBook that uses the underlaying “epub encoding” to enhance readers’ ability to study the text and illustrations.

Elisabeth comments on the work:

In 1974, a short time after discovery of the Mawangdui Tombs in 1972, I was introduced to the Banner through a presentation made by Fr. Claude Larre during an International Symposium on relations between China and the West. He had understood the importance of this painting, not only from the archeological viewpoint, but also for the unique insight that it provides into China at the beginning of the second century BCE.

Through the use of symbols and mythic animals, the Banner reflects the beliefs of the Chinese people on how life appears, develops and disappears, as well as their hope to pass into the peace of Paradise. With splendid drawings and sumptuous colors, it offers anyone a direct grasp and a feeling for the emerging of life as a crossing of yin and yang, of its development as an ascension from the depth of the Earth to the everlasting serenity of Heaven.

The Banner is like a vivid illustration of what we read in the Chinese classics, a diving into the soul of ancient China. Reaching the depths of hope and beliefs of people living far away and long ago, we access what they have in common with us. The Banner speaks directly to us, not only of ancient China but of our present-day life and expectations.

These are the reasons why I fell in love with the Banner and accepted the challenge to present it to my readers.

Does the book tell you how to treat a dread disease?  No.

Does it make the use of medicinals in formulas crystal clear?  No.

Does it describe previously unknown distinctions between acupoints?  No.

What then does it teach us, if not keys to treatment?

It teaches us the epistemological context in which thinkers of the era understood the medical classics at the root of Chinese medicine. This is one of the most important things we can know because how we interpret Chinese medical principles can only wander away from their origin if we have a false sense of the culture in which those ideas arose and flourished. Without the view this e-Learning gives us, we risk accepting ideas that would be impossible for the ancient scholars to have believed.

In this regard, one of the most interesting aspects of The Banner is the elaboration of yin / yang and the five phases in the cosmological symbols. In exactly the same way the qualities of the organs are complexes of yin and yang – yin within yang, yang within yin – the dragons portrayed on the banner are symbolic lessons in five phase and yin – yang distinctions, expressed as shapes, colors, contours and symbols.  The Banner shows us a cosmos where the principles of systematic correspondence are the only principles, yin – yang is the only reality.

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée has given us a look inside the minds of humans who speak to us through the human arts of millennia past. This doesn’t happen very often.

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Ji (幾) Incipience or The Infinitesimally Small

A one-session (90 minutes) webinar: Monday May 11, 2020 at 12:30 pm PDT (3:30 pm EDT, 9:30 pm CEST/Paris)

Ji 幾 is the almost imperceptible beginning that determines the direction to be taken by the course of events. It is the inner spring of movement not yet visible on the outside that triggers the passage from one state to another. It is the subtle inception of a movement (of the mind and of events) that has already begun. Hence, its importance for the diagnosis of the great practitioner.

Participants can qualify for 1.5 CEU/PDA Cost : $30 ($50 for course and CEUs)

Details and registration:

Click here to see a pdf version

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Official Treatment Protocols Include Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas for Novel Coronavirus


The virus was first noted in Wuhan, China and has been the subject of a massive effort on the part of the People’s Republic of China. This has involved huge testing programs, required self- and hospital quarantine, closure of businesses and factories, even the construction of entirely new hospitals.  Although these efforts have been covered in the English-language news media, the Traditional Medicine field has also been active. We are now able to make treatment information available from Chinese-language sources thanks to Shelley Ochs, who worked on the Paradigm Jin Gui translation and her Beijing colleague Thomas Avery-Garran. Shelly and Thomas work as Chinese doctors in Beijing.

COVID-19 is being treated as an Epidemic Qi

As introduction, Epidemic qì is the name given to evils that cause “epidemic diseases,” that is, highly contagious diseases. Both epidemic qì and epidemic disease are referred to by numerous names.

Epidemic qì (疫气 yì qì) is also called “pestilential qì” (疠气 yì qì)
“perverse qì” (戾气 lì qì, 乖戾之气 guāi lì zhī qì)
“abnormal qì” (异气 yì qì)
“miscellaneous qì” (杂气 zā qì)
“pestilential toxin” (疠毒 lì dú)
“epidemic toxin” (疫毒yì dú)

Epidemic diseases have five defining characteristics:

Contagiousness: Epidemic diseases are communicable by close contact.

Epidemicity: They affect a large proportion of persons in a community or area at one time.

Severity: They are severe, and sometimes fatal.

Rapid development: They develop rapidly after contraction.

Similar manifestations and course in all individuals. Each epidemic disease is characterized by similar manifestations and similar courses in all affected individuals. Different epidemic diseases are attributed to different types of epidemic qì.

The theories of epidemic qi and the six stages of penetration derive from On Cold Damage (伤寒论 shāng hán lùn) together with the Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer (金贵要略 jīn guì yào lüè). The four levels of penetration in Warm Disease Theory (wēn bìng xué) is also relevant.  These principles are evident in the materials Shelley and Thomas have so kindly shared with us.

The first of these is Shelley’s “WeChat” post that translates the official protocols, and the guidelines developed by professionals on the frontlines of treating those suffering from Wuhan coronavirus.  It covers the recommended formulas and modifications for the early stages, middle stages, severe stage, and recovery.

The second contribution is the protocols from the Hubei Province Integrated Chinese\Western Medicine Hospital. This also notes the stages for each formula and provides a preventative decoction for the elderly or compromised individuals.

Read Shelley Ochs complete “WeChat” post HERE

Read the COVID-19 protocols from the Hubei Province Integrated Chinese\Western Medicine Hospital HERE

Read the PRC government official medical guidelines for Chinese readers HERE

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An Interview with Z’ev Rosenberg about his Shang Han Lun Study

How did you develop an interest in Shang Han Lun?

My interest in the Shang Han Lun was a result of my search for source materials in Chinese medicine, and my fascination with medical anthropology. Perhaps it has something to do with my Jewish background, as in Talmudic scholarship there is a strong incentive toward accessing source material and commentaries. I’ve always had the incentive to dig into the classical literature of Chinese medicine, but it took many years to find reliable translations. I also began studying medical Chinese relatively late, about ten years ago.

When I first heard the Shang Han Lun the translations that were available were not very good, such as OHAI’s “Treatise on Febrile Disease, or the New World Press translation. I couldn’t make the text work for me. The Mitchell, Wiseman and Feng’s translation allowed me to finally immerse in the text, as in includes glossaries, and the Chinese, Pinyin and English translation are all pegged to each other.

How did you learn your Chinese?

I began with a tutor ten years ago, Fred Wong, and then continued mostly on my own. I utilized such texts as Paul Unschuld’s “How to Read Chinese”, and the Wiseman “Chinese Medical Chinese” series and Paradigm Press character series.

Are there any kinds of issues that you think the classic formulas are particularly well suited for treating?

Quite frankly, everything; the classic formulas of the Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue are the essence of simplicity, but they can treat rather complex patterns by specific modifications or combining with other prescriptions from the texts. You can think of the classic formulas as the trunk of the great tree of Chinese herbal prescriptions. The Shang Han Lun is the template for later schools of thought and prescriptions, such as the Spleen/Stomach current and Warm Disease current.

I usually do not modify the formulas very much. These classic formulas tend to be good for cases that require finding the key to specific qi transformations. For example, using Si ni san to treat dribbling urination by unblocking qi transformation in the San Jiao channel. Sometimes I combine a couple formulas together. They are really quite elegant in the way a simple addition or subtraction can shift the emphasis of the prescription.

The use of classic formulas is more about matching a formula to a particular presentation, than it is about considering the Zang/Fu. Much of the schooling in modern Chinese medicine schools revolves around Zang/Fu diagnosis. How do you reconcile these two approaches in your clinical work?

I see it as having different prisms, which allow you to observe different phenomena. I call it the “Picasso Principle”, in that one can view a patient from several angles at the same time. The Shang Han Lun provides other views of symptomatic phenomena effecting our patients, by seeing a continuum of change of medical conditions through a six channel warp or gradation.

What are your thoughts about constitution and the treatment of illness?

I think it is both important and quite under-emphasized in modern TCM. For me, constitution is about observing the manner in which people tend to get ill. It comes from both their constitution and any changes brought about due to damage to the system over time, from illness, medications, poor diet, or emotional taxation. People get habituated to how they get sick, stuck in specific patterns; addressing constitution helps in these situations.

Many people believe that the classic formulas of the Shang Han Lun are only for treating acute illness or the aftermath of acute illness. However many doctors use these classic formulas to treat chronic illness as well? Can you give us an example of using a Shang Han Formula to treat a chronic condition?

It is important to remember that the original name of the book was Shang Han Za Bing Lun, or “Treatise on Cold Damage and Complex (Miscellaneous) Ilnesses”. And do keep in mind that the Jin Gui Yao Lue is very much focused on chronic illness. There are sections on gynecology, water swelling diseases, skin problems, malaria-like disorder, and diseases of taxation.

If you read the Shang Han Lun/Jin Gui commentaries, you will find it is talking about all kinds of approaches to treatment and strategies, not just external contractions/wai gan. Really, it is a template for getting into a deeper level of understanding and application of medicine.

The other thing to remember about the Shang Han Lun is that it treats those illnesses that have become complex because they did not resolve, or were aggravated (huai bing) by inappropriate treatment. Purging/precipitation is not just about the misuse of da huáng. Modern use of laxatives, or the currently popular colon cleansers, which purge people when they are in the midst of a tài yáng illness. These products, or enemas, are recommend for the common cold. Or large doses of Vitamin C which cause diarrhea. Another example would be the excessive use of diuretics that dry people out and as a result cause tremors and shaking. These are examples of the “mistakes” that Zhang Zhong-Jing talks about that can be reinterpreted in line with modern treatments or lifestyle.

Any tips you have for our readers on ways of approaching the study of the Shang Han Lun and Jing Gui Yao Lue?

First of all, while it is important to read the book itself, and re-read it again and again; in addition, it is essential that you find a teacher who has experience. We are fortunate these days that there is are people like Arnaud Versluys who has developed extensive courses on both the Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue, and quality translations like the Mitchell/Wiseman/Ye translation. Soon we will have a Wiseman/Ye translation of the Jin Gui Yao Lue as well.. To really make the material yours, constant review and study are required. I remember seeing Miki Shima at a conference once a few years ago. His copy of Mitchell’s translation was beaten and battered and had the cover torn off; the margins were filled with his own notes and observations. This kind of constant review, this kind of going back over the material again and again as we gain more experience is essential to unlocking its wealth.

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Upcoming Webinars with Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

View full PDF with Details

Qing Zhuo Clear and Turbid
a one-session (90 minutes) webinar
Monday February 10, 2020
at 12:30 pm PDT (3:30 pm EDT, 9:30 pm CEST/Paris)
Participants can qualify for 1.5 CEU/PDA
Cost : $30 ($50 for course and CEUs)

Click for Details and Registration

Ji Incipience
or The Infinitesimally Small

a one-session (90 minutes) webinar
Monday May 11, 2020
at 12:30 pm PDT (3:30 pm EDT, 9:30 pm CEST/Paris)
Participants can qualify for 1.5 CEU/PDA
Cost : $30 ($50 for course and CEUs)

Click for Details and Registration