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Lunar New Year: it's about context

Happy Lunar New Year!

It is the year of the Brown Earth Pig. What does that mean? Well, Uncle Google can answer that in an astrology sort of way, but Calendars based on a lunar system is a tradition that spans many cultures, dating back centuries, and was the basis for understanding how our bodies and lives flow seasonally with the earth. The take away for me is that Chinese medicine looks at the microbiome in a human, the same way we look at the ‘macrobiome’ of the Earth.

This past weekend, I was in San Diego attending a seminar given by a very famous and much sought-after doctor of Chinese Medicine, Dr. Jin Zhao of the University of Chengdu. He is the teacher and friend of my colleagues Andrew Miles and Xuelan Qiu who source the high quality herbs, foot soaks and teas you’ve heard me speak of, and in many cases, tried yourselves. It was quite incredible and I learned a great deal, but one of the more interesting experiences was a conversation some of my colleagues and I had about how the Chinese language (and by extension this medicine and how we’re taught to see the body) is very conceptual as opposed to literal. The written language is a series of pictograms that needs context to be understood. Ours is letters and sounds. In Chinese language, thought and medicine, there are no absolutes, no binary system, no one way of seeing something, and nothing can be truly understood out of context.

Dr. Jin reminded us not to focus our treatments on symptoms alone. To look at the whole context of our patients bodies and lives. Nothing that happens in one part of our bodies is unrelated to other parts of our bodies. It’s my job to help you find the context and make the connections.

I’m writing this second New Year greeting of 2019 as a reminder that none of your experiences, aches, pains, stresses or illnesses exist out of the context of your body and your life. You are the sum of all of it, and I hope to be a part of your path to understanding that so you can be your best and healthiest self.

I look forward to being a part of your health care plan in 2019.

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