Getting back to the basics of Chinese medicine

A few weeks ago, when considering how to create a great curriculum for an online school of Chinese medicine, I picked up a book I hadn’t touched in years.  The book is Ta Chuan: The Great Treatise, by Stephen Karcher, one of my favorite Yijing (aka I Ching) interpreters.  We were assigned the text during our first year in Chinese medicine school at NCNM.

The text Karcher uses is part of the Yijing canon and forms a sort of instruction manual about using the Yijing.  That’s the essence. But, more importantly, it is also a nice introduction to the symbolism and symbolic thinking that form the basis of Chinese cosmology.

This cosmology, of course, infuses most types of Chinese medicine – so it is appropriate for beginning Chinese medicine students.

It’s a great book that breaks down many of the simple questions most early learners of the medicine have.  It is not a clinical manual – doesn’t eve talk directly about medicine very often.  But, going back through it I’ve realized how much I still have to learn, and how much I’ve forgotten since school.

Leafing through Karcher’s book got me thinking that creating a series of courses that broke down some of this essential symbolism would be valuable as part of the Chinese Medicine Central curriculum.

A series like this would be helpful for almost everybody.

Lay people who are just looking to learn more about the medicine could benefit.  Students and people waiting to become students of the medicine can benefit from the classical perspective – particularly if they are at a school that doesn’t teach the classics.  Even practitioners could benefit if they had no classical training, or just feel they haven’t really understood the basics at a level they prefer.

So, I talked to my friend and colleague, Brandon Brown, about putting together a series that dives into these basics.  He got to work immediately.  The result is a series of three courses that lay a foundation for all the rest of the courses at Chinese Medicine Central, yet form a fantastic learning sequence all on their own.

The first course is going to start in early July, and registration will open in just a few days.

If you’re interested in learning more about the courses, we’ve got an interest list just for that.  Yep, this is separate from the “main” Chinese Medicine Central newsletter.  I don’t want to bombard folks on that list with course announcements.  So, if you’re interested in learning more about the course, just head over to the signup page.  As always, we will protect your information, and never ever spam you.

On the list, you’ll receive information about the course content, timeline, format, cost and more.

As a bonus – if you sign up for the list you will receive a pretty little PDF that represents some of the basic concepts visually.  It’s not content heavy, but may serve to whet your appetite for the fun ahead.  Again, just head over to the sign-up page by clicking this link and you’ll get the PDF immediately, as well as all the information about the course over the next several days.



About Eric Grey

Hi - I'm the founder of this site and the primary master of all functions here. When I'm not writing, you can find me reaching out to the Chinese Medicine community across the web and in my own backyard. I currently teach Chinese herbs at my alma mater, the National College of Natural Medicine. Additionally, I'm the founder of Watershed Wellness, a thriving local clinic in Southeast Portland in Oregon. No matter where I'm working, you'll find my focus on the Classical approach to Chinese medicine laced throughout everything I do.

View all posts by Eric Grey - Website: