There are many things I love about Chinese medicine, but my favorite of all is that it encourages us to trust our bodies, while many other aspects of modern life, it seems, compel us to try and resist our bodies’ needs–to think only with our head and not with our body as a whole. I speak from experience, because I too was trapped in my head–until I started studying Chinese medicine.
In the beginning of my Chinese medicine education, I fully planned on applying my background in linguistic anthropology (the study of humans through language use), specifically my undergraduate research on the language of illness: how people describe what ails them, and what it says about their personal understanding of these ailments. I quickly learned, however, that the body has much more to say than what it articulates through words. Verbal communication is only one of the “four examinations” in the diagnostic system of Chinese medicine: the others are observation (looking), palpation (touching), and olfaction and gustation (smelling and tasting, respectively).
While I promise not to taste any of my patients, I will ask them which tastes they prefer, as well as look at their tongues, feel their pulses and abdomens, and even note if they have a predominant scent about them. These are all vital parts of the body’s “voice.” (Please see my blog post “The tongue, un-tied” if you’re wondering how the tongue fits into all of this.)
To learn more about yours truly and this medicine that has won my heart, please explore the menu to the left.