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Page 6 - Tonic Herbs that Every Qigong Practitioner Should Know
Ron Teeguarden has been practicing daoism and a variety of specific Daoist healing arts for over 30 years. Ron has spent many years studying in China and Japan. He studied with the legendary Daoist master Sung Jin Park in the 1970s, and as Master Park's primary student, took a vow to spread daoism in America. He was the co-founder of the Acupressure Workshops in Venice and Berkeley, Calif. Ron co-developed the acupressure technique known as Jin Shin Do. Ron has taught the Daoist healing arts to thousands of people. He wrote the classic book Chinese Tonic Herbs published by Japan Publications in 1985. His most recent book, "The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs", published by Warner Books is available from our Qi Catalog. Ron is the developer of the Dragon Herbs line of superior tonic herbal products, which are also available through Qi Catalog.
If you are new to Chinese herbal medicine, you will quickly realize several things:
1.Chinese herbals are not necessarily plant-based or vegetarian. Tonic herbs are made from ingredients that have proven effective over centuries of human experience and come from a wide range of natural sources.
2.Chinese herbals include non-native ingredients. This is a good example of how Chinese medicine continues to expand its ingredient base and evolve into a highly disciplined system, unlike traditional folk medicines.
3.Chinese herbals are often combined in formulas or combinations that enhance and boost the effectiveness of a single herb. Much like acupuncture, the goal is to influence or move the body towards homeostasis or balance.
4.Chinese herbalists value the jing, qi, and shen content of an herb, not just the chemical components. Therefore, an herb varies greatly in quality and effectiveness (and price) depending on its source, shape, color, taste, etc. A healthy, natural plant would be more highly valued than one which is sickly or commercially grown. When this is considered, quality varies greatly among vendors despite the new "standardized" rules being introduced to control the supplement industry. While rules are good and will make certain that we receive correct chemical formulas that is listed on the labels, such rules cannot judge what Chinese herbalists consider the most important aspects of each herb.
5.Chinese herbalism is both simple and complex. For preventive health (radiant health), it is simply a smart way to supplement your diet, along with qigong, taijiquan exercise and lifestyle changes, etc. But to use herbals for specific health conditions, it requires healthcare professionals versed in Chinese medicine to diagnose and prescribe powerful and targeted solutions. Be smart... don't treat medical conditions yourself or think that any treatment (Asian or Western) is a cure all.
© Qi Journal, Winter 2001-2002 issue
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