"International Standard of TCM"

I have heard rumors of these things in the past, but the reality of the situation really sunk in last Sunday during an academic meeting here.

Apparently, the Chinese are pushing(!) towards a so-called "standardization" of TCM and trying also to obtain relevant ISO certificates.
If they succeed with the current proposal(s) - actually there is already a "WHO International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region" - they will achieve intellectual world domination in this field (their apparent goal; and with the help of a legally binding ISO also a VERY big business) and make everything non-Chinese impossible or heretic. Leaving the world with just one color, one flavor, one style, one way of thinking ...

For me, that would be unacceptable.
Even if I joined a discussion in a different thread about the absence of a "specific Japanese acupuncture" and the present instead of a wondrous variety of styles, I do prefer the availability of many choices (freedom) AND the prospect for the development of still further varieties.


Verantwortlich sind immer nur die Anderen ...

Und wieder einmal stand es in allen Zeitungen. An dem Umstand, dass es nicht zu einem Gipfeltreffen zwischen China und Japan kam, sei EINZIG UND ALLEIN Japan schuld.

Das ist bei China **immer** so. Schuld sind AUSSCHLIESSLICH die anderen!
Die Moeglichkeit, dass etwas auf Gegenseitigkeit beruht, oder eventuell sogar Verantwortung im eigenen Land (China) zu suchen sein koennte wird stets vehement zurueckgewiesen.
Medizinisch gesehen muesste man hier zu dem Schluss kommen, der Patient (China) hat eine Persoenlichkeitsstoerung:


"Passive-Aggressive (Negativistic) Personality:
People with a passive-aggressive personality behave in ways that appear inept or passive. However, these behaviors are actually ways to avoid responsibility or to control or punish others. People with a passive-aggressive personality often procrastinate, perform tasks inefficiently, or claim an implausible disability. Frequently, they agree to perform tasks they do not want to perform and then subtly undermine completion of the tasks. Such behavior usually enables them to deny or conceal hostility or disagreements."

Ich frage mich immer wieder, wie lang die Welt dies einfach so hinnimmt - und dabei ausserdem sich mit jedem Tag weiter in eine verhaengnisvolle (!) Abhaengigkeit von China verstrickt.
Das "Reich der Mitte (= gut balancierte Ausgelichenheit)" hat offenbar schon vor sehr langer Zeit aufgehoert zu exixtieren. 
Vor ueber 30 Jahren war meine Faszination von der **antiken** chinesischen Philosophie einer der Gruende, warum ich nach Japan gekommen bin. Inzwischen bin ich soweit, dass ich ALLEM gegenueber, was aus China kommt allergisch bin. 
Das gilt sogar fuer Materialien im Zusammenhang mit orientalischer Medizin. Auch hier MUSS einfach davon ausgegangen werden, dass alle Publikationen, Inhalte etc. manipuliert wurden, um den Parteivorstellungen zu entsprechen. Es sei denn, man bekommt Buecher etc. in die Haende, die vor mindestens 100 Jahren gedruckt wurden ....

"TCM" - parteireguliertes Propagandamaterial. Und hochintelligente Menschen weltweit lassen sich dass aufschwatzen!


Chinese pirates

Chinese pirates
China is continuously growing both economically and in its military power. The sheer number of Chinese people that stands behind these developments makes the nation something like a potential “swarm of locusts” that will run over certain regions (the entire world?) and devour everything in its path – leaving the affected area devasted and uninhabitable.
It is well-known that just about 100% of any kind of software (computer, music, video etc.) and the vast majority of so-called branded or proprietary products is “pirated”. Along similar lines China respects intellectual property (patents, trade marks etc.) in a similar way = considers them worth s**t and free to use as it pleases.
Pirated” products: that means pirates have taken them and by definition pirates steal from other people for their own profit.
That makes China a nation of thieves that even take pride in their criminal actions, proudly broadcasted on their national TV.

Pirates: a Chinese pirate ship hit a Japanese vessel from obliquely behind. The Chinese blame it on the Japanese, but in a traffic accident, when one car hits another from obliquely behind there can be no question as to whose responsibility this is!!!

I originally came to the Far East over 30 years ago, because I was inspired in part by ancient Chinese philosophy. Today I do not trust ANYTHING that comes from China. That includes even most things related to acupuncture and/or oriental medicine – even though China claims to have a 3000-year tradition in this area. The so-called “traditional Chinese medicine” is not traditional at all. It has been cooked up on behalf of Mao during the cultural revolution, eliminating “undesirable” aspects and anything that might be related to ethinic groups not really “Chinese”, mixed with a fair (rather large) amount of western medicine and them very noisily promoted world-wide as “TCM”. And the sad thing is, that most of the world believes this noisy clamoring. The funny thing is, the studies made in China ALWAYS show an effectiveness of the treatment of 90% of more, a value that can never be duplicated anywhere else in the world. So, just take the Chinese by their word and believe them?

If I see a box of needles and it says there Made in China, that is for me a sign NOT to use those. Personal experience has shown, that needles made in China are VERY poorly manufactured – totally unfit for the gentle treatment that should be involved in “moving qi”. But for a people that believes that patients MUST suffer (quite severe) pain in order for the treatment to work, this may be natural.


Give them (visitors/students) a chance

(This pertains to my efforts to find places to shadow/observe/study for people wishing to study a little about acupuncture in Japan)

In the words of a British colleague practicing in Tokyo, who I recently asked for his help:

"I must say it's a bit of a mixed bag. In my view there are few that genuinely want to learn. The non Japanese especiallylike to say on their resume that they studied in Japan after being here for one day or going to a seminar of a famous teacher and calling them their teacher."

This sentiment may not be restricted to him, but I believe a substantial portion of the Japanese practitioners are also inclined towards this attitude.

In my email response to the above colleague I wrote:
"I think, I understand the problem of having "bad apples" in the lot.
But you never know who will fall into this category, unless you give him/her a chance.

And that is all I am asking for: Give those who ask for it a CHANCE.
After all, you, me ... in fact EVERY acupuncturist throughout history has been given his/her chance at one time, by somebody. Some turned out to be historically important figures, others just dropouts. The outcome is (maybe) not ours to decide.
But what we can do, is provide the **chance** - and thus repay the "debt" we carry,
because we had our chance.

Maybe I am completely off the mark, but I have the hazy, fixed idea, that this is what I should do.
Unfortunately, I myself am an uneducated, clumsy old fool (with VERY few patients),
so that I always can welcome potential visitors, but cannot show them anything worthwhile .....


Grabstein ? im "japanischen" Stil
In der letzten Zeit fahre ich mit dem Fahrrad häufiger eine Strecke, wo ich an einem Geschäft für Grabsteine und dergleichen vorbeikomme. Nachdem ich da ein paar Mal vorbeigefahren bin, habe ich mich entschlossen, doch einmal ein Foto zu machen.

Japan ? die Kultur der Stille.
Gleichzeitig auch Zuhause fur Godzilla.
Und nun gibt es hier Grabsteine (?), die diesen Aspekt der japanischen "Kultur" zum Ausdruck bringen. Angesichts der (in meinen Augen bedauerlichen) Tatsache, dass Heute japanische Comics als "Kulturgut" gewertet werden, ist dies vielleicht eine normale Entwicklung.

Trotzdem, Leute die sich einen Godzilla aufs Grab stellen lassen, müssen schon irgendwie eine ganz besondere Einstellung haben ....
 Im Vordergrund die "normalen" Steine ...



Before a practitioner can start treating people, s/he must first find out what is wrong ? as far as that is possible at all. As a matter of common sense there are many ways to do that and I am not going into the details of examination techniques. However, I am under the impression, that the Chinese with their intellectual world domination in this area have inspired many westerners in believing, practicing something that is usually "handled (please observe the expression; there will be a few more instances of this kind of illuminating terms below)" a little differently in Japan.
Since I have not had the opportunity to observe things directly in mainland China, reading through (Chinese influenced) reports, research material etc., or also material from China, I also am under the impression, that the authors gather information by taking the pulse, inspect the tongue and a little something of that and from there draw their conclusions based on the classifications the Chinese love so much and/or select the points for their treatment based on the theoretical instructions of textbooks or the classics. It is of course laudable to know the textbooks and classics, but personally I seriously doubt, they can tell you anything about the patient you are currently treating. Just like the description of "pneumonia" in a textbook of medicine gives you an averaged, generalized model, but not the particular situation you encounter in patient "xxx".
Although not all Japanese practitioners adhere to the practice I attempt to put into rather unusual words below and which a patient of mine once has called "poking around", I prefer it and believe a substantial number of other (Japanese) practitioners could offer the world here something, that may not really make the EBM enthusiasts happy, but provides a sometimes very enlightening "close encounter of the Japanese kind".
Interface is a term usually used in relation to computer and machine technology. But I would like to express a few ideas pertaining to (physical) treatment, in particular acupuncture treatment, and borrow this expression for the purpose.
In the medical world it is common sense, that individual life forms, including single-celled microorganisms, plants, animals and man, have a body surface that forms the interface of this particular individual with the environment. Yet, in contrast to man-made devices, which are usually one out of a more or less large number of identical devices manufactured at a specific site with identical specifications, these life forms are always **UNIQUE**. Not one of these many "devices (let's call them units below)" exactly matches any other device, even if they are of the same species, like for example "man".
Each individual unit is slightly different ? although may be not fundamentally. For that reason the interface between the unit and the environment at any given moment in time is subject to a unique, highly specific set of parameters influencing both the unit and its environment. And because the specifications for each unit are unique, the interaction between the particular unit and the environment occurring at their common interface ? in man the skin ? also is subject to unique changes. That means, that no other unit would react in exactly the same way to a given, reproducible parameter/influence, like temperature or pressure.
In computer technology the status of the various devices and their respective hard- and software can be checked and a "digital output" of the relevant data prepared. In medicine, here I refer in particular to acupuncture, "running diagnostics" is also largely a "digital" process, because the practitioner uses his/her fingers = digits to literally READ information from the body surface of people/patients. But in contrast to this process in computer technology the diagnostic process in acupuncture exceeds the unidimensional digital level and becomes a "sensual" holistic process, in that it includes visual (inspection), audio (hearing, listening) and chemical (smell, but only RARELY taste) parameters.
In relation to the "EBM frenzy" currently almost everybody is looking for "reproducible, digital readouts" of this information: like temperature, pressure, electrical resistance etc. However, to the best of my knowledge, even if there are devices under development that may be able to test and measure some of these parameters like pressure, which would be essential for examining the pulse, these devices are still very far from reliably and meaningfully measuring the parameters they are designed for. The human touch still exceeds their capabilities.
Even if there were devices that would satisfactorily measure ONE particular parameter, a human (erratic as that may be!) practitioner would still integrate all the different modalities of into one whole ("holistic") picture quite different from what any machine would produce. In addition, the practitioner him/herself too is a unique unit, which produces naturally a unique and not completely reproducible output. THAT is for all scientifically/technically inclined researchers believing in the holiness of EBM a horrible concept.
Now, the interface used for data collection, namely the two layers of the skin of both patient and practitioner approaching and in most instances also coming into contact with each other, are not unlike a telephone. (This is a metaphor I like to use when I try to explain the situation to my patients and refer here only to palpation.)
On the one "hand" (please note THIS expression) the practitioner moves with his/her hand(s) over the body of the patient to collect = read the data written on the patient's body surface. Although most patients are not really aware of them, for a practitioner with a little clinical experience there is a lot of information to read there, that will tell him/her about the past, present and future state/development(s) of the person under examination. This is like listening to that person talking on the other end of a telephone.
During the treatment on the other hand, for which the hands do not even have to be lifted off the body = cut the connection, the same hand(s) of the practitioner provides some input for the system "patient". That is then like talking to the person on the other end of the telephone line.
Modern telecommunication technology uses wired networks, where cables are used to connect different devices, and wireless networks using electromagnetic waves and fields. In medicine nothing substantially has changed in the technological setup of the wired and wireless networks (only our understanding of their functioning is growing) since their inception = billions of years ago. Practitioners use the hardware components for the wired networks, like nerves, muscles, bones etc. in order to receive/transmit physical stimuli/information = like nerve impulses traveling along nerves, or moxibustion induced chemical changes/substances propagated via the chemical transport system "blood". For the wireless networks practitioners tap into energies and information in and also propagated along LAN channels that work without having their own hardware, in the field of acupuncture these are often referred to as meridians or also channels (note the similarity).
Actually, I have been called for help in my capacity as an acupuncturist via mail. However, both patient and practitioner are unique individual units with their own unique specifications and therefore without exactly predictable reactions (to interventions). Thus, helping people over long distances is usually not working very well, because I as a practitioner have to do almost completely without data readouts from the malfunctioning unit (person). Therefore the attempts are in most cases bound to be unsuccessful.
The advice would be: get a piece of real first-hand "human touch" experience up close ...... again those expressions ...


Diät - oder eher Gewichtsreduktion

(Bild: Die Hose habe ich im April 2009 in einem Spezialgeschäft für Sondergrößen gekauft. Und im letzten April hat sie (wie "angegossen") auch gepasst.)

Diät - oder eher Gewichtsreduktion
Außer meiner beruflichen (wobei ich dies unverschämterweise ganz persönlich als von "Berufung" kommend betrachte) Tätigkeit als Akupunkteur auch Übersetzungen mache (dies ist die eigentliche finanzielle Grundlage für unser Leben), kommt es im Rahmen dieser Arbeit oft dazu, dass ich zwar nach dem Abendessen eine kleine Pause mache, aber im wesentlichen danach noch bis spät in die Nacht arbeite. Wenn ich dann den Tag beende(te), gönne ich mir vielleicht ein Bier oder japanischen Schnaps (Sake). Das allein wäre ja noch erträglich, aber über eine ganze Weile hinweg habe ich dabei auch immer den Kühlschrank nach schmackhaften Happen durchsucht, die zum Schnaps gepasst hätten.
Das hat dann dazu geführt, dass mein Körpergewicht im letzten Juli (2009) schließlich die dreistellige Grenze überschritt! 100 kg bei nur 169 cm Größe - das passt wirklich nicht mehr. Von meinem beruflichen Standpunkt als Akupunkteur her kommt es immer wieder vor, dass ich meinen Patienten "empfehle" ein wenig Sport zu betreiben und etwas abzunehmen. Aber wenn man selbst so aus dem Rahmen fällt, wirkt eine solche Aussage natürlich nicht sehr überzeugend.
Daher entschloss ich mich im vergangenen Jahr, die **Menge** meiner Nahrungsaufnahme und den Alkoholkonsum zu reduzieren. Jetzt esse ich wahrscheinlich etwa die Hälfte von dem was ich vorher gegessen habe, gönne mir dabei aber auch Schokolade, Donuts und fette Fleischgerichte, sowie hin- und wieder einen Wein oder dergleichen, aber eben nicht mehr täglich, wie das bis letzten Sommer üblich war. Darüber hinaus habe ich auch wieder angefangen Fahrrad zu fahren (was nach einem Unfall für einige Jahre im wesentlichen ausgeblieben war). Seither fahre ich meistens täglich etwa 1 Stunde Fahrrad.
Dies hat dazu geführt, dass ich vom letzten Juli bis März dieses Jahres ca. 21 kg abgenommen habe. Wobei das Fahrrad fahren sicher dazu beigetragen hat, unnötige Kalorien abzufackeln. Daher 'leide' ich auch nicht an total faltiger Haut oder herabhängenden Restfettpolstern, sondern mache eher (sofern ich dass selbst überhaupt sagen darf) einen sportlichen, gefestigten Eindruck.
Ich musste mir schon selber sagen: Wo ein Wille ist, da ist auch ein Weg.
Diese Veränderungen haben auch sowohl positive wie negative finanzielle Auswirkungen.
Negativ: Kleidung zum Ausgehen, die ich mir im letzten Jahr anlässlich einer Arbeit als Dolmetscher gekauft habe, ist jetzt so groß, dass ich darin wie ein Clown aussehe. Andererseits kann ich aber jetzt wieder Hosen tragen, die seit 15 Jahren im Schrank gelegen hatten, weil sie mir zu klein geworden waren.
Fahrrad fahren - eine Übungsform die ich daher nur empfehlen kann. Sie belastet die Knie weniger und erlaubt offenbar intensive aerobe Übungen über längere Zeit (Ausdauertraining) aufrecht zu erhalten. Und gerade langfristigen Beanspruchungen standzuhalten ist etwas, dass in der modernen Gesellschaft scheinbar systematisch abgebaut wird (eine Verschwörung die Menschheit in die Dekadenz zu treiben?).
Ich werde mich diesbezüglich noch wieder melden.