YIN STYLE BAGUA PATTING PRACTICES

Yin Style Bagua is system of personal cultivation that can be divided into two major categories: martial arts and health. The healing practices of YSB include the practice of Chinese medicine to heal others and the practice of internal cultivation (Daoyin, often referred to as Qigong) to heal oneself of illness and maintain vitality into old age.

The self healing side of Yin Style Bagua contains 3 major practices. They were drawn from Daoist and Buddhist roots and then interwoven within the Book of Changes understanding of the universe and of the human as its reflection.

• The Eight Healing Sounds of Yin Style Bagua

• The Twelve Guiding Energy Sitting Meditations of Yin Style Bagua

• The Luohan Patting System of Yin Style Bagua

These videos are available from our store at traditionalstudies.org, as part of the Healing Without Medicines series filmed with Dr. Xie Pieqi.  Below, find Andrew Nugent-Head offering a brief introduction to one of the three Daoyin practices of YSB; the Luohan Patting System.

Patting Introduction Video

Simple Patting Practice

THERMOS

Please find the video instructions for thermos method herb preparation below:


STOVETOP

Please find video instructions for stovetop herb cooking method below:

If the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) is the flesh and bones that make up classical Chinese thought and culture, then Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing its its heart and soul. Continually sparking new translations and commentaries, it is second only to the Christian Bible in the number of books, commentaries, writings and arguments generated since it was first ‘published’ in the Warring States period–and it is certainly the most important for any practitioner or scholar of the Chinese arts.

Long the dream of ATS founder Andrew Nugent-Head to translate and elucidate this classic in the manner in which the late Professor Wang Jin-Huai taught him, Andrew has begun sharing the Dao De Jing in seminar format.

We have created this page as a resource for our patients to watch and learn more about the Eight Healing Sounds which are part of the Chinese medical paradigm of Dao Yin, commonly understood today as internal cultivation, or Qi Gong.

Traditionally, a doctor would practice internal cultivation to keep his own body healthy, as well prescribe sounds and other Dao Yin exercises to patients.  In Chinese, Dao Yin simply means guiding and leading.  In these videos one guides their attention, breath and sound to different areas of the body, and thus leads and flows circulation.  By having good flow and circulation the 100 diseases will not manifest.  We hope you enjoy these videos.

Ways To Practice the Eight Healing Sounds

01 The Ah Sound

02 The Ha Sound

03 The Heng Sound

04 The Hu Sound

05 The Mer Sound

06 The Xu Sound

07 The Yi Sound

08 The Hong Sound

Questions About The Eight Healing Sounds?

Today’s herbal paradigm is largely influenced by western science, applying herbs for disease names and chemical components.  This is not the foundation of how herbs were applied by great scholars of Chinese medicine for thousands of years.  JulieAnn Nugent-Head works to reframe the application of herbs today, staying within the Chinese medicine paradigm when practicing Chinese medicine. To learn more on the topic of the classical perspective of herb use, see below for JulieAnn’s article published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine:

Returning Our Focus to the Flavour and Nature of Herbs

While Chinese medicine began 2,400 years ago, the acupuncture and herbology taught in the People’s Republic of China today is dramatically different from its traditional practice. The last 150 years have had a greater impact on its evolution than at any other time in its history. To truly understand the state of Chinese medicine today, one must begin in the mid 1800’s. China was under the rule of a corrupt and weak Qing Dynasty; foreign powers were carving ‘spheres of influence’, essentially occupying its sovereign territory; and the Opium War ensured an epidemic of addiction among its population. Chinese intelligentsia began to face the reality that its culture was neither as strong nor as powerful as that of the foreign countries they had considered as uncouth barbarians. They came to believe that China had been focused on the achievements of its past, whereas foreign powers were focusing on developing the new, the modern. They saw that China’s closed borders policy to the outside world had kept it from the inventions and discoveries of the times and believed China had to modernize in order to remain a sovereign power of influence. This movement grew until eventually the Imperial court was overthrown and the Republic of China was founded under Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yatsun) and the Nationalist Party in 1911.

The Nationalist Distrust of Its Own Traditional Medicine

With the desire to modernize also came a distrust of China’s traditional knowledge. The backlash against traditional customs was far reaching, outlawing everything from wearing the ‘cue’ of long hair to its own medicine. In 1928, the Nationalist government declared the practice of Chinese medicine illegal, believing it superstitious and backward compared to the growing influence of penicillin based western medicine. This was not without some justification, as during those times of war, turmoil and hunger, a large amount of charlatan practitioners similar to snake-oil salesmen in America’s Wild West were at work throughout the cities and countryside. This was coupled with the introduction of penicillin from the west, a miracle cure and proof of the superiority of all things modern at the time. While unsuccessful at completely outlawing Chinese medicine, it was forbidden in hospitals and government organized health facilities. Now existing outside of the official medical system and lacking regulation, an even larger number of charlatans outshadowed the authentic lineages of Chinese medicine being passed on in teacher-disciple relationships.

What then followed was an incredibly violent and difficult period of history for China. A Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation lead to great sympathy for the underground Communist movement. As Communism began to gather momentum, a civil war was unleashed on an already battered country. When the Communists emerged victorious and founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, traditional knowledge and teaching methods had already undergone almost 100 years of hardship.

Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Early Years of Communism

In the first years of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Health simply continued the policies that existed under the Nationalist government towards Chinese medicine. However, as the depth of poverty and illness left from decades of war became apparent, the government encouraged any type of medicine, Chinese or Western, to help the masses. This lead to the creation of government sanctioned institutes for the study of Chinese medicine and the establishment of Chinese medical hospitals. For a brief time, old doctors of great lineages found themselves respected by the government and teaching in schools. However this support of traditional medicine was set against the backdrop of the catastrophic famines that followed Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward. By the end of 1961, efforts began to remove him from power.

The Cultural Revolution and Chinese Medicine

In order to retain control, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and purged those in the government against him. The propaganda of the revolution was all things of China’s past were the source of its current difficulties, and the old practitioners who were just recently brought into the educational system found themselves labeled as counter-revolutionaries and enemies of the state. They were removed from administrative and teaching positions within Chinese medical schools and purged from the governing bodies within the Ministries of Health and Education. Many of them were jailed or died during that time. Chinese medical institutions quickly shifted from traditional theories to current scientific models of Western biomedicine in order to weather Communism’s anti-traditionalist campaigns.The Divergence of Traditional and Contemporary Chinese Medicine

After the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, China spent the next three years rebuilding an educational and medical infrastructure. This included the reopening of Chinese medical universities. However, in a bid to seem modern, the only the aspects of acupuncture’s traditional theories which matched with western anatomical and neurological models of the body were stressed in the teaching curriculum. Studies into the active single chemical ingredients of herbs became more important than thousands of years of experience and knowledge combining them together as a whole. Marginalized, the traditional practitioners were replaced by a younger generation of doctors convinced that like the New China growing around them, a new biomedical research based medicine would be far superior to its traditional origins. Viewed as unscientific in their methodology, the last generation of doctors were seen as interesting sources of empirical techniques instead of repositories of traditional theory. Tragically, traditional theories that did not fit the new model or did not meet with Communist approval were removed from the textbooks and curriculum, their clinical application and understanding at risk of being lost forever.The Chinese

Government’s Efforts to Document Traditional Medicine

By 1979, some members within the government were aware of the schism existing in the practice of Chinese medicine. Just before retiring, the Director of the Chinese Medicine Department in the Ministry of Health, Lu Binkui, established a National Association for Chinese Medicine and launched a project to record elder doctors throughout the country. Unfortunately, in spite of his efforts, the persons in the positions of authority to implement the project were the very doctors convinced of the superiority of a modern based medicine. As a result, their documentation efforts were so skewed in this manner that traditional practitioners found themselves being patronized by young science-based researchers. Angered by this treatment and still living in fear from the Cultural Revolution, the practitioners offered them little real information. In turn, the young researchers took this as proof that traditional medicine had little to offer the theoretical foundation of modern Chinese medicine. By the late 1980’s, the disparity between the clinical efficacy of the few traditional practitioners still in practice and that of the Chinese-Western combined medical practitioners had become too obvious to ignore. In 1990, the government launched a teacher-disciple training program in an effort to recreate a traditional training environment. In a country of over a billion people, the government only found 500 traditional doctors still able to take on and teach disciples. Each of the doctors was assigned two students who were to learn their theories and strategies, carrying on their knowledge after they passed away. Stringent criteria were drawn up for the students: they had to be in practice for over 15 years; they had to have a position of at least deputy-chief doctor; and they were not allowed to have a western medical background so as to influence their thinking of the traditional medical paradigm. The old doctors were very moved and excited, but soon found that the implementation of the project was ineffective. Finding suitable students was very hard, and those chosen were often too busy to really spend time with their mentors. Having already been in practice for such a long period of time under the current system, they often had their own thoughts on treatment methodology too firmly ingrained to absorb their teachers’ thinking. In turn, the old doctors found that these students were seeking more effective techniques to apply immediately rather than applying themselves to the discipline of learning traditional perspectives on treatment that requires time, attention and diligence.

The Challenges Facing Traditional Medicine in China’s Emerging Market

Today, China is the world’s fastest growing consumer market. Boasting population of over a billion people, the battle for their new-found income is growing at an incredible rate. ‘Traditional’ medicine has become a highly profitable and often fraudulent market as the Chinese seek answers to lifestyle issues such as obesity, impotence, high blood pressure, diabetes and beauty enhancement. Doctors claim miracle treatments for everything from cancer to hair loss to breast enlargement, Chinese medicine ‘cure-all’ pills have flooded the market, and clinics touting specialists are appearing everywhere. While more legitimate, even the state run Chinese medical hospitals have established upscale treatment facilities as income generators in the face of dwindling government subsidies. The more reputable clinics do their best to hire the last of the elder doctors still in practice, but their focus is on using them is financial, not altruistic. Suspicious of the motives of students and institutions who approach them in these money focused times, the doctors are wary of trying to pass on their experience during their last years.

The Association for Traditional Studies in China

With almost 30 years of expertise preserving, documenting and disseminating the knowledge of traditional practitioners in China, ATS has embarked on a new initiative to protect the Pre Communist practice of acupuncture and herbology from extinction. Spurred by the recent passing of several of the traditional practitioners it had actively worked with since its inception, ATS is concentrating its preservation efforts in China over the next 5 years. Within the next 5 to 10 years, it is feared that most of this last generation who were born and educated prior to 1949 will have passed away. Those still alive will most likely be too old or infirm to actively record their clinical skills. As a part of this new endeavor, ATS is expanding the visibility of this work so that the voices of this last generation can help shape the Western understanding of traditional medicine as it becomes accepted into the current medical paradigm of integrative medicine.

Coined by Andrew Nugent-Head in response to the esoteric perspectives of Chinese medicine in the west, The Alternative Clinic focuses on tangible, effective results for patients and practical, relevant training for licensed practitioners. To read more about Tangible Medicine, please view Andrew’s article published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine:

JCM Tangible Medicine Article

Greatly influenced by scientific terminology and research, today supplements, super foods and herbs are prescribed for chemical components, symptoms and disease names. This modern perspective greatly differs from classical Chinese herbal theory.  In contrast, the Huang Di Nei Jing, a seminal text dating back 2500 years, lays out how herbs affect the body systemically, and should be applied by the flavor and nature of the substance instead of by chemical components or results of lab testing and research. While herbal substances are natural and deemed to be more safe than pharmaceuticals, using plants as medicine can have dire consequences if they are not used with clarity and a perspective that stems from millennia of safe and effective use.

Watch this 50 minute video on the importance of staying within the Chinese medical paradigm when using herbs & food as medicine.

Classical Chinese Herbal Theory

This fascinating article rebukes the “RICE” standard (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and will help you understand why we do not encourage icing injuries

Why Ice Delays Recovery

“The Alternative Clinic is much more than Acupuncture. It is a multi dimensional approach of specific herbal prescriptions, bodywork, and Acupuncture.”

“My 4 experiences at the clinic were outstanding. I always felt that the practitioner took the time and really listened to what I was saying and incorporated it, along with his diagnostic tools into each treatment and herbal tea formula, which were always unique and very effective. I am breathing 70% better than I have in 2 decades and have found complete relief from an old, nagging injury.”

“I have had a fair amount of acupuncture in the past, but nothing compares to the effectiveness, professionalism, extensive knowledge, and joyful personalities at the Alternative Clinic. Thank you so much for deciding to make Asheville, NC your new home.” Mary 2015

“As a suffer of systemic lupus it is refreshing to have practitioners that have the experience to help and listen. In two short months we had figured out how to deal with symptoms and cycle of my disease which in turn gives me a better quality of life. If you’re looking for ways to reduce medicinal side effects and damage, I highly recommend The Alternative Clinic.” Vivian 2015

“It was so wonderful having someone LISTEN and have a PLAN for recovery! Such a relief to here “we can help with that” after months of tests and no real treatment plans! THANK YOU!” June 2015

“This is the first day in a long time that I’ve had NO back pain at all, including the sciatica. It’s been great! Thank you!” Sue 2015

“The folks have here have done so much for me. I highly recommend the Alternative Clinic. Their incredible knowledge, sincere dedication to my health needs, and individualized treatments have been the most effective of any doctors I have worked with. Asheville is incredibly lucky to have this team!” Emily 2015

“The general feeling that is apparent when working with Julie-Ann and Andrew is one of serenity. They both possess a calming aura and I have felt trusting and relaxed during my treatments.”

“During treatments for my digestive disorder, I found Julie-Ann to be relentless in her attempts to find the appropriate combination of herbs and hands on treatment, and I frequently left my sessions feeling a significant reduction in my discomfort. Western medicine has done nothing to “cure” my ailment, and The Alternative Clinic provided more relief than I’ve found previously.”

“My post-op pain was so severe at times that I felt nauseated. I had relied on Western medicine and was popping pain meds regularly. Andrew provided me with a hands on session that proved so successful that I did not take any pain meds. Although the acupuncture can be painful, I find it well worth the short term discomfort for longer term relief.” Lori 2015