Classical Chinese medicine calls for an individualized approach to treatment. Patients are cared for as unique human beings seeking help for physical, emotional, and spiritual problems that are expressed in ways unique to the individual and their circumstances and in ways that are continually unfolding.
The mediocre physician is concerned only with the form (Xing), while the skillful physician attends to the Jing Shen (mental quintessence) of the patient in a marvelous way. The mediocre physician is concerned only with the Guan (articulations, barriers). The skillful physician clings to the Go (movement, driving force). These movements do not detach from the holes (points); they are delicate and sublime. (Huangdi Neijing Lingshu, Vol. I, page 5)
Traditionally, Chinese medicine physicians were expected to master a range of subject matter — from philosophy to martial arts — that were beyond the practice of Chinese medicine but supportive of healing. The healing arts included attention to physical fitness, nutritional wellness, and mental wellbeing, as well as the common health concerns associated with environment, pathology, and injury. Personal cultivation of the qualities of a superior physician, including humility and compassion, was central to the medicine.
Techniques to improve observation and treatment skills were practiced to maintain one’s health and increase sensitivity. These included practices like Qigong, Taijiquan, meditation, and nature observations. Being a living example of health, balance, and overall wellbeing for patients and for the wider community was — and is — a powerful aspect of energetic medicine. It is interesting that Western medicine, in its emerging embrace of integrated care and functional medicine, is beginning to express some of the same ideals that have been overt in classical Chinese medicine for thousands of years, namely, acknowledging the importance of treating the whole person as we see in modern functional medicine and integrated care.
Traits highlighted in ancient Chinese medicine texts and in modern psychology that we endorse and believe contribute to being an effective Chinese medicine practitioner include compassion, genuineness, empathy, unconditional positive regard or respect for self and others, and firmness. The task of becoming healers with integrity challenges us to find personal determination and commitment, both to learning the medicine and maintaining our own health.
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. (Huahujing, Wang Fou)
Such traits are supported through assignments that include personal reflection, Qigong, Taiji, meditation, nature observation, interview skills practice, and role plays.
The curriculum at Jung Tao School also provides students the opportunity to learn about the biomedical sciences and emerging acupuncture research through the rich lens of energetic medicine. Students simultaneously take diverse courses in Western sciences (e.g., anatomy/physiology, palpatory anatomy, and pathophysiology) and Chinese medicine, including energetics, diagnosis, treatment strategies, and Taijiquan. Students leave our program well-grounded in classical Chinese medicine and prepared with the skills necessary to offer high-quality care in an increasingly integrated health care system.