torsdag 21 april 2011

Full moon over London, talking to Zhang Zhongjing

and the homeless are fighting in the alleys. A man stands at Tottenham Court Station and takes pictures of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road; the voluntary corps of motorcyclists who block the city´s roving car-cameras are out, some of them in V-masks; a beautiful black woman on the bus smells of Africa, sandalwood, spices – so strong I´m almost there; the little kid at the Chinese take-away has eczema around his mouth at eight months old; there´s a charge in the air, a charge, but more quiet in this time of winter that is still isn´t really Spring.

But the evenings are clearer already, there´s a feeling of happiness and freedom and movement hiding just around the corner, like a director proudly standing in the wings, watching his actors hold the house in their hands.

I walk through London streets thinking of diagnostics in Chinese medicine. I look at people, a training I have done in huge amounts over the years. The goal is to be able to watch someone and set a first basic diagnosis in five seconds. In that time you see a lot; huge amounts of information is collated and discriminated, immediatly analyzed, cross-checked, deductions and inductions made. You also see if they have any particular tensions or injuries that change their body, and form ideas of how that might have impacted their health or might do in the future.

"The skilful doctor knows by observation, the mediocre doctor by interrogation, the ordinary doctor by palpation."
Zhang Zhongjing, 200 AD, author of Shang Han Lun

With time and training, you gain the skill of seeing their energy and shen, ”spirit”: their spark of life and connection to the outside world. This primarily resides in the heart and one of the places it shows is in the eyes, but it has many layers to it. Then you think of how you might treat this, and how to weave that together with the other treatment.

Full moon over London. Hark, listen to those sirens in the night.