This year, Dr Wang Juyi has worked as a doctor in Chinese medicine for fifty years. He became known in the West through the book Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine, written with his apprentice Jason Robertson. Dr Wang is famous for his research into the clinical application of Chinese medicine, his appreciation of the Chinese medical Classics, his system of channel theory and palpation, and his constant wish that his students surpass him in skill through applying these principles. This is the first article and interview where we begin looking at Dr Wang´s system and his own history – which spans half of the 20th century of Chinese medicine into the 21st.
His grandfather knew a bit of Chinese medicine, but he didn´t treat much with it. Back before the Cultural Revolution, many educated had a bit of Chinese medical knowledge. His grandfather was self-taught from books. He had a lot of notebooks, pills, herbal medicines and herbal plasters. Dr Wang still has some of them left.
After a chorus of answers, he said, ”If you have that training and experience, why do you need to be here studying with me today? It means your knowledge in channel theory is probably either incomplete or not detailed enough. This lack of understanding of channel theory exists in China too. I had the same problem when I started out.”
Part 2 of this article will appear in the next issue of Tai Chi Chuan and Oriental Arts Magazine in the UK. Then we will look more at Dr Wang´s channel theory, specifics of palpation, how the channel theory weaves together with qigong- and IMA-practices and take a closer look at Dr Wang´s research into point-pairs, a way of treating that makes acupuncture treatments simpler yet more effective.
”When I first began studying, I believed that points were just measured places on the body that might be located on a cadaver or in an anatomy text. Also, I believed that all points on the body were roughly the same: that they are all openings between the various structures of the body. Later, I began to appreciate subtle differences among the points. Some have more qi or more blood, some have less. In some places the type of qi is different than in others. Importantly, the exact nature of qi sensation that should be generated from each point varies, and should be varied depending on the desired effect. Each point actually has its own nature or personality. Once I began to truly note these differences among the points on my patientes, I became more and more interested in the classical point categorizations. It is from here that I began my explaration of the source, collateral and five transport points.
In fact, after many years, I now think of many of the points on the body as old friends. I know what they are like, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and when to call on them for help. When you get to know the points in this way, treating in the clinic is kind of like waking good friends from a slumber – gently prodding the points to wake them up and send them on their way. Also, as I´ve said before, some of the points are like jacks-of-all-trades, friends that you might call on to help with a wide variety of projects. Other points have very specific strengths and should be used in more specific cases. The points, to me, really do seem to have these different personalities.”