Welcome to Qiological


Hello, I’m your host, Michael Max.

I’ve been a student of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for going on 20 years now. It began as a curiosity as to how a few needles could not only resolve a stubborn health condition I’d had since childhood, but also improve my digestion, quality of sleep and mood. This lead me first to acupuncture school, and then Asia where I worked my way through the gate of Chinese language so I could study with doctors there. Today my work is informed by my clinical practice, the materials I read in Chinese from doctors of centuries past, and the teachers of our modern times who synthesize observations of the past with the challenges of the present.

This podcast is rooted in my own curiosity, inquiry and appreciation for different points of view.

I love that Oriental medicine was not developed in a laboratory. It does not advance through double-blind controlled studies, nor does it respond well to petri dish experimentation. Our medicine did not come from the statistical regression of randomized cohorts, but from the observation and treatment of individuals in their particular environment. It grows out of an embodied sense of understanding how life moves, unfolds, develops and declines.

Medicine comes from continuous, thoughtful practice of what we do in clinic, and how we approach that work. The practice of medicine is more — much more — than simply treating illness. It is more than acquiring skills and techniques. And it is more than memorizing the experiences of others. It takes a certain kind of eye, an inquiring mind and relentlessly inquisitive heart.

How can we catch the spark that burns in others with experiences different from ours? And how through the process of cultivation do we take what has been given to us, craft it into something of our own, and then pass it along so that it might be service to others?

These are guiding questions without simple answers, and the inspiration for the discussions you will find here on Qiological.

Qiological is not a podcast about research, but rather one of exploration. It is not about shortcuts or simple how-to’s, though you will find new ways of doing things here. We don’t ascribe to any one particular school of thought, as the most beautiful gardens are those sown with a wildflower hand.

I suspect that most practitioners are sticklers for detail, deeply concerned that the methods we apply are effective, supportive and reliable. And we are open to following the yet untrodden paths of discovery that open with the unexpected puzzling moments of “Huh, that’s odd.”

Our medicine is rooted in conversation, as exemplified by the Nei Jing, the writings of doctors that have withstood the test of time and speak to us today, and the ongoing discussions we have with our contemporaries.

Qiological is offered to you as another footfall on the journey of deepening your practice with conversations that go deep into acupuncture, herbal medicine, cultivation practices, and the practice of having a practice. It’s an opportunity to sit in the company of others with similar interests, but perhaps very different minds.

Through these dialogues perhaps we can better understand our craft.

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