I began my medical life as a Western-trained physician but very early on began to study Chinese medicine as I became interested in the general research topic as to why certain patients did not respond to treatments. At that time, I felt that good place to start was to examine traditional medical practices that had been in continua ous practice for long periods of time. Chinese medicine is one of the longest-practiced medicines in human history. It also has a strong theoretical system and its practices have been carefully documented by many physician-scholars. This, plus an interest in Asian culture, led me to begin my research here.
I began my studies with Dr. Anita Cignolini a physician from Milan, Italy. Dr. Cignolinii was a very skillful physician who had studied acupuncture in China in the mid 1970’s. At that time, the rise of TCM had not overtaken the information of the medical classics as a source of knowledge for the older experienced physicians. My questions to her were answered by quotes from the medical classics and so I learned their importance from the beginning. When I began my translations of the Neijing in the late 1990’s I was immediately struck with what a profound description they gave. I was also surprised at how different these descriptions were from modern practices and understandings. As a physician working in the hospital I used these techniques in patients with higher severities of illness and this work showed me how powerful these approaches could be.