Oriental College
  • Shortcourses

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Short courses for inmidiate professional practice with the Oriental College.

    Read more
  • University

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Professional learning in the academic fields of chinese healthcare, medicine and sports.

    Read more
  • E-Learning

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Become a master in transcultural healthscience with our online university program, e-learning.

    Read more
  • News

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Keep being updated with news around The Oriental College. Everything about our college.

    Read more
The Oriental College

Welcome to our site program

The Oriental College offers on-site as well as on line studies. Our goal is to help develop holistic and Chinese medicines and to offer for those who are interested a program which will enrich their own life as well as the lives of others. Our study-guide will be sent to you on request.

The oriental College also has a facebook page. We have this already for several years. We found adwords in Google, or SEO in all hardly effective, but also facebook adwords is not effective. Our organisation is too complex as a program to promote. We can promote it with yoga and pilatus, or acupuncture, or wushu or meditation,or university, to mention a few, but in effect we do all these things and all search engines get confused from that. in effect, in the Netherlands are only 5 schools for Chinese medicine, so with every search we should end up in the top 20 if google or facebook played fair. For chinese medicne univerity or gongfu university likewise, we are the only one, so if we cannot manage to end in the top 20…. still people cannot find us online…

Samir Buhic, our previous webmaster did a nice job with that, other than that he was using older style website designs that google didn’t favor.

Informing students once they are studying is not easy. I hear from collegues at other universities all over Europe have the same issue. I talked with several at the Erasmus event of CINOP last december 2013, Utrecht. we introduced certain measures to compenmsate for that following advices from university of Utrecht among others, but…

anyway. We also have emails and ioc facebook pages next to ioc pages. I do like to introduce some:

we have  Dutch and an English language pages:

  1. International Oriental College, academy of health
  2. International Oriental College, academie voor gezondheid
  3. International Oriental College, community

the last one we use as a bulletin board for the students, but students can also add stuff on it themselves if they think it is relevant to their studies. In fact, we always advise students to check there for any changes in their program or to sign up for particular classes.

It is a good addition to their google drive filing system. it makes things transparent and it emphasizes student responsibility

soon we have open day. We hope you also sign up!

 

Rene

 

flyer opendag 29nov

Het programma kunt u hieronder downloaden.

Programma opendag 29november

 European culture and its ofshoot colinies that gained prominence (such as Australia, Canada, Brazl, USA) usually perceive their own superiority based on technological inn ovation. That these perceptions quite often are wrong is becoming more and more evident. Years ago during my minor western esothericism at the University of Amsterdam I got into a serious row because i questioned the fallacy of western histories on european development to see these developments as strickly European. I argued, that if western sciences keep seeing Buddhism as a non Chinese religion  in  China, then they should stop seeing themselves as Christians, because there was Buddhist presence in China before Christianity was born. Buddhism shaped Confucianism and Daoism, as did Christianity did shape Greek-Roman-Celtic developments. To beat wester science in its own game we see many cultures came up with things, inventions, before westerners did. I give you here a list of Chinese inventions based on non western scientific concepts before Europe did them:

 

Agricultural

Row Cultivation of crops and intensive hoeing

The Iron Plow

Efficient Horse Harness – trace; collar

The Rotary Winnowing Fan

The multi-tube (‘modern’) seed drill

 

Astronomy & Cartography

Recognition of sunspots as solar phenomena

Quantitative cartography

Discovery of the Solar Wind

The Mercator map-projection

(Mounted) Equatorial astronomical instruments

 

Engineering

Spouting bowls and standing waves

Cast iron

The double-acting piston bellows: air, liquid

The Crank handle

The ‘Cardan suspension’, or gimbals

Manufacture of steel from cast iron

Deep drilling for natural gas

The belt drive (or driving-belt)

Water Power

The chain pump

The Suspension Bridge

The first cybernetic machine

Essentials of the steam engine

‘Magic Mirrors’

The ‘Siemens’ steel process

The segmental arch bridge

The chain-drive

Underwater salvage operations

Domestic & Industrial Technology

serial production

Lacquer: the first plastic

Strong beer (sake)

Petroleum and natural gas as fuel

Paper

The Wheelbarrow

Sliding Calipers

The magic lantern

The fishing reel

The Stirrup

Porcelain

Biological pest control

The umbrella

Matches

Chess

Brandy and whisky

The mechanical clock

Printing – block printing; movable type

Playing-cards

Paper money

‘Permanent’ lamps

The spinning-wheel

 

Medicine & Health

Circulation of the blood and qi

Circadian rhythms in the human body

The science of endocrinology

Deficiency diseases

treatment through ingestion of spores of disease

Diabetes discovered by urine analysis

Use of thyroid hormone

Immunology – inoculation against smallpox

Exercise therapy

psycho-therapeutic self-regulation

social engineering

 

Mathematics

The decimal system

A place for 0

Negative numbers

Extraction of higher roots and solutions of higher numerical equations

Decimal fractions

Using algebra in geometry

A refined value of pi

‘Pascal’s’ triangle of binomial coefficients

 Isometric graphics

Magnetism

The first compass

Dial and pointer devices

Magnetic declination of the Earth’s magnetic field

Magnetic remanence and induction

 

The Physical Sciences

Geobotanical prospecting

The First Law of Motion

The hexagonal structure of snowflakes

The seismograph

Spontaneous combustion

‘Modern’ geology

Phosphorescent paint

 

Transport & Exploration

The kite

Manned flight with kites

The first relief maps

The first contour transport canal

The parachute

Miniature hot-air balloons

The rudder

Masts and sailing:

Batten sails – staggered masts;

Multiple masts – Fore and aft rigs;

Leeboards; Watertight compartments in ships

The helicopter rotor and the propeller

The paddlewheel boat

Land sailing

The canal pound-lock

 

Sound & Music

The large tuned bell

Tuned drums

Hermetically sealed research laboratories

The first understanding of musical timbre

Equal temperament in music

Warfare, chemical warfare:

poison gas, smoke bombs and tear gas

The crossbow

Gunpowder

The flame-thrower

Flares and fireworks

Soft bombs and grenades

Metal-cased bombs

Land mines

Sea mines

The rocket

Mutli-staged rockets

Guns, cannons, and mortars – fire lance; true gun

 

Sources:

Robert Temple , “The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention”

Joseph Needham , “Science and Civilisation in China”

 

What we try to defend in this blog entry is why all science is essentially cultural and biased/subjective as a result of cultural directionality towards particular cultural focus points, and why therefore there should be in education equal validation for Western culture based science as well as other culture based science. The purpose of this is safeguarding the general health of a growing globalized society over long stretches of time.

From the IOC readers the operates mundi of transculturalism should gradually become apparent to students. The exercises offered in the Chinese cultural scien ce chapters are not only to make you familiar with facts, but also to provide you tools to make transcultural dedication part of your survival toolbox out there in the world. In relationship to Chinese medicine it is important to understand the intent of the profession from within. For this you need to become the embodiment of its professional ethics as developed in the Huangdineijing and later texts (the Huangdineijing is shaped between the Zhou dynasty and the Song by collation and commentary), its educational tools and becoming an embodyment of its methodology. This set up helps you to make rational choices on how to develop your professional career.

Transculturalism sees several opponents of authentic cultural views:

  •  Biological science and medicine
  • Ontological views
  • New Age spirituality
  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • PRC developed TCM
  • Renewed Japanese  traditional Medicine
  • Sujok and other micropuncture systems
  • Korean Medicine
  • Complementary and Alternative medicine
  • etc

 

For most of us we can see we originally belong to the worldview of one or more of schools of thought. We commonly do not belong to a school of thought wholly. Most of us have not had the education to make us an embodiment of a cultural or even as scientific view. We are only partly developed as a person, fragmentary, vague, or vague enough to feel connected with apparently conflicting or unrelated worldviews as long as we do not embrace them too intently.

As individuals we can say that every participant is participant from the perspective of their best intentions, but truth be said, even though people are imbued with a natural criticism, more often than not they are ill informed, if at all informed. Therefore choices on what to trust and believe are too often rooted in ignorance. People cannot be blamed for that, this is the result of the way how we disseminate information in modern times. Everything is filtered through a post-Colonial lens that limits our freedom to ask questions. From a moral perspective schools in these branches of skill and knowledge formation ought to place themselves in  the spectrum of cultural bridging. In general we can see that information comes from

Perspective:         Exotist:                 Political:               Minority:
Nationalist           historic                  progressive           natural belonging

Ethnocentric        fashionable          protest                   transculturalist

Culturalist            relational              revivalist

 

Defining the nature of your system of thought was never easy, that is why we kept it unconscious. Once we make it conscious we realize too often that what we think we think doesn’t fit our needs. Most people live by faith alone, and have no understandings. That is why nobody is ever ready with developing educational systems.

In this period we are finalizing our contribution to the Leonardus project for which we were invited by our Polish partners. In this project were Chinese medicine partners present from Poland and the Netherlands, each with very different approaches and local realities to Chinese medicine, qigong etc; German Homeopaths, A Latvian client based interest group for Multiple Sclerosis. A Greek, a Spanish and a Turkish partner were invited to participate but due to a variety of reasons they were not able to participate.

For an overview of the whole project please look here at this link

Our report of IOC considerations can be found in our research department, or you can follow this link.

These pages have also been shared through our facebook pages of the Oriental College, Yin Yang Centrum- Daoland and Daoland Breda

2014-05-31 13.25.48

2014-05-31 11.52.24

2014-05-31 10.58.45

We very much like participation projects, we are big fans of modern scientific learning combined with traditional cultural naturopath values. We are big fans of democracy and EU unity. We advocate transculturalist science as a means to improve coherence in the EU and the remainder of the world. Any form of intolerance or discrimination, repression of personal and group freedom we think is a bad move. Cultures need to flourish in a peaceful environment. Each culture is equal to another, and so are its worldviews.

Please enjoy the outcomes of the project. If you need consultation or support in your own project or for developing regulation, please contact us at renegoris1@gmail.com

IOC press

Under the inspired leadership of Fu’ead Abdi the IOC has made first steps towards establishing a lecture and mentoring program on Arab medicine. If you wish to contribute to this program or you wish to become test student, please let us know, connect with us on facebook by sending us a message.

arab medicne pregnancy       kind regards

 

Deborah Li

Due to the retirement of Desiree and the change of volunteers after the great support earlyer volunteers gave, the IOC team is changing to suit changing times. For instance, we are in dialogue with about six new mentors in different disciplines to help out with IOC transcultural studies developments, We are entering discussions with other institutes for cooperation and support of our program, we have changed location of our main office to Zeilstraat 44, 1075SJ. We are making great strides in our online program and we have started the development of Daoland TV as a means to provide information to people on Culture, science, Chinese medicine and related aspects. We are also making progress in providing our own online tv programs. We would like to find some dedicated partners to professionalize that aspect. We already have some people involved but things need to go faster.

On the personal level the frustrating situation of having to live and work in Belgium and the Netherlands for me personally has been ended. Although it was a learning experience it took also lots of pressure at the IOC from which we are now recovering.

We urgently look for a skillful volunteer IT partner Or IT sponsor who on percentage basis would like to take IOC promotion online to hand. We have spend lots of money to external SEO companies but non of them was capable to achieve anything but writing bills.

Ofcourse we need you to come study with us, that sponsors the ambitious multilevel program we have developed best.  You can take your friends with you. You can study in English, Dutch, French, German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese language. Some additional fees might be asked for translator help by fellow students.

Kind regards

 

rene

Being student or disciple or both?

There was a question today from a student about forms of healing and the ideas about healing in Chinese Medicine. 

First of all Chinese Medicine is primarily an educational methodology. it sees education as healing because it allows a person to develop independence. A therapist might heal you of a pain or a feeling, but he or she also takes away your chance to self-understanding and self-improvement, that is why it often sees healing as parasitic activity (I will likely not get more popular saying that, but it is what it is, acupuncture also was exorcism before it became healing technique!)
the Chinese Medicine foundation is partly in the Huangdineijing, that sees disease as a form of confusion of the person, and the person is rooted in the body and society. Fear, anger, desire, or weird views cause these confusions, and long standing confusions become diseases. Mary Baker Elly’s Christian Science comes most close to these conclusions from all western traditions.
Therapists do not traditionally exist in Chinese culture. Healthworkers were usually service oriented monks, academics or business people (not always fair and honest) offering services to people in need or to rich families or to whoever wants to pay.
From the Song dynasty onward there is this Holist view on health, life and what we can do to provide a sound foundation for life. All ways are forged on strict rationality, a rationality based on the interaction of various strands of reasoning that are often using forms of logic through sympathetic relations that modern science cannot appreciate as much as i think it should.
The worldview of Chinese Medicine sees health as an outcome of maturation. Your gender or religious views do not matter in that process. What matter is that you become wide as the heavens and solid like the earth to produce fertility in support for the world as a whole. Life is not a personal possession but a shared commodity between people and nature.

Education:
Chinese medicine education is subdivided in two pai: gongfu pai and Yangsheng pai (nowadays called zhongyipai) teachings. The one is to enhance one’s qi by developing perfection in ones acting in the world. Neigong, taiji gongfu, our Daoland program are examples of that. yangsheng pai teachings are helping programs to move away from confusion, gongfu pai are programs to learn to master self-control. Acupuncture, massage, moxa, scraping, herbology, dietary exercise are all tools of zhongyipai. Qigong, yoga, taijiquan, wushu, breathing exercise, meditation, inner landscape exercise and whirlwind practices are part of Gongfu pai. A good wholist practitioner in Chinese medicine is considered to be a scholar and to have at least partially mastered both.
These are learning tools to manage oneself and prevent that one gets confused by means of self-assessment (assuming one’s own principled confusion as a starting point/modesty) and loyalty to principles. These are two of the five Confucian innate qualities (virtues). In past times and for daoists and buddhists still, a student became a disciple and had to harmonize all elements of life in one’s service to the weak and vulnerable. In modern times many people go collect initiations from Buddhist masters/teachers but that is not the same as a discipleship. As a disciple you had only one task, and that was to mature and thus become a strong warrior for the case of one’s study subject. In general one’s loyalties to content and ideology of one’s pai helped one to gradually master wisdom. Wisdom in that sense had nothing to do with truth, but with accepting one’s own arguments as possibly faulty. The process of truth was seen as a non-mental product of accepting delay of ones need to take control over meaning. Pai peers usually represent tradition and not so much their own opinion. I must say that doing that was a learning experience.

Discipleship:
I have -as is known- myself accepted a discipleship in Wudang Xuanmen pai. What i learned with that is that the oath one makes is a moral challenge about realizing the views on reality of the tradition one enters and harmonize these with all possible other views you might have. That is not an easy process. it can cause conflicts in your life, your social life etc. What the oath wants is for the disciple to realize that
- The moral obligation to society is more important then any personal needs
- One’s skill become better if one dedicates oneself more to it.
- Good actions leave no satisfaction or dissatisfaction
- Nobody is justified in thinking they understand something
- Healing is in empowerment through education not in altering someone’s body or feelings through magnetic healing, energy, possession or positive thinking. these are all primarilly materialist approaches of the person and identifications with oneself as a higher being. the historical view in Chinese medicine on these things is that it is immoral to dehumanize a person by altering someone in stead of showing someone how to alter him or herself. One’s goodness can alter people, but not one’s power transference to another.  As a westerner growing up in modern spiritualizing consumer society that was a hard pill to swallow, but i did and i have come to see its merits. I am not saying this view is right, i mean to say that a discipleship uses opinions as learning tools, not as truths. That relativist view also is confronting. It is more modern than most people at heart are. (opiniating here as a philosopher).

Confusion:

When one feels conflicted that is a confusion, however justified one feels. If one cannot let go of self importance one cannot grow. Truth be said, it is a struggle as a disciple you live with every day. Your peers are the only lasting value you have. Even if you do not agree with them or your communication is not easy, they only translate tradition for you, not truth. An oath is a lifelong thing, not as temporary as being a student (at the IOC you can follow both paths, that is up to the participant). The easy way out when conflicted is to criticize your peers and walk away when it doesnot do what you want it to do. The whole point of an oath though is that you do not. You already made a choice and then you adapt to it, live with it and find ways to overcome your naturally occurring resistance. discipleship is a family based cooperation, where you hone skills and ideas and gradually grow into the position where you are allowed or obliged to take your own disciples. As a student that never happens. You might qualify as a teacher, but you cannot take disciples.


The qualities of the unwestern:
What i learned in the process is that the oath helped me to suspend my sense of self-importance, which is most unwestern. Go to any therapist or self-help class and they will try to teach you better self validation by assertiveness, bolden your ideas, polarisation, and all kinds of self-confirming techniques. the idea is that if you do not think of yourself highly in this society then you cannot sell yourself properly and then you are not competitative. it is ofcourse the militant consumer view that shines through these therapies. To be on the safe side, I do not make this statement as a criticism, but as a note. I do not believe Western or Chinese view is better. They are only views, but it is not possible to adhere to both. that is confusing. Life is a radical event, that is why.

View of the far east before modernisation:
The Chinese medicine view asks you to view your life in the context of your whole life, your legacy and your roots. Personally i prefer my students and disciples to do very good, so that they can take over aspects of work, first as apprentice and gradually as professional (Chinese healthwork requires 2000 hours of real apprenticeship according to WHO standards). I have given up my own relative fame to allow my students to rise to the surface (not that all students used or validated that act) and not make them feel less important than me. I did the same with my webmaster and other people in the organisation and that in fact backfired. My shifu also did let his students relatively free, so i took him as example. Daoism takes life very much as an experiment and as a task. that is why Daoists are sometimes seen as a bit too rational and heartless. But in fact these are aspects of dedication to the science and skill of life that are easy to misunderstand. 

Choices:
Most important to future students of Chinese medicine: make choices and stick to them, change choices and you get to add to your confusion. Do not be judgmental about others or yourself, most likely is that you do not understand things. remember that life is a dialogue. Every time you open your mouth someone will add to what you say, you may not like it. In our program we teach you to shape your opinions on the basis of the above. It does not matter how deep you wish to go into a study. not being committed to something usually helps to keep your mind confused. the commitment is a valid tool, that is all. After you graduated you are always free to change opinions! Through discipleship you aim to embody theory and practice. 

love and kindness to all students of long and happy life.

Cui Li Ou/催理欧

Thymus gland exercise in Zhong wujigong: can it prevent cancer?

IOC Zhongwujigong benefits (I) Daoyin as a foundation of Chinese medicine learning

In this article series we will discuss aspects of Zhongwujigong practice  as a foundation of Chinese medicine learning. Qigong is often added to TCM programs, and that is ironic because Qigong practices are in fact the alchemical root of Tang, Wei and Song dynasty perspectives on health and medicine. Most qigongs that people nowadays practice have been re-engineered to suit modern spiritualized practices, political or medicalizing goals. Because modern discourse on these issues is often so clouded and ambiguous authors often refer to imagined ancient roots and perennial purposes that were never there but provide good marketing. In science we call these ‘false arguments’. False arguments are arguments that suggest truth on grounds that are un-provable and unverifiable. A good argument allows to be scrutinized and tested. A proper educational program allows that same scrutiny, and teaches things from an idealist perspective and mirrored to the other perspectives around. When only one perspective is offered then that is not scientific and not education, it is instructing. That is similar to learning how a car drives. You do not need to understand the car. Neigong/Qigong/daoyin is a root of practice in Chinese medicine learning as a natural science, it is indispensible to understand Chinese medicine concepts, also if we wish to politicise or medicalise them. 

IMAG2258IMAG2259 IMAG2260

 

Cancer is a typical age related disease. When we age our body starts secreting less substances to keep us fit and wholesome. The function of practice of the body in Chinese Medicine Healthcare is to keep the body fit and young as long as possible. Typically when we age we need to do more consciously and keep less left to the automated functioning of the body. The aging process is a gradual grinding down of the mechanisms of life in our body, drying it out, heating it up and causing it to shrivel and shrink. These signs are the opposite of what our body needs to survive aging. As a result of the aging process more and more body cells are developing out of control. This runaway process is summarized in the process of cancer. Many investigators in the past considered if the cancer growth a process of renewal going haywire, but nowadays most researchers agree with the vision Chinese medicine holds that cancer is the result of loss of body growth and repair control. This function in Chinese medicine is attributed to the kidneys. It is further exemplified in the opening and lubrication of the bones and the maintenance and development of Jing. Jing is important, because it is the way we consciously or automatedly our body coherent and opened to the process of life taking place. In neigong, qigong, daoyin/yoga, taijigongfu we aim to promote jing.

Zhong wujigong is what is called a 3rd level practice in Daoism. Daoism is an aspect and consequence of Chinese medicine theory. Daoism was a response to the wildfire of Whichcrafts coming to China as Tantric practice combined with local unholy skills using curses and healings to serve competitiveness and petty feelings of people. Daoism is in many ways a stylized and ritualised Chinese medicine theory.

1st level practice is general fitness practice that relates to age, ability and willingness. Level two is self-disciplinary self-maintenance through exercise and 3rd level is intense self-augmentation practice. Zhong wujigong knows 5 sets of exercises and nine levels of enhancement. What is considered I&II in my classes in fact is one form, for convenience cut in half at the natural boundary between the Jing and wai part focusing on respectively yin and yang aspects of body-being and personality development. I&II, or form nr 2 is an extended form based on what for illustration is called bamboo formula practice at the 1st level and contains variations on the first half of form 2.

To be clear Zhongwujigong form 2 is structured from standing pole exercises, daoyin and breathing practices. It is focused on learning Jing, qi and shen, meaning-wise and effect-wise. Its complex practices make it a so called “dictionary practice”. It is both a developmental tool as well as a tool for comprehension. As we know Chinese medicine is very much focused on education as its primary intent in the healing process. It holds to the idea that independence is the road towards immortality and not dependency. Immortality is then the proof of health. Body and personality practice then are tools to allow education to take place. Learning is a mental process from within, not simply a learning of concepts in a bookish environment. At the same time Chinese medicine is adamant on the study of textual reference.

The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system. Within the thymus, T-cells mature. T cells are critical to the adaptive immune system, where they adapt specifically to foreign invaders. Each T cell attacks a specific foreign substance which it identifies with its receptor. T cells have receptors which are generated by randomly shuffling gene segments. Each T cell attacks a different antigen. T cells that attack the body’s own proteins are eliminated in the thymus. Thymic epithelial cells express major proteins from elsewhere in the body. First, T cells undergo “Positive Selection” whereby the cell comes in contact with self-MHC expressed by thymic epithelial cells; those with no interaction are destroyed. Second, the T cell undergoes “Negative Selection” by interacting with thymic dendritic cell whereby T cells with high affinity interaction are eliminated through apoptosis (to avoid autoimmunity), and those with intermediate affinity survive. The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located anatomically in the anterior superior mediastinum, in front of the heart and behind the sternum. Histologically, each lobe of the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule. The cortex and medulla play different roles in the development of T-cells. Cells in the thymus can be divided into thymic stromal cells and cells of hematopoietic origin (derived from bone marrow resident hematopoietic stem cells). Developing T-cells are referred to as thymocytes and are of hematopoietic origin. Stromal cells include thymic cortical epithelial cells, thymic medullary epithelial cells, and dendritic cells. The thymus provides an inductive environment for development of T-lymphocytes from hematopoietic progenitor cells. In addition, thymic stromal cells allow for the selection of a functional and self-tolerant T-cell repertoire. Therefore, one of the most important roles of the thymus is the induction of central tolerance. The thymus is largest and most active during the neonatal and pre-adolescent periods. By the early teens, the thymus begins to atrophy and thymic stroma is mostly replaced by adipose (fat) tissue. Nevertheless, residual T lymphopoiesis continues throughout adult life. When we age due to loss of tissue motility and lubrication the Thymus shrinks and becomes less active in defending the body.

In Chinese medicine what is considered the heart is functionally a ruler guiding the wellbeing of the body and the person. It is considered a mirror of perception. Because people could notice the organic heart and its chambers they considered the heart like a place, but functionally it is more like the thymus, hence in body practice the aging was observed and practices were developed over time to keep the palace free from gradual decline.

Zhong wujigong form two practice opens its yang practice with the yin yang daoyin. This practice starts with opening the doors of the heart palace. In fact it opens the ribcage, frees up the liver cavity, cleanses the lungs, develops stamina, physical balance and remobilizes the 5 bones that combined harden up over time to form the chest-bone. When we practice this often we feel our chest capacity loosen up, our heart calm, and our breath becomes longer and deeper but also less pressurizing, and therefore less heating. The 5 parted chest bone softens up and therewith creates thymal space comparable with the space available when a child, preventing the shrinking when aging, keeping up once immune capacity. You can actually hear it cracking open during practice.

T-Cells are elementary in defeating causes of decay in the body. They cooperate intensively with hormones secreted in the core of the brain and the adrenal glands. When we avoid aggression (such as in slavish exercise) the adrenals are prevented from heating the body with stress hormones, exhausting the body and requiring the panic response of sweating to dump excess heat and to flood the addictive serotenines to help us maintain our actions during crisis.

This practice shows the importance of doing exercise in the learning process of Chinese medicine or in the process of acquiring health in daily living through proper balancing and developing practices.

 

 

The starting point in defining the Trans-Cultural Healthcare program is the question if health can be defined as a universal agent or not. A universal agent is something that remains of value throughout different cultures. the question we face then is: is health in all cultures defined in the same way? The answer ofcourse is obvious, it is “No”.

Different cultures describe personhood, the body and treatment modalities in different ways. One cannot say one cultural view is better than another without becoming a discriminating voice. Even modern western bio-chemical medicine is not in any way to be determined as better because it is instrumental, more accurate or any other argument. Different medical systems are at best just “different-from-each-other”. mutual understanding is at best partial. Bio-medicine is not able to comprehend Zhongyi and Zhongyi cannot comprehend bio-chemical medicine in return. All judgement co or con the presumed understanding is from personal affinity or aversion and certainly unscientific. A proof in case is for instance the book “Dao if Chinese Medicine”by Donald E Kendall, published by Oxford University press a few years back, but i could point also to most learning courses and researches of Chinese medicine according to “bio-medical standards” , research of meditation through bio-feedback equipment, attempts to define yoga through body building and glandular theory. some solutions are brilliant in themselves, but also missing the point if not based on self immersion in original skills, like the 19th century inventors of f.i. modern yoga and yoga theory never did.

It is not as easy to find universal agents as it seems to be. For instance traditional cultures describe family, but not in the same way, they describe different kinship relations and transference of power structures through patrilineal or matrilineal routes. Health is also one like that. Although cultures recognize health and/or disease, normalcy or abnormalcy, the “biologies” and description of disease and its causes vary widely. All cultures have systems of health beliefs to explain what causes illness, how it can be cured or treated, and who should be involved in the process. some use magical bullets like anti-biotics or herbal cures, others use ceremony to reconnect the person with natural powers. The extent to which patients perceive patient education as having cultural relevance for them can have a profound effect on their reception to information provided and their willingness to use it. Western industrialized societies such as the United States and the EU, which see disease as a result of natural scientific phenomena, advocate medical treatments that combat micro-organisms or use sophisticated technology to diagnose and treat disease. Their model is that of micro warfare taking place in the body. Other societies believe that illness is the result of supernatural phenomena and promote prayer or other spiritual interventions that counter the presumed disfavor of powerful forces. Cultural issues play a major role in patient compliance. Education of clients in using a medical system is therefore the most important aspect of using medicine properly. Knowledge according to the Indian 18th century yoga philosophy is what makes the self permanent and free from suffering. suffering ofcourse is not only caused by medical conditions, our beliefs can be the reason, as can be the system of governance of our country or family.

Cultural differences affect patients’ and student’s attitudes about personal cultivation, self- and medical care and their ability to understand, manage, and cope with the course of health, an illness, the meaning of a diagnosis, and the consequences of medical treatment or things being learned or qualities acquired. Patients and their families bring culture specific ideas and values related to concepts of health and illness, reporting of symptoms, expectations for how health care will be delivered, and beliefs concerning medication and treatments. In addition, culture specific values influence patient roles and expectations, how much information about illness and treatment is desired, how death and dying will be managed, bereavement patterns, gender and family roles, and processes for decision making.

In learning it is no different. A process of accumulation, analysis, experience and understanding has to be allowed for before a student starts developing the tools that a culture suggests as means to solve problems.

What if you do not develop cultural understanding? When not developing cultural understanding one develops universalist approaches. Universalist approaches are approaches that sound different from what you know, but seem to represent what you think you already know. Cultural elements are categories of things and ideas that identify the most profound aspects of cultural influence[1]. cultural definitions make things specific. Universalism makes them diffuse and blurrs the boundaries of meaning and meaningfulness, the directionality of knowledge. Catholicism is the founding father of Universalism, but only through the development of New-Age medicalized spiritual discourse  we came to understand the full value of Universalism as non-scientific and culturally diffuse.

Muneo Yoshikawa[2] conceptualizes how individuals, cultures, and intercultural notions can meet in constructive ways. Communication is understood as an infinite process where both parties change in the course of the communicative or translational exchange. His idea of the double-swing model is called ‘Möbius integration philosophy’ is model of intercultural communication, emphasizing that both communication parties play the role of addresser and addressee.

This dialogical mode draws upon the Japanese Mahayana Buddhist philosophy (the logic of ‘soku hi’ (The logic of soku-hi [JP] or jifei [CN] 即非) “the immediate and its negation” represents a balanced logic of symbolization reflecting sensitivity to the mutual determination of universality and particularity in nature, and a corresponding emphasis on non-attachment to linguistic predicates and subjects as representations of the real) and the ideas of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (who discussed the the I-Thou relationship[3]) in seeing human beings as complete only in relationship. Whilst the dialogue is between two people who are separate and independent, they are simultaneously and inevitably interdependent. The model is graphically presented as the infinity symbol (∞), also as a Möbius strip, visualizing the twofold movement between the self and the other that allows for both unity and uniqueness.

This vision, although popular is primarily deterministic universalist because from all perspectives it claims that people only can understand someone from their own perspective and the personal relationship of the person. So if something is valid for the perceiver than it is valid for all of the world. In classroom I use the metaphor of ‘liking the cooky’. In this metaphor I show that people often use the reasoning of inner wisdom when they ‘feel’ something is good for them. I refer to the fact that their feelings can be misleading and give them false pretense on the truth, after all, when we ‘feel’ for cookies then are they good for us too? The reality of this can be learned and for this learning process patterns of knowledge need to be developed to learn discern between seemingly right and relative right situations or facts or feelings.

 

This blog is an excerpt from the textbook on “problems in transcultural learning” of which parts are also assimilated in the online program for transcultural education. If you sign up for the modular text courses this subject is included. it is core and starting point for all IOC courses



[1] Smith, G. (1966). Communication and culture (Ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

[2] professor, author, researcher and consultant in the fields of intercultural communication, human development, human resource management, and leadership. Born in Japan but graduated in the USA.

[3] Martin Buber 1923: Buber’s main proposition is that we may address existence in two ways:

1)       The attitude of the “I” towards an “It”, towards an object that is separate in itself, which we either use or experience. 2) The attitude of the “I” towards “Thou” in a relationship in which the other is not separated by discrete bounds.

One of the major themes of the book is that human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships. In Buber’s view, all of our relationships bring us ultimately into relationship with God, who is the Eternal Thou.