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028 Heavenly Qi _ Storytelling, Technology and The Original Magic of Acupuncture
Episode 2824th April 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:06:23

Shownotes

One of the great things about podcasts is that it’s not difficult to find one that lines up with your particular interest. Chinese medicine practitioners are fortunate to have podcasts like Heavenly Qi that allow us to listen in to conversations that go deep into the workings of our medicine and bring you the perspective of experienced clinicians.

This conversation in this episode is with the creators of the Heavenly Qi podcast where we explore how this new medium allows us to learn from other practitioner’s and some ways in which this new on-demand technology might change  the ways we can provide learning and continuing education. 

Storytelling has always been an essential element in how people learn and share information. Listen in for the story of how Heavenly Qi got started and where podcasting fits into within our long tradition of discussing medicine. 

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

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The medicine of east Asia is based on a science that does not hold itself

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separate from the phenomenon that it seeks to understand our medicine

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did not grow out of Petri dish experimentation, or double blind studies.

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It arose from observing nature and our part in it east Asian medicine evolves not

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from the examination of dead structures, but rather from living systems with their

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complex mutually entangled interactions.

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Welcome to qiological.

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I'm Michael Macs, the host of this podcast that goes in depth on issues,

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pertinent to practitioners and students.

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Of east Asian medicine, dialogue and discussion have always been elemental to

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Chinese and other east Asian medicines.

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Listen into these conversations with experienced practitioners that go deep

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into how this ancient medicine is alive and unfolding in the modern clinic.

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Hey everybody.

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Welcome back to qiological today.

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I'm sitting down with the women from heavenly cheat.

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If you're not familiar with the heavenly cheap podcast, you really

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should be because it is one great kick-ass podcast on Chinese medicine.

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On the other end of the line here today, I've got Claire pyres and Fiona get some,

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and we're just going to wrap a bit today about Chinese medicine and podcasting.

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So, and it's the first time I've had two people on the show at the same time.

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So welcome YouTube.

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Great to have you here at qiological.

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Hello.

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Thanks for having us.

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It's great to be here.

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Yeah, I'm, I'm excited.

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I've been listening to your podcast for a long time and, uh, you know,

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there's a lot of podcasts out there.

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And a lot of podcasts that cover all kinds of different topics, but

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those that really focus on Chinese medicine, they're kind of rare.

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I'm curious to know what got you started with doing this.

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Shall I tell the story or do you, do you want to tell the story clerk?

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I was thinking that maybe we can each tell our own version, right?

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Yeah.

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Why don't you go?

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Okay.

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So, um, I started working with Claire in early 2014 and I think

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we know it was actually about may.

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And then we started the podcast about January, February, 2015, 2015.

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They started in say 2015 in America.

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Um,

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So we would often be having these great chats at work.

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And previous to that, I had spent several years working either alone

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or as the only Chinese medicine practitioner in a multi-modality clinic.

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And I didn't have a lot of time where I'd had great chats just sitting

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around in the herb dispensary or, um, you know, in between patients

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who are on the lunch break.

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And, um, Claire and I were having some really great conversations and

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we'd study together, but then lived interstate from each other for maybe

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it was eight years since graduating, um, between the time when we graduated

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and when I started working with her.

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So we had a lot to talk about since we'd been students together.

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And then one day Claire said, I want to do a podcast.

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Do you want to do a podcast with you?

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And I had audio skills to do the editing and production.

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And I said, yeah, okay, let's do that.

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And I didn't really think about the fact that I would then have

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to talk on a podcast, but just, it just became this cool part of

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my job working in close clinic.

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Um, and then it dawned on me a little, well, slowly later, that what such

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a great resource we were creating.

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So are you a little shy about talking?

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Are you one of these inner introverted acupuncturists?

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Um, I'm a weird back-flip or between introvert and extrovert.

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I think I spent the first 20 years believing I was an extrovert and

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even trained in dance, music, singing, theater, acting, and.

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And then I actually, part of my healing journey in my early twenties was that

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I had this kind of chronic fatigue and this real reversal of my energy.

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And I became very introverted and very, you know, I was exhausted for awhile.

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So I had to rebuild my whole energy field and my display

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and she, and my immune system.

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And, um, I think it was actually a discovery that I

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really was quite introverted.

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So since then I do come out and I have performed and sang or dance or talked

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here and there, but each time I do it, it's, it's a bit of a challenge.

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And so podcasting was something I was comfortable with more so because it

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was audio and there's something about it that requires less of your energy.

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Um, but you can share so much.

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And I think it's also easier for people to listen to because they don't

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have to have their eyes available.

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Right.

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I mean, so often.

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People will listen to podcasting while they're doing something else.

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Fill the time they're out for a walk, they're doing dishes

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or driving in their car.

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And, uh, yeah.

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You know, with video, you're kind of glued, you're locked into it.

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So yeah, it, it, and you know, I think the other thing is everybody

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likes to hear a story right.

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Who doesn't like to hear a story.

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Well, I think on that point, you know, it really taps into that.

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It's a very ancient part of the brain.

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You know, humans have been storytellers for very long time.

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Like that was how we transmitted all of our knowledge for so long.

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And you know, when, when we get into that storytelling mode, it really allows

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people to connect on other layers as well.

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I think podcasting's great.

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Yeah.

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What was, what was your side of the story to Claire?

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Well, so my version of the story was that I.

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I have always been, I've always been somebody who likes

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to make my opinions known.

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And for those who know me, I mean, it doesn't, it's not quite so egotistical

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as it sounds, but, um, you know, I, I've got things to say and I think I can

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add a lot of value to lots of different conversations on different topics.

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And so, you know, I've been presenting at conferences and I've written a book

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and various other bits and pieces.

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And to me, you know, as, as Phoebe mentioned, the conversations that we were

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having in clinic, you know, just hanging out in the dispensary and going on,

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you know, what do you think about this?

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It just seemed to be just another, another aspect of the type of.

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Information that I think should be out there in the world of Chinese medicine.

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And I'm very much a person that believes in, you know, do more of what, of,

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how you think the world should be.

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Um, and so, because I think, you know, it's important to create more

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collegiality within our profession.

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You know, so many people work, so many people work on their own

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or in a multimodality clinic.

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And so they don't get to talk shop as much as you know, the few of us who are.

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Fortunate to work in a group practice.

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Yes.

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So, so I said, Hey feat, I'm going to do a podcast.

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Will you be my co-host?

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And my recollection was that fee went in.

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I don't know, I'm not really, uh, you know, she, um, did art

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and I was very persuasive and I said, come on, we'll be great.

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It'll be really cool.

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You'll love it.

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And, um, and she relented and, uh, and in the end, I think we've both enjoyed it

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more, much more than we thought we would.

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Yeah.

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And the truth is that I am aware that I certainly have a lot to

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say, and I'm more than happy for my opinions to be known as well.

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It's a good medium for, well, it, it's interesting hearing

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your backstory on that.

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I started doing it because I live in a part of the world where

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there's not many acupuncture.

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And I work by myself by and large and most acupuncturists, I know work by ourselves

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and this, this was a way, I mean, I used to live in Seattle where I hang out with

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my acupuncture friends all the time.

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And, but I don't have that here in the Midwest of the United States.

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And so in some ways I started doing this because it was a way to hang

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out with my tribe, so to speak.

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And, um, I've actually got two podcasts.

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So this is the one that's for the profession.

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But I, I started doing everyday acupuncture, I think in well, about three

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years ago, probably about the time you started having the chia, I would suspect.

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And, and that one was for the general public.

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I was looking to help people who were looking for answers to health issues

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and they weren't sure what to do.

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And I thought, you know, if I could have some.

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Guests on the show that talked about how Chinese medicine's helpful.

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Maybe they'll go find themselves a practitioner and they'll get some help.

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And so I kept it very everyday language and very, um, topic specific.

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And then I was shocked to find out how many practitioners

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were listening to the show.

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I get all these emails from practitioners going, we love your show.

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And I'm thinking not my show.

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It's not for you.

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And so eventually I thought, okay, fine.

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So many practitioners, listen, I'll just, I'll try to do one for practitioners where

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we can just, we can just go deep and geeky and it would feed my need for hanging out

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with colleagues, you know, and being able to find out what are they doing in clinic?

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What are they learning?

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What are their successes?

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What are their difficulties?

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And.

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It's been wonderful to find that there's this medium that actually

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connects up the voices of our community.

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You know, that's the, that's the type of feedback that we get on, you

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know, on the heavenly Chi as well.

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You know, people come up to me at, um, their conferences, people I've never

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met and I go, wow, you're Claire pies.

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Thank you so much for the podcast.

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You know, it's so amazing.

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I listened to you all the time.

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I feel like I know you, even though we've never met and it's, you know,

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it's so nice to get that feedback because people really do feel isolated.

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You know, you get caught up in your own thoughts and it's just you and your own

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musings, sometimes that, and if you, if that's all you have for months and

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years at a time with the occasional interlude, if you're at a seminar

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or a workshop of some sort, I think it's, um, you know, there's lots of,

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there's lots of different aspects to.

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Listening to podcasts as well as being a podcast.

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That's definitely something that's enriched my clinical practice in the

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last few years, just with the different people we've had discussions with.

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And there's lots of moments of reflection where you think, wow,

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that's, that's really interesting.

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And then, you know, it sets you off on this kind of trajectory where it

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just changes the way you practice.

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Like, I can't imagine practicing the same way after having, you know,

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these really insightful conversations with some amazing practitioners.

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Yeah.

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I can imagine if we were to undo everything we've learnt

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from all of our guests.

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'cause it it's, it's almost been like doing another degree in Chinese

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medicine, just having guests on a podcast over the last three years.

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Um, I would definitely say that it's also allowed us to be able to learn

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from some of the world's best teachers.

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Whereas normally you'd go, well, we do go to a school and you get the teachers

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that are in that geographical region.

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And, you know, you may get some of the best and you may not.

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And, um, you know, the, I think the internet is amazing for connecting us

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and allowing us to take our experiences of connectivity to the next level.

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And that with that comes the benefit of the transmission of information.

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And we're speeding up the transmission of information and all of us getting

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to learn from all these teachers that weren't necessarily our

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teachers when we were at school.

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And it seems like it's difference sitting down and having a conversation with some.

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Then going and taking a class at a conference or even for that matter,

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listening to somebody on a webinar.

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Yeah.

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And I know w when I was working alone, um, it was then different to working in

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a multimodality space where I did have some collegial discussions about, uh,

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you know, the things we had in common in holistic medicine, and then working in

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a, in class clinic where there was always at least three or four of us practicing

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acupuncture and Chinese medicine and experiencing that kind of level of

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discussion, and then going to a podcast where it was Claire and I talking and

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sharing our discussion out with the world.

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And then the next level of having a guest on your podcast, who is somewhere else.

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And then you start to connect up information nodes, you know,

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in, in, um, different places.

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And it starts to feel more like a, a lounge that is a web.

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Yeah.

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And it builds up because we all have the inventory of all of the episodes

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that we've created and of each person that each episode touched.

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It's like the different people that was sitting in the lounge on those days.

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Um, but we all can go there.

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Um, so I feel it, yeah, it's, it's kind of like a space, but

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it's a casual conversation.

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And I think that when you do something like medicine, there's a certain

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amount of pressure to be excellent at it and know what you're doing.

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So if you're attending a webinar or listening to a webinar or a class, there's

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a different kind of pressure than when you're actually talking with you are

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full of all the details of you as a human being to your colleagues, just about

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your experience of this career path.

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So it's a little more personal is what you're saying.

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Maybe a lot more.

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Well, I think it allows people to relax more and spend time.

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We can deviate on a discussion about a technique, um, with certain

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things that we wouldn't give time to deviating on in a class.

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Right.

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Can you give me an example or two of how your clinical work is different today?

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Uh, due to the influence of podcasting and maybe a conversation that you've

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had, maybe it was learning about a technique or a formula, but, or

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maybe it was just getting a glimpse or an insight, or just a sense of

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how someone is with your patients?

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I think for me, it's, it's difficult to single out.

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You know that there, that there's going to be like a top five or top 10 or

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anything, anything that profound, but because there's, there's measurable

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effects that I can detect within myself from every conversation that I've had.

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I will say that there's some podcasts that we've done that ended up being

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more instructional than others.

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And some of those have been really very profound for me clinically, uh, in

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particular, the two episodes that we did with Hina through half on GU syndrome.

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And that was it.

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It was kind of deliberate, I guess, in terms of inviting him on to

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the podcast, because I was really interested in his approach and, and

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the way that the guru formulas were.

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I guess formulated and how they worked, but that, and that just tended also

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to fit the type of difficult patients that I was encountering at the time.

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So that was, that has been really profound, but then there's also other,

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other bits and pieces from, you know, that are a bit harder to put your finger

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a bit harder for me to put my finger on in terms of exactly, you know, the precise

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way that it's affected my practice.

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But there was a, there was a, a one-liner that Zev Rosenberg said,

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and that was, you know, we get sick when we're not paying attention

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and that, and that comes up for me.

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It's like a little.

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Like a little voice in my head that goes, Hmm, we get sick

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when we're not paying attention.

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It's like, Zev is just there periodically coming in and just tapping

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me on the shoulder and reminding me, Hey Claire, remember that?

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Remember that thing.

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So yeah, it can be as subtle as that, or as, you know, as gross and

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macro as, um, you know, a particular herbal formula approach or a

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particular acupuncture point approach.

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Fiona, what about you and I, and I know, I mean, you've been on kind of a journey.

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We were talking a little bit before we started rolling tape today.

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You've been on a journey this past year with coming to the states and sort of

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leaving acupuncture, not leaving it behind, but not being able to do it and

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putting your energy into other places.

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I'm wondering how the podcast has been helping you with that transition or

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what kind of role it's played in that.

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Yeah, there's kind of two ways that I respond to that question.

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Like what, what kind of things have I learnt that changes my practice?

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Like there's, there's definitely, uh, something from every guest and even

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every episode that I've done with Claire, because we really documented what it is.

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We know about a topic in a way, uh, with the podcast.

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And, uh, you know, I hear them a couple of times by the time they're done.

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I really agree with Claire that there's just so many things that I've

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learned, but then on an, on another level, I mean, things like techniques.

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Um, I'm having a memory now I want to mention of the, the tongue work, uh, when

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we were speaking to, um, Brad with now.

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And he mentioned a point and I was sitting there and I just kind of touched the

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point and it fixed my pain instantly.

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And it was a point from a system that I haven't studied.

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So it still then became part of my repertoire that I could say, well,

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I can still try that point, even though I don't know the whole system

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for that particular pain indication.

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So, you know, there's really tiny things like that.

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And then there's massive things like, um, you know, just understanding more about,

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I've definitely learned a whole lot more about the Shanghai one systems through

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a lot of the guests that through also learning about many different styles.

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It's given me this kind of smorgasbord overview of.

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The vastness of Chinese medicine that I learn about in

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theory, as part of my training.

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And I learned what I learned, you know, in the course from my teachers, but, and then

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I learn what I'm interested in, you know?

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Um, and I remember like we had Dan Bensky on and he said to, you know, one of

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his tips was to encourage students to, um, study what they're not interested

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in whilst they're at college, because when you're out of college, you'll

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study what you're interested in and you need to have those skills because

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a patient may need them at some point, you know, and it's not about you.

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So I also found that really inspiring.

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Um, so there's, you know, there's a lot of levels of guests we've had that

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have given me techniques as well as philosophy, as well as just expanded my

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love and appreciation for the vastness of Chinese medicine and the wisdoms behind.

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And then there's another side of it, which is that as I went on my journey

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over the past, let's say 18 months since I moved to overseas, it, uh,

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as you say, so I'm going through the acupuncture licensing process and I

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haven't done it the first as possible way of kind of intentionally slowed it

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down because I was also reformulating a lot of what I want to do with my Chinese

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medicine career on an internal level.

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And I've been working with Chinese herbal medicine, which I can do where

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I am and some integrative nutritional work that I've also done on the side.

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And every time we have a guest that opens me up more to the parts of

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them, that aren't just acupuncture.

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It, it just helped me find all the parts of me that aren't just acupuncture,

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you know, because acupuncture's kind of being off limits during this time.

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Um, so we had a wonderful chat with, gosh, this is terrible.

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Now I've forgotten her name.

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But with an acupuncturist, who's an artist and , and I, for some reason,

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I just kept bridging Golding's name, popping through my head, and I knew it

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wasn't her, but we spoke to her too.

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Um, and she was super cosmic.

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You know, she really connected me with a lot of the magic, like the absolute,

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the original magic in acupuncture.

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It, I remember the most, it really was just, I don't know, it's simple, but good.

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I'll come back to it.

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But it was ancestral Sturman who has a, another life as well as an artist

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and a musician who, um, you know, I got a lot out of just talking to

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her and just knowing as well that, uh, I was trying to find what does

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an acupuncture, what do I do as an acupuncturist when I'm not doing occupied?

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Oh, wow.

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What a great question.

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Yeah.

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Having all those guests and people who were had were so mature and wise in

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their development as therapists, as compassionate beings and being able

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to talk to them and hear from their perspective, whilst I was going through

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this thing and being quite hard on myself at times, that for me was almost

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a, kind of a, it was medicinal because it kept me connected as well as being

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able to interact with all these really nurturing people who had a larger view.

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Yeah.

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I want to go back to this phrase, original magic of acupuncture.

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You know, we have, we, we have all these terms, you know, Jean she's young,

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she . But, you know, you say original magic of acupuncture and anyone who's

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had acupuncture knows what you're talking about and anyone who practices, you

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know, I, I suspect our listeners that are listening along as we're having this

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conversation, you say original magic of acupuncture and people go, right.

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Something comes up for them.

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Yeah.

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I can imagine there'd be a small percentage of people whose eyes are

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rolling right now at the idea of the original magic of acupuncture.

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Well, why not?

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So w when you see original magic of acupuncture, I'm

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curious what that means for you.

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So we, I don't know if you heard the episode with Rishi and golden, but it's

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code one D is a time load is a what?

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A time, Lord Homeward.

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She took us.

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I've not heard this.

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What are they?

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The yellow emperor is a time load.

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What's the time word.

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Oh, Dr.

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Hu.

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Okay.

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So this is.

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This is British.

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This is British science fiction.

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Yeah.

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Um, so we had this awesome discussion with her, where she really waves through

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a lot of the origins of the Chinese medical philosophies and cosmology.

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And there was a part where she was talking about, um, the, the fact that

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needles are made of metal and that, that, that material was known to be the right

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material to use because it was the earthly version of the twinkle of the stuff.

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This is from Dr.

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Who?

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Or this is her.

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This is golden.

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Okay.

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Okay.

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You only need a cosmology doctor who Dr.

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Golden, but actually speaking of golden golden, she was talking about, you

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know, uh, occasions in which you would use gold needles and particular metals.

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So it was really this, um, original Alchemist understanding of some

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of the philosophies behind why needles, why measure or weigh,

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you know, how did this come to be?

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Yeah.

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Well, the golden silver is used quite a bit by the people that do some

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of the very light touch, a Toyota Hari type Japanese acupuncture.

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Yeah.

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for scar techniques in particular is talked about a lot.

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Yeah.

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It's on my list to get a Taishan and to learn what to do.

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You might want to invite someone onto your show?

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Yeah, well, that's, that's a thought, isn't it?

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But I guess it's, it's one of the problems with Chinese medicine is that the more

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you learn, the more you realize that you're only ever gonna know, like a

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drop in the ocean of all of the things that there is to know, it's a very

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humbling profession in that regard.

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Yeah.

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I was always thinking the other day I've been added for almost 20 years now.

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I thought I would know more by this point.

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It's, it's an, it's quite a curious feeling for me to have been.

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I mean, I think I'm in my 15th year, but it's to have moments where I still

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feel like a complete newbie at times.

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Is really quite a curious observation to have it's.

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Um, yeah, it's, it's quite, it's quite interesting.

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And I remember one of my, um, supervisors at clinic, when I was at uni, he, he

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said that his, he, he had observed within himself and his clinical practice that

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he'd spent, you know, the first five years feeling like he knew nothing second, five

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years out, he, you know, he knew heaps.

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He was doing really good things with these patients getting good results in

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the next five years, five years after that, he thought, wow, I'm not doing

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anything good for these people at all.

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What's going on.

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And then, you know, it kind of came and went in these cycles of

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knowing and not knowing and feeling competent and feeling incompetent.

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And I just remembered like that, that conversation still sits with me now.

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And that's what over 15 years ago had that discussion.

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And it does.

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It's it's a nice conversation to remember because it, it reminds

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me, it reminds me that nothing is permanent, everything changes.

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And, um, yeah, there's a lot of that type of experience that other

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practitioners have shared with me as well, that they have that experience too.

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You know, it's reassuring to hear you say that, and it's lovely to hear

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it because it, it reminds me as a practitioner, you know, and it, it, in

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some ways I already know this right.

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Every time someone new comes in it's, it's brand new.

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You're, you're at square one starting from, from the beginning.

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But yeah, it seems we go through these phases of development.

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It's like, yeah, I've got this dialed in.

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And then you realize, oh, actually, Maybe I don't have it as dialed in, as I thought

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I did, you know, and you start opening up to new influences and new learning

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and you know, all it takes is a patient coming in, who doesn't react the way that

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you thought they would, or they come in with a condition and you go, I don't even

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know where to begin, you know, to kind of trigger that and bring you back to it.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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I think some of the most enjoyable, um, specialties that I've delved into

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were patient instigated, for example.

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Well, I did the, all these training in, um, nutritious urinal, sorry, nutritional

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genomics and, um, integrative genomics.

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So working with, um, understanding people's methylation and

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detoxification genes and where they, how they're expressing,

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and this is a epigenetic switch.

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Chinese medicine is great.

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Because we have all this wonderful knowledge about

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lifestyle and cultivating Jim.

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So Jim is your genetic potential, um, as well as your, uh, the potential

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that you can raise and cultivate through life, through your shin

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and through cultivating your shin.

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So that really was triggered because I, for a while I geographically,

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I was in an area where, um, there was a lot of IVF clinics.

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So there was a lot of fertility cases.

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And then, um, you know, there was a lot of them with real difficulties that where,

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you know, I'll try anything trying the last resort, let's go for acupuncture and.

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And so I really started to learn about the MTHFR gene initially.

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And then I ended up doing all this training, um, in methylation and genomics.

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And it's really, uh, I, I don't think it's something I would have looked up,

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had my patients not been presenting with it and avoiding all the great results

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that my treatments would normally bring.

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Like I had every, every possible reaction to B vitamins.

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They would all come to me.

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And even when I was working at Claire's clinic, there was a whole period of months

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there where everyone else has patients in the same clinic, went having the reactions

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to the B-vitamins that mine were.

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And I just had to go and do this training, you know, but I loved it.

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And the way that it's developed my business since then, um, is really,

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uh, I think it, it really waves right.

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We all our T our teacher, our patients really are our teachers in so many ways.

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I'm a little curious, could you tell us a bit more about, I mean, I'm

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hearing you talk about the three treasures gene, chins ShaoYin to

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affect things on an epigenetic level.

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Can you, can you tell us a bit more, or give us a little more detail about that?

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So you've got about 24,000 genes as a human being, and, uh, you know, maybe on

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average people have, and these numbers keep changing because a lot of this

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research is new, but on average, you know, people might have between about

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60 and a hundred, um, polymorphism.

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Which can indicate health risks for them in their life.

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According to current knowledge, the whole genome has not been mapped in terms of

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all the risks known, associated with particular genes or, or polymorphisms.

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And a polymorphism is what you might know as a mutation, but

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it's not really a mutation.

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So nature's just trying to evolve.

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And also some of them are responses to toxins and environmental

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influences as well as there are genetic evolution is influenced by

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our consciousness and our lifestyle.

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So what we're believing in, what are our stress levels?

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What are our toxicity levels?

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This is the epigenetic realm.

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So once you born, you've got your genetic package or you've got your

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gene from mum and dad, you know, that expresses a certain type of potential,

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but you don't know what direction that potential is going to go in.

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And that's determined by you.

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Who you become, how you become, uh, how you manage stress, how you, whether

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you sleep well, whether you drink enough water, do you eat properly?

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So that's where I see Chinese medicine as being one of the most

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broad systems in its ability to teach people how to live a life that's

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epigenetically positive for their health.

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I want to add something to that.

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And the there's a lot of really cool information.

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That's looking into the epigenetics of the microbiome because we personally

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only have, you know, 24,000 odd genes, but there's like a billion.

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Maybe it's a million, there's a lot, there's a lot of genes in

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our microbiome and it's not us.

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And, and it, but it responds to what we do and it interacts with us.

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And.

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It's so it's, it's so interesting to look at the ways in which modern

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science is investigating the effects of diet and the effects of particular

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types of stress and the, you know, the effects of particular types of

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exercise on health outcomes and on our own microbiome and genetic expression

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and the it, you know, it's, and it all fits in with what Chinese medicine has

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been saying for like thousands of years.

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I love the way that, you know, cause people say, oh, but you know, the

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emotions, how, you know, how can we say that joy affects the heart and, and that,

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you know, worry affects the spleen and anger and frustration affect the liver

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or not, not necessarily they affect it, but they, you know, their emotions

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that belong to that particular organ.

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But I guess there's, there is a lot of acceptance within the paradigm

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of conventional medicine where they say stress causes disease.

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Stress can cause cancer stress can cause heart disease.

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Stress can cause autoimmune disease.

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Stress can cause you know, the 10,000 things, but what Chinese medicine

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has done or has been doing for a long time and identified a long time

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ago is not just stress as like this blanket statement where we're Chinese

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medicine is interested in what is a person's experience of life, life.

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You know, not, not just is someone upset, but what, what in

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particular is making them upset, you know, are they upset by fear?

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Are they upset by anger?

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Are they upset by frustration?

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Is there hostility?

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Is there resentment?

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And in which way, do their illnesses manifest as a result of

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that particular type of stress.

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And so there's so much richness that Chinese medicine can add

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to the equation of epigenetics.

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And what does gene, you know, our gene is basically our genetic expression.

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You know, we've got, we've got the genes there, but the genes, it's a, it's a

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loaded gun that we have to it's the environment and our diet and lifestyle

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and who, you know what it's like to be honest, Is the environment within us

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that either pulls the trigger or doesn't pull the trigger on that particular gene.

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And, and I guess I find it quite frustrating when, when I hear

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people make comments on things like geographic tongue and the comment

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will be, oh, well, it's genetic.

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And so the implication is that there's nothing necessarily to be done about it.

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But in fact, you know, there's a lot of things that are genetic, but you don't

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necessarily have it as an inevitability.

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It's just part of our genetic potential like that gene expression, but it

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doesn't necessarily manifest it just because you've got a constitutional

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tendency to a particular problem.

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It doesn't mean that that problem is always going to be there and

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that nothing is to be done about it.

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And so I think that if we can, as Chinese medicine practitioners.

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Take on the information about what I refer to as the mother-father gene and

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all the associated, um, all the associated snips that people, you know, the

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genetic mutations that people can have.

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But if we also remember that within our own system of medicine, that we don't

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accept things as being inevitable.

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And there are ways of harmonizing people and from a genetic point of view, that

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means switching off the, you know, the, and I'm using air quotes here,

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the naughty genes or the genes that you don't want to have being in effect.

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And that, and that's something that a lot of the.

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The people like Ben Lynch and Amy ESCO and, and those types of

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people who are quite prominent in there in the genetic space.

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They're trying to stress to people that it's not just about.

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You've got the MTHFR gene, you need to take methyl folate.

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It's about working out.

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Is the gene expressing any, if it is causing a problem, then this is

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how you fix it, rather than just these mutation equals this supplement

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or this mutation equals, you know, this lifestyle intervention.

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And we're doing that anyway in Chinese medicine.

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Yeah.

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You know, it, it's such a beautiful, flexible model and it, you know, we get

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to work with stuff from the outside and we get to work with stuff from the inside and

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there's even room for consciousness inside of all of it, such a huge cause of stress

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for some people where they feel like they just have this sense that they're not

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in alignment with their life purpose.

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They feel like they're here on this planet to be doing something else and helping

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someone to work that out can help to get rid of a lot of that internal stress that

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can be making someone just as sick as you know, living next to a chemical factory.

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No, I don't know if you see this in your clinic.

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I have been noticing this in mind for a while that sometimes people come in and

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they've got something going on and they think this is what's wrong with them.

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It might be an emotional habit.

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It might be a physical thing or they come in and they go, this is

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the thing that's wrong with me.

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And I, and I sit down and I listened to them and I listened

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to what their life is like.

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And, and like you were just saying, there might be something that they want

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to do, and they are completely going in the opposite direction of where

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their heart really wants to take them.

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Sometimes people come in with problems and I'm thinking to myself, this problem

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you got is not what's wrong with.

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That's problem you got is what's right with you.

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This problem that you've got is waking you up in a certain way.

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It is catching your attention in an extremely annoying, right.

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You know, and our genes are actually switching on and off

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hundreds of times in a minute.

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Yeah.

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So this, this feed by a feedback system in the bodies is incredible.

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You know, it's constantly giving feedback to the genes, you know, make

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more of this stop, make more of that.

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Stop me more, stop, you know, something like that.

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And, um, you know, trying to adjust those levels in our body.

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And it has been shown that that expression is modulated by your mood and your focus.

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So you start meditating more often and becoming more awake to your in a day.

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And observing it, witnessing it rather than fully identifying with it, you

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know, and you might only get two minutes of witnessing a day in at first and

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then that will grow without pressure.

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So don't try, but, um, but you know, this, this can really immediately modulate the

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efficiency of your immune system and then your immune system can go around your

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body and affect repairs and do clean ups.

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And it's much better when it's doing them on a small level of where we can

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barely notice then, um, you know, w okay, now we have a tumor to clean up, right?

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Somebody didn't sweep that corner.

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It was, it was obligated.

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You know, the cells that were meant to sweep that corner were obligated

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elsewhere because of something in our diet, mind, lifestyle emotions,

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you know, I wanted to skip back to.

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Michael was just saying about the way in which people have, you know, the,

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the body is very specific, you know, when, when it creates more manifests

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in illness or a pain or some kind of symptom, it's always very specific as

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always specific with timing and location and the nature of, of what's created.

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And I think that, um, you know, one of the, one of the cool things about

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having fee working in my clinic was being exposed to her approach and her,

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I guess, unique way of thinking around.

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I th I think it came mostly from her background in the ShaoYin.

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Kung Fu training that she's done and the different ways in which you can

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interact with patients who have that as their, you know, it's like they walk in

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with a neon sign and they're forward.

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Like you need to address this.

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I'm not just here for my sore back.

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Um, and I think that there's some really, I'm still learning.

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I'm not, I've, I've got a long way to go in this, but the way in which we

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interact with that particular type of patient, and we all have them coming

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into the clinic, the, the ways in which we interact them is, is really

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important for their therapeutic process.

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The therapeutic journey.

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I learned a lot about that from fi when she was working in my clinic.

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Well, that's nice, clear.

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I think I learned a lot about it as well.

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Also being able to communicate with you about how I was navigating it.

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And, um, when you described that, I'm thinking of another guest we had that

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really also inspired me on that level.

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And that was talking with guy Bennetts about five element acupuncture and

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the voice in the skin diagnostics.

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And I'm particularly interested in people's voices and the way they

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articulate their story, because I know I'm hearing they're in a dialogue,

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you know, and they're leaking all the stuff I need to know to help

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them, whether they know it or not.

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And, um, guy really reminded me about those tools in five element of listening

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to the voice and understanding the story that their constitutional factors telling

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versus the words they're telling you.

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Do you find Fiona that the listening that you do with the voice.

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Matches up with the listening that we learn about through

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the, through the five elements.

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I mean, that's one screen, that's one filter the five elements.

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I've got a hunch.

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I could be wrong.

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That there's something else that you're listening some years ago.

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I probably would have tried to give you an intellectual answer to that.

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But I think I hear and see a lot of stuff.

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My sensory system picks up on a lot of stuff and my body converts it into

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information with whatever systems I've studied or even with whatever

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systems I'm focusing on at the time.

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So I can be sitting with someone and it might just be a tone in their

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voice that makes me aware of their both element or something like that.

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Or I might sometimes it's technique and I could break it down.

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You know, it's like, if you could do math and you can show the some, and

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sometimes you can't show the sum, but the answers there didn't go for.

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We'll be able to understand that.

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But, but, but, but, but I get, but I get what you're saying, that there,

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that there is something that sometimes comes through and it comes to a kind of

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a knowing, sensing, you're sitting with someone and something comes through and

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it just, it just rings in a certain way.

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Yeah.

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You, you go earth, you go, would I sometimes try to go fit it back

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into that five element model?

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And I go, yeah, that's a nice model, but not applicable here.

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I think in terms of hearing the tone of the voice and the way someone speaks,

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guy really helped me cause he did these Oscar level impersonations of the, um,

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the constitutional voices and the way that that kind of patient would speak.

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And I think what else I'm bringing to it that comes from other things that

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I've studied is more so listening to the, um, Listening to the words

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that people are actually using.

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So I've studied things like conversational hypnosis and a bit of NLP.

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And so I do go into a bit of nitty gritty with the inner dialogue and

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also a lot of, um, like dream lucid, dream therapy or dream interpretation.

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So I just kind of let it all I found, I don't, I don't think

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too much intellectually about where each technique fits in.

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I just let it all coalesce in front of me as someone presents themselves

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and tells themselves with their voice.

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And I pick up whatever I pick up.

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And I think if I was to try to pick up everything from all the

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systems that I've studied, each session would take three hours.

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Well, and they may or may not be applicable.

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You know, the right.

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I know.

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I just, I just got to a point where, um, I knew that.

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You don't need to fuss about that.

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Your body is intelligent and it will organize all of that information for you.

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And it will present it to you if you're, if you're present.

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Well, that just begs a whole lot of other questions.

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And I'm recognizing the time here, how long ago episodes normally, or what's

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the longest episode you've ever done?

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Oh, the longest episode I think is an hour and 10 minutes or so, but I

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usually, I like to let the conversations kind of run as they want to.

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And they usually run an hour ish.

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Yeah.

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We, we initially had an intention of around about the kind of 35 minute mark.

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I tried that it absolutely failed does not work at all at all.

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I think the shortest we ever did was maybe 50 minutes, 45 minutes.

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It's like, there was a, there was a couple that we ran that were

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quite short, but we really like, there were, they were too short.

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We didn't get to cover the content we wanted to.

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Yeah.

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The conversations have their own life.

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Yeah.

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This is what I've found with it too, particularly I think because we take

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that conversational approach rather than instructional, you know, you can

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easily give a 20 minute or a 30 minute lecture, so to speak or like a Q and a.

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Um, but I think if you're having a conversation where you have, you

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know, there's an introduction, then you kind of go down the rabbit hole

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and you see what's down there and you explore it and then you kind of tie

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it all together and come out the other side that, that process takes time.

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And you can't do that in half an hour.

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No.

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And I think it's one of the fun things about the podcast format,

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because we can just hang out here and have this conversation.

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Yeah, it feels very, um, it feels very, it's, it's very strange doing a

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podcast with on another, like on another podcast and talking about podcasting,

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you guys have been at this for a while.

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If do you see podcasts?

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Do you see, how do I phrase this?

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I mean, my suspicion is, I mean, because podcasts are growing by leaps and bounds.

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How do you see podcasts fitting in with our particular profession here?

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How else do you see podcasts maybe being used?

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Well, yeah, I think when we started, uh, I wasn't particularly aware of any

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other Chinese medicine podcasts and we looked up, you know, um, and I think

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we found that everyday acupuncture.

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And, uh, that you were doing, you know, that was pitched to the patients

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and we thought, well, that's cool.

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We'll pitch us to practitioners.

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And, you know, I think that at first they'd become resources for our community

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that are cool to listen to and give people a sense of connection beyond

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the isolation that we've described.

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But then there's another level that creeps in, which is now a lot of people

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are starting to use the podcasts.

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And I think there's about five or so in the Chinese medicine community

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that I know of anyway, uh, now were able to provide people with some

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educational credits for listening.

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Um, and so that's really important.

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I think becoming part of the ongoing education or choices that people have and

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to have a certain percentage of business coaching and a certain percentage of

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seminar type ongoing education, and a certain percentage of collegial discussion

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type education is I think it's filling a niche that broadens what's available

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to the community on that educational level where you can't help, but learn

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cause you can't unring a bell, you know?

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So if you hear something and ding that's it's happened too.

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Um, and then there's another level where I've thought on a few occasions,

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uh, we've also talked about, well, we should do episodes on this

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and this and this for the public.

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And then, um, You know, I've thought as well about reaching out and connecting

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and doing, what do you call this?

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A conference calling podcast with other podcasters in Chinese medicine.

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So it was really cool that you reached out to us.

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So thank you for that, because I think perhaps there's another new

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level that we can all go to by interacting more and, um, show sharing.

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I don't know what we call it.

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Yeah, no, it's been great.

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I've I, I was not sure the way this conversation would unfold today.

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I just thought it would be fun to get you guys on the line and see where it went.

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It's just went in a whole different direction, which do your podcast

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ever go the way you think they will?

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Isn't that the beauty of at all?

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I am constantly surprised.

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Yeah.

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The, the, the idea that I have in my mind and, and how reality actually unfolds.

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Sometimes bearer resemblance, but often not.

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You know, I think in terms of answering your question around, you know, what

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does the future hold with podcasting and what, you know, what's going

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to happen with our profession and podcasting and what does that look like?

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I think, you know, podcasting is a very important medium for connecting,

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particularly in today's day and age.

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You know, you can, you can use it as like a meditative kind of practice and

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you can just sit down on your couch or lie down in bed and listen to it.

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Or as a lot of other people are doing, they're listening, you know,

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on their drive to, and from work or whilst they're doing some housework

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or, you know, they're out for a run or a walk, people are busy and.

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The ability for people to be able to do their CPD points at the same time as

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they're doing some gardening, you know, that's a really valuable thing because

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we are too busy and we're constantly telling our patients and, you know,

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we have to remind ourselves that it's important to have yin time in our lives.

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And if we can, if we can be more effective in our active time

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during the day, then it allows our relaxation to be more restorative.

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And I think that, you know, if people can get back, even if it's just one weekend,

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a year where they don't have to be offered a conference and instead they can get

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those eight hours of continuing education from listening to a podcast, You know,

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I think it's a really valuable thing.

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And I really hope that the ways in which the professional associations

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and registration bodies are going to be policing, continuing education,

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I hope that in the future, it allows for more flexibility for people to be

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able to get their hours from doing, uh, you know, from listening to, to

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instructional podcasts or, you know, even just podcasts that encourage reflection

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and, and personal development, which are equally as important as knowing,

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you know, which herb and which point I think also, sorry, jump in there.

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It's really important for a lot of practitioners to know just how much of

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their stresses and thoughts and worries and fears that they go through are

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really quite universal for all of us.

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Um, you know, there's been a lot of times for me where I've heard another

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practitioner articulate something.

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There's just okay.

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To be experiencing and it makes it feel a lot more.

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Okay.

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Um, when you hearing that, oh yeah, that's part of it.

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Yes.

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The boat burning and to be able to hear each other's voices, you know,

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it's so easy to look outside of ourselves and go, those guys have it.

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So together I'm struggling.

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And this is one of the things I actually like about conferences, because I get

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a chance to meet with colleagues and we get to be really human with each other.

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Where were we were all real people.

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And I have a real 10 week old baby sitting on my lap, but you might be able

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to hear the grunting in the background.

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But yeah, I mean, we are real people and we have real lives

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and we have our own problems.

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You know, none of us are.

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The perfect, you know, the perfect acupuncturist like this, this kind of

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avatar that we all aspire to be like.

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It's, um, we have to find our own.

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I want to say also that with the real growth of social media, even just in

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the last five, seven years, it's, it's a different world for practitioners

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to communicate what they do with the world and the way that the internet

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works and social media works even just from marketing a clinic or becoming

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known, um, you know, it's almost like you used to be able to just be a good

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practitioner and be known in your area.

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And now if you're not this super famous health guru online, um,

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people may not know about you, but they do know about the other ones

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who are more super fame than you.

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So I think also that podcasting is a, a really nice match for Chinese medicine

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because it does attract a lot more.

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Quiet, humble, introverted, um, personalities.

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And I don't, you know, I, myself, I'm not really comfortable with becoming

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some kind of big, um, internet guru.

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You're not going to become a, uh, Instagram, uh,

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acupuncture, celebrity, right?

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I mean, you know, all the photo shoots on the beach in my yoga pants,

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not saying I wouldn't look awesome though, but like it's, it's sort

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of, I think podcasting allows for a much more humble presentation

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of yourself in your information.

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And a lot of our world is really visually based, you know, when

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people are dominated by things like television and visual information.

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So I think it's also a softer form of information distribution,

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and that allows for a little.

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Spiritual transmission, you know, the kind of transmission that

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we've had come through a podcast from some of the guests as well.

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You know, this energy really transmits.

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And I think it's more available to the body when you're not taking up

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as many of the five senses and the buddy can be more extra sensory.

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So I like audio for that very much.

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I mean, you can lie down and close your eyes and go on a journey.

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Yeah, well, I think it was Claire who said somewhere in the beginning

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of this, that storytelling is a way that humans have connected

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for as long as we've been humans.

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And, and we all love hearing a story.

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We'd love to be read stories.

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We'll have to be told stories and Chinese medicine has some great stories.

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Jagen.

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Yeah, I want to thank both of you for taking some time today

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and sitting down with me here.

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This has been an absolutely delightful time.

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I want to remind the listeners to go check out heavenly cheese.

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There's amazing stuff there.

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You got to hear a little bit.

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Uh, uh, some of the guests that they've had and they've got a

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