“Shop Talk” with Dr. Edward Neal
Reading the Seasonal River Tides
In the initial descriptions of Chinese medicine set down in the Huangdi Neijing, acupuncture was described as a traditional form of ecological surgery. Its primary aim was to restore the natural watersheds of the body by regulating the flow of the blood circulating through these regions. These writings compare the vascular rivers of the body to rivers in nature, understanding them to be formed by the same basic forces and patterns of nature. Similar to rivers in nature, the flow qualities of the vascular rivers display different seasonal variations or ‘tides’. We assess these seasonal tides in the pulse qualities of the major blood vessels of the body. This allows us to synchronize the bodies of our patients with the seasonal patterns of nature.