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Chinese Medicine; Beyond The Surface with Peter Galle (#215)

Join Mason and Peter Galle for a deep exploration of Classical Chinese medicine and its timeless wisdom, with an emphasis on the importance of the perceptual senses in the art and application of this ancient healing craft.

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Today Mason welcomes the remarkable Peter Galle onto the show. Peter is a practitioner of true Classical Chinese medicine, one of many exceptional individuals keeping the practice of this lost healing art present and alive in the current diluted culture of Westernised appropriation.

Peter and Mason go deep in this episode, inviting us to acknowledge with gravity, the enormous value the sensory faculties of sight, smell, taste, touch and perception hold in the fruitful practice of healing, regardless of the modality.

Both men share their knowledge and insights passionately, many of which are heavily influenced by the Huang Di Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor's Classic Of Internal Medicine, a seminal text on Chinese medicine that captures the root intention of the Classical approach.

Peter speaks from the heart, with care and diligent reverence for those who walked before him, whose path of mastery was apprenticed in alignment with the original guidance of this ancient craft.

Covering all manner of topics; including the challenges practitioners face when working to harmonise complex pathologies, the importance of honouring lineage and working with classical texts, why self-cultivation and self-care are crucial aspects for the longevity of the healers' practice, developing perceptual sensitivity and the acuity and discipline that is required to accurately read the body and its subtle cues, plant medicine and the indigenous use of Cannabis in China and so much more!

This episode is rich and valuable, a truly insightful listen for all, especially those in communion with the practices of Chinese medicine. 

 

Image of rocks embedded in sand with water running between the spaces between.

"The body is incredible. When you're dealing physically with the body, the living form of the tissue, it is a complete miracle. It is unbelievable. It's the flesh of the earth moving.".
- Peter Galle.

Peter & Mason discuss:

  • The difference between commercialised Chinese medicine and true Chinese medicine.
  • The challenges faced by practitioners in treating complex illness.
  • The magic and interconnectedness of plants in healing.
  • The importance of self-cultivation for practitioners.
  • The layers of the body and disease in Chinese medicine.
  • Honouring the lineage and working with classical texts in Chinese medicine.



Who is Peter Galle ?

Peter Galle is a Chinese medicine physician, clinical herbalist, medicine maker, author, and educator. His medical practice focuses on patient advocacy and detailed, one on one full body care with Chinese medicine and herbs, addressing chronic and difficult to treat disease as well as preventative health. His medical practice is grounded by 4 important roots:

1) His translation and application of medical theory from the 黃帝內經 The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic, the oldest complete Chinese medical text.

2) Making herbal medicine and working with plants to better understand their functions in an embodied way.

3) Modern medical research on organ, vasculature, and lymphatic physiology and pathology.

4) Biannual dissection courses with unfixed cadavers to improve his understanding of the human form.

Peter currently treats patients in his Los Angeles clinic as well as patients all over the country through telehealth consultations. Peter also teaches professionals alongside his colleague Todd Gonzales through the Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. 

Resource guide

Guest Links
Peter's Website
Peter's Instagram

Mentioned In This Episode
Stephen Harrod Buhner Books

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Qi Cycles And The Dao with Jost Sauer - Acupuncturist (EP#48)
Lifestyle Medicine with Acupuncturist Jost Sauer (EP#63)

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Check Out The Transcript Below:

 

Mason Taylor:

It's always funny having a chat beforehand, and then, …

Peter Galle:

Totally.

Mason Taylor:

It's like a little bit of theatre.

Peter Galle:

Exactly. I love it. I used to do theatre, so I love it.

Mason Taylor:

Amazing, and that's my dream, to get back into theatre and comedy.

Peter Galle:

Yeah. We have to talk about that, too, because humour is such an important part of everything.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, I think it's necessary when ... I was thinking about looking at what you do and looking at serious cases and looking at, going deep into these really pervasive diseases, which I know that a lot of people, when thinking about treating serious disease and thinking about Chinese medicine, like on the surface, people would go, "Well, of course, Chinese medicine's just for pain. And you go over to the real doctors if you have …

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

But I think, likewise, everyone listening would understand the difference between that commercialised Chinese medicine and the deep Chinese medicine. But in going to those depths and that treatment, you need that jester energy just to whip you out and look at the ridiculousness of what's going on here. It's always too heavy.

Peter Galle:

Yes. Yeah. My big difficulties is the amount of psychic destruction that diseases that tend towards death can take on a practitioner, especially when you're trying to wade through a lot of crosstalk about exactly what you said, what the medicine is, what it can do. You're also holding within that patient cares, dreams and hopes, and it is a difficult place to walk, sometimes. Actually, I would say I think a lot about myself as a young clinician, and I think about it a lot, because I think about teaching and how to teach, and I think about myself when I was first starting out, and I think about, one of the things I would try to talk to myself about would be to prepare myself for the amount of psychic difficulty that occurs because it's such a wild road. And yeah, it's really battling the politics around it in terms ... And also trying to manage how you want to talk about something that's possible when, really, what you're talking about is the body and its ability to heal, and you're trying to reframe that, and you're also trying to be realistic, but also be realistic to the potential that's there. It's been quite a road.

Mason Taylor:

When you started out, did you go through and learn institutionalised Chinese medicine, and then get ... ? There must be more?

Peter Galle:

Yes. Yeah. When I first started, I was actually drawn to Chinese medicine school from the herbalism perspective, and I read a few books on Chinese herbalism and I thought, oh, wow, they're talking about treating pretty serious illnesses. I wonder where this is going to go. And I went to TCM school here in Santa Monica, at Emperor's College, and about two years in, I just noticed there was an incredible discordance between how they were codifying information and collecting it from the different traditions, even just in herbalism, let alone acupuncture itself. And we can talk about the word acupuncture too. This is kind of important. We'll talk about it later. But the application of needles, applying needles, that alone was itself extremely discordant.


But if you looked at herbalism, it had all these different veins from all these different ... Mediaeval Chinese medicine, classical Chinese medicine, and there was inside of the materia medica, as you know, there's multiple indications for each herb, but some of those indications come out of a theoretical or a physiological framework that may be discordant with each other, that the actual use of them is inside of a framework that we really weren't well versed in and we were going along very quickly.


And by the time I got to clinic, I remember I saw my first patient and immediately was like, wow, I don't know how to actually treat a human being, so I immediately pulled myself out of clinic and I was actually going to pull out of Chinese medicine school entirely. And I started looking around for anything that talked about touching the body at all. I thought I was going to be a Rolfer, I looked into a Japanese palpation theory and I looked at Wang Ju-yi, he's a physician that died recently who was in China who developed applied channel theory. Basically, I looked all around and started studying outside of my programme, and I started doing that while I was in school. And I would basically take that and work with that in the clinic because of this need, this need to expand my reaches, my borders.

Mason Taylor:

What was the distinction there when you went outside and you're like, "I can't actually treat here?" It's interesting what you said then, you were looking at palpation and you were looking at something that could actually touch the body, because it seems like that's where I always land. It's like, Western medicine and modern Chinese medicine is scared to actually go in and touch the body. And likewise, in acupuncture and herbalism, it's scared to go and get down to a constitutional level or go to the real linchpin that's going to make change because it's like, subconsciously, they know, at that point, you need to be really skillful at and being able to acknowledge, emotionally, what's happening, spiritually, what's happening. So they're just going to stay on the surface and not actually touch and move the person and not actually work. That's why they cut the Spirit out. You say you went to touch, it's interesting, that's a similar path that everyone's like, "No, I actually want to touch the patient."

Peter Galle:

Yes. Yes, and actually, that holds within it a greater seed that is going to split, hopefully, through this whole conversation, which is, and I'm using this word, "qualitative," and I've looked through it in terms of the research of it, and there's qualitative science, which is a very ... It's tried to be more and more specific on what that is. We're having trouble actually explaining what that is in quantitative science. I'm using a little bit of a loose definition for this, but the actual heart of the medicine itself, it is a science, which is what, this is one of the big things I hope to explore and talk about where they were observing, with an incredible level of physical sensorial and awareness, themselves, the environment and their body, and the word "science" gets turned into kind of a bad word in modern day practise of TCM. Sometimes.


Sometimes, it gets pulled into this weird thing where you have these studies of, they use the word "acupuncture," where certain points are selected for a certain pathology, and that's used as a, "Oh, look, it can help with nausea," and things like that, and I have a lot of thoughts about that. But there's a general fear, and there's even a idea or comment, like, "Oh, science and the understanding in Chinese medicine, they're different." And what I would like to try to talk about, and my colleague Todd and I talk about it all the time, is the process of observing something and paying attention to results in terms of, oh, okay, this person seems to have a blue, green, ashy colour, and they also seem to have difficulty with circulation. Their energy is really poor in the morning, but they get better at night, and their pulse feels really string-like and wiry, and they have a tendency to anger. Also, their tendon and muscular system is quite contracted, and this area of their abdomen's cold. We think there may be a problem with their Liver functioning. And we know that, because we've seen, time and time again, this person has a certain issue here, and we're going to write that down or at least codify it orally.


Anyway. What I want to say about that is that that is all completely, other than the rate of pulse, which we can talk about later, is completely subjective perception, qualitative perception, the nature of colour. Now, they can actually test the level of colour in the face now with different computer cameras and things like that, but a long time ago, what it is is smell, taste, and touch. And this seems absolutely wild in terms of making a medical science out of it because we were so quantitatively based now, so it's your blood values and basically signs and symptoms that isolate an individual disease in its textbook definition and identifying those in allopathic medicine.


Basically, and I'll get to that distinction there, but there is the practise off of the body of information. The body of information is everything any human's observed, anything that we've observed. That is free for everyone, whether it's indigenous cultures, whether it's looking at a basic medical science research paper. What you do with that information, how you use it in terms of your treatment strategy, that is what defines the medicine. That's where that distinction comes with. Allopathic medicine, they're going to have a variety of ways that they're going to take that information and integrate it into a practise. And we can talk a little more about that because I've named five different things. I realise I've gone on a little bit with that.

Mason Taylor:

No, that's great. And there's one that I really want to hone in on, it's almost like the quality of the science or the dimensions of the science that's being applied, because you can stay to a one dimensional science, and that's where we get this conflict between those, a wisdom tradition versus, well, this is somewhat subjective. How can the subjectivity of a human who we don't understand how one human can get really amazing at being able to feel the true pulse or be able to look and look at the colour and complexion and be able to understand that's ashy green and not have their prejudices and their opinions overcome? And the science doesn't know how to do that. That's why we have rote institutional learning, and they ignore that part. Can you talk about that? Because then, you said, even though it's subjective, that you observe that, there are multiple people who have cultivated this elusive skill that's invisible, that all of a sudden, that does flesh out the science and becomes objective.

Peter Galle:

Yes, exactly. There's a movie, I think, called The Great Breath, and it's by the person that did My Octopus Teacher. But in that movie, he follows, I believe, the San Bushmen and their ability to track through the desert. And excuse me if I got some of the details wrong here, but the tribe's level, the hunter's level and ability to listen to the patterns of the desert look superhuman to him when he first comes. And it's all told through narration, but he recounts this experience through My Octopus Teacher, and basically, he applies the same ideas to track an octopus underwater, and he's able to do that by looking at the signs and symptoms.


All of a sudden, a flurry of information that is totally nonsensical suddenly gains context and meaning. A little crustacean broken up, you realise, oh, that's a trout feeding or something. It gets incredibly detailed, until he's able to finally track this octopus again. And when I watched that movie, that movie, and also an experience I had in clinic, which is, I was needling, and when I first started needling, I worked with several teachers outside of school, and I was going to one of their programmes and I was needling, and I felt like, man, I cannot feel anything under the skin tissue. When I needle, it's like nothing. It's like a big blob and it just feels like absolutely nothing. And then, I saw this show on a lemur, I believe, who has a very long finger, and what it does is it knocks on a tree and listens for weak spots in the wood, and then, it will carve open this hole and stick this finger through this hole to get grubs. And then, the big part of that moment in clinic when I was watching this video was, it takes three to four years for that animal to get the level of sensitivity to be able to hear. And immediately, a light bulb went off. I went, "Okay, wait a minute."


There is an ability to attune the body to a level of sophistication that's actually much more than we're giving credit for. And I believe, probably, that indigenous hunters working now would say, "Oh, yeah, yeah, we know what you're talking about. We know the level of sensitive you're talking about." And then, you take that, from very subtle signs, all the way to, if you've been around anyone who's dying, they have a colour, typically. They look sick, they look ashen white, dark black. And the text, The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic is very clear. There's a several different lines where, what it says is, you should have your true complexion, your genuine complexion, so you should have the skin tone that you were given by your parents. You should not have a dominating colour.


The moment you see a dominating colour, it's obviousness as if you walked 10 paces away. It's the line. And you turned around and looked to the person, meaning, it's this, and what I'm trying to paint a picture here is a level of sensitivity that is much higher than, as a modern person, that maybe we are aware of, but that a hunter would be aware of. And then, also, sort of a obviousness to health that we've completely disregarded because of the disease and what they are, and they don't really mention a lot of these things. You'll get blue bloaters and pink puffers for emphysema and COPD. That's as much colour as you get, really. Or gangrenous tissue, purple. And there may be other examples, but it's seen in an isolated way that isn't a prodrome, a prefiguration of disease and illness. So yeah, that level of sensitivity, it becomes seemingly magical, and people often explain it that way, but truly, it's just deep living within the perceiving environment. You're just really attuned, basically.


And just to wrap up that last thing, that's why I really wanted to touch the body, because it's not just sight they give you. They tell you, "Hey, if something's dry and thick and rigid, the person most likely has a Fluid issue and an issue of motility and function inside of their Blood," and you can feel it. I feel it all day with patients. It's super thick in a certain area, or the actual fat tissue underneath their skin is literally matted, and if you needle it, extracellular Fluid just comes out, which that shouldn't happen, really. It's okay a little bit, but literally, along matted packs. What's happening there? Well, there's a thickening and a lack of motion of fluids. So they wanted you to feel with your senses. They wanted you to see, hear, and touch.

Mason Taylor:

Just before, you said magical. I was like, "That's what I was thinking of." It's amazing how I've watched my path of relating to practitioners who just seemed so inaccessible and so exotically skilled that it just had to be some kind of lost magic that I, to begin with, had, it's, I think, healthy, when I were young and just to be in awe.

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

And then, as I got older, that awe became really mundane and boring, and I knew it wasn't a place to stay forever, in that style of awe, that it wasn't appropriate to put it on that kind of level of pedestal, because that's where ... It's almost the same as that noble savage idea comes from. It's not okay. That needs to go back into the past now. And we need to evolve and be like, "Well, what's actually happening here?" And this is a very ... Yes, it's special and amazing, and I am in awe of it, like I'm in awe of many things, but then, when I come back, it's something that can be normalised. And that's almost like, it's nice, the magic doesn't go away when you do that. You realise that that magic is still alive, and the fact that that lineage is still alive. And then, it's so nice to walk around and start seeing the maturation of Chinese medicine.


And even, to an extent, what I was thinking was actually in oncology, I have a lot of people who report that they take medicinal mushrooms and likewise start doing their own cultivation practise while doing chemos and radio and all that kind of stuff. And their oncologists, years ago, was a hundred percent just going, "Oh, my gosh, what are you doing?" "I'm doing Qigong and I'm doing breath work and I'm taking a lot of mushrooms." And they're like, "Well, whatever you're bloody doing, you keep bloody doing it. I don't want to know about that magic fancy stuff." It's like a short, it's like I can't acknowledge it, and it's just a fluke. And now, you see so many doctors and oncologists going, "Can you share a little bit of information with me on that?" And to the extent, now, where, I don't know if you're aware of the fu zheng therapy used in modern times? It's the clinical use of mushrooms alongside chemo.

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

Which is pretty highly practised in China, and now, that's starting to roll out. So that magic, which it was very magical to begin with, they were like, Oh, my gosh, these guys have an immune system and aren't at death's door after their chemo treatment." They were like, "I'm going to walk into that and acknowledge it." It's got that same feel to it. It's really ... Yeah, you must see it. It's nice to feel that magic returning toward us, integrating that real ancient aspect of our spectrum of thinking that acknowledges the interconnectedness and the magic and kind of normalises it. Because even hearing you, just that pulse, complexion, questioning, feeling, and then, knowing what's going on with the Blood, it's almost intimidating, to the extent that we have to deal with the grief. We've gone so far in the other direction away from treating disease, and this is where I'm rambling myself towards is ...

Peter Galle:

No, no, I love it. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

I want bring up ... Actually, I've got it sitting right there, Stephen Harrod's book, The Secret Teaching of Plants. It's looking at me right now on top of Plant Intelligence.

Peter Galle:

It's like my desk. I'm at my kitchen table, but I've got Sacred Healing Herbal Beers back there, and the rest of them. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

I was like ... Yeah, I'll talk to you about this after. I've got a project that revolves around that sacred and herbal healing beers, and I was-

Peter Galle:

Amazing.

Mason Taylor:

… to it yesterday.

Peter Galle:

I'd love to talk about that.

Mason Taylor:

That book was the first time that that capacity to observe and that magical capacity to feel and go to a linchpin of what's going on and for the body to talk to you and for the plants to talk to you, but from a place where he quantified it scientifically, this is what the peripheral nervous system does. And then, going to disease, and then talking about complex cases and starting to open up to the acceptance that, perhaps, there are systems we can use that don't just manage disease or cut it out or burn it out, but we can actually start, we can work with this.


I just want to talk to you about that moment when you realised that that was there and that that was possible, or just maybe it's a year, years long process of you coming to that. But I'm fascinated by that, because people still are so timid, and I understand it. I still feel it, to acknowledge that perhaps it is possible not only to treat those complex diseases, but engage right now, don't just get theoretically preventative, you can really understand yourself and your Spirit and walk a path that stacks the odds so far in your favour that you won't walk down this place of disease. Yeah, it's such a beautiful world.

Peter Galle:

Yeah. There's so many things there. I worked with a teacher for a while, and I eventually had some difficulties with them that I won't really talk about too much, and some things I saw that I didn't enjoy, but what I do want to really give them credit for was, they were constantly, and I since took his message and pulled it into my own framework and my own sense of sensibility, which is a long, long conversation, the door you've opened. But his assertion was that it could treat difficult diseases, and he really firmly believed that. And I firmly believe that too and what I would say is, there are others who have said that before in the past too. And the thing about it is ... There's two different questions here, I think. There's the preventative medicine side, which I think is really, really, really tactile and very ... What I want to say is straightforward, in the sense that the field of circadian medicine, it's really hit off in 2016, they won the Nobel Prize, this group, for their work on their circadian clock, and everyone's really excited about it in allopathic medicine and research, but I don't know the level of actual application that it has.


What I want to do is take a pause here and say, the reason why I think it's so important to resolve our relationship with the idea and the word science is because, only until we do that, I think, can we let go of our hangups around actually what they discovered, specifically, the text that I'm focused on is The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic 2,000 years ago, or more than 2,000 years ago. Because if you accept that they're observing the same body that we're observing now-

Peter Galle:

If you accept that they're observing the same body that we're observing now, so you don't think, because a lot of the main translation of … for example, is convinced that the text... And he'll use his dictionary, his lexicon, meaning how he makes meaning out of the characters, he's convinced that it's mostly a political metaphor and that they were attempting to apply the idea of five motions, sort of like a filter on top of the world, using the analogy of the five motions, and then interpreting all the data therein, when in actuality, it is a 100% medical text. And what you said before about magic is, that is magical. It's amazing. The body is incredible. When you're dealing physically with the body, the living form of the tissue, it is a complete miracle. It is unbelievable. It's the flesh of the earth moving, and we have a lot to talk about around with Steven and things like that.


But my point about that is is what it allows you to do is when you read something about circadian medicine and you say, oh, we... And the language is often we discovered for the first time noted, and what I'll say is that's not true, they've talked about circadian medicine and rhythm and cycles that is what the yellow emperor text is about is the cyclical nature of life and its ability to preserve life across long years, 100 years is what they wish you to live. That's kind of from the opening is why is it that human beings are cut down half the time? Is it because they eat and drink, they're going out, partying? What's going on? Is the fate of the sky and the sky is basically determining this? What's the deal? What's the problem?


And the heavenly teacher basically qibo in modern pinyin is basically, it's about cycles. It's about appreciating and understanding cycles and weather patterns, where the sun is, where it's not. The growth cycles of plants match our own growth cycles, and you can actually feel the literal solar infused energy, just like you were talking about before we started. The Yang, the expansion of Summer. You can feel it in your own body, and guess what, that macrocosm is in the micro, too. It's in the day. So when you rise, you wake, and all of a sudden you are hungry if your systems are working well. This is where the elegance of the medicine just comes in so beautifully. It's checking these little mechanisms, are you hungry when you wake up? It's a really simple question and a lot of people aren't. So what does that mean?


It means somehow the system of the Liver, they say, the physical liver in the body that has an energetic outpouring, it creates a colour when it's sick. So there's a way that it's communicating itself in health and disease. Something's going on with your Liver. Something isn't turning on in that relationship between the pancreas and the Spleen, more on that later, is off. And you should be waking with an appetite. If you're not, there may be something wrong there.

 

Well, come to find out, the Liver itself is most strongly synced to cycles of seasons from two things, light and food, but most strongly food. And in fact, simple starches will allow the Liver to be fed and allow itself to sync to the circadian rhythm of the day, right as that sun's coming up. So you give yourself a little bit of simple starch. All of a sudden the Liver doesn't have to start its breakdown of sugar from the blood. It switches its tasks to waking up and actually processing all the things in the body. At night, that system should not be fed, it should shut off. And it goes into a different cleaning cycle, basically, that's modulated by melatonin and a bunch of other processes that I'm not well versed on but that are there.


And what do they say? They give this exact cycle. They say the Liver basically starts the day. Basically it's able to receive and move the motion of energy, basically. We can talk about Qi a little later. And then this cycle goes up and it goes up into the Heart, into the biggest part of the day. And then there is this decline to the day. That's actually has to do with the Lungs in the Fall and it mimics that same seasonal cycle, and the nighttime is the Kidney, the Winter.


This is all seen from this original translation, … translation as a political philosophical idea. But the problem is, is that if you don't properly value the high degree of observation they were accomplishing, then what happens is we do this thing where, and I see it all the time, where modern medicine has discovered blank, and what it really should be is basic medical science has observed these attributes according to these things that were discovered. If you really want to put a name on it, we don't have every book of human history, so who knows, but currently by the yellow emperor classic 2000 years ago. They also noted these cycles, and actually we'd like to look at that book because it seems like they were really interested in those cycles and maybe we can take that and actually look, oh, well maybe let's observe this part of the circadian rhythm or something like that. Anyway, so that's kind of the-

Mason Taylor:

The observation piece there is an interesting one because that's again, to take it back to magic, the reason I've been thinking a lot about it in terms of spectrums `of thinking …, spiral dynamics or Ken Wilber's evolutionary spiral of planes of consciousness and how that looks in institutions that we have, you can see coming out of, we've got a hierarchical before that military, different spectrums. You go back and you need to have integrated each of those levels and spectrums of thinking in order to be a complete person to move towards what's essentially teal is where they see it going now, fully integrated, multiple, kind of like a business. … is an ecosystem, so on and so forth.


And you can almost see it exactly. There's such lack of acknowledgement of The Yellow Emperor texts in Chinese medicine because it's like, don't do your own observation because observation leads to the magic. I think we're so... And we've poo pooed that level so much that there is an interconnection here, and you can observe it yourself and in fact you have to accept that you need to observe it and embody that understanding yourself where our universities are just like, stop thinking, stop questioning this. Just shut up. Take your medicine and rote, repeat this. So they're actually denying you the capacity to go and observe yourself and integrate that part of your psyche or your Spirit or essentially … that part of the phases and transitions within your own body.


And hence here we are and hence why there's a resurgence. Harmony is always going to occur. Why we see individuals going, no, I'm going to take responsibility for having my own observations. And the more people doing that.

Peter Galle:

And I think it's because there's a fear, there's a dynamic, I've noticed, a fear of getting it wrong. Because what happens is you get this double-edged sword in practising medicine that is not allopathy. Well, it's... Let's see, it's not proven by the randomised controlled method. So it better work. It better work exactly as you're saying it is or else it's a bunch of shit, basically, and you were totally wrong. And I went through this really strong psychic process of deconstruction and eventual understanding that that myth is so false. And the myth is that the more we know about the physical living system, the better we understand it. And because the better we understand it, then we can control its outcomes. And what I want to say to all that is this medicine, Chinese medicine, you are dealing with a living system. You are dealing with a living system that has a heart that's feeding in constancy until it's not. And there is an incredible level of complexity there.


And so what the original authors tried to do was simplify this complexity into an elegant system that you can interpret, and you can interpret it. And yet in the book, there are repeated passages and lines about when a certain system goes off, is too far gone, the patient will die in a certain amount of days. They were not naive to death. In fact, they wee... So there's this strange thing that goes on where it's like, I know what you're talking about in terms of the schools because it's like, if it becomes actually the process of your own perceptions and they're wrong, which they are going to be as a clinician. The process of understanding a disease pathogenesis in a patient is a constantly fluid process in the clinic for me. I'm constantly reintegrating new information, and that is always how it's going to be period. And sometimes a level and case, and we can talk about also disease depth and how there's a different view of that in Chinese medicine, but-

Mason Taylor:

That's so funny. I was literally just thinking about the depth …

Peter Galle:

Really?

Mason Taylor:

... just because, and so I don't want to break your flow, but when you were talking about-

Peter Galle:

No.

Mason Taylor:

... back then how if the invasion got to a certain layer or penetrated the heart, they weren't naive. They're like, we know that. And we also know that by having connection to your spirit that you don't have the spirit or the will to overcome this. That's an objective fact. We can feel it's not there. So therefore on your way out versus what we have today completely theoretical, look, based on this data, we're going to whack you in the middle here and just assume you have three to six months to live without objectively actually knowing whether that individual has the will to do it or not, and zero care. And that's when the magic people are, and I overcame it. It's like, well yeah, because you had the connection to your spirit and the willingness therefore to go and do the work, whereas this person didn't, so it's interesting how much in certain, in many areas, the sophistication 2000 years ago was so much more prevalent than it is now.

Peter Galle:

Yes. And you've hit on it exactly. The organ systems are all communicating different aspects of the personality, psyche, however you want to imagine human existence. And I don't want to box it in. Enough reading of Steven as taught me to be relaxed in my certainties. And I also have another favourite, a person that broke open classical Chinese for me is, he would not like this term, but a Sinologist named John Sikowski, and his actually translation method, I take really to heart with the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic, which is eliminating what is most improbable, we arrived to what is most probable. And then he is like, then fully understanding that the moment that we uncover more information, it has to directly reflect on what we found most probable and then make the probability of its improbability more together altogether. So you have to do this constant process with the text.


We can talk about the text later, but the point is the same thing in medicine, same thing. Same thing as text translation, same thing in medicine, same thing, and Steven talks a lot about this, about the difficulty, the psychic difficulty of following the …, becoming one with the earth, because you are simultaneously dealing with your own psychoses, your own messages about the earth, own messages about the planet, medicine, yourself, everything, and you're trying to arrive at some type of sanity around it all and integrate everything into the Heart.


And so to get back to this is they detail, in chapter eight, I was just going over the other day, very clearly, the processes of thought as they emanate from the heart and as they're related to the other organs, and they talk, it's very detailed about how different illnesses affect as such, the processes of thought and the mental stream and awareness. And so this is really awesome and interesting stuff because it's really simple. It's like someone who can't hold a line of thinking or thought, they might have a problem inside of their Heart. It could be that simple, and then someone's like, oh, well, et cetera, et cetera. It's like, no, it's just, look, they, they're detailing these physiological processes that are nested inside of a living, breathing, bleeding, pumping being that's warm, and it will radiate itself out the signs and symptoms automatically. We're telegraphing them and if we note something over and over again, we're going to write it down for you.


And so it's like this, I don't know... This is one of the things Todd and I say all the time is complexity, taking complexity from the text, most likely there's ignorance there. When things are simple, when they're simply coming from the text, most likely you've arrived to some state of clarity about it. And I think that is a big hurdle in terms of moving forward with Chinese medicine general, which is this need to over complexify the incredible simplicity because of this missing the part that they were actually looking at physiological processes and believing that physiological processes belong only to basic medical science and only to the purvey of allopathic medicine.


If you can, as a practitioner, if I'm talking to any practitioner out there that's listening, for real, if you can just let go of that hurdle and just read freely like, oh, we found this thing about the kidney that it actually regulates calcium, et cetera, you can free yourself in the sense that you can say, oh, okay, when they talk about the kidney regulating the heart, calcium homeostasis is essential to heart health because it has to do with smooth muscle and the actual contractile tissue of the skeletal muscle inside the heart. Okay, so the kidney's sick, can't regulate calcium, the heart may be affected. Okay, great, you don't have to do this either or thing. You can synthesise it all and then you can go back to your medicine and go, wow, they were unbelievable in their level of awareness.


So anyway, I kind of went on a tangent there where we're talking about the preventative part and also the ability to treat the stronger disease. So I just want to take a little pause in case you wanted to say something and then, yeah, I kind of went on a tangent.

Mason Taylor:

Something I probably haven't gone into depth about, we talk about the classics a lot and when I talk to practitioners, the classic that has been spoken about is the [foreign language 00:39:32]. And that probably doesn't get said enough on this podcast for the people listening. I'm the first practitioner who was practising classically who I actually felt had the capacity to facilitate it, but respect and respect and honour that he needed to feed back a perfect amount of information to myself so I could stand on my own two feet and gain real insight about how to operate this thing would always have the inner canon open.


And would say he'd be like, it would at least once a year. It's a beginning to end process, and I don't know whether there's a rule around it, just because a lot of people are like, how do I know that my acupuncturist is able to help facilitate this process? I see it as quite obvious. It's difficult to communicate, but that level of importance there, of working with that inner canon, working with that classical text in order to have the capacity to remain in these realms, where does that sit in your, how do you see that?

Peter Galle:

Yeah, until I exhaust myself, I have... Still learning how self-care as a practitioner, obviously, old story. I work with it every day, translate it every day. There'll be periods of time I'll go a couple weeks where I just have, it just becomes a lot. But that's actually a mental trickery because actually the text is extraordinarily illuminating. There's this myth about it that I can firmly dispel, which is, it's hidden behind some kind of secret door and you need to have special knowledge and things like that.


How did these humans come to write that book? They came to write that book with the same ears and eyes and hands and heart that you have, period. Whoever wrote that, and there's no anthropological evidence of this, I do think that it was probably an indigenous practise that got sucked up into the Han Dynasty. The reason why I think that is because a lot of the passages are not hierarchical, even though the text arrives and emerges much later. And it's put together by a practitioner named Wang Bing, and he says himself in the introduction that he adds a lot of these salutations or these deferences to the emperor to the text. So he's saying it wasn't appropriate to the level of an emperor so I made sure to put those in and make sure that all respect was paid to the emperor and things like that.


My thinking of it is that the text was written by people that were unbelievably intelligent and directly related to the solar cycle and the seasonal cycles. It was their livelihood to grow, to be able to grow plants, grow herbs, find herbs, take herbs, and that they also had incredible manufacturing skills. The ancient Chinese were able to make finely thin brocaded gold. They had incredible metallurgy skills. And so regardless if that's true or not, the text itself was written, and it's said in the very beginning, as a kindness to future generations. And please make it really clear, please write it down very clearly without any sort of poetic ideas or anything like that. And that is essential because I cannot tell you how many times I've opened that text and had a thought, like man, I really just don't understand this physiological thing they're talking about, or this concept that they're talking about. I'm just like, I really don't get it.


And the yellow emperor Huangdi in pinyin, will ask Qibo Lei Gong, it depends, the exact question I'm wondering, like, hey, I don't understand. What do you mean? The five motions are related to a day, like what we talked about before. And he painstakingly goes, okay, inside of the season of Spring, there is this motion that affects plants and humans, basically. And it goes like this in a cycle. That same cycle is the same thing that happens when the sun rises in the morning. And it's just very straightforward. So what I say about my apprehension with the text sometimes and the translation work, that's another conversation, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming and tedious, but ultimately a constant relationship with the text will solve so many issues in your thinking around it because it is the original medical text of all of these different concepts that they're writing down.


So I think it's absolutely essential, and I try to tell practitioners and people as much as I can, don't be afraid. Just go to it, start reading it, start reading a translation and then just start noting the characters and start to, oh, I see that character a couple of times. That's interesting. They translate it that way this time. Even translations that aren't, let's say, towards this medical vein, they're still going to inform you. And we can talk about classical Chinese too, but yeah, that's what I would say.

Mason Taylor:

I'm going to draw a big bridge and just go out the limb and ask this. So you going in and explaining the word lineage gets thrown around. And I can remember being in a ceremony when I was younger and thinking about the herbal path and had a sense of what you are talking about. Those who were bringing, whether it was an indigenous tradition, the realms that they were able to walk in. I can feel when you talk about it, it's not a theoretical knowledge, it's not a mind based knowledge. I can sense when I let go of remembering and rote learning it, I can feel peering in and I can feel it capitulating around me. And I remember being in a ceremony once and seeing a little opening and having, I could see sense two herbalist there going, come on in, not now, not yet. But yeah, keep on walking. And I just peered in and I was like, whoa. And I felt kind of like that overwhelming. That's a completely different world. And then as you walk towards it and talking and then maybe people are sensing when you're talking about these skills and this observation, you can feel the realm opening. And then I think about myself there, how long the path is, which is a beautiful thing, and how overwhelming it feels when I go rushing in and I can't quite hold my awareness and skill capacity. And so I step back and remember, this is where my, here's the importance of self cultivation as a practitioner, or here's the importance of keeping your container tight so you don't get invaded yourself, so on and so forth.


But then likewise, I feel when I run too fast in, I almost feel like I need to numb myself. And that's where I find I have at times and I've observed in others and practitioners, you see some practitioners lose themselves to the numbing of, whether it's substances, whether it's toxic mimics of plants, whether it's toxic mimics of substances, or just they numb in some other way.


And then quite often what you are using to numb yourself while not great, if you could go back to the essence of the thing, that thing that's the toxin is also potentially, there might be something there, which is your medicine to work with that is going to be the thing to help you along towards being able to hold the capacity. I saw you were talking about the plant and talking about connection with the plant recently. Funnily enough, my wife Tahnee was one of the responses you shared.

Peter Galle:

Totally, totally. Yes, yes. I know. It was an amazing moment. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

And I've had that with it with tobacco. Yes, the toxic mimic of tobacco. But if I track back what I was taught by the plant, we talked about it with cannabis, there's many ways to approach it. I thought I'd go out on a limb and just draw that line to see if you've got any distinction there.

Peter Galle:

Oh man, I love it.

Peter Galle:

Distinction.

Peter Galle:

Oh man, I love it. Well, Steven Buter obviously is, I mean, I just feel like you just say his name and then we can just talk about whatever.

Peter Galle:

Hell yeah.

Peter Galle:

Yeah. The mystery of this planet is just so intense, and I think that exactly what you said, going back to where you are with the plants in my personal experience are uncommonly kind. They're incredibly kind beings, the true examples of incredible giving. So plants are just quite remarkable. So I battled against my use of cannabis for many years. I mean, I thought it made... And I don't … see here I am even qualifying right now. I don't use it that much. There's just this constant rhetoric or thought or idea about the plant. And for a while I thought, "Oh, if I use it at all and it makes me a bad doctor", just all these just crazy thoughts about it.


And then I was working with the... Actually, the didgeridoo. I play the didgeridoo a lot, and I was working with the plant and there's this incredible healing experience with the plant, and it was deeply kinesthetic, vibratory, and just really healing from my heart, my body, and teaching me all the different things about my posture. Like see how you're holding your shoulders and when you're holding your shoulders like this, it affects your heart this way. And can you try to just sit your shoulders back a little bit or see how much stress you're putting on your lower back, just these tiny things and way beyond the use of the plant, just little things. I'd be walking and I say, "Hey, I just want you to know all the anxiety you're holding in your heart. Can you just relax that?" And just amazing experiences like that. And again, I think the fear around plants is what is causing me to try to justify this too.


So I just want to give the listener a word of caution. I am justifying and I want people to have a free relationship with plants and herbs, totally, 100%, and make their own decisions. I will say it's really fascinating to me that they found that tomb in China, which I mentioned a little bit, but where they're doing these marijuana ceremonies, where they're burning, and psychoactive versions of the plants. So they were purposely hybridising the plant to have more psychoactive components in these, what they think were sensors. And you'd come into this cave from what I understand, and you would inhale, and it was said to help you talk with spirits, basically, to kind of have a transpersonal, transformational experience. The indigenous idea about the text that's in here, because the plan is so kinesthetic, it is so aware making of your physicality, that I have just my own personal thinking, what if they were hand in hand? What if people were ingesting this plant?


I think it's native to China, although again, we don't have a whole planetary history, but just from what we know, what if they were ingesting this plant and also treating, feeling things in their body, writing it down. What if it was... And of course, indigenous cultures use plants all the time. I mean, you look at, I just read Wizard of the Upper Amazon and it's about the Huni Kui and Manuel Córdova- Rios being a Peruvian, being captured by them. And I mean, they're using tonnes of different plants to augment their understanding of reality and relationship to their climate, to hunting patterns, to the way they fit in society.


Obviously Terence McKenna's idea about the stoned ape hypothesis, I mean, the use of plants to... And even in the practise itself, which you haven't even gotten into mugworts or artemisia use, but moxa, that was the final bastion of my reductionist mind. By the way, I'm talking really nice about Chinese medicine now. For me, I say a lot in the plant that helped me most with this was peyote. I was so cynical, and I realised that cynicism for me, at least from peyote, from sacred cactus, what it was telling me was is because you're wounded, you're deeply wounded in your heart, and that cynicism is a wound of your heart. And it's kind of...

Mason Taylor:

How long did you work with that cynicism?

Peter Galle:

There's this, I think in Stephen's most recent book Becoming Vegetalista, he talks about just the terrible voices as he started walking down the plant path that he would fight and just wrestle with, and just nights of feeling insane basically, totally, absolutely insane. And recovering a psyche just enough. And then he talks about talking in public and somebody saying in the audience the exact thing that he had been dealing with five years before about plants. And he realised with this wave of gratitude actually in the whole book, "How difficult it is to thank our most difficult of teachers", I think is what he says.


But every day for years, because what was happening was in clinic, so I was working, experimenting with these things. I was shown some things by that teacher I mentioned, but there was no real actually instruction or training at what we were doing. It's one of the things that I had issues with later. But I would take them back into the student clinic and I would work with them, and I would see real time what could happen if you were actually manipulating tissue in a way that was looking for problems. But also, when working with that way, you can really change the body system and hurt the body. And so I was also in this constant process of going too far, looking at this edge, trying to learn how to recover things, and seeing things change dramatically. I remember I was just a first year intern and this person had untreatable cellulitis and, infection of the skin in their lower legs.


And I treated along the pathway in an abdominal. They had a gallbladder removal and I had just treated that and basically resolved the cellulitis within two or three weeks. And I had been in for maybe a year at this point as a clinical intern. And okay, so I have that piece of information. And then I have the absolute torrent of negative thinking which comes after that, which is, "Well, how do you really know? Are you sure it did this? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And then of course that negative thinking never showed up if I made a patient sicker in clinic. It was always like, "You made the patient sicker. You messed up." Suddenly somehow the medicine's totally powerful, which it is. And then suddenly in these other cases when it might have cured something or totally resolved something, it's not at all, and it's like this terrible ring and no one to really talk to about it, honestly. Totally isolated.


And then also dealing with the truth. Then there was a patient recently that was on a medication that they shouldn't have been on, and they started having a really bad internal bleeding issue, and I wasn't able to treat them. They immediately were admitted to the hospital and they basically started to produce the signs of the … or the greatest Yin, the pancreas Spleen circulation pathway, death passages. So there's a passage where basically the pathway, the vascular pathway, the Fluid pathway, which I talked about a little bit, starts to exhibit signs of death. And basically you start swelling all over. And if you're still vomiting and having diarrhoea, it's actually a good sign. And if your face is red above, it's okay, if I'm remembering the passage correctly, and you have a chance. But a moment you stop diarrhoea and vomiting, you actually have gone, and you still have the signs and symptoms, you're dying.


And the exact thing happened to them. They were in critical ICU, and they were going back and forth to different types of care, and I was getting these updates. And immediately when they started having vomiting and diarrhoea, my heart sank, because at the time they were treating it like something that was still able to be treated. But I thought to myself, I said, "Nothing that they can do at this point now. If they stop this... They got C. diff in the hospital." But of course, that's still the symptom of vomiting and diarrhoea. And so I tried to... There's no way I can go into the hospital in the US with the way that case was being held.


And then basically it was just a slow decline. And no matter what they did, no matter how many drains they put in, once the system is broken, according to the texts, which again, there's ways to study this by the way, which is a whole other conversation, but that's kind of it. And they just had a decline and they're kind of on different support systems. And anyway, so my point about telling that story is all of that smashed together into the clinical encounter. The reality of that things can go wrong, be made worse, and someone can die. The reality that you can avoid it and can treat it, and potentially if they have the resources that their body is able to heal, they can recover. And then having the other voice inside you that this is all bullshit. So yeah.

Mason Taylor:

You mentioned before about talking about the layers of the body and layers of disease.

Peter Galle:

This is a very good example. That case is very good example of this because... I'll give you another example. So I worked with somebody with, it's called, it's called IGA nephropathy, and it's when the... So two different cases I'm mentioning now. Another one, and this is a really important point, and this case over here, which had a bleeding disorder inside of their gastrointestinal system. The case on the left or whatever, right in your auditory space with the IGA nephropathy, which is when immune cells are made incorrectly inside of the Peyer's patches inside of the gut, that's where most of your IGA comes from actually, they're made wrong and they go when every time you have a viral response or immune response in general but usually viral, it hits the kidney wall, and because it's misshapen, there's a protein inside and a type of sugar I believe that rips the kidney cell and then it shreds the kidneys and you bleed.


Basically you have coke bottle urine. So when they came in in terms of Chinese medicine, they had a very ashen white dry skin phase as well as a black and sort of blue colour. So it was the Kidney, the Lung, and the Liver systems that were off, with a little bit of redness, which also implied issue with inflammatory problems probably in the digestive tract and potentially a heart issue. So there's four different involvements, four different organs that are having a problem in this person. And using needle therapy, using a heat therapy, which we can talk about later, which actually exacerbated their condition, which I'll talk about in a second. But using needle therapy and working on their tissues in different ways, working on their vasculature, they are technically quote un quote, don't have it anymore. They'll always have it potentially, and again, I'm not overly... But every time they were getting sick, they were getting sick every two or three weeks, they had a coke bottle urine, their kidneys themselves were having really poor filtration rates.

 

 They're totally healed now, they don't have any problems with their Kidneys, they don't bleed when they get sick. They were looking at beginning the process of trying to get on a list for potentially eventually a kidney transplant, eventually down the road. They weren't at that place yet. They were asked to be put on a medication that is very helpful in preserving Kidney function. But what it does is it pushes glucose out of the body so it doesn't have to process it. So you get all these UTIs and urinary tract infections because you have a higher sugar rate inside your urinary tract. And also, the medication was rejected from the FDA multiple times in the United States for other reasons, the toxicity, and it finally got passed. So that was after 16 treatments. So they have a life-threatening organ terminal illness, like the kidney's going to die. Basically their nephrologist was like, "Hey, we're just preserving at this point. You're eventually going to have to have a kidney transplant."


They, for all intents and purposes, they're good right now. And their Chinese medicine diagnosis, they look a lot better, less intensity of the colour, less dryness to the skin, less darkness. They actually had deep circles next to their eyes, which depending on how you read a passage, that could have indicated that they're still not cured in Chinese medicine, they're still having some type of issue going on. But the greater organ disharmony is relaxing. You have this other patient that I talked about before. When they came in and they had switched to this medication, they had already had an extremely white face. If you held them up, two pictures of these people, you would look to the right and say, "That person has a white face." Extremely red, implied a Lung and Heart involvement. And the Lung itself is, depending on how you look at it, the root of the digestive tract. It shares a intimate relationship to the pancreas and the Spleen, which is what began to bleed in them.


When I saw them, I saw them intermittently and infrequently. They had a lot of surgeries, a lot of other health issues, heart issues, things like that. They had cardiac problems, blocked arteries, things like that, on different medications for that. I was treating them ostensibly for pain, but I was talking with them a lot, "Hey, look, this is a broader issue here." When they came in on this medication, this is one of these moments that also I want to say, would routinely haunt me. Immediately my gut dropped and I saw their face had turned much whiter than it was, and I just thought to myself, "They cannot be on that medication." And I didn't know why. And at the time I was busy in clinic and I was like, "You've got to look at that medication for them. Don't forget." And I looked it up and I saw there might've been a bleeding disorder.


Literally seven days later, they started to have the bleed, and then started that process. And so what I want to highlight there is that they ostensibly had a lot of organ issues and difficulties, but they weren't necessarily in a terminal organ problem. They had cardiac issues and things like that, but their colours were dramatically different. This one, the one that would eventually pass away, had extremely obvious colour signs. And so what I'm trying to say to all that is that you can have different levels of disease where you can have somebody come in with IGA nephropathy and look like the patient that eventually passed away, so extreme colour level, and immediately you'd be like, "Hey, this is not going to be easy. This is going to be difficult."


And in fact, they talk about it in the Yellow Emperors Inner Classic where if the level of tension inside of the artery is at a competing, and this is... Sorry, this is getting a little too complicated. But basically, if an organ is being told inside the pulse that is contradicting the organ that's showing in the face, you've got your work cut out for you basically, meaning, so if there's a Kidney pulse and they have a blanch red face... Or sorry, they have a bright red face, you've got a problem on your hands, and the patient most likely is going to die.

Mason Taylor:

And why is that exactly? What's going on?

Peter Galle:

Yes. Yes. So this is where the beauty... I'm trying to fit all these things together. This is where the beauty and elegance is. I think I can do it. If you have a mild Winter... This is real, this is meteorological science. What I believe, if I'm correct on this, is you have a much hotter Summer. If you have a very cold winter, you usually have a milder summer. And that's because the relative heat in your local climate, when the sun hits at that certain angle, it is when it's colder, literally the temperature is colder, it takes more energy to heat up. And by the time you get to that Summer, it just does not have literally as much energy. Because of this, it might have been that they made an association that we see of the five phases, and they said Winter has victory over Summer. Basically, there is an aspect of Winter or the Kidney that controls the Summer, how well the Winter works.


In nature, there's not really a pathology, but in a human being, if the Kidney is weak and unable to manage the level of temperature in the body properly, then the possibility is that you actually have a problem in your Heart. Because of this understanding of the Kidney's role in relationship to filtering Fluids, filtering urination, which is a whole other thing about Cold and the processing of Water, but if the Kidney is having a problem, then most likely it's having a problem controlling the Heart. And so they set up this whole diagram, I think based on, this is what I was saying before, is that they weren't overlaying these ideas. They were seeing the ideas firsthand. And so the Heart and the Kidney are directly related. And if you look at basic medical science, that's true they're intimately related, their health. So does that kind of make sense that...

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. Follow up. Follow up …

Peter Galle:

Okay, sorry. So if you felt this deep encamped pulse, this very dense pulse inside of the arterial wall, basically, when you're feeling, what the idea is is the Kidney's sick. But if you're red in your face, that means the Heart's sick too. So now you have two organs that should be controlling each other and resolving each other, and now they're both sick. As a practitioner, what are your choices? You've got to figure out how to resolve and make the Kidney healthy I guess. That's where I would go with it. Yeah. So that's why they're giving you all these warning signs like, "Hey, this could lead to death. Be aware of it."

Mason Taylor:

And then I guess it's not too much hope, but to an extent, I'll just use the word hope, that it's not too late, that the Heart isn't so impacted and the Fire isn't so impacted that you can by altering the Winter, by … strengthening the capacity to regulate through the Cold. Yeah, follow up there. I talk a lot about, I empathise with people like me who are, I call myself like a scallywag herbalist, and I just talk about lifestyle and really broad stuff and have fun there. And I love talking to practitioners who are so focused in clinic, and I talk a lot about the bridge between those two places where someone, a patient or an individual is in clinic and acknowledging that they are there because there's an extreme weakness or whatever it is, whatever … symptom.


And then verse outside going, you can stay in treatment mode and that works and you need to have the capacity to do that. But when you're in whatever cultivation mode or the place where you... There's some type of Will, I guess, keep talking about Kidneys and Will is very appropriate here, but do you have the willingness? And I know that we can do so much to get this out of the way, but as you said in the text, it talks about there will be these emotions or thoughts that are associated with that channel. And knowing that you are going to need to do something so significant in your everyday life that is going to put you on a path to cultivating the will, not only to survive, but to do something that's in alignment like your truth. How do you resolve that? How do you work with that?

Peter Galle:

So I just want to say, and I mean this truthfully, you're not a scallywag herbalist. Working with plants and working with the earth and people is really a special thing. And you have to... What you've done, I've looked over everything and read everything that I could find and the amount of effort that you had to singularly, and Tahnee and everyone around you had to put in, but to go and do these things, find the plants, talk to the people, figure out how to process them, it's a really important sacred thing. And obviously humour, and I want to take down my own pedestal all the time too and not be so self-important and I just want to do it here too, because what we're both responding to and every practitioner out there and the people that are farming is a need. There's a need for people to have things and things that are helping them, and it requires a shit load of work to do wherever you are in that train to show up and help.


And so yeah, I just want to say that and to say that to you. And yeah, like I said, when I received what you sent me, I mean, they're beautiful. The smells are there, it's extremely rich, and I can feel it. I took it and I feel amazing. And so it's important to have this access to plants and what they can do, and it's just important. So I just want to say that. And then what I want to say about preventative health, man, I mean... Well, what they say in The Yellow Emperors Inner Classic is that if you understand the cycles of TN, which is a whole thing, but the way I look at that and view that is solar infused sky vault basically, because they would've been looking up when the main source of Yang, that incredibly potent and distilled energy that's coming from the sun, which by the way, this is where science is beautiful.


Entropy talks about this very beautifully. We get this really purified form of energy. It comes right in. That's exactly what they say, this pure Yang basically. Although you can never divide Yin from Yang, which is true, but this almost quintessence, if you look at the sun, don't recommend it during the day, but it's bright white. It's incredibly white actually. It's just pure white. It's like this epitome of this very rich source of energy. And then as we find out in the observations of entropy, we dispel the exact amount of energy from that intake, the exact same. The only difference is the energy quality is different. And on its way into us and out of us, it goes through this transformation. And this transformation, in that transforming and that preserving, which is an active process of the body, we are able to maintain, preserve, and procreate, just through that energy passing through the planet. And then we have all these structures that are built up around it because of that. I mean, it's absolutely insane. So preventative health was seen as a very good relationship to the literal lift of your...

Peter Galle:

... to the literal lift of your circulatory, your vasculature, with that blast of heat every day, and then conserving things, and that blast of heat, for at least in the northern latitudes, or southern latitudes, beyond a certain latitude. And there are changes, actually, around the equator too. They're just a little bit more with water and dryness. You would observe this very well. And you would match your physical output directly to the amount of solar energy. And specifically, if there were clouds and weather in the sky, you would take care and pay attention. And I used to think that also, again, that cynicism and reductionist mindset. Basically, the way I looked at the text is... I just was like, "Yeah. Right." I would just read it, like, "Yeah. Right. Whatever." And then, I would research. I would research and research, and research. And I'd be like, "Oh my goodness." They are crazy. They are insane, their level of understanding. But one of the things they talk about is, they're really obsessed with what happens during an eclipse.


And they note all these changes that happen to the human body and plants. And they were like, "Basically, the Qi diminishes, the form slacks and wilts. Plants diminish." Et cetera. And I was like, "Okay. Is that really..." "Yes, that happens. That happens when the sun goes away, just for one day, into eclipse. All of the plants' physiology, and up to us too, of course, changes. You change because, when that sun hits, your heartbeat increases, your... Everything. Hormonally, there's this huge cascade that happens. And you sleep longer in the Winter. You sleep less in the..." It's ridiculous. What they would say is, basically, if you... And they were having trouble syncing with this 2000 years ago. The opening of the book says, "People have a hard time. They don't understand." Et cetera. But basically, if you did that, then you would sync yourself to the greatest conductor of our reality, which is the sun. And you would be completely in sync.


And as such, each of your organs would be properly working, and they'd be generating their own Jing, their own quintessence of Fluid, that would rise and build the literal tissues of your body, and fill your form. And if you did that, basically, you wouldn't have to be worried. And you wouldn't have to be worried about the comings and goings of disease, basically. I saw a quote, recently, you put up. And that was their preventative health. It was cyclical observation. And then, also, just basic things, like, "Don't work out like an insane person when it's really hot out. Don't do it. Don't sweat a bunch. That's crazy. You're exhausting yourself. You're losing all this vital fluid. Don't go out when it's too cold, when it's really cold." And often, this turns into Chinese medicine, like very, very weather phobic people. They're like, "Oh, it's too cold."

Mason Taylor:

Yeah.

Peter Galle:

But it's not that. This is what happens. You can tell, when you're outside, and it's too cold for you, and it's going to be different for everyone, you start feeling sick. You walk outside. And you're either exhausted, you haven't eaten properly, you have.... Oh, and the other thing was syncing, properly, food to your day, with the correct timing, which fits right in with all the intermittent fasting, and ideas about glucose and immunity, et cetera. They knew the food component too. Anyway. But the point is, you go outside, you're feeling weak, you stayed up too late, haven't eaten properly, and you just feel a sense of distress. I know it in myself now, where I'm like, "Hey, something's not right. This is too cold for me. My body is, really, throwing up a lot of chills." And it could be 65 degrees, and the sun is setting. That is the moment where you are pushing on your immunity, your immune system, your vital forces, and it's being depressed by the outside environment. And that's why they class the outside of environment as an external influence that... What does it do?


It uses the normal vascular pathways that your Heart is pumping, that are being lifted by the solar-infused sky, and quieted at night, when it goes away. It's using those same pathways, and the same reverberating, coursing Blood and Fluid to now create symptoms and symptomatology, that we all recognise this disease. They did too. Like, "Oh, I'm feeling chill. I can't get warm anymore. I have a light sweat." Or whatever that is. Okay. Now what was normally [foreign language 01:16:41], or true, or flowing, is now [foreign language 01:16:44], or being externally mediated. And now, your normal circadian rhythms... Which is true. When you have disease, like serious diseases, it sets in, your circadian rhythms get messed up, because your organs get messed up.


It's exactly what they say. And it goes too deep, and it actually gets into your organs. Guess what happens? You start getting sick during the day. Because as that lood flow comes out of your organs to extravasate and go peripheral, your organs are left at a different level of metabolism. What happens? You feel sicker, because they don't have that extra nourishment of the Blood. It's that simple. Anyway, to bring this all together, preventative health, the way I deal with it in clinic is, I try to educate people in circadian rhythm, and, really, try to explain that. I try to do it in ways that are going to work for them and their understanding. But honestly, modern life is... I try to be optimistic, but with the light pollution, the changes, the constant work schedules, the inability to be in nature, there's a lot of real challenges.


I think tonic herbalism is a huge role here, because that will actually help relax and diminish some of the inflammatory cycles of your organs. It can be of a huge help. And I think we need all the help we can get, because it is super difficult to circadian sync when you have light pollution and incessant work schedules. Yeah. I write out a packet for my patients, and they say, "This is what you can do to feed your Liver. And this is what you can do. And you can put on the blue light blocking glasses. You can do all these things." And I just try to remind them of it as much as I can. But ultimately, it's a challenge. Anyway. I went on forever there.

Mason Taylor:

I love it. Two questions. The little vision I was getting them, when you were sharing that, was how fun it would be to, eventually, see a Taoist meteorologist doing the weather report daily. That would be fun.

Peter Galle:

That would be awesome.

Mason Taylor:

Could see you doing that. "It's cloudy out, everybody. It's spring here. We're going to get those windy northeasterlies. Everyone have a wind breaker? Not a … stuff. We just want you … prepared, everyone. Don't forget it."

Peter Galle:

Totally. I would watch you do that. That sounds awesome.

Mason Taylor:

I might recruit someone. I'm getting good at delegating these days.

Peter Galle:

Gosh. Teach me that.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. I'm having a good time getting dragged through my wet, soggy, soil transition energy, and go and digest all of that stuff, and take the reins of the thing that you created.

Peter Galle:

Totally.

Mason Taylor:

It's been good. It's been a few years, but it's been a really nice, harsh initiation for me. It is like we're coming towards the end of a big metal period, for SuperFeast, in the business. We're in a sharpening phase at the moment, which is really nice.

Peter Galle:

Awesome.

Peter Galle:

Do you share... You've got, maybe, a place on Instagram, I don't know, where you're sharing a little bit of extra deep stuff. Because I imagine there might be a few people who are keen to hear your voice a little bit more. I really do appreciate the way you have gone so deep into... And you're so rooted within the classics. But you're not getting sucked into the soul. Again, I find so many people do get consumed by it, and aren't, exactly, in the exploration. Just even you bringing up intermittent fasting, and these things that are trending, and the blue blocking glasses, it's hard to hold the modern and the classic. And I really value, obviously, how long you sit and consider, and not just go, "Oh yes, in the West, this means this in Chinese medicine."

Peter Galle:

Right. Yes.

Mason Taylor:

You've got to sit there and really consider it.

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

Do you talk about stuff in other places?

Peter Galle:

Right now, I guess I'm in a metal phase too. My life changed a lot. Three years ago, middle of the pandemic, I just had those experiences professionally, that I alluded to before. And my life turned upside down. I thought I was going one way, and things changed completely. My colleague, Todd, really pulled me out of it, and returned my deep love of the medicine. In that, we've begun to teach people, practitioners, small groups. And we're building that now. My tendency to perfectionism, which I am really trying to let die, is that... The text is just so illuminating that one of the thoughts I have is, "Oh, if this passage... Maybe it's like this. And then, if they just had that piece of information, it would be better for them." It's like a constant reworking.


When we had our first class, they were so amazed. They loved it. And that was just like a tip of the iceberg. And I had this realisation, I was like, "Okay." There's just a lot to go through, a lot of understanding to go through. We're in this process right now, of developing another class, having it again in Los Angeles. But there's also this thing, where I want to talk about it more in a public forum. But I've had all these ideas, like, "Oh, you can't." Blah, blah, blah. I don't actually have anything, really, set up. I've just been starting to do the IG lives a little more. But, no, I don't have anything yet. But I do think that there's a real want, or a need, just from non practitioners.

Mason Taylor:

Absolutely.

Peter Galle:

Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

And that's the beautiful bridging of non-practitioners having...

Peter Galle:

Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

First of all, getting the opportunity, and being respected enough to get the opportunity, to find their feet in these conversations, where they can actually be engaged, rather than it being behind this closed door, and going, "Oh, gosh. You plebs will never understand the complexity …."

Peter Galle:

Totally. Totally. Yeah. Honestly, it starts from a profound level of, whatever, psychic insecurity on my own part. Because every time I want to go out and talk about it, I'm like, "Oh, what's going to be helpful for a day-to-day person?" And what I realise is, just talking with you now, and also just... I think what you said before, about the blue light blocking glasses, and this, I think what all of those ideas... Even when I read that circadian rhythm paper, the 2016 one, what I'm just shook by is the incredible level of reductionism, which Steven talks about, of course, and dismissal of the organic life form. And I think what the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic, really reminds you about is... The simplicity of language returns you to the phenomena that's occurring right now. It's a phenomena that's happening.


Every morning, when you wake up, your heart... Boom. You're alive. And I think that really is just an important part, an aspect of it, which is... And that's, I said before, why it's so important to let go of the boundary between basic medical research papers. Because it will empower you, as a practitioner, or as a person, as a lay person, I should say, now, to take the information, and to not let it become reductionistic, but to take it like, "Oh, right. My Kidney is a living system. It's a living, beautiful thing. It's inside my body. It's receiving Blood right now. It's managing all these things, but it's also giving my sensation of... As I read it recently, your sensation of will, my feeling of carrying something out in the world. And if I'm looking at my projects, and I'm not feeling them, like I... I listened to your Jing video. And I was thinking about what you were saying with this.


It says, if that starts to break down, you can simply just say, "Oh man, maybe my Kidneys are having a little bit of a trouble right now. How am I taxing my Kidneys? I am staying up very late. I'm eating very late. It's probably messing up my Liver system. And I started to take this one supplement that, actually, maybe, hurts my Kidneys when it filters it." It can make you aware. As we're talking right now, I'm just realising, you can begin to simply self-diagnose yourself, and empower your relationship to your organs. Yeah. That's a good point.

Mason Taylor:

I think that's a great direction. I'm hoping that I can... I'm swinging through LA next year, in around February or March.

Peter Galle:

Oh, amazing.

Mason Taylor:

Maybe we can try a second podcast then. I think that's a beautiful place to consider, gaining, cultivating the capacity to observe yourself and your family, essentially, having an appropriate amount of terminology, where you can diagnose and understand, and feel, "Oh, I didn't surf the waves of a transition." I don't know why. I can just see someone in the house gaining the capacity to... Just learning the basics of needling, and what a profound impact and shockwave that's going to have around the world when that starts to occur in the West.

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

And I think these are the things we could use as a launching pad for that second chat. Is there anything else I was thinking about? Maybe we can... Not dive into this, but I know, probably, as you know, one of your colleagues, and heard a little bit about the instance with the teacher, or mentor, and had one very similar experience with that. It turned me highly cynical, also got me on a beautiful trajectory, since I was able to ride the waves and understand. Yeah. That's why I asked about your cynicism, because I had to work with that for many years as well.

Peter Galle:

Yes.

Mason Taylor:

And I'm just starting to read a few Taoist texts-

Peter Galle:

I'm sorry. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

... that do talk about masters and, even though honour and respect of a master, and a teacher, is necessary, how to discern how much to hand over, and what is appropriate, so that you aren't left vulnerable to get those big king hits, although, sometimes, you need a king hit.

Peter Galle:

Sure.

Mason Taylor:

I don't know. I just, maybe, wanted to acknowledge that. We don't have to take it any further, but I appreciate you sharing that. Yeah. It's not all just rainbows and butterflies, and unicorn farts on this path.

Peter Galle:

Yes. Exactly. And I just want to honour that. Yeah. I dishonour that experience that you had. Yeah. I can sympathise this... Other than some things that happened in my childhood, probably the most painful thing that happened. Yeah. It's part of, actually, the reason why I've also been tentative around teaching, in general, not to commit the same mistakes, also why I've been tentative around making... You know what book saved me? Actually, I wanted to tell you, what book saved me was that same book by Steven. I was in the middle of that storm, and I read that book. And that book touched my heart in such a deep way. It made me realise that something was really amiss, although I couldn't really process it at the time when I read it. I was just like, "Wait a minute, something's wrong here. And I'm feeling something that should be..." And then, a bunch of things were revealed right after that, that helped me make some transitions. Yeah. It's a very severe wound. It's definitely a king knock, as you said. Is that what you said, "King knock?"

Mason Taylor:

Yeah.

Peter Galle:

And it did create a lot of good, overall. Also, there's a lot of pain there. Yeah, we could talk a long time about that.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. I do commend you for sharing it, but also working with it, and that book, yeah, Secret Teachings of Plants, I believe, is the one, for everyone-

Peter Galle:

Yes. Exactly.

Mason Taylor:

... listening, the old adage of, "The scars are where the light gets in, and where it shines out in the most potent manner." Yeah. Props to you for sharing that as well, and something I've had to learn in an appropriate manner, shared just enough that is useful for anyone else who's there. That's what I actually learned from Steven as well, and just hearing him talk about how bacteria and viruses, but especially bacteria, will leave genetic data lying around for the next generation. But there was almost a sense of what he was talking about, that they left just enough so it was digestible and relatable to them, without oversharing, of how to evolve…

Peter Galle:

I need some of that bacterial wisdom. Amazing.

Mason Taylor:

Far out. Yeah. It's beautiful to hear... Because it is lonely when you go through that. And I definitely felt very alone. When it gets to the point in hearing... Being able to relate to those experiences, and just how significant they are. Yep. Respect to you.

Peter Galle:

Yes. Same to you.

Mason Taylor:

And likewise, for anyone wanting to work with you clinically... Is that all face-to-face, that you're doing in LA?

Peter Galle:

Yes. And also, I do treat people in the United States, long distance, with herbs. As you say, we percolate... We are trying to revive, somewhat... It happened, what's the word, synchronistically. We were doing percolation tinctures and fine grinding them, and then passing different ratios of solvents over them, for my own patients, basically, just to get medicines to them. But then, I read this thing from Remington's 1901 pharmaceutical handbook. And I was reading through it. And it was all about how they had this incredibly sophisticated process of making medicine, before the synthesis of medicine, where they would have these powdered drugs, and they would do this process. Anyway. Steven, again, talks about this. And he talks about how it's a lost art. It used to be that pharmacists were able to know, exactly, the ratios, to get the exact amount. And it was a process of, literally, sifting to a certain micron level, and that...

 


Anyway. Amy and I, my wife, we just do that, and go at that, and basically, use those medicines for treatment. What will happen is... Listen to signs and symptoms, also history, the facial colour, tongue as well, to a degree, can't take the pulse, obviously. And from that, I'll design a formula for them, and then lifestyle suggestions. And also, just being a patient advocate is a big part of it, and just, really, helping people navigate the medical situation, especially if they're dealing with a chronic disease. As you know, with Steven's work on Lyme and co-infections, I've read a lot in that, from his work, and also just working with that myself. The level of literacy in terms of what these things could be is very low, typically, in an average patient experience. Yeah. That's what I do. I work online, and in person, in Los Angeles.

Mason Taylor:

Beautiful. For you lucky ducks in North America, you can get access to that. And likewise, for everyone outside of America, just understanding some of the qualities... The way I see it, they're like... And if you are looking for someone to partner with, along your healing path, you can sense some of the qualities here. And it increases your IQ, about questions to ask and qualities to look for when you're searching for a practitioner. Thank you so much for sharing far out. What a goodie. What a fun…

Peter Galle:

Yes. Thank you so much for having one here. I really appreciate it. I really appreciate your time, and very honoured by your request. I'm happy to be here.

Mason Taylor:

Thank you. Yeah, for me and the whole community. This is going to be one a lot of my team will be listening to, as well. That doesn't happen for every episode, but I feel it. I feel it. Yes. Power to you. Thank you. Big love. And I will, hopefully, see you early next year.

Peter Galle:

That sounds amazing.

 

 

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