Today's guest Dr. Daniel Keown is an author (The Uncharted Body and The Spark In The Machine), licensed acupuncturist, and a registered medical doctor (trained and specialising in emergency medicine). In this compelling conversation, Tahnee and Daniel discuss the problem with western medicine (and its lack of predictive power), the subtlety of acupuncture, Qi in the body, The TCM Channel system (Jing Luo), Fascia, understanding how the body works, and the all-pervading spark that is electricity.
Daniel's brilliant mind and extensive education allows him to illuminate the distinctions and integral components of traditional Chinese medicine and western allopathic medicine with a simplicity that seems effortless. This conversation is a beautifully comprehensive scope into the organising life force of the body (Qi) and the Jing Luo channel system that allows us to reimagine the body as a landscape with folds, creases, hollows, and structures, all connected by a system of energetic intelligence.
- Dr. Daniel Keown
Tahnee and Dr. Daniel discuss:
- Qi is spirit.
- The triple burner.
- Movement and electricity.
- Pregnancy and Jing essence.
- How Qi operates in the organs.
- The TCM channel system (Jing Luo).
- Hypertension and low blood volume.
- The Lymphatic system and Gaulbladder.
- How Qi, Jing and Shen operate in the body.
- The predictive power of traditional Chinese medicine.
- The subtleness of acupuncture in emergency medicine.
- Why movement is so important to the flow of Qi in the body.
- The damaging effects of Western pharmaceuticals on the body.
Who is Daniel Keown?
Dr. Daniel Keown MD MCEM Lic Ac became interested in Chinese medicine when hearing from his octogenarian grandmother about her traveling around China. In 1998 he qualified in medicine from Manchester University, England, and then obtained a degree in Acupuncture from The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in 2008.
He continues to practice Western medicine having passed the membership exams of the College of Emergency Medicine (MCEM) in 2014. His enduring aim is to re-establish acupuncture and Qi at the forefront of medicine in the West. To this aim, he published The Spark In The Machine in 2014, which shows how the principles of Chinese medicine can be fully explained with a deeper understanding of how the human body works, an understanding that necessitates a semi-mystical force at work ie Qi. He lives in Kent, England, with his wife and two children, and still searches for the elusive perfect wave.
Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?
A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus we're on Spotify!
Check Out The Transcript Here:
Yeah, I'm really excited to have you. I just wanted to give you a quick intro to what we do, so you have some context.
So we have a Taoist tonic herb company here, my husband and I. My background is a little bit more... I've studied with someone called Mantak Chia, so I've done a fair bit of Taoist healing work. And we've both studied herbalism, but we have a lot of practitioners, a lot of people who are really interested in healing, listening to our podcast. It goes around the world. We've ranked in lots of countries, which is weird to us. But mostly our audience is in the Western countries, but we do have... Strangely, we're very popular sometimes in Korea and other places, which is very odd to me.
But yeah. So, we tend to just talk about topics related to health and wellness through the lens of the Eastern medicine practice, but also open to all sorts of things.
I'm also a Yin Yoga teacher, like I said, so I got introduced to your work a long time ago by my teacher. And yeah, so that's all that stuff around fascia and the more modern research around what might be going on in the body that starts to validate the Eastern model is really exciting to me.
So that's the framework of what we do. We try to stay away from pathology. We're really interested in how people can take healing into their own hands. So that lens of education. But we do have a lot of practitioners, so I'm quite excited. I saw you've got some more courses coming up as well soon. So I'm excited to promote your work.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:33)
Well. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you, Tahnee. What I didn't understand was how Qi operated in the organs. And so then I sat down and wrote The Uncharted Body. And when I started writing that book, I didn't actually know... Oh, wow. You've got it.
We've got a couple of copies actually. We were going to do a giveaway. We've got a few of The Spark as well, but yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:55)
Oh, great. Yeah.
Hopefully to someone who will understand it. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:59)
Yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. So that's what I'm turning into a course at the moment. Effectively, what I'm going to do is just turn that into animations.
Mm. Yeah. The visualisations you do. Yeah, they're really good. And I remember years ago, you had some Vimeo videos as well that were addressing Qi and a few things.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (02:22)
This is probably five or six years ago from memory.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (02:27)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (02:28)
Yeah. That's right. Yeah. They're all still valid those videos, but I think what's happened is I've got much more sophisticated in my understanding of what's going on. So especially with regard to how simple it is, it's all very simple. That's one of the things I try and impress upon people. I mean, that book you just picked up, effectively, that takes you beyond university PhD level embryology.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (03:00)
I bumped into an anatomy professor and I was talking about the coelomic epithelium, which forms the [inaudible 00:03:07] channel. And he'd never had a conversation like that with anyone ever before. And he was like, "Well, I'll have to actually check some of this stuff."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (03:17)
So, even though that book looks dense and it looks thick, that is a complete anatomy, embryology, physiology, and medicine book. So it is actually not as onerous as it seems, because if you can understand that book, you basically understand medicine at a level that's beyond Western medicine at the moment.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (03:41)
And the main thing is, it's just a translation. It didn't come out of my brain. The translation came out of my brain, but it's a translation of Chinese medicine into a form that the Western mind can appreciate and understand.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (03:57)
And the key thing is that in order to really understand how the body operates, you've got to get into this concept of it's running on energy. It's definitely 100% without a shadow of doubt, running on energy. It's ridiculous to... To me, it's just like, how can anybody have thought it wasn't running on energy?
Yeah. Especially when you are looking at healing and medicine. I've actually heard you say in another podcast, like a doctor just augmenting healing and the arrogance that we think that we're in any way in control, really, of the kind of healing mechanisms. It's really about removing those blockages to Qi and creating the capacity for that to just do the magic.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (04:43)
Yeah. It's something we've really missed in [crosstalk 00:04:46].
Dr. Daniel Keown: (04:46)
The body wants to be well. Everyone's body wants to be well. There's nobody out there... Well actually, there's a few. Because people have perverse incentives to stay unwell, that's a societal issue. But generally people want to be well, and if you can bypass those societal issues, like sick benefits for instance, it is a perverse incentive to stay unwell. But yeah, people do generally want to be well. And so if you can just remind the body how to be well, then it tends to fall back into that pattern of wellness.
Yeah. And I guess that's what I love about acupuncture, is it's just re-inviting that harmony and that movement toward wellness, instead of chopping out chunks or trying to take something away, or burn something or delete something in some way.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (05:48)
One of my favourite books on medicine is called, The House Of God.
I don't know that.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (05:54)
Which is interesting. Because my first book was called, What God Forgot To Tell Surgeons. The House Of God is this classic book from the '60s, that was about a doctor who went through the medical system and realised how bankrupt it was. And he just about got through at the end. But he has these laws of the house of God, which are basically laws about how to operate within the Western medical system. And the first law is the art of medicine is doing as much nothing as possible.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (06:27)
And I operate that law in emergency medicine. In emergency medicine, I try to do as much nothing as possible the entire time. In other words, you're like, "Whoa, we're dealing with this really delicate balance here, that's a bit effed up. And we don't want to suddenly move in there and mess things up even more, we want to be really gentle and just move things in the right direction." And generally, whenever I saw other people fuck up in emergency medicine, it's because they did that. They basically went in there with sledge hammers and fucked things up. But acupuncture is effectively as close as you could get to doing nothing, as you can get. I mean, literally it's like the very next thing to doing nothing.
Well, it's so subtle.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (07:25)
It's like I'm almost doing nothing, but I'm just going to do this tiny little thing. I'm going to take this tiny invisible needle, and it's actually so small I can barely even get it into your skin. That's a skill in itself, getting it through. And then I'm just going to move this energy. And then you're going to miraculously feel better. It's doing as much nothing as possible.
I really like that. That's such a great way to describe it. Because it is, it's so subtle and yet it attunes to this really... Well I think, it doesn't stress the body or create more stress, so there's not that extra layer to deal with. I think about a lot of what happens in hospitals and it's like, first of all, the environment is quite challenging. And then, there can be a lot of intervention and that just creates more stress. And so the body's not really in a place to heal. It's, if anything in a survival response.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (08:23)
The only Western medicine that works, and this is backed up by studies, is emergency medicine.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (08:30)
None of the other Western medicine works. None of it works. If you actually look at the evidence to show Western medicine works, there's only evidence to show 15% of Western medicine works. From the study, this was a letter in the BMJ years ago, I think 15% of medicine, there's good evidence to show it works. 8% of medicine there's actually evidence to show it does harm. And the rest of it, there's no evidence either way. All of the surgery, there's no evidence to show it works. Yeah? And basically, because you can't do the studies. There's evidence to show it works.
Don't chop that person, but do chop that person. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (09:17)
There's not the evidence that you would... They certainly use to discredit alternative medicine. There's certainly nowhere near that level of evidence to show it works. And when they do do studies into, for instance, surgery, where they can do studies, they are often very surprising. They show that placebo surgery is as efficacious as surgery. And so, the emperor has no clothes, as far as I'm concerned. However, emergency medicine, I'm an emergency doctor, still am, want to go back into it one day, I'm not going to argue with anyone who wants to say that emergency medicine works. It does work in my opinion. But when doctors go on strike, mortality drops every single time.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (10:00)
[crosstalk 00:10:00] going. Yeah. Yeah. It always drops. And that's because almost all of Western medicine, like the non-emergency stuff doesn't work.
My husband and I always say that though. We're grateful it exists for car accidents and even broken bones and things. It's great to be able to go somewhere and have that treatment. But yeah, for chronic stuff, all the things we're seeing, and that's really the stuff we get, is a lot of people that have been through Western medicine and they're so disillusioned, they've been, basically... And it's things like autoimmune conditions, cancers, genetic stuff, these kind of long term chronic things that we don't have a system or a model in Western medicine that addresses it.
And I've heard you speak to this, the sort of mind, body, spirit aspect, like that Jing, Qi, Shen, which is something we talk about so much in our work. And it just is seeing completely from the Western model. It's like, "Oh, cool. You've got a tumour. We can cut it out or we can radiate you or chemo you. But that's pretty much it."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (11:06)
It's like, well why does this person have this thing? It's not like it's dropped in from out of space or something. Where did it come from? So I think that's a really interesting topic, and I don't hear it addressed a lot. I guess there's pockets in Western medicine where people are interested in it, but not so much in large.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (11:27)
Well, the fundamental problem with Western medicine, aside from emergency medicine, which is great and works. And I'll extrapolate that into any specialty that effectively does emergency. So emergency obstetrics is great. Emergency eye surgery is great. The reason I think that emergency Western medicine is so good, because effectively in an emergency you get down to a reductionist level of, "My eye is about to lose all sight because there's been a bleed in the back of my eye," for instance. "And if I get a laser in there and cauterise the blood vessel that's bleeding, it will stop bleeding." Yeah? "And that will possibly save my eye." Now, why is that eye bleeding? Western medicine is very useless at, because that's a much more holistic question. But when it comes down to pure reductionism, it works very well, Western medicine.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (12:21)
And the fundamental problem at the core of the Western medical model, is there's no concept of Qi, there's no concept of spirit, which... Qi and spirit are the same thing, by the way, I don't know if you know that. But the origin of-
You talk about it in your book.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (12:38)
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.
Well, I'd love if you could drill down on that a bit, because Qi was always... You Google it I guess, and people would get Qi is energy. And I think that's such a vague definition for people.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (12:53)
Do you have a working definition at the moment, that you are really loving? Or is there something...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (13:00)
Yeah, I would call Qi the organising force of the body, best seen in the embryo. That's my working definition when it comes to sticking needles into people. It's kind of like a semi-mystical God-like quality. It's the life force, it's the same as the force in Star Wars.
We use that analogy a lot too. The force. I just want to stop on that quickly. So when you say it's best seen in the embryo, because this is something I think is a really interesting and important thing, is like, embryologically we're unfolding along the lines of this blueprint, which is quite magical really, when you think about the fact that a sperm and egg become a baby, becomes a human. How does that know how to be that? And so that's the Qi factor, is the capacity to know what to become. Are you agreeing with me?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (14:02)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's reasonable. I don't see the Qi as having... It's able to take the instructions in the genetic code, and-
So do you see that coming from Jing? Or are you...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (14:19)
Yeah, it's more Jing. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (14:21)
Yeah. Yeah. What you become is more Jing, definitely. So, the Qi is the energy that organises things.
The activating force to decode that Jing blueprint, I suppose.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (14:35)
Yeah, that's right. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (14:37)
Yeah. And yeah, I mean, that's the thing, you've got to have Qi, Jing and Shen, in order for a person to exist. You can't have Qi without Jing and Shen, and you can't have Shen without Jing and Qi. You've got to have all three of those things to create a person. So, it's kind of difficult to describe one without the other two. Equally, Qi I see, it's the energy, it's the organising force, the organising energy that takes the Jing, the blueprint, and manifests that into matter. So, one of the best descriptions I heard was from Twitter. [crosstalk 00:15:22].
The wise place of Twitter.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (15:24)
Exactly, yeah. It's like the group consciousness, isn't it?
The best and the worst of humanity.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (15:34)
And somebody's came back and said, "Qi is the..." Now, I've got to get this right. And I didn't get it right last time either.
Oh, it's high pressures. Deep breath.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (15:50)
"It's the energy by which matter manifests into form." I haven't quite got this right. He put it so brilliantly and I haven't quite got it right. But basically, what he was saying is that matter... Life is a great example. You start off with a single cell and then suddenly, as you're going to find out, nine months later, and it's not even months, even by 12 weeks...
I'm 22 weeks. And there's a human in there.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (16:19)
Well, there we are.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (16:20)
Well, basically, yeah. Yeah. Basically, a sperm and an egg combined, and then bang, you have a cell. And then somehow, magically over the next 12 to 22 weeks, that cell just multiplied, multiplied and made a baby. And it was the thing that allowed it to make that baby was organisation, and that force was Qi, that's what Qi is. But it had to have the Jing of the genetic code, in order to have the instruction manual to make the baby. And if it had a different genetic instruction manual it would make a baby mouse or baby [inaudible 00:17:00] or a baby whale or something like that.
It's still a possibility. We never know. Talk to me in a few months.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (17:06)
That would be pretty amazing. It's the same thing. It's the same Qi in a whale embryo as in a... I really see it like some kind of electricity. Qi's an analagist to electricity, but it's a life force electricity.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (17:25)
I mean, it's interesting, in Star Wars, when the emperor tries to kill Luke Skywalker, it's electricity that comes out. I'm not saying Star Wars is [inaudible 00:17:37] Chinese medicine is based, I'm saying that Star Wars was stolen from a Japanese film, I think it was, that was based on-
Yeah. Chinese medicine structure.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (17:48)
Yeah. The Taoist worldview.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (17:51)
Yeah. Because I think that's the idea... You speak about it in Spark, I'm pretty sure. I don't know. There's a man called Dr. Motoyama who my teachers are very interested in, and he was trying to measure Qi. And what he found was, it was a very, very low current, hard to measure electricity. And he got poo pooed by everybody because he had to invent a machine that was subtle enough to actually detect this stuff. And his work has not been widely accepted, but it's interesting because he's got this machine that actually measures all the meridians, and measures the flow of Qi in the body. And you speak about the DC current and AC current, and the sense that the Qi or the sort of regenerative force in the body is this more consistent flow. Is there any detail you have on that? Or is it still a bit out there?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (18:48)
Yeah. No. But firstly, I'd never used the word meridians. I always say channels. Yeah. Yeah.
Channels. I know. And I've been told off about that a thousand times. It doesn't actually translate.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:00)
Yes. Exactly. That's the prime issue. It's a poor translation. So it's a Jing Luo, which is the channel network.
And also, I think I always love the poetry of the Taoist...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:16)
One second. There's some super bass going on in the background with my kids.
I love it. I actually can't hear it.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:25)
Oh, can you not hear it?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:25)
You're probably vibrating, but it's not coming through.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:32)
Yeah. It's like, they're clearly playing some game with explosions. Okay. So yeah. So it's really important to get rid of... Oh, that's really loud. It's annoying me. Give me one second.
Yeah. Go. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (19:44)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (20:07)
Yeah. So channels. So the words were Jing Luo, and they were channels. In fact, they translate perfectly. If you look at the characters, I was just doing a video today about this. Because I keep saying this over and over and over again, and it never seems to get through. Well, it gets through, but very slowly. Because these things are [inaudible 00:20:27]. And so, it's clearly the connective tissue network, that's what they're describing. Fascia. And the best translation is channel. So this is really important, because you can have a conversation with lay people or especially doctors that goes like this. "Oh, well there's Qi in the body. It's like an energy, that's a kind of electricity that flows through the body and it flows through meridians." "What's a Meridian?" "Well, it's structures in the body that allow Qi to flow." "Okay. Has anyone ever shown these meridians?" "No." Kind of thing. Yeah?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (21:09)
And you can have this conversation with any doctor. The conversation can go very differently. It can go something like this. And bear in mind, meridians is a terrible translation. It's not a good translation. It's not a valid translation of Jing Luo.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (21:25)
And it goes something like this. "Well, the body runs on energy, electricity. You can see it for instance in the heart. But actually, every cell, every organ, every muscle runs on electricity, and that electricity has got information attached to it. And that's what Qi is." And they go, "Okay. So, how does this flow around the body?" "Well, it flows in channels in the body." And it's like, "Channels in the body? I don't know of any channels in the body." "Well, no, there's loads of channels in the body. Every time a surgeon operates, he basically moves through channels. And for instance, you've got the peritoneal channel. It's called a peritoneal cavity, but it's actually a channel in the body and that's the liver channel." "Oh. No, surely there's nothing flow..." And the doctor will say, "There's nothing flowing in that peritoneal cavity in the channel." "Yeah. There is. There's fluid flowing in the peritoneal channel. In fact, every single potential space in your body, and there's loads of them, there's an infinite number of them, has fluid flowing in them. And that fluid is flowing and that's a channel."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (22:23)
And then, that conversation ends at that point. Their scepticism just evaporates because there's nowhere for them to go. That's why it's so important. That's why language is so important.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (22:36)
And so, that's why I hate the word Meridian. For two reasons. Firstly, it's just an awful translation that the Jing Luo didn't have a neat translation to put it into for [inaudible 00:22:49]. So he put it into this word because someone said, "Oh, sounds a bit like that." And secondly, because it's such a bad translation, then you just go down this blind alley. Where basically, you are digging yourself a hole to put yourself into when you say that word. So that's why.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (23:12)
So, to go back to your original question. Sorry, you touched a nerve there.
No. Look, I really appreciate it. And I always think from the Taoist perspective of, everything is so poetic, and the body as landscapes and structures. And it's like, of course it's a channel or like a river, or even like the English Channel. It's a natural body, instead of this like an arbitrary kind of human construct of a Meridian or a lay line or something. So yeah, I totally hear you on that. And I think-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (23:43)
Well, that's exactly it. Because a Meridian is a human construct.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (23:47)
It's exactly that.
And it doesn't actually mirror what's happening. And I think this idea...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (23:52)
No. It's underground rivers. The character for Jing is drawn as underground rivers, carrying a mystical substance, which is obviously Qi. And it's like, okay. Well, yeah. I mean, nobody's going to dispute that on the earth there's underground rivers. There's 100% guaranteed, there's one-
Keeping us alive. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (24:16)
[crosstalk 00:24:16]. And then it's like, okay, that's what the character's actually drawn as. It's drawn as underground rivers, which are enveloped by... Well, the character is sea, which people have translated as silk. But actually, it is very clear that it's not necessarily silk. It can be any material. In other words, it's fascia. So it's fascia carrying underground rivers. That's what Jing translates as. And Luo translates as a collagenous net.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (24:45)
Now, where did, where did the M word come from in that? If you're going to translate it into one word, it's channels. But even channels doesn't really do that justice.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (24:58)
And so, the key thing to understand about the Western and Eastern appreciation of the body, is the west is really obsessed with things. We're always obsessed with things in the west. It's fine. I quite like having a cup for you to drink your cup of tea out of.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (25:22)
But the cup is only useful because of the space within it. And so, the east is more thinking about the space within things. And the west is saying, "Ah." So the west was always like, "Where are these meridians?" And obviously-
"Why can't I cut them out of a dead body?"
Dr. Daniel Keown: (25:40)
Yeah. And it's like, "No, it's channels. It's spaces within the body." And so, within that space, travels this organising force that enables your body to stay connected. It has to stay connected. All the cells have to stay connected, otherwise you get things like cancer developing. Worst case scenario it's cancer, best case scenario, the cells just die if they're not connected anymore. And that energy that's travelling in the channels is basically a form of electricity. And it can be measured and it can be seen as well. There was a guy called Becker who measured it in amphibians, who have very powerful-
[inaudible 00:26:24] frog head guy.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (26:26)
Ah. Yeah, close. That was Spemann. That was a German embryologist. He didn't actually measure the currents, but he discovered that you can have parts of the embryo that control growth.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (26:43)
So these smaller animals, because you talk about this in Spark, the lower animals. But you talk about how that divergence to what a bigger brain we lose that regenerative capacity, the smaller, less developed animals.
I remember as a kid, this is a horrible story, but I used to pull the tail off lizards and then keep them as pets. Because the tail would grow back. I thought it was really cool. Those poor lizards.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (27:12)
It is cool.
Yeah. It is really cool. And they always grew back slightly different.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (27:16)
Do they bleed when you pull them off?
No. They wriggled a lot though. I don't think they were happy. But yeah, say if they were-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (27:24)
[crosstalk 00:27:24]. So hang on. You pulled them... I know this is displaying your inner psychopath.
I know. Hopefully my inner scientist and not my inner psychopath. Yeah. I would have been maybe six or seven. But my house had a really big white wall. It was really hot and we'd always get these little lizards. I don't even know the species, but they were quite tiny. And if you stressed them or held their tails, they would try and run away and drop their tail as a survival mechanism.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (27:57)
So you didn't pull them off. You basically just-
Well yeah, they let them go, but I would hold them and-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (28:02)
You encouraged them.
I've got to say, I'm sounding like a psychopath. And then we would like look after them and try and keep them alive whilst they grew back.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (28:13)
And they regrew.
Yeah. So, say they were brown originally, they might grow back a funny lighter brown colour or something. And there'd be a little seam. It was always a little bit wonky.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (28:27)
But yeah. It was like, "Wow. This is cool." And so, when I read your book about how humans can grow back fingertips and things when they're babies. And I was like, "Oh, great." Haven't tried on my child.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (28:40)
Chopping off fingers or anything. But it is such an interesting... I think about Qigong and all of these practises that are designed to help us cultivate Qi. My teacher's 76 and he still looks about 50. He's just had children. He's got many children now. He had a kid a couple years ago. He's really defying what we would term ageing. And you can see, well, this practise is doing something to him where he's actually still holding onto that regenerative capacity for Qi.
So I think it's a really interesting and under acknowledged area, I suppose, in our culture. Especially with health and healing, I just think if it's as simple as breathing practises, meditating, eating well, looking after ourselves mentally, why aren't we encouraging this more as a baseline human practice? So, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (29:33)
Yeah. Well, it's because there's not-
Lots of shit going down.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (29:39)
Yeah. It's difficult to mass produce that and profit from it effectively. It's not that there's no profit in it, there's definitely profit in it, but it's difficult to mass produce that and make profit from it. That's why, I think.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (30:01)
Because yeah, that's kind of my mission at the moment actually, is to create a model of acupuncture that can be effectively mass produced, and people can practise... My ambition at the moment is to raise... So it has taken me 20 years to get to a point where basically, pretty much everyone I treat at the moment gets better. Which I find astounding. I'm amazed by that. Because as a Western doctor, I see people and I'm just like... If I didn't understand what I was doing, then I'd be like, that's just beyond medical comprehension. But it isn't, because basically you understand what Qi is. But it's taken me 20 years to get there.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (30:52)
And my ambition is that I can create a teaching programme effectively, that can get you there in five years.
Yeah. Fast-track that.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (31:03)
And I would say where I am is generally where it takes you to get, if you're good, 40 years to get to. So in China, they say you're not mature until you're about 65. And I reckon I probably got there at age 47. But that's just because I've spent my entire life in medicine, effectively. And I've written a couple of books on it, and I've spent a lot of time studying. And I've had the advantage of a lot of information and...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (31:33)
Yeah. But if we can get people there in five years, so if you're 20, you can get there ar 25, you can get to the point where it took me 15 years to get to, and then you've got another 40 years, 50 years, 60 years of practice, of getting people well. So that could be really revolutionary, in terms of where medicine goes. And that's my ambition at the moment.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (31:58)
Because this stuff is so simple. It's unbelievably simple. My criteria for the videos I'm producing at the moment, is I'm going to show them to my 10 year old son. And if he doesn't understand them, then I'm like, that's-
You're not doing your job.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (32:14)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (32:15)
Yeah. The whole thing's just so crazily simple. Even the function of the liver and stuff, it's just so simple. It dredges, drains and regulates. If you understand what those three words are, and bear in mind, I had to look up the word dredge to check exactly what it meant. And then I was like, "Holy shit. That's exactly what the liver's doing. It's dredging." It's dredging, to clear a waterway, especially of debris. That's what the definition is.
Mm. They do it to... What are they called? Bays where boats go.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (32:53)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (32:54)
Yeah. That's it. And that's what the liver... The liver basically clears all the food that comes out of your digestive system.
So are you talking about this... Because I had an acupuncturist who's unfortunately moved, but he was probably the first person who I started to drop in on how simple... I think before that it always seemed a little bit complicated and mysterious. And he got me looking into [inaudible 00:33:19] because he said the Chinese model's a little bit messed up. I think you call it cookbook acupuncture, which I really like. He's like, "There's a recipe, da, da, da." It's like, "No, you go straight to the [inaudible 00:33:32]. Symptoms are like a guidepost, but you can't always trust what the person's saying, da da, da."
But I guess I often, coming from having learned a lot of this stuff, the kind of rote learn, like multiple choice, da, da, da, that sort of way of, the liver governs wood and it's spring. I've learned to think of it more like, "Okay, the liver, it's not the liver per se, but it's like the energy of every cell operating on that liver Qi level is the ability of the cell to dredge itself. The ability of..." Is this making sense? I hope this-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (34:14)
It definitely works in that kind of aspect as well. Every cell within your body has respires and creates proteins, which is a liver function. Respiration is a lung function [crosstalk 00:34:28]-
Lung function, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (34:30)
So it's got grey in the nucleus, which is also like the heart as well. And it's got little vesicles which are like stomachs, and it's got a membrane, which is like skin. So it is fractal in nature, the body. The heart will also effectively do functions of the liver as well, which is why if you get heart damage, some of the enzymes that are released are liver enzymes. And in the olden days, when I was a junior doctor, they used to check they didn't have something called troponins. And they used to do enzymes that were also produced by the liver. And there would be a bit of confusion about, has this person maybe just got a liver problem or is it a heart problem?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (35:12)
So all of the cells within your body are kind of a microcosm of your body. Equally however, there are definitely six planes, six confirmations within your body that are the six systems I talk about in The Uncharted Body that are clear... In terms of practical medicine, they are as clear as the liver is within Western medicine, as the heart is within medicines. These six divisions are-
So the [inaudible 00:35:45] Yang and all Tao Yin and all that sort of stuff.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (35:48)
Yeah. That's it. And you can definitely think about them as... When you say about the liver, and you started to get, with all due respect, a little bit airy fairy about it-
Yeah. Go for it.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (36:04)
And that's kind of true. But actually the liver, the way to see it is the liver is like the biggest concentration of energy and cellular material within this division called [inaudible 00:36:17], this division has concentrated its energy and power, certainly in the lower aspect, within the liver, to perform this function that it has to perform within the body. But the layer is performing that function. And so, all the cells within that layer, which also include the peritoneal channel and also part of the venous system as well, will be performing that same function as well. It's just the body has concentrated that power within the liver itself, in the same way that in the United Kingdom, in a way everyone is performing a political system and even political function, and even within our town there'd be politicians of sorts, minor politicians. But the country has concentrated that political system within Westminster. Like burn the fuckers down, as far as I'm concerned.
Don't burn your liver down.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (37:21)
As long as no one's to blame. But yeah. And in the same way... I'm trying to think of another system that's not-
Well, you were speaking on your blog about COVID and how you are seeing that sort of... I think it was the Tao Yin level, I could be wrong. It was the lung and spleen level.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (37:45)
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. So COVID affects the lungs and pancreas. And pancreas is part of-
Yes. Pancreas. You're calling the spleen.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (37:56)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (37:59)
Yeah. So, this is the amazing thing about this six division model of the body. So one of the big problems, Western medicine's got no predictive power. For me as a scientist, that's a massive problem. If you've got a scientific model or theory that has zero predictive power, that model's bunk. It's useless.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (38:15)
Yeah? It's absolutely useless. And Western medicine does not have a model of how the body works, in my opinion. It's got little parts that work in isolation, but in the big picture, it doesn't have a model. In other words, it's not holistic. It cannot explain really how health is maintained. It just says, if you look at the WHO definition of health, it's just an absence of disease.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (38:41)
I would say, no. Health is a smooth flow of Qi, effectively. You also need good Jing, and good Shen as well. But effectively, presuming your Jing, in other words, the body you were born with, and your Shen, in other words, your spirit and your soul, they're in good shape, then health is a smooth flow of Qi. If you've got a smooth flow of Qi, you'll have health. And then you can define what Qi is. But in Western medicine there's no model whatsoever of... And that's a big problem.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (39:13)
Now within the six divisions, that has predictive power. So if you get a disease process occurring within one aspect of this division, it will also affect the other aspects of that division as well. So within COVID, COVID is a disease that really seems to affect the lung, especially. So then you say, "Okay, that's also going to affect everything else within Tao Yin, which is pancreas, spleen." I bet coronavirus will accumulate in the spleen. It's well known to cause diarrhoea. That's part of Tao Yin. And I bet you it's going to cause thyroid problems as well, long term. Things like Hashimoto's.
Which is part of the lung...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (39:56)
It's 100% part of the lung. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (39:58)
It's the messenger of the lung.
And so, what I was being taught by this acupuncturist before he abandoned me, was that if that is allowed to stay in the body, that pathogenic factor, it will descend down. That's where you get the heart fire and these kind of problems, I guess, with COVID that are... When it actually gets really bad in people. Is that an accurate... I'm not going to say-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (40:21)
[crosstalk 00:40:23] Across the pathology.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (40:24)
Yeah. The heart.
Because the heart is the most, deepest layer of these six layers. So if it's getting there, it's bad.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (40:35)
As befits the body, it's complex.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (40:44)
This is what it's like to have to keep things simple. Yeah. Well you have to keep things simple. This is why I'm always like, "Look, let's just keep things as simple as possible." Because it fucking gets complicated. Guaranteed. Because every single person is different. So you have to keep this thing really simple. But yeah, the six divisions, bizarrely, the deepest level is Xue Yin, which is liver and peritoneum. However, the heart is also the emperor and is protected by everything. So it's the equivalent of the king on the chess board. Apparently fairly weak, but everything has to move around it to protect the king. You shouldn't ever really move the king in chess if you can get away with it.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (41:24)
So it's the same. In a way, the heart as the emperor is the deepest, but in another way, it isn't. Within the six divisions, it's actually not the deepest. And this, I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what that means.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (41:44)
Yeah. If it sounds a bit confusing it's because it [crosstalk 00:41:50]. I mean, this is really simple medicine compared to Western medicine, but we're still dealing with an organism that's unbelievably complex. And the body is just unbelievably complex.
Well, like you said, with pathology too, you're treating individuals who are showing up with their own constitutional patterns, and all the unknown factors of what a human gets up to day-to-day.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (42:18)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (42:19)
Exactly. They pop up into your clinic after 47 years of existence, and just go, "I've got pain here." Somehow unravel that 47 years of existence and find out what's causing that pain there. And that's when you just have to go, "Man, I can't have too much information at this point because it's going to really fry my brain." So, you just have to kind of keep things as simple as possible.
And you're listening to the pulse. You're kind of working through on that level. I had a guy the other day on the podcast, who's an acupuncturist. And he said something that I thought was really interesting. He said, "When I needle stomach 34, I don't actually think I'm needling the organ." And I was like, "Well, what do you think you're doing?" And he sort of... I didn't feel like we got anywhere with the answer. And I'm like, this is interesting that someone who practises this medicine doesn't really believe... And I'm not trying to poo poo him.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (43:23)
I completely disagree. When I needle stomach 36...
That's the one, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (43:30)
I've never needled stomach 34.
No, it was 36. I'm pregnant and [inaudible 00:43:34].
Dr. Daniel Keown: (43:35)
But that needle, the way I feel that needle going into a plane within the body, a tissue plane, like a fault line within the body that is then directly connecting to the entire gastrointestinal tracts and especially the stomach, but it's the entire... So no, for me, it's the opposite. When I needle these points, I'm like, this is connecting to that organ. As far as I'm concerned, there's no contradiction between Western and Eastern about how the body operates, apart from one important thing. And that is that Western medicine is a primitive model of the body, that's not particularly helpful and actually fits in underneath the Chinese medicinal model of the body, as a kind of useful adjunct in emergency situations. That actually, because it has no model of health, because it has no model of how the body operates, and because effectively, the way it's been organised is back to front.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (44:41)
So, what Western medicine has done is, it didn't start off with a model of how the body operates, and instead has used a microscope to look closer and closer into the body, and then-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (44:54)
[crosstalk 00:44:54] the body. Yeah. So, the equivalent I explain to people is, imagine if you didn't have an idea of the phylogenetic tree of life. Yeah? I don't know if you know what that means. It's like the idea that we all came from jellyfish and jellyfish... Which we did actually, thankfully from my [inaudible 00:45:11]. But there's another story behind that as well, actually, that I might tell you another time. But imagine instead of that phylogenetic tree of life, where we came from jellyfish and jellyfish then turned into... I don't know, molluscs and snails and whatever. And then they developed into vertebrates, and they developed into-
Higher mammals and things, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (45:34)
Higher mammals. You've got it. Yeah. Imagine if you were just looking right at the top, and you saw all of these different animals, and you have no idea of the phylogenetic tree, which is the equivalent of embryology. And you started to categorise all those different animals according to what they did and how they behaved. And you went, "I'll tell you what. Why don't we put all flying creatures into the same bracket? Because they appear to all be behaving in the same way. So we'll put bats and birds and... What else flies? Flying squirrels. We'll put all of those. They're all flying animals, so they must be related. And everything walking on two legs must be related as well. So we'll put chimpanzees and humans and ostriches and..."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (46:22)
"Kangaroos. Yeah. They're all related as well. So they're all related. They're all related." That is what Western medicine's done with the body. It's basically taken all of these things and grouped them together, into systems that don't make embryological sense.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (46:37)
And you really have to have a good grasp of medicine and the body to understand exactly what I'm talking about at this point. But that's what they've done.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (46:48)
Now, what the six division model is, is an embryological model that builds from the bottom upwards. So, the original three divisions were endoderm, exoderm and mesoderm. Which, anyone who studied any medicine probably knows. And that's the end of their embryology. And what happens, the endoderm and the exoderm become Tae Yin and Tae Yang, which stay as consistent division or layers within the body. And the middle division, the mesoderm splits into four, and that forms then things like the heart, kidney and vascular system, the arterial system, which will become Shao Yin.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (47:27)
Now, if you have this model of the body, you can make predictions about how each of these divisions are going to behave. And the fact that a pathogen or even a drug that affects one of the aspects of this division will affect all of the other aspects.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (47:43)
So for instance, my favourite one is with hypertension is always a problem of Shao Yin. It's always a problem with a lack of blood effectively, to the body and the body then responds by increasing the pressures, as you would in any fluid system.
Blood [crosstalk 00:48:00].
Dr. Daniel Keown: (48:00)
Yeah, exactly. You would increase pressure. And so that's what hypertension is. It's the body that has perceived a lack of blood for whatever reasons. And therefore, that is always a problem with Shao Yin, of the heart, kidney, or the blood vessels themselves, the arterial system. And every single anti hypertensive known to man, with one exception, acts on that-
On that level.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (48:23)
On either the heart, the kidney or the blood vessels. And the same with COVID. So COVID has got a particular propensity for attacking the Tae Yin system, which is all about dampness and the phlegm. And that's why it attacks the pancreas, that's why it attacks the lung, that's why it gives you diarrhoea. And it will, like I said, it almost certainly is going to give you thyroid problems. And also it will have a propensity to hang around in the spleen, which is why hydroxychloroquine works so well as well.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that's making me think around that Wei Qi level as well. If you're talking embryologically, that surface protective level, sort of this making sense that we're going to have this really deep... Because you were saying before, the liver is right in the middle there, it's that very, very centre of the egg, I suppose. Is that what you were talking about before? I'm just trying to build this puzzle out in my mind.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (49:28)
Yeah, the six divisions though, I like to think... Yeah, yeah. In a way in the middle it's a bit like...
Yeah, I know it's not accurate to say the middle, but I think it's Deadman's model. There's layers, like the surfboard layers, and they kind of...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (49:48)
It's like Russian dolls.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (49:51)
So the skin in the Tai Yang, the skin is your outer layer of the Russian doll. And then right in the middle is your Xue Yin, your liver right in the middle. That innermost... Now, the interesting thing is, that obviously the inner and the outer have to connect. Yeah?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (50:11)
Things have to always flow. Things always have to flow. And there is actually a connection between, effectively, your Xue Yin and your skin, and in women that's through your uterus and vagina.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (50:26)
So when the sperm, it actually swims in through the skin, effectively through that little hole in your skin, called the vagina, and it swims into the uterus, which is actually in the peritoneal channel, which is Xue Yin.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (50:50)
So, it is, you're right. The liver is your innermost layer. But connects to the outside, through the uterus. And then that connection is the rebirth of new life.
And I guess, is that then pointing to that blood layer being... Because again, through my understanding of being a patient really is, being needled on that blood layer, it's very deep, quite painful. Because the liver's responsible for storing the blood and all of that sort of stuff, are we looking... Because I think about the uterus as well, the sea of blood, it's like this kind of idea of that deep substance of women being blood and for men, it's more Qi. So do you guys have a different connection between the Tae Yang?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (51:36)
Yeah. Between Xue Yin and Tae Yang. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm just speaking...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (51:47)
Yeah, because the interesting thing about our sperm is, it kind of effectively at an embryological level comes out of your Tae Yang, your kidneys, bladder.
Well that's where the Jing element comes in, I guess. Yeah?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (52:12)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. There's definitely a different kind of embryological process going on.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (52:23)
Yeah. I was trying to work out what it is. Yeah.
I want to jump back to electricity because we were talking about that when we got wonderfully distracted. But yeah, I think that's an interesting... It seems really logical to me that we're governed by this electric force, but it's not really that...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (52:42)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (52:42)
Kids. What's up? Right. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. It's simple, yeah. You can either stop crying and watch telly and enjoy yourself, or [inaudible 00:53:11] it's time for bed.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (53:25)
Okay. Might just take a pause for a bit.
Yeah, that's fine.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (53:31)
Yeah. I'll just try and...
That's my future.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (53:36)
It's time for bed. Right, bedtime. Come on, bedtime. Well you have to stop crying immediately. Immediately. Okay. Now [inaudible 00:53:54]. Okay. Right. This is going back in the freezer because you're only allowed one. How come you have two? All right. Listen, listen. If you start crying again, it's fine, it'll be bedtime. Okay? So pull yourself together.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (54:20)
We can make this very short.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (54:32)
Negotiation. Yeah. It's always negotiation.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (54:40)
I'll just mute it because...
Yeah, no stress.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (54:45)
I'm just going... Yeah.
Negotiate. Good luck.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (56:15)
Yeah. Harry's my oldest. He's 11. And he's worked it out. He's basically worked out that, so long as he does what I ask him to do, which I like to think I'm fairly reasonable, he can do what he likes outside of that. Whereas Cora's a bit more likes her drama a little bit more.
How old is your daughter?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (56:35)
That was me saying basically you can have your drama, but then it's game over.
Yeah. How old is your daughter?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (56:43)
Seven. Okay. Yeah. I have a five year old, so I'm gearing up for siblings.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (56:52)
Five year old girl or boy?
I have a girl. Yeah. She's got a tendency for theatrics sometimes as well. I think it's just kids. Yeah, I won't keep you too much longer because I know it's the witching hour with little kids. But yeah. If you're happy to jump back into the electricity conversation.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (57:14)
And then we can start to wrap it up. Yeah.
So yeah, I guess we got very pleasantly distracted, but I want to bring it back to the electricity conversation, because I think I've always... I guess, especially since discovering fascia and the research around [inaudible 00:57:32] electricity and all this stuff, I was like, "Okay, so this makes a lot of sense to me." I've always felt a bit like a glow stick. If I move it's like I light up. I don't know if that makes sense. But like cracking all of my bits makes me feel really alive. And so that made a lot of sense to me. And you speak about that in The Spark, around these electric currents. So if there's any elaboration you can give on that, or how you see that.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (57:56)
Yeah. This all links into the triple burner and fascia, and this concept of... So, collagen is something like 30% of our body protein.
Mm. Really high.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (58:10)
And then the water within our body is 60% of our body, of which... No, I think it's higher than 60%. I haven't checked this recently, but something like 40%.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (58:19)
Yeah. And something like 40% of your body water is extracellular. Yeah? So in other words, 30% of your body protein is collagen, which is extracellular, and 40% of your body water is extracellular. And Western medicine just pretends that those two things don't exist. There's no organ for either of them. There's no concept of when you replace fluids in the body, it's really blood that you're trying to replace when you give intravascular. So effectively, Chinese medicine goes, "No, no, no, no, they're two organs." They're triple burner, and what we call lymph is effectively gallbladder. And gallbladder is an interesting one. The gallbladder definitely does control lymph. It keeps it clean, because the most important thing in lymph is your fat content. It's fat that basically will bind up lymph and stop it moving correctly.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (59:27)
And the gallbladder is critical in making sure your fat's emulsified, which is why-
That makes so much sense when you think about where the fat deposits and then the lymph, and just the aesthetic of that. Yeah. Makes so much sense. And then that being associated with [inaudible 00:59:44] Yang.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (59:48)
Yeah. You can really [crosstalk 00:59:50]. When you're feeling like all stiff and groggy and phlegmy, you can imagine that fluid within you is actually also just full of gunk.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:00:02)
I mean, it is. When people come to me and say, "I feel like I've got brain fog." I'm like, "Well, you have. You've got gunk in your brain. You're not imagining it. It's not like you've woken up in the morning going, 'Mm. I think I'm going to imagine I've got gunk in my brain.' Brain fog. Yeah."
That was one of the most mind blowing things for me. I remember about 10 years ago, they were like, "The brain has lymph." And I'm like, "Are we really just accepting that?" I think before that they always were like, "No, no." It's like, "Of course it does."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:00:41)
Yeah. I know.
Yeah. But was only I think 10 years ago, they discovered the [inaudible 01:00:45], I guess, that did that, or whatever it was.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:00:48)
Yeah. So the triple burner. So all of this collagen that makes the fascia, that makes the connective tissue, and actually even gets down into the bones themselves and makes the bones themselves that everyone thinks of them as hard minerals, but really they are collagen. And I actually did this myself because I didn't believe it. But if you take a chicken bone and pour it into a bowl of vinegar, it will dissolve all of the mineral, and you'll be left with this collagenous bone that is unbelievably strong. You will not break this thing. You can flex it because it's just made out of collagen. The crystals of hydroxyapatite are there to keep the bone stiff, so that you can resist gravity effectively. Because fish don't need this, because they don't need to resist gravity, but we do.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:01:45)
But that's the only reason there, but the collagen is still there and it's unbelievably strong. You will not break this. And this creates a three-dimensional web within your body, that's an organ. There's no doubt about it in my mind. That is definitely an organ. In fact, it's probably as important as all of the other organs in your body. And this is the triple burner.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:02:13)
And one of the interesting things about the triple burner is the burner part of it. Why is it called a burner? And the reason is... There's a few reasons, but one of the main reasons is this thing creates electricity as you move. It creates energy as you move. In the same way that when you click a cigarette lighter, it makes a little spark of electricity. This is also doing that through piezoelectricity. And this is why, if you sit at a desk, especially in a slightly cold room for a few hours, you get up and you suddenly feel really cold, and it's a deep cold that goes to your bones, because this network does go to your bones, and why you have to... If you get moving for a bit, you start warming up. And then everyone thinks, "Oh, it's because you get the blood pumping, and you've metabolically increased your rate." But actually it's really because you're moving your triple burner. You're moving your-
[inaudible 01:03:09] system, effectively.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:03:10)
Yeah. And that's creating electricity, and that's really what's warming you up. I mean, the other two things are probably important, your blood pumping and also metabolically warming you up. But I think they're less important than actually the fact that you are making your triple burner, your fascial network, wake up, warm up.
Because some definitions of fascia include the blood vessels, because of that sort of structure, I suppose they have. Do you include that in your definition?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:03:38)
No. Because I'm now completely six divisions.
Yeah. Okay. And yeah, that Chinese model. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:03:48)
Blood vessels are interesting, because they actually sit within two divisions. And this is backed up by embryology. So your arterial system is part of Shao Yin, and that's linked into kidney and heart, whereas your venous system is actually Xue Yin. And they do emerge embryologically from two different areas. I mean, they're in a similar starting position because they're both mesoderm, but then they branch off.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:04:17)
And interestingly, the venous system shares more embryologically with the lymphatic system, than with the arterial system. Which fits perfectly because the venous system sits within Xue Yin, which is paired with Shao Yang, and Shao Yang is lymphatic system, which takes us back to the triple burner. And the lymphatic system and the triple burner, are basically the yin and yang of that aspect because the triple burner provides the structure for the lymphatic system to flow through.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So you are not just, because I've heard some people define the triple burner as those three pleural cavities, like the fascial sort of-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:05:00)
Yeah. Yeah. That's part of it. Yeah. That's part of it.
But yeah. You are taking a broader, whole body definition, I suppose, where it's really every fascial connection through the body.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:05:15)
It's exactly like you were saying before with the liver. And about how the liver is the densest concentration of energy, the Westminster of the political system in the United Kingdom. And the triple burner, the most powerful manifestation of this ability for fascia to divide up the body, manifests in these three burners, which are basically the pleura pericardium, or the chest, the peritoneum, or the abdomen, and the retroperitoneum, or the pelvis. The pelvis, abdomen, chest are the triple burners. But really the triple burner is this ability for fascia to divide up the body.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So all of these compartments and sacks that we find within the body. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I think for people, because I guess a lot of acupuncturists throw away the triple burner, the [inaudible 01:06:17]. I think if you think about what Mao Zedong and that sort of legacy of Chinese medicine, we end up with the triple burner being almost clinically irrelevant. But just what you are explaining sounds incredibly important.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:06:32)
Oh, gosh, yeah. I love the triple burner. Always preaching people on the triple burner. Yeah.
Yeah. So I think that's a really interesting distinction for practitioners, is actually starting to use and understand that system, I suppose. Because I'm immediately thinking about all of the lymph issues and stagnation. And what happens to fluid when it stagnates, it starts to get a bit festy. You think about a pond sitting there for a few days, that's always something that inspires me to move is to keep that cellular fluid moving in my body. But often, movement isn't enough if we [inaudible 01:07:15] pathology. So it makes a lot of sense to start to use your practice, to actually get that stuff flowing for people.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:07:23)
Yeah. That's it. I mean, people are generally sitting around not doing much and that's exactly what the triple burner doesn't want. It wants us to move the whole time.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:07:38)
It's there to allow movement.
Yep. And if you are talking about electricity then, I guess just from more of a management perspective, movement's a really obvious one, but are there other things you've seen, like hydration's obviously really important as well? The things that you see clinically, that really assist with that flow of energy in the body?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:08:07)
Mm. So, in terms of staying healthy, then I think it's like your grandmother was just 100% correct, basically. I mean, everything your grandmother-
It always goes back to your grandmas, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:08:31)
Yeah, exactly. Like good food. Buy good food, it's kind of impossible to find good food in supermarkets, in my opinion.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:08:42)
You can get close, but you're not going to get food that... I grow as much of my own food as I can. Yeah?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:08:54)
We've got apples at the moment. These are apples from the allotment. And I went down there the other day with the kids, and was just like, "Right. We're going to pick all the apples we can. We're going to store them. Because we will not find apples this good in the supermarket."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:09:11)
There's nothing special about these apples. They're just on the tree on our allotment, that's yummy apples, but you won't find them. We won't find them in the supermarket this good. And what that means is, if they taste that good, then that's super nutrition. And it's the same with the carrots. Even the potatoes, I couldn't believe this. First time we started growing potatoes on the allotment and I was like, "Oh my God."
Yeah. They have a flavour.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:09:39)
They're not just like white nothing.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:09:44)
Yeah. Yeah. And it's like, wow. So if you're getting in that quality of nutrition, then that's the first thing. So I mean, I would encourage everyone to grow their own food as much as they can, if nothing else, just because it raises the standard of what they expect to get from food. Start with herbs. Herbs are the most efficient way to grow food, because they're concentrated nutrition.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:10:05)
And then move more. You've just got to move more generally. I mean, people don't move enough. So, I just walked to the clinic today. It's a half an hour walk. It's a lovely walk. Walk home again. I could drive there, but I'd always rather walk.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:10:27)
Yeah. So those are just the absolute basics of good health really, I think. Those two things. And having good relations with people.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:10:38)
And then, in terms of the clinic, whenever people come see me, what I'm looking at is... It's like electrical engineering for bodies. That's how I see it. I just look at them and go, "Right. Okay. Which division is the Qi misoperating in? And then, what's going on? Is it stuck? Is it going the wrong way?" And it's that simple. I just see it as electrical engineering.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:11:13)
I'll tell you why I see it like that, because I have to keep it simple. Because if you allow yourself to start to get overwhelmed by the complexity, then you just lose track. So with my students, I just say, "Just choose a division, and then just decide what's going on with the Qi in that division, and then try and correct it."
Mm. And be methodical and... Yeah. I guess what you're saying, that airy fairy tendency, which I think there's a lot of in the Eastern medicine world.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:11:49)
I'm probably responsible for some of it.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:11:53)
I get it. I totally get why the airy fairness crept in. Actually, if you look back, it seems like, "Oh my God. Those guys who wrote all those classics must just be like, 'Oh, could we have made it any more simple?' They must be thinking." "We literally said, it's like water. Over and over again, Qi's like water. And now everyone's like, 'Oh, what's it like?' It's like water. What does water do? It goes from high pressure to low pressure, it flows in the current in channels, and it generates energy as it moves."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:12:30)
And it can get stuck and it can go backwards. And it can-
I'm even thinking about the Nanjing water wheel visual right now, that my Taoist teacher uses, but it's literally a water wheel in the lower dantian that creates energy.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:12:42)
And I'm thinking, "Duh. It's literally mapped out there."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:12:47)
But the only thing I would say, is it's not actually water, it's electricity.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:12:47)
But water's the conduit for the electricity, it's the conductor.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:12:58)
Yes. True. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:13:01)
And also, the thing about electricity is it behaves exactly like water.
But yeah. I mean, I guess from my perspective, thinking about the takeaways, I guess, from this conversation, it's really... I mean, I'm always left in awe of the magnificence of the body. And like you said, it's so simple, but it's so complex. And I think in terms of thinking about healing, we really want to focus on the simple, and what we can do.
You were talking about lifestyle around just eating food that has Qi in it. That have been sitting in a storage facility for a year.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:13:45)
Yeah. Staying away from Western pharmaceuticals as much as you can.
Yeah. Well, my acupuncturist always said, he sees such damage to the organs from Western pharmaceuticals. And I'm sure you see that too in people's Qi.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:14:02)
Yeah. I mean, the problem is, once you start on a drug, it's suppressive most of these drugs, so it suppresses normal metabolism. And normally, depending on how long it's been going on for, it can be fairly easy to fix a lot of health problems. But as soon as you start on these so-called medicines, these Western drugs, they just push the symptom down, they make the symptom disappear, but the underlying pathology is still there.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:14:39)
Do they, in a way, if you're thinking about those six levels, do they change the way in which a pathology might operate as well?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:14:49)
Mm. Yeah. So, the other day someone came in to me with... Did they have hypertension? They were definitely on a beta blocker. Oh yeah, no, this was a phone conversation, actually. Yeah. And he had hypertension, and they were put on a beta blocker for hypertension, and he was a keen cyclist. And then he was told, "Oh, by the way, when you're on the beta blocker, you're probably going to find that you're not going to be able to cycle as hard." And that's exactly what he found.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:15:22)
And basically what that's doing, is the beta blocker is, the kidneys are telling the heart within a Shao Yin system, we're not getting enough blood. Now, it could be because there genuinely isn't enough blood there, or it could be because the kidneys are a bit diseased and are miss-recording how much blood they're receiving. One of those two things. It's difficult to know without seeing him.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:15:47)
So the kidneys then tell the heart to increase the pressure, because that's just simple fluid dynamics. If you've not got enough circulation, just increase the pressure. And that becomes hypertension, because there isn't actually a problem in pressure, there's a problem in either blood quantity or the kidneys themselves are deceased.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:16:12)
And then as a result of that, because he is on the beta blockers, they stop that connection between the kidney telling the heart to increase the pressure. And as a result of that, when he goes on a bike ride and his muscles start needing more blood, and effectively want to tell the heart, through adrenaline, "Oh, let's have some more blood." The heart doesn't respond. And so the muscles get tired and exhausted. And so, the underlying problem hasn't been fixed. The underlying problem was either he hasn't got enough blood, which is actually much more-
Are you talking blood deficiency? Would that be...
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:16:58)
Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting, blood deficiency, because when I worked in emergency, there were loads of people who came in with symptoms that were very consistent with what the Chinese call blood deficiency. So things like muscle cramps, and... What are the other symptoms? I forget.
Anaemia style things.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:17:20)
Well, this is where it gets interesting. So muscle cramps, blurred vision, and there's another one as well, like postural hypertension, where you stand up you feel lightheaded. They're all blood deficiency. And people will come into A&E with these symptoms, I'd be like, "Oh wow, it's blood deficiency." and then you'd get the haemoglobin back and it'd be normal. And this was really disconcerting for me, because I was like, "Well maybe the Chinese have got this wrong because these people's haemoglobin is completely normal, and yet the Chinese medicine says they've all got blood deficiency."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:17:54)
It turns out that you can have huge variations in the volume of blood you have, whilst having a completely normal haemoglobin, a completely normal concentration of haemoglobin in your blood. So in other words, you can take a 60 kilogramme man and the average blood volume, I think it's 7%. So what's that? It's about five litres of blood. So there are five litres of blood in the normal 60 kilogramme man. However, if you do a haemoglobin in a normal blood test, you will not get any idea about the volume of blood, you just get an idea of the concentration of haemoglobin within the blood. To understand how much blood the person actually has, you've got to do a special test involving a radioactive dye effectively, that you inject into the person and then you measure how much it has been diluted down.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:18:53)
It's very difficult and involves radioactive dye, so you don't do it routinely at all. But they've done this in studies. And when they've done this in studies, in perfectly healthy people, what they've found... Or apparently perfectly healthy people, according to Western medicine, that don't consider things like blurred vision and muscle cramps necessarily a sign of blood deficiency.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:19:14)
What they found is that there was a massive variation in the volume of blood between people. And in fact, so much so that they define normal as plus or minus 25% at a certain range. So, say you've got five litres, so they'll say normal is 6.25 litres all the way down to four litres.
That's a vast difference.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:19:40)
Yeah. Yeah, vast. Exactly. Yeah. And realistically, no one has blood excess.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:19:48)
So really, 6.25 is probably full up and everything below that is deficient. And in fact, actually by the time you get to 25% below what they consider normal, you're talking about a blood volume that's almost half of what someone else could have.
Mm. That's significant. Mm.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:20:09)
Yeah. You have all these people out there who are basically told, "Oh, you're not anaemic." And they have very low total blood volumes. And you'll never be able to find out what their blood volumes are, unless you send them into some kind of special lab where they do this test with radioactive dye, or unless you start listening to what the Chinese describe as blood deficiency.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:20:35)
So basically, a lot of these people with blood deficiency will then develop hypertension as a result, because they've got low volume, so the body compensates for the low volume by increasing the pressure. Yeah? The kidneys have picked up on this, increased the pressure, you then get hypertension.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:20:53)
And when they do all the tests in Western medicine, because they don't routinely measure blood volume, they all come back normal. And so the doctor turns around and goes, "You've got hypertension. We don't know what the cause is. We call that primary hypertension. Primarily we don't know what's going on." That's the primary bit.
Primary bit. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:21:15)
And then as a result of that, they put them on these medicines. Now, not everyone who has so-called primary hypertension has low blood volume, there can also be genuine kidney disease as well, that's miss-recorded pressures and stuff. But they put them on these medications to basically trick the body into thinking there's no problem. But the problem is still there. They've still got low blood. And so that's where in Chinese medicine, you try and fix the blood, try and help them make more blood.
I'm interested in this from the perspective of pregnancy, because the blood volume increases quite dramatically. Off the top of my head, it's something like eight litres of blood that we have-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:03)
Yeah. Yeah. I think it's about 40% or something. Yeah. You get a huge amount of blood increase. Yeah. Yeah.
So, if someone has a preexisting blood deficiency and then gets pregnant, are they still... I mean, is that where we see these sort of postpartum Jing problems come up?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:22)
Down the track.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:24)
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:26)
I mean, what you do in pregnancy is, you pull out on your reserves of Jing to get through it. So it's very draining on Jing in essence. But if you look after yourself, then you can cope with that.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:41)
That's why historically, pregnant women, everyone opened the door for them. They always got the seat on the bus, and you were expected to just sit around, and do as little as possible.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:22:52)
Yeah. Be pregnant. Yeah. Because it wasn't like, "Oh, you've..." Otherwise you'll drain your essence, that's the problem. Yeah, fine. You can cope with it. I mean, a pregnant women can do amazing things, but that's not the point. The point is that you need to be saving your energy because you are in a vulnerable position.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:23:19)
It's like the difference between a patient and a client. I hate this people calling patients clients, because their clients aren't in vulnerable positions. When you go and buy a car, you're not in a vulnerable position or are likely to be in a position where you have to get that car at that moment. Whereas a patient is by nature vulnerable. And it's the same in pregnancy, you've got to take it easy. And that's the most critical thing with health, I think, is preserving your essence, your Jing, because once you've depleted that you can't get it back again very easily, unless you're some kind of Qigong master.
Yeah. I was going to say. I think they're the only people I know that are special. Because that's something I think... It's probably a good place to start wrapping up, but around lifestyle. I think so much of our culture, it's really... And I'm a pregnant woman, and I've watched friends who have just gone really hard through pregnancy and had quite challenging postpartum periods, or challenging births and stuff. And it's been a big learning for me. And my husband and I are constantly reflecting on this. It's like we come out of this culture that is really driven and pushes, and you're meant to have achieved so much. And it's like, yeah, but rest and sleep and good food and good air. These are such fundamental, core, non-negotiable things that we have to have. And I think we've moved really far from just prioritising those things. And yeah, I guess there's a lot of ego and a lot of human nature involved. So yeah. Social pressures.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:25:06)
Yeah. There's a lot of people... Oh, by the way, I'm down to 3%. I'll tell you when I'm down to 2% and then we should wrap it up. I accidentally got involved in this cycle helmet group in New Zealand to try and get rid of cycle helmet laws. That's another story. But this is a good example. People make loads of money out selling bike helmets, nobody makes any money out of not selling bike helmets. So, unless people are really savvy and switched on, which argument's going to win? And that's the issue. And it's the same with, people make money out selling Paracetamol in fevers.
They make 36 billion out of jabby jabs.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:25:53)
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:25:57)
Yeah. Stay away from that poison. Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:00)
And that's probably...
That's a good place to stop. Before we start going to... My husband just recorded a really hectic podcast with a Chinese doctor who was like, "No, this is all very bad."
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:10)
Yeah. I've said for 18 months, it's poison. It's poison.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:13)
There was a study out in circulation the other day, said basically, it over doubles your five year risk of a coronary event. Unbelievable. Wow.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:30)
I mean, I didn't want to go onto this, but unbelievable. Any other drug, literally any other drug in the world, it would be pulled immediately. Immediately.
Oh yeah. It wouldn't have even made it through trials. They've suppressed all the trial data.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:45)
Yeah. You've got it.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:45)
You've got it.
It's a cluster fuck, is what it is.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:26:48)
It's a game at play. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think, I guess that's what I find reassuring, knowing there are people like yourself out there, who are not just practising , but also wanting to... My point is, you've got these online programmes and people who are interested can study with you. So on your website, if they sign up, they can stay in touch with you. You'll let us know when all of that's ready?
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:27:12)
Oh, please do. Please visit my website at www.drdankeown.com. Yeah.
Yeah. Great. So, we'll link to that as well. Yeah. And you've got great blogs. Obviously you can purchase Dan's books there as well. So please, if you're listening and any of this has been of interest, go have a look. Because yeah, your work's really amazing and I'm really grateful you're out there in the world. So, thank you for being here today. And yeah, I really appreciate you working around your little-
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:27:38)
Good luck with the baby.
Thank you. Yeah, so far so good.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:27:41)
You look great.
Take care. Many thanks.
Dr. Daniel Keown: (01:27:44)
Thanks, Tahnee. Bye.