Mason is thrilled to welcome Rhonda Chang to the podcast today. Rhonda is a traditional healer who specialises in the art and healing principals of yinyang wuxing. After becoming disillusioned during her studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, in her native home of China, Rhonda decided to go her own way. Straying from the path of convention to re-educate herself through the exploration and deep analysis of the classical texts. After 30 years of research and practice, Rhonda published two books: Chinese Medicine Masquerading As Yi — A Case of Chinese Self-colonisationandYinyang Wuxing Spirit, Body & Healing. Rhonda continues to honour the lineage of the Chinese healing arts, raising awareness around the true origin and principals of this potent medicine, through her treatments, practice, blog, and upcoming online course. Today's chat is truly eye-opening and informative. Rhonda is a rebel with a cause, and it is an absolute delight to have her with us, sharing her wisdom and knowledge with integrity and conviction.
Mason and Rhonda discuss:
- The concept of 'Yi'.
- Wuxing - Five Element Theory.
- Rhonda's top tips for wellness.
- Symptoms vs diagnoses; how Westernised TCM is still operating within a symptom based ideology.
- Rhonda's process of "de-colonising" herself from the standardised TCM curriculum she was originally trained in.
- The difference between Classical Chinese Medicine and Modern Chinese Medicine, which otherwise known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Who is Rhonda Chang?
For the past 40 years Rhonda Chang has been involved in the study and practice of traditional healing. The journey has been long and tortuous. Rhonda began her studies at the Beijing College of Traditional Medicine. After graduation Rhonda worked as a physician at a number of hospitals in China. In 1986 she migrated to Australia and opened her own treatment clinic. Rhonda operated her clinic up until 2012, where she felt that government regulation was overly restricting her practice of healing and that the professionalisation of TCM in Australia had subordinated it to modern medicine. Since then Rhonda has focused her energies on writing books and promoting a return to traditional YinYang Wuxing healing principles.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Hey, Rhonda. Thanks so much for joining me.
Pleasure. Thank you.
Now, I don't often get nervous when I'm doing podcast interviews, but I'm... like, I didn't really tell you, I showed you that I've got your book sitting here with me. But I'm a real big fan of your work.
And ever since I first heard that podcast that you did on Qiological, which I'd stopped listening to Qiological a long time ago. I was still subscribed, but then the Chinese Medicine masquerading As Yi came up, and I was like... It got something awake in me because I had this consistent disappointment with Chinese medicine and I'm studying more of the Daoist path of medicine, but want to interact with Chinese medicine today, as it is, and kept on becoming disappointing and finding something disingenuous about it and you informed me about what that inkling is.
So first, off the bat, thank you so much for that. Can you explain the difference between Chinese medicine and even, like, what the term Yi means?
Yi, yeah. I call that an ancient Chinese healing called a Yi. Which, I mean, they translate Yi in English as medicine, but there's so much difference. There's a fundamental difference in theory, the understanding life, everything. So that's why I call them a Yi, I don't like to call them medicine. They're not really equivalent to Western terms of medicine.
Well, what a difference. Yi is... You know, Chinese medicine is created after 1950s. And the Communist Party actually took over China and they want to change everything because... I mean, it's not just Chinese Communist Party did it, it was actually from 1900, early 1900, after Opium War and China defeated and then they also did change in China.
I mean, especially, I think, the contribution was America actually started to get all the young Chinese students going to America to study because the theory is these people going back, they will be the leaders of the country. And then they will... You know, kind of favour our country, our philosophy, our beliefs. So they did, and these people, later in... You know, like mid-1900, China was like internal wars and so many parties and the communists and the National Party and all this kind. But they all believe in science.
So everyone... When they established the government, they want to ban Chinese medicine. And then when Mao took over and he said, "No, I'm not going to ban it, I'm going to modify them." So that's where they come from, the modern Chinese medicine. What they modified is they got rid of the theory. A lot of people are telling me, they say, "Why hasn't Chinese medicine always talk about Yinyang Wuxing ." But they talk about Yinyang Wuxing, which is completely different to what Yinyang Wuxing was in traditional ancient Chinese healing, the meaning.
So what happened is they... What modern Chinese medicine do is that they recognise your body as anatomy and physiology and pathology and disease, exactly everything to Western medicine. And then they try to match the traditional healing technique, like formulas, acupuncture needle points. So then they match this, they say, "Oh, that description, just like a modern disease. What is it?"
So then they actually kind of make a little bit of complicated, say. There was a wet disease and there was a... pneumonia, for example. There was a wet pneumonia, there was a dry pneumonia, there's a hot pneumonia, there's a cold pneumonia. And then they made up all different formulas for it, and then people just matching. But for a practitioner, you don't understand how this formula came about and you don't know how to apply them. You're just guessing. And if it doesn't work, you're paralysed because you say, "Oh, well, you know, the ancient people hasn't met this kind of cases."
So wanting the traditional yi was, I mean, they don't really... there's no... I mean, the body recognised as the ba gua, if you heard of it. And that's what... what do you call the... Meridians. Meridians is a ba gua. You know, I was calling you before and there was a [inaudible] and Dìqiú. What is [inaudible]? [inaudible] is the sun position to the Earth, and they go square. East to west, isn't it? And north to south. So that's made a square. So then they call the Earth is square.
A lot of people say Chinese old people didn't understand, they think the Earth is square. It's not that sense, it's the sun made our sense of direction. If there's no sun, then you don't really know where the west, left, and there's nothing, isn't it?
So that's what is the [kin der 00:05:15] and Dìqiú, which is the time of the Earth rotate themself and around the sun. So that's a time. And these two work together and make a big difference to how your body is and how you actually live. Say like, the sun may be in the right, say mid-day, but on the... you know, it could be summer. It could be winter, isn't it? So that actually make difference, too.
So that was what medicine made kind of a understand your body. How you actually responding to the sun position, because a lot of people say, "Oh, we're not really kind of to do with the sun." But you do. You sleep at night because the sun is down, and you wake up in the morning because the sun is up." And even in the cold days, even in the cloudy day. So your body actually responding to the sun, the moon. The reason is the sun give you the heat, the Yang Qi we call it. And the moon, what they do, is the moon waves your Water.
So when the Earth and the moon and the sun in the same line and what happen is the tide go high. So that's why your body... Your body's 75% the water, isn't it? So you're responding to that. And according to when you're born and you have different constitution. And then that's why you're waving the external differently. So then we work out how that your body actually responding to the sun, the moon, the so-called Meridians. That's what the time is. And then your internal organ is... What do you call that? We call that direction or wuxing. Well, wuxing is when the sun first rising or in the spring, what happened is that you, the Wood started.
Your not is a first thing, isn't it? The Wood start growing. And now we say that's the Wood, that's your Liver, and your Liver responding to that. And then the... You know, like a longest day of the year, which is in that time, summer, and you're body actually responding to your Heart. And you can't help it, you're just responding to that because, you know, that make your hot... make you active, isn't it?
Make your Heart desire. Yes. So then the winter, shortest day in the winter, and that was what we call... And your body also responding to that. That's your Water. So the Water actually go downward, and that's when you kind of go down. Yeah. So this is the medicine, traditionally. So how that work with your body is because in different times, because your body responding to the sun, the moon, and the time, so your body actually move around.
We recognise that where they go. This is also not imaginary. It's also the sun always come from the East and going down from the west, isn't it? So your body responding the same way, and you're going... so the Meridian, actually running around like this, and the back and the forth. You know, the front. So then we recognise this is the point, and then when you have a problem, that means that you don't respond. Because you're part of our Earth, really. You're living on it. You cannot help it, to be effective.. That what we say. The heavens, Earth, and the people are in the one line. So you can't actually get away from it.
But if people actually get in kind of, say, mood problem, so we say your Spirit blocked. So you don't respond, you can't connect to the... What do you call that? The spirits of the Heaven and the Earth. Yeah. So now if you have, like, a physical problem and one that doesn't really connect, you feel the pain. And that's why you feel sick.
So what we do is from acupuncture point, you can actually choose your time. So your time, you just have to go slow, so then you choose your time with the acupuncture. And then with the herbs, and somebody just wrote me a email, says, "How do you say Yinyang Wuxing terms? How do you say these plants actually can help your... What do you call it? Like I said, Liver. Animals Liver, and it can help your Liver."
So what Yinyang Wuxing terms in that? I said... I haven't replied, but I'm going to write a little blog about it. And you see, your Spleen, we call that, or your stomach, or your... What do you... The Heart, in our terms is all about Yin and Yang. So Yin and Yang in the Heart, which is Fire, you know? The nature of Fire, rise, isn't it? And the nature of the Water sink. So the plants, which have the same nature as your Heart and they also benefit your own Heart. Because they got the same Yin Yang nature. And the Water, the same.
So if you have a Kidney problem, and then this plants or anything around you exist which have that same kind of nature, and you can use them either to rise your Water or to kind of increase your Water. And that's how so-called nutrition, but we don't really look at a nutrition point, you see? Everything is Yin Yang, you see. There's no thing says that, you know, you've got to eat vitamins or proteins or sugar to benefit you. It might, but in our terms you got to actually benefit your Yin and Yang. And so if your kidney have a problem, I mean, the Kidney is naturally a Water organ so they're kind of a cold.
So for Yin and Yang, they need a heat. So then you need something warm for the Water, and you choose some plants, like cinnamon, and aconite. They're actually very, very hot and warm for the Water. So you add that in there, and then your Water rise in your body. And that's what I treat for edoema. That people have a edoema, and you use that. It's very, very well. Very, very effective, powerful. So that's what difference are. You don't recognise the body as the anatomy. So whatever disease... I wrote a little... what do you call it? E-book on this coronavirus. Because [crosstalk 00:11:45].
Oh, you did? Cool.
Yeah. The people say, "You haven't made this disease, how can you treat it?" So what you do is you actually look at a symptom and you interpret it into Yinyang Wuxing because fever comes so quickly, seems develop very fast. What I mean, it's the Fire, isn't it? So how do you put a Fire down? You actually Water control with Fire, isn't it? So you increase Water, and I choose a lot of herbs which are really kind of cool, and the Water, increase Water quality. So then you treat it.
I mean, recently, I had a girl actually ask me what to do and she had a very bad fever and I think she tested negative, but she took some packet from my book, she got a formula, and then she took, like, three-packet-in-one in kind of two days. Her fever dropped like within 12 hours. Everything disappeared. 12 hours. Finished.
Did she have a COVID infection? Mm-hmm (affirmative).
No, not... she just had a kind of fever, infection. You know, sore throat, runny nose, [crosstalk 00:12:53] maybe. I said, "It doesn't matter, it's COVID or anything because we don't really treat the disease." [crosstalk 00:13:00]
Yeah, right. That's the same as going... you know, when we say "liver," we're not saying liver with a little L talking about the anatomical liver.
Yeah, when we talk about Liver, we're not talking about anatomical liver, but we talk about Wood. We talk about our flexibility, and we talk about our strength. That's what a Liver does, what Wood does. Wood actually flexible, and firm.
So that's what we're talking about. So if you actually... You know, somebody kind of timid, you know, very scared for always that it's Liver with the Yang then, it's because they're not straight enough, so they're not firm enough. Isn't it?
So if somebody actually get kind of really angry, you know, very easy hot temper, so what we say, " lose the flexibility," so we say it's your Liver Yin problem. So we don't talk about a disease at all, we talk about a Liver as a Wood. And when we talk about the Heart, we talk as Fire. So the Fire... They're floating, but if they do float above the ground, they're not grounded. It's weird, isn't it? So what you do, you need to ground them. And that's where we work. So we don't really... I mean, like, somebody palpitated, you know, it really is always the Heart rising. And that's Fire in the Heart, it's floating.
So what you do, you use a oyster shell and... What do you call it? Abalone shell and what do you call it? A mother of pearl.
Pearl, mm-hmm (affirmative).
You ground them. You ground the Fire. And it works. I mean, people that you listen to and they say, "Use this shell," they don't even dissolve Water, so you drink the tea, what that do? There's the calcium, but the calcium doesn't dissolve in the Water that you use, and you don't use it, absolutely a difference. And I remember that somebody read this somewhere, she read it and she said she got some kind of a cyst in her uterus and as she read some modern Chinese medicine report, said, "Oyster shells can actually dissolve this cyst."
So she asked me to give her 90 grams. Normally, I use 30 grams. I did, myself. But anyway, there's no problem. I know that would be too heavy, but she didn't think of it, so I did 90 gram.
And then she said she couldn't really... She couldn't move. She just feels sick and doesn't want to move. Lazy, heavy. It's hard to see. So that's what difference. Yeah.
I mean, the difference is so huge. And I think I underestimate how big the difference... And say, for myself, growing up in a Western society, which is fundamentally reductionist and fundamentally compartmentalises things, and then I'm given this Watered-down Chinese medicine and it's kind of like, as you've said in your book, it's like an ornamental Chinese medicine. And the Western approach, the pathology approach, the anatomical approach has this patronising nature due to the self-colonisation of Chinese medicine, right?
So can you help me with my pronunciation? Is it in the '50s, what really dropped it for me was that there was... it's, this is a new medicine, you know? This is a new experimental type of medicine that's a fusion of some Chinese principles with Western. Is it [inaudible 00:16:31]? [inaudible 00:16:32]?
Say it again?
Oh, [inaudible 00:16:44], yeah. [inaudible 00:16:34] is that right? No?
Yeah. Yeah, the...
[inaudible 00:16:44], yes, yes, sorry. Yeah.
My pronunciation is so terrible.
That's all right. That's all right.
[crosstalk 00:16:49], yeah. [inaudible 00:16:49], yeah. [inaudible 00:16:51]
That's what absolutely blew it out of the water for me, and so the way I kind of... I will use, say... I will refer to TCM, Traditional Chinese medicine, when referring to the [inaudible 00:17:04] [crosstalk 00:17:06].
Yeah, [inaudible 00:17:06]. Yeah.
Classical Chinese medicine when talking about Yi, and I don't know whether that's... how useful that is or not, but going in your book you kind of see that there's reference from some experts talking about half-baked Chinese Medicine, and a real Chinese Medicine. So all of a sudden I start realising that all universities here, all universities in China are teaching an experimental 70-year-old medical system that is...
60, right. 60-year-old medical system that is completely watered down, and...
The fact you've talked about it, you just nailed on the head, they think it's just harmless that we go, "Look, let's just get the best of both worlds, the best of Western Medicine and the best of Chinese Medicine." But they are completely in... You can't put them together. And you cannot lay them on top of each other in any way, and you said there that they've gone, "Well, let's just start compartmentalising symptoms to make it easier for everybody." [crosstalk 00:18:15]
And it's not easy, because it's not reliable. So, I mean in the book I say that there were some Chinese Medicine students says, you know, what do you call it, they knew Chinese ways like a fly bumping into the window. It's bright, but no future. And it's so true, it's so bright but there's no future. Because it's just fake, it doesn't work, because how do you really work on a different philosophy and then you're using a different kind of practise? So they're definitely not matching. And they actually decided to make it the best of two world, but actually they made it a worse of the two worlds. You know.
It's just so terrible.
Well, because they don't actually... as you're saying, that style of medicine, the fake Chinese Medicine, TCM, which is being taught doesn't follow a logical scientific pathology based approach.
No, that's right.
Which can work in its own right, and for its intention. And it definitely doesn't follow Yinyang Wuxing principles.
No, that's right.
And it doesn't necessarily work. It's kind of flying in the dark. You see these studies come about, going, "We're studying the use of this formula for a cold, headache, due to blah blah blah." So it's like, straightaway we're in a symptom-based approach.
And they're basically trying to see what percentage...And some different formulas are going to have a different percentage of effectiveness based on the symptom, but they're like, this formula, what percentage can we accidentally lower the symptoms by using this formula? Right? Like, that's kind of like the only way I can see it, and I'm just like, it's... I get it, because it's so tempting to use anatomy and use pathology.
And the problem is, it's not reliable. I actually trained the same way. I train exactly as... What do you call the modern Chinese Medicine who go through this university, that was the first time when China... You know, after the revolution, they reopened the university. I mean, during the revolution they stopped all the education, university, for nine years, I think. And then they re-opened, that's the time I actually got into university. I learned Chinese Medicine, and I was looking for some kind of traditional arts, you know, like philosophy, and absolutely nothing. And then there's nothing they explain. It's like, it makes sense.
And I used to question the teacher and the teacher gave me a dirty look, and everybody look at me dirty, because they think, you know, "What do you know? Why do you really always getting in trouble?" So now I stop listening, and now I start writing stories no matter in the class.
So after finish, you become a practitioner. And you're in the hospital. People come in for real sickness, you know? I remember I was in Beijing, a little country... Country... what do you call that? Like, a hospital. And the people... actually, the farmers, are travelling like 100K or 30K and in that time, they didn't have a car, kind of on the horse or on the... You know, so slow and all the track go "boom, boom, boom," and [inaudible 00:21:32].
And then they come here 5:00 in the morning and they get a ticket and then they're waiting for you to treat it. And I thought, you know, you can't really just fool these people, you've got to fix them isn't it? So I start to learn myself. I learn actually from... You know, I follow the field of old people who didn't have a degree, you know?
But they trained in the... Like, family train. But then they didn't really teach me enough, so I just got some of these formulas, and now I just thought of the formulas. I've got to be able to modify them. I mean, how did they create these formulas? So now I start to kind of try myself, because you're here... Because I read about traditional texts. In those days, not many available. You can't even get a proper whole Neijing publish.
Whoa, that level of suppression.
Yeah, it was very bad. And so you don't... I never really heard about Bagua until I came to Australia, you know, believe it or not. And... Yeah, so you couldn't really... you don't get too many sources for that. I kind of from here, there, I guess, here, and I was very... I mean, a good practitioner because I did kind of pay attention to it, and over the years of course I learned more role and now try more, so I get each kind of so-called problems overcome.
And now when I'd done all this, I thought I'd better in teaching, we're told that all these disease you can't treat and how did I treat it? So I actually started, I thought there's something wrong with our teaching. I said, "All I did for 30 years I've been kind of training myself. If I was trained in university..." And I, actually, during the training myself, I had to overcome my education, so I called it decolonise myself.
Because they colonised me, and then they gave me all this wrong information and you can't get away from it, you know? Like, people come in with a cancer and you go oh, cancer is damp heat. And you've got to use some cooling herbs, you got to really... You know, kind of things are breaking down. It didn't work, really. So what do you do? I mean, I know so many people who have been through all these Chinese doctors.
I won't say they killed them, but they definitely not help. So what they did is they give you so much cooling herb, with a cancer what happens, you don't have your own heat. You don't have your own force to fight anymore. You've got to give them warm herbs. Of course you've got to clean up, you know? You've got to have herbs that... Like a rotten tree, you've got to chop them up, you know? Get rid, clean up, but at the same time you've got to nurture them and you've got a renew... What do you call that, leaves, isn't it? New trunks. So you've got to use warm herbs, and with it, with clean Water.
But nobody doing that, so I thought, "I might actually get this sorted out and that's why I did a Ph.D. Little bit late and writing this book. So this is a masquerade, this book, it's during my Ph.D. study and eventually I produced this book. And then after that... After that...
The book is amazing. The book is amazing. Every... it's so thorough.
It's because, really, it took me eight years to get this delineated because it's so hard to make a clean... You know, everyone know what I write. Actually, my husband's being like my supervisor almost. And he read it, and he says, "What do you mean?" You know, "Why do you use Chinese..." Because he can't help it. You can't simply bring yourself into Chinese Medicine. So then I actually eventually decided not using Chinese Medicine anymore, I've got to use a different term because it was just so different. I don't want to mix up.
And I was so angry about this kind of mixing up, because... You know, you waste your life going to university and waiting six years, you know, five years to study and a year in the hospital. And then you come out, and you land a fake thing. And then you have to... I mean, it took me years to just clean myself out and then try to re-learn. So I thought, "I must really write this and let people know about it." And I send to China publish, they wouldn't publish, of course. Yeah.
I mean, [inaudible 00:25:53] but maybe in the future better because at the moment everybody who in this field in China who has authority, who has power, they all contribute into [inaudible 00:26:05] in Chinese, right? Of course they wouldn't let my voice out. So but it doesn't matter, so I thought, "I let them out here first and then eventually I'll get them there." Because...
You'll get there.
It's so savvy, not to get people learning this fake thing also. I was so angry. I'll write this book really with my patient. People deserve to know this, you know this. It took me, really, eight years, yeah, to get this cleared out and sold it up. And then traced out why they did that. I mean, it's a psychological kind of problem behind that, that was... I call them a self-colonising movement, you know, in China. Yeah. So that's... Yeah, it's very, very important, I think, to get knowing that. And then followed by that, and the people said, "Then what? I mean, how do we learn the tradition?" And so I thought I'll write another book about it, how I did it, you know? What I did. So that's what the second book is about, yeah.
And the second book, the Yinyang Wuxing, Spirit Body and Healing?
Yeah, that's right. Now I'm working on the third one, which actually going to talk about how this yinyan was in all this... The term was come about. Because these things, even if you read the traditional Chinese text, and like classical Chinese, it's very difficult to understand those books because of all the things that they take for granted that we know, that we don't. So when you read it, you feel like you go, "What are you reading?"
You can read the word, but you don't understand the meaning.
Well, that's why I especially liked that the Yinyang Wuxing book is... I pick up several copies of Neijing and enjoy it and quite often I walk away going, "I read it, and I theoretically get it, but it was... the essence [crosstalk 00:27:51]."
How do you apply? You can't apply, because actually, if you really start learning that from beginning, beginning how there's a Yin Yang above, how there's a wuxing what's come from, and then that's all about... Like, we call that, "Looking on the sky." You know, the stars. And then looking on the ground, say, what happens when the star in position or the sun, the moon, and Jupiter, where they're positioned and where we are.
So then to actually form, and then the words, a lot of them, I thought about that, and then in the Neijing a lot of numbers, how many [inaudible 00:28:26], how many time.... it's so different time to ask you now to what we're using, so I am writing them, the current book, I'm writing to convert all this, the equivalent of what all that means.
And then when you read a traditional textbook, you understand. So that's my first book, in the next one. And I'm actually a series of it, and then another one, which is herbs. How do you recognise herbs? And how the actual Yin Yang okay? So how you choose them when you actually use them. Because at the moment, you're looking at herb books, a lot of them say, "It's for Kidney, for Kidney." But Kidney is rarely... from a Kidney Yin and kidney Yang is completely different. So you've got to actually understand, so in what way it work for Kidney.
And like, diagnose a sickness. "Oh, they call that a Kidney deficiency." What is Kidney deficient? That's the only half-words. You've got to make sure, they said, is it a Yin or is it a Yang. You know, and that makes big different, how you practise. Yeah.
Well, let's go into that a little bit. You mentioned how it's sad that people think they're learning something authentic and they're actually learning something fake, which it's then... I like your work because you're providing a solution, because if there's no solution for where to point yourself, if you're an acupuncturist, and you just have to acknowledge that you studied something just new, you know? And it's not what you thought it was, there's a bit of an existential crisis sometimes, you resist knowing because you are an expert and you had these skills and the institution told you you had the ability [crosstalk 00:30:05].
Yes, very much.
[crosstalk 00:30:05] this and that, but you don't.
Especially if you have a little bit of position, you know?
Oh, yeah. [crosstalk 00:30:10]
In that name. [crosstalk 00:30:10]
Yeah, love the name as well.
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:30:13]
Love the accolades.
Very, very, afraid to change. And that's why you're kind of defensive. Once I actually wrote a little bit and joined one of this internet group which are talking about Chinese Medicine, so I just said a few things. Oh, there were so many people up against it. So angry.
And they asked... demand me explain. "No," I thought, "I don't really have time to explain to you all this in here," and then they kick me out of the group, and they said, "If you don't explain, you're better off, this is not a place to show yourself." Oh, all right. So I just dropped it, it didn't really matter. So many people, very defensive. Very defensive.
What I see there is especially, there's something... they are wanting to learn and then stagnate, which is the main difference between a fake TCM and a real yi is I see that.. You said you were a good physician, and that is rare, and also what they want to do is they don't care whether they have someone that's good or not, they want to just be able to, as you said, commodify and pump out these physicians.
Now the difference is, someone who isn't willing to really walk the path, acknowledge the fact that we are in communion with the sun, heaven, moon, the earth, the way it's moving, that's its own path, it takes its own discipline, and requires a certain amount of integrity, because there's... Yunyin is never ending flux. Verse, in the fake style, they want to say, "That's the symptom, and I'm going to fix that symptom." They still use the fancy words, damp, heat, it's still, to a Westerner, you're like, "Ooh, wow, this is so exotic, a damp heat."
But it's still bullshit. [crosstalk 00:31:59].
Yeah, exactly. And that's... Damp heat, it's a... You know, people think that's a diagnosis, it's not. What is damp heat? That's only a symptom. It's like if people say, "I'm actually Blood deficiency." What is Blood deficient? That's a symptom. That's not diagnosis. So you've got to really understand how that happened. All that is wuxing. You know, who created? Who made this?
So you got to work on that, then you can treat it. If I say, "I got Blood deficient, no," I've got to say, "Oh, nourish the Blood, and I've got to find it. It's not, because your body actually able to kind of create everything. It's not really nutrition, that's why I'm kind of against this nutrition point, as well. I mean, when you're working in the natural food, you don't say it's because of nutrition.
It's because the powerful Yang, or the powerful Yin, and that's how they actually make your body bouncy and make you well, rather than say, "Oh, this got some vitamins, or this got some kind of minerals and all rubbish." Yeah.
It's harder to get ego attached on to it, because it's just a part of the nature of the universe, and the key term in the book that I saw the difference between, say, someone who's going to go to fake Chinese Medicine to someone that has the capacity to walk the authentic path is their understanding of Qihua and that was the biggest distinction.
I realise when you were talking about Qihua and we'll go into what it is to explain to everyone, but a physician who just wants to treat the Blood deficiency and think that that's an actual diagnosis. They are going to treat the Blood, treat the Qi and say, "We've gone about that very holistically in accordance with the tradition."
But they don't understand the transformative cycle of Yin and Yang and it's never ending transformation.
That's right. Yes.
Chi qua. Can you explain that? Because it made the difference for me.
Yes, well, Qi which means like a force, like... We say things you can't really kind of grab it, that's called a chi, you know? But it's got a energy, but then it's kind of a airy kind of energy. That's called a Qi. Hua It's the transform, transformation. You know? We say, "How does the sun, actually the heat, transform to Water rise?"
And that's actually become a Water Qi, isn't it? So then when the rise heat, we call it a Fire, kind of... what do you call it? Qi. And then when they actually turn you to... what do you call that? Growing trees, that's what we call that tree, like a Wood Qi. So that's actually called a Qihua, it's the Five Elements, kind of... oh. People say element, I don't quite comfortable with this word.
But anyway, it's the transformation of one thing to the other and the force. So that's why we call it Qihua. So that's why somebody... In that book, I think I gave you an example, somebody at the university, a Ph.D. student, and then they talk about nutrition. I said, "I'll ask him," I said, "What about Qihua?" And then he said, "What are you talking about? What is that?" You know? He didn't understand at all. But Qihua is very important, it's how the changes. And you heard of [inaudible 00:35:25].
[inaudible]. Yeah, that's what I'm writing at the moment in the next book with theory part is also the sun position, and the Earth movement, and how to... That the sun movement, the position... Which you cause, you know, like the sunrise and sundown. We call that the [inaudible], that movement. And the Qi which is the Earth changing, and that create a different atmosphere.
And that is what I call the [inaudible]. You know? That now turned into, like, a luck. You know, how your luck is. Because your luck is can't escape from the sun and the moon.
You make your own luck.
Yes, yes. Because luck is about a sun position and your time. So that's what it is. It's a time and a position.
And I think the fallacy of the West is looking at that fundamental principle of life, that we are connected, and that our atmospheric positioning is going to effect us and our capacity to... you know, even considering if you're talking about something that in the West has a gravity, like... you know, the word cancer.
And then to talk about it in context of Water Qi, Wood Qi. But because Westerners require drama, I think it's almost intimidating to go into what's seen as something that's just... You know, it's folk medicine, it's not real, that's why they've gone to Commodify Chinese medicine for the West, we need to actually take out all that terminology that has anything esoteric whatsoever and therefore, you know, therefore we're going to be able to sell this to Westerners.
And if you look at where Western Medicine is, the detrimental scalpel, taking the scalpel to medicine and nature and separating them is... It's evident what's happened, and I just want to reiterate that this medicine is very, very effective if you go back to its roots.
Very, very effective. In fact, I think I said in the other podcast, I mean, this is kind of a bit of personal, but I've actually been poisoned by formaldehyde and benzine. And I was like a Liver and the Kidney failure. I mean, I didn't go to Western Medicine so I couldn't really get any kind of [inaudible 00:38:00] diagnose, but I didn't really want it because, you know, you're that sick and you mentally kind of weak as well so I didn't want them to curse me, to say, "You're going to die in a few months," or whatever.
So I actually totally relied on herbs, and acupuncture, and treating myself. And I'm actually on the mending, yeah.
So, I mean, I'm still not 100%, like what I used to be, but I'm definitely still alive.
[crosstalk 00:38:26] to this stage, I lost all my weight, like 42 kilos, and like skeleton. And couldn't eat, and I turned to just black, like a green and blackish. And, oh, I was completely... getting a fever every few days. You just... you're thinking, I mean... I definitely prepared to die, but I thought, "Even when I die, I'm not going to waste the medicine." There's no way I'll let them torture me. But I actually just rely on herbs and acupuncture and treat myself and I'm almost normal now. [crosstalk 00:39:00]
Wow. You were talking about it being sad about practitioners being taught this new style of medicine. What I find sad, as well, is a lot of people listening, and like myself, I have... I'm going my path right now and I'm going to not go down the practitioner path for the moment, but I talk about this... I talk about the Chinese herbs as a fan.
I talk about acupuncture as a patient and as a fan to this medicine and an advocate, but you can't... The problem here, in Australia especially, which I'd like you to talk to the people listening who go and have acupuncture, how to navigate the relationship within acupuncturist and find someone in this current day where you're not really allowed, technically, in Australia, to practise classical Yi. Right?
That's right. It's very, very, kind of dangerous to practise. That's why I actually kind of erased myself. Because when you're being a practitioner, you agree that's when we kind of... You know, in 2012, when we become, like, a so-called, a government recognised practise and that's why I erased because by then, we have to sign a paper to say we agree their terms, and the one of the term which I can't agree is you got to actually become a... What do you call that? Assistant. Like, a complimentary to biomedicine. Which means if somebody come to me, I actually got to send them to Western doctors if I think they're serious. I mean, what I do?
If I send everybody go to them, what am I doing? But then, when you treat everybody seriously, if anything happen, even when you're treating life and death, isn't it? If somebody happening something really serious or whatever, even to die, and you send yourself to jail, and they bankrupt everything they can fine you everything. So how can you really practise? You couldn't really do it. So most people, I think the best they do is just kind of... You got to lay back and do a little bit. I can help you as much as I can, that's all it is.
You can be serious now, it's kind of political condition. But this medicine, it definitely very powerful. And also a lot of herbs you're not allowed to have. And because this called biomedical kind of terminology, and they say this is poisonous, while the herbs, actually, I was importing and they said, "You can't," they said, "It's poisonous." I said, "Who actually kind of analysed? I want to see the paper says this poison." And they said, "Because this relate to another herb, the name's similar."
I mean, that is ridiculous.
So they're not... They understand nothing, basically. So you can't argue with them, so you can't really... it's very difficult to practise. I know... Well, I'm teaching, but I also feel sorry for people who want to practise the real thing. But at least you help yourself. They can't stop you help yourself, you know? Like, if I didn't have this knowledge, I'll be dead, long time. You know? Like, I'm still alive, and I'm still working. So it's...
It's something really good. You know, very important for yourself, to do this. So and I hope, actually, eventually if there's enough, that's one of my aim to do this course training, eventually we're going to set up association called the Yi Association. And we're going to set up our own kind of way, and like a Chinese Medicine before. They didn't recognise, but they can't stop you because they've not recognised it, we don't want them to recognise it. But they can't stop us.
So we're in this kind of form, and enough people we're truly an association and we're going to push that all over the world. We're going to do this real Yi. You have to, because it's such a beautiful knowledge. You know, when you actually learn it, it's powerful and it's beautiful when you learn it. At the moment I'm doing a little bit on my Facebook group, the Yinyang Wuxing Yi Facebook group. Actually, I start teaching language because in my course, if you actually... You got to learn the basic terms, and then you'll be able to kind of follow me.
So now I'm training a little bit of this work. I mean, even just the words are beautiful, really, to learn. I'm not teaching modern Chinese word, I'm teaching, like, the sun, how they actually first come, it's like the run, and then with the stroke, and the straight line. The straight line, which means... you know, if you know the bagua the straight line is a Yang , and the broken is like a Yin. And the straight line, what it means it's a sign is a powerful, it's firm. So that's where the words come from. And eventually they make a square, and with the line. And square means the sun actually is east in the west and north and south, going down, going up. And so that cause what they call the position of the Earth. [crosstalk 00:44:03]
Square... I'm sure there's going to be people that want to know whether they can join your Facebook group.
Facebook group, open to... I mean, you have to ask to join in, but it's a group anybody can learn. So I made it as a group because I thought it concentrated all the things in there, so... yeah.
Oh, yeah, of course.
I mean, I'm really excited to hear that you have a page. And Tahnee my partner, who's a bit jealous that I'm talking to you, [crosstalk 00:44:32] next time, maybe we'll do a podcast with both of us so Tahnee can speak with you as well. She did have six months studying acupuncture at a university.
And [crosstalk 00:44:44].
Well, acupuncture is good, because acupuncture, you have a little risk. So when you become acupuncturist, you're able to do all the things. And then you don't really have to talk about it. You know, like people come in if they like it, you don't really have to talk about philosophy or disease, whatever, they talk about what their problem, you go your own way, and then you chose point, then you do your way. And then it's less risk than herbs. But then, I mean, herbs and acupuncture are equally important. If you actually learn acu and you don't know herbs, I say it's like you got left arm, you don't have the right arm. You know? Like, you're half, really.
So you got to have all of them and you'll be able to do everything. And also, after this new [inaudible 00:45:29] I don't know, if I live that long, I'll want to make the last [inaudible 00:45:34] I want to make is called a [true yo 00:45:36]. I don't know if you heard this [true yo 00:45:38]? Which is like a shaman, which talk about how you actually work on spirit and then to get people... Because we say your body is a spirit in body, that's how your life is. And then there's way, actually, to work on your spirit, to make your body actually live that. This is, in China, like a cure.. 1600 was, like, a government-organised practise and there's a lot of books.
And then cure... what do you call it? Qing Dynasty in China, 1600. They didn't quite believe these things, so they didn't really kind of push them down, but the government didn't have this kind of practise anymore. Not in the imperialist kind of government, didn't have this department anymore. So it's become kind of a private and... What do you call it... We call it, like, ordinary people would still kind of practise, but of course, after war and this period and during the communism, of course, that's completely [crosstalk 00:46:34].
Gone. [crosstalk 00:46:34]
Recently, actually, there's a lot of book up here, which are hidden in Taiwan, the national library. And they actually started publish online and now I actually got all the copies of them. So I think one day I'm going to work on that. That'd be beautiful, really. I love that.
That would be... I was going to say, like, I think Tahnee is going to absolutely love your course. You know, [crosstalk 00:46:58] the course that you're going to come up with, and then when you come up with that course, she would as well, but I especially want to be in on that one. You can get me in there for the prototype, I [crosstalk 00:47:08].
Well, I mean, that's a long for idea, but at the moment, I really want to get these things done. You know, like the theory of [inaudible 00:47:14] and the medicine. Body, about body, how you actually reckon the body as Yin and Yang rather than anatomy.
And all this. And then you got to recognise the herbs, how that actually in Yin Yang rather than chemistry. And then you've got to understand Meridians as, what you call.. Time, rather than, what point make what disease. And especially annoyed with the name in the West and the teaching acupuncture... Bladder number 45, or something, that's just ridiculous.
You have to know the words, that's why I'm teaching the words, as well. Because all these words actually have meaning. There's meaning about these points, so you've got to learn that and you understand how that work together so that's [crosstalk 00:47:56].
Yeah, well, then, there's life in the true word, there's life, there.
Yes, yes, yes, yeah.
For [crosstalk 00:48:03] is... Again, they've taken a scalpel, they've cut it out, and they've plunked it there, and it's not living. It's inanimate.
That's right. That's exactly. It's not living. Yeah, everything got a living, you know? That's all we believe. You know? Life. You got to use life to survive, to make a life rather than using fake things, you know? Like chemical... chemical, you can't say they're not working, but then they carry it on with side effect and all the consequences. It gets really ridiculous, but once you're actually on the chemical things, you can't change them. Because it's like... say, if somebody actually had lots of chemotherapy and they come to see me, and that's most value I have, because when you have all this chemicals in there and they manipulate bodies, sometimes you can't even identify this is your own system problem, or is it the drug problem?
So you go to actually try to get that... you know, kind of push it away and settle them down before you can really treat the real cases. So it's really difficult, yeah. I know, it's not... We're not in the good time, not in the right timing for this medicine, but maybe it's also good where they're challenging, so I think we probably make a change. Yeah. I mean, slowly, I'm starting. And then eventually more people will have this power, more people will join together, and they will fight.
I think so. I really... I've seen somewhat of a resurgence, I think there's a renaissance, I think that people have realised how bored they are within a system that is basically like a grey piece of cardboard.
Very much, very much.
People want to live.
And as a practitioner, they want to live, therefore, help people live themselves.
Yeah. I mean, you can't live like that, just... You know, material.
It's a... what do you call that? Spirit is more important than... You know, we can live short, but if we live a good spirit and you feel like "I lived," but if you really live long and you're just like... It's terrible, you're just like a vegetable, it's not... No use, no good. Yeah. Definitely.
Well, I'm going to continue to do the... What I'm going to do, I've got a few books that I like keeping around as several copies for when I meet someone, when I meet an acupuncturist, new acupuncturist friend, that I give out the Chinese Medicine Masquerading As Yi is one of those books. So everyone listening, as a SuperFeaster, it is mandatory reading to get both of Rhonda Chang's books. Yinyang Wuxing, Spirit Body and Healing.
It's not actually mandatory. I'm just kind of like, putting it in that terminology. Highly recommended, and Chinese Medicine Masquerading as Yi and once you've read it, it's one of those ones that I think especially, like, Yinyang Wuxing, I'm at that point where I definitely need to read it again. I've read through once, and then jumped to different parts, and now I'm going to need to read again. Same with... Because this isn't something black-and-white to memorise, this is something to feel and experience. So I just wanted to... Before we head off, and I'm definitely going to ask you to come back on the podcast, and I think I'll definitely get Tahnee in there with um..
But considering a lot of the people listening here, not practitioners, but they are people who are developing their own personal health culture, wanting to understand their body in a crazy Western health scene that is just confusing at times. Can you talk just from a sense of one's own lifestyle and relationship to their own body without the context of them necessarily healing others, just themselves? What advice have you got in the principles of Yinyang Wuxing? How can they get more into the flow? How can they ensure that their in a preventative space and how to get... You know, bring their spirit, so they can have long-term health?
Okay. Well, the very, very first thing is avoid eating chemical, if you can. You know, like a sugar. It's a chemical, but if you're eating this... I think there's another one which called Sri Lanka kind of a sugar and now I think Australia making them, too. It's... Dried the sugar cane juice, and you can use that. That's not really a problem.
And because of chemical, when they get in the system, and they... For a start, they're very fine, and they could attach in your system, and then they become like a blockage. And secondly, a chemical, it doesn't go the same way as the Yinyang Wuxing, you know, in your body transformation. So sugar is, and there's salt. Salt... Which a lot of people say, "I'm eating, like, a table salt." That's a pure chemical, very dangerous. Because the sea salt, if you have, it's 80-something, you know, different minerals. And the ratio is the same as your Blood. So you can't go wrong, and you don't need to eat this table salt and that add a bit of zinc and a little bit of... What do you call that? [crosstalk 00:52:57]
Iodine, all the different minerals. You have sea salt, and you actually kind of balance. But the sea salt, a lot of them on the shelf say, "sea salt," it's not real, it's not life. Because real sea salt, you crush them, you make them a fine, and after a few hours, they clap them together again, because they're life. And then if there's rain, you don't put water in there, they absorb the moist and they become kind of moist. And when they dry, they actually evaporate, like a sea. So that's a real life sea salt. And the salt and the sugar, this is two very important... And you've got to avoid eating chemicals.
Because chemical, if they get out of your system, all right. But if they don't get out, they block your system, that's what we call cancer. Cancer is a blockage. It's something not flow. You know, if you've ever seen a cancer cell, and I actually... When we were in China practise, I actually... We had to do operation and all these things in the internship and the one guy actually had a leg, got a big cancer on his legs. It was smelly. You walked into that room, and you smell is that stink. Really, really bad. It just wasn't me. So what happened is the cancer, just cause blockage... They're blocked. They can't really move.
So chemical really block your system, because they don't change. They're not really kind of... Like other thing. You eat meat, and you can't find any meat, animal meat in your body if you eat... What do you call it? Natural food, apple, you can't find apple in your poop, in your pee. But if you eat sugar, you find it is in there. So if they get out, you're lucky. If they don't get out, they're in your system, they block it, and then you cause the blockage and the Water will stale, and then they'll be rotten, and then mushrooms grow. That's what the cancer is. So if you want to actually be healthy, that's the first advice, no chemical. Yeah.
And also warm things is better, because we're like a refrigerated drink, because we say your life is heat. You know? If somebody lying there, you don't know if they're alive and dead, and you touch them. If they're still warm, you think they still got life in there. If they're cold, you know they're dead. So what happened is your heat reserve, that's where your energy, that's what your force are. So if you drink cold drink, it doesn't go to your Blood straight away, that's why you bubble. You know, your pores all close off, you get goose bubbles.
Because... goosebumps. And what happened is, because your stomach also hold out and then your body actually... Your energy, your Kidney reserve the heat, warm them up, and then they [inaudible 00:55:39], then they go into your system. So by then, what happening you lost your reserve. So it's better not to drink too cold drinks. Yeah.
Keep yourself warm.
Put your coat on in winter.
Yeah, and... I mean, if you're keeping clothes but if you're active, exercise, you don't put a lot of clothes on, it's all right. But internally, you don't want to cool your body down. Yeah.
Don't drink too cold drink all the time. Yeah. That's basic.
Beautiful. Well, but the basics are what, over decades, 20, 30, 40, 50, years, that's where the medicine is.
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:56:13]
I love it so much. I've loved this conversation.
Thank you very much.
I'm sure you've got a busy day ahead of you. As I said, you're not going to go long without jumping back on the podcast, because I love it too much. I love your message too much.
And I'm excited to join the Facebook group, I'll get the link off you and I'll put it in the show notes for everyone. But what's it called, just in case people want to look it up?
Yinyang Wuxing Yi, which is yin, Y-I-N-Y-A-N-G.
And W-U-X-I-N-G and the Y-I. Yinyang Wuxing Yi. Yinyang Wuxing, which is the theory, and yi, which is the healing, and [inaudible 00:56:37] approach. Yinyang Wuxing Yi.
The healing. That's Y-I, everybody.
[crosstalk 00:56:37] yi.
Y-I. Yi, yi.
Beautiful, everyone get the books. Where... Best place to get your books? Is that your website?
Yeah, my website is rhondachang.com, and get book from there. But at the moment, because I don't have a printed book, I rely on Amazon to print. But Amazon, at the moment, they don't send to Australia. So have to wait a little bit, but you can buy it from Amazon.com.au, but they cost a little bit more than I would for sale.
No one minds. No.
Yes. It's worth it, they're funny. Because it's... If you're learning about Chinese medicine or if you really feel disappointed about Chinese medicine, and you should read this. And you understand the why, and you got a future, because you know where to go.
And guys, that's it. If you felt disappointment in Chinese medicine, in acupuncture, you know, that Chinese Medicine Masquerading As Yi, that is a book that will... It'll validate.
Yeah, open your eyes. Really.
[crosstalk 00:57:57] open your eyes.
I love it.
Thank you very much.
I mean, I've got so many things I could go on about, but let's just call it here and I'll see you next time.
Okay. No worries.
Have a great, great day.
Thank you very much. Yeah. Bye.