The Nèijīng (內經) Institute is devoted to sharing wisdom from classical Chinese medicine with both the acupuncture profession and the broader community. We seek to disentangle acupuncture from influences that have modernized, westernized, and ‘medicalized’ it during the past several centuries, and thereby restore its foundation in classical Chinese thought and worldview. Our work is specifically based on restoring the dynamic and symbolic thinking process, which is characteristic of classical Chinese natural philosophy, to the study and practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. We are intent on cultivating a rich experiential foundation for understanding the nature of qì (氣) and other fundamental concepts of Chinese medicine, and we study the classical language long used to discuss them, because translation into modern English necessarily introduces many distortions. The Nèijīng (內經) Institute has formulated three projects to express these aspirations:

1. The Art (術) of Needling

In modern Chinese medicine, needle insertion has become simply a specialized medical procedure. The needle is assertively thrust into the patient’s body, almost always with the aid of an insertion tube, so the acupuncturist won’t need to pinch its tip between his or her non-dominant thumb and forefinger, to keep the needle from bending. Fulfilling this project begins with teaching acupuncturists and students to needle as an interaction with the patient’s wèiqì (衛氣), rather than a medical procedure done to the patient’s body. The Nèijīng (內經) Institute offers CE retreats for licensed acupuncturists, focused on clinically-based experiential teaching of needling as an interaction, which allows one to needle without a tube while also obeying the rule of clean-needle technique.
We aspire to restore the art and magic of needling for the profession, which has chosen to medicalize in order to fit more easily into the contemporary medical industry.

Project Implementation:
In addition to offering educational retreats for visiting practitioners, the Nèijīng (內經) Institute will offer periodic workshop demonstrations of this unique approach to acupuncture, and we aspire eventually to have a part-time a wèiqì (衛氣) release clinic to provide both:

  • low-cost services for the local population in the model of community acupuncture.
  • a teaching clinic for Nèijīng (內經) Acupuncture Research Institute (NARI) apprentices and licensed practitioners, who are learning our approach to classical acupuncture.

Practitioners and students following the NARI approach to learning acupuncture will learn palpation skills to find blocks in a patient’s wèiqì (衛氣) and to needle as an interaction and learn to visually identify and differentiate luò (絡) vessels and treat them, before they immerse themselves in the vast sea of information for treating the primary channels, compiled as point indications and functions. Licensed practitioners, who attend continuing educations seminars to learn needling as an interaction, may wish to do some shifts in our wèiqì (衛氣) release clinic to practice those new skills, before they try using them with their own patients.

2. Experiential Roots of the Channel Complexes

Acupuncture is not an abstract medical practice, based on points and indications. Instead, it is an embodied art, where one’s experiential relationship with the channel complexes (jīngmài (經脈)) can dramatically impact one’s practical work. Standing meditation is such an important part of all healing work that most of the Nèijīng (內經) Institute’s classes begin with some stance training. The most common and popular forms of qìgōng (氣功) are based in standing and ‘walking,’ such as tàijíquán (太拳); these are excellent exercises to facilitate, and enhance one’s relationship with, flow in the channel sinews and primary channels. The Nèijīng (內經) Institute offers workshops in a specialized form of qìgōng (氣功) done lying down, called Neo-natal dǎoyǐn (導引). It is unique in providing experiential foundation for bringing awareness to, and thereby cultivating, the channel divergences (jīngbié (經別)).

Project Implementation:

Neo-natal Dǎoyǐn (導引) (NNDY) process work is a healing technology for the embodied spirit (jīngshén (精神)), which is designed to bring awareness to an individual’s previously unresolved internal conflicts. Since those issues have not been resolved, people free their conscious awareness from them by somatizing them — that is, embedding them into some physical humor, and then accumulating and storing that stagnated humor in ‘dormancy’ in one of the embodied spirit’s ‘closets.’ While this strategy provides a relative degree of liberation in the short term by displacing the unresolved inner conflict from one’s awareness, it also limits each individual’s potential to experience the endless possibilities of life. This strategy also lay the foundation for the individual’s development of various ‘diseases of aging.’

We share this well focused ‘spiritual technology’ to allow participants to continue cultivating it, and thereby learn the deeply-ingrained roots of their own ‘unfinished business.’ When individuals are willing to be present and accept their previously unresolved experiences, they can release them from where they had been stored in the body. Might this process for resolving previously held stagnation be a source for the perennial truism: “The Truth Will Set You Free”?

Visit our classes page for upcoming Neo-natal Dǎoyǐn trainings.

3. Classical Chinese Medicine Language and Thought

Language influences how people perceive and understand the world. The language of classical Chinese medicine is rich with imagery and symbolic meaning. Using it accurately can inspire more insightful thought, and thereby deepen one’s relationship with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Our devotion to this project begins with an online lexicon of classical Chinese language, much of it from the texts of Nèijīng, to facilitate deeper study of the arts of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Our e-lexicon is interactive to:

  • Allow readers easy access to definitions and discussion of key terms, wherever they occur, either in blog postings or on pages of the Nèijīng (內經) Institute site.
  • Allows students and practitioners to study key terminology used to discuss acupuncture and Chinese medicine during the classical period.
  • Provides writers with an easy to use resource for digital versions of characters and pinyin with tones for the key terminology of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

For an interactive tour of the e-lexicon, please click and visit our tour page.