Herbal Formulas of Traditional Chinese Medicine

This is the beginning of formula study for 2016 for students. Now that all the herbs have been covered, they are to be combined with other herbs to create balance and produce specific effects for the body to restore health. This is for students and licensed practitioners of TCM. WARNING: DO NOT SELF PRESCRIBE HERBAL FORMULAS WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER.

Herbs part 1 study guide

Herbs part 2 study guide

References/recommended reading: Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies. Sneid, Bensky, Ellis, and Barolet.

8 Principles:




Formulas that Release Exterior








Formulas that Clear Heat:

Formulas that Clear Heat at Qi level


to be continued (there are hundreds of herbal formulas to be added)

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Face Reading in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Face Diagnosis or Mien Shung is looking at the face as a method of diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In this method a practitioner can quickly observe the color, shape, and features that may indicate an imbalance or trait.
Various markings have a predisposition to an illness. They can indicate strengths and weaknesses of body, mind, and spirit.

5 elements

This diagnosis stems for the 5 element theory.


Let’s have a look at the 5 elements in this diagnosis process:

In oriental medicine, there are no “bad” elements. Everything is a gift and challenge.

Wood personality for instance: Anger is the challenge, but this kind of person actually has a lot of passion. Wood types are very focused, athletic, direct, competitive. suppressing their anger, also suppresses their passion. They are often enforcers of the truth.

Face: Wood types have a long rectangular face, long body like a tree, think of like a basketball player, strong jaw, threatening eyes. Determined.


Fire personality: Typically they say “Joy” is the challenge in TCM for this type of person, but what they really mean is excess joy, excess pleasure, to a point of even mania. The gift is the ability to disperse or dissipate. These are the type of people who love fun.

Face: oval shape, sparkly eyes, have slender body, points at eyebrows, nose, lips.


Earth personality: their challenge is one of worry. They have strong empathy for others. They are the ones who “feel”. You would want to ask them how they “feel” about something. They are very in touch with their feelings, and the feelings of others.

Face: square, they have short legs, thighs, and butt.


Metal personality: Their challenge is often grief, while the they carry the gift of sympathy. Metal types are practical, logical, mathematical, and often will use “I think” when asked about a opinion about something.

Face: Round, angular, high cheek bones, long slender nose, delicate, pale skin.


Water personality: are ruled by fear and often look around suspiciously. They typically have the ‘what if’ going on in their minds, but they have a gift of wisdom. These types are very sensual, dreamy, flowing, imaginative/creative people.

Face: cheeky, dreamy eyes, sensual body.

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TCM points in relation to Kundalini Yoga and Ayurveda medicine.

Image is a synopsis of a kundalini method with TCM points added. Inspired from India Guru Sri Mataji’s Sahaja Yoga Kundalini meditation which is much more longer and complex. This yoga is instructed to be free, we cannot charge money for the essence, nature, and energy that is already inside of you. It is up to you to unlock its power and vibration.

The steps are: (click on image below for more details)

1. Practice Pranayama: alternate nostril breathing to balance the Pingala, Ida, and Sushumna channels. These relate to the humors of Wind, Bile, and Phelgm in Ayurveda medicine.
2. Raise the kundalini
3. Secure a boundary with Bhanda
4. Grounding with the Earth- release emotions (anxiety, worry, fear)
5. Opening up with the Sky- release anger and aggression.
6. Connect with Lower Dan Tian- Pure intention to cultivate self knowledge and wisdom.
7. Releasing Attachment to others: Becoming your own true master.
8. Middle Dan Tien: Letting go and being one with the Spirit: release ego, cultivate compassion.
9. Release Guilt: True Self, confession, and return to innocence.
10. Upper Dan tien: Opening 3rd eye and forgiveness.
11. Mantra recitation: mentally whispering “Hum Sum” 108x to balance brain hemispheres.
12. Unification:Realization in the present moment, feeling kundalini above head.
13. Chakra massaging: guiding hand over chakras 7x.
14. Closing: repeat 2. and 3.




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Year of the Fire Monkey

From the Book: “Universal Laws of Cosmic Cycles” written by an Englishman Robert Ferguson who live in China and studies Feng Shuai, Astrology, Chinese Zodiac, etc.

Subject: Year of Monkey


Year of the Monkey is a go-between year between you, other zodiac signs and the cosmic mind. It harmonizes millions of contending forces at work within the universe. Monkey is a close partner with the universal mind- which is the power that controls and governs the entire universe in which we live. This is a good year to start a new business even if it is risky.

In this year write a letter to your cosmic mind: Pour your heart out, be honest, and tell your secrets.
1. After letter is written, take the bottom right corner of paper and fold it to the upper left corner of paper and say: “I am now attuned with the vibration of the zodiac monkey. My cosmic messenger is at hand.”

2. Take the bottom left corner and fold it to the top right corner and say: “The cosmic power of the universal zodiac is now prepared to deliver my message to the power of all powers.”

3.Step 3, your paper should be in a triangle shape pointed towards you. With your left index finger on the triangle point, repeat:

“I now command that the universal power that resides within every nerve and cell of my body deliver my personal letter to the great cosmic mind. Cosmic mind is now awaiting its delivery. I am now confident that my letter will be delivered with the speed and diligence that only cosmic angels possess. And so it is!”

You should now burn your cosmic letter.

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Structure and 3 Dan tien: alignments for Taijiquan training from a TCM perspective

Some Mindfulness for structural alignment based on some TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concepts and Tai Chi Classics:
The ideas come from 3 Dan Tien, , simple body alignments, and upright spine and what to do to achieve this in Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan).




On structural imbalances: 3 dan tien: are located in the head, chest, and hips.

1. Upper dan tien: YinTang between eyebrows as a spiritual center.
2. Middle dan tien: between nipples: Mind and emotional center.
3. Lower Dan tien: True center, center of gravity below umbilicus.


Tai Chi Classics for body alignment:
1. Sink the chest,
2. Sink the qi to dan tien,
3. Move with the Qi sticking to the back and permeating the spine.

“Stand like a balanced scale and rotate actively like a wheel.”
1. Hips level: non-forcefully lengthening lower back, slight tilt of hip and tailbone.
2. Shoulders level- slight roundness of back, sink of chest.
3. Head suspended: shoulders down, head lifts up.
These Complete the scale.

Align these to help the yin (Ren mai) and yang (du mai) energies of the body balance like a scale at: Neck ST 9, SP15- lateral to navel, KD11 pubic bone of hip.
They are some reference points that assist with body structure and opening Du and Ren mai:
Hip Alignment: Pubic bone point KD11 and SP15 above at the anterior ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac spine) in the Front with the sacrum and mingmen Du4 on the back.
Neck Region alignment: ST9, SCM (Sternocleidoidmastoid muscle) muscle on the anterior side in the front aligns with Du 16 at the EOP (External occipital protuberance) on the back of neck.

Some Taijiquan masters with education in TCM will discuss the importance of opening the the Ren and Du mai vessels to correct structural issues.
It is said to do this by: Connect with the Ren mai, by way of the Du mai beginning at the Hui Yin point CV1 at the perineum. It is located between the sex organ and the anus. It connects with GV1 at the tip of the coccyx. It is important that the qi reaches to the top of head, when this occurs it can move down. It has to pass the difficult ‘locks’ at the shoulders and neck to reach the top. By following the principles of Taijiquan body requirements this should naturally open without forcing to much effort.


On the Upright body:
Taiji Lun: “Do not lean in any direction” Insights to the 13 postures (Wang Tsung-Yu): “Body must me upright and stable, comfortable to support force from 8 directions.”


Ming men- space between kidneys.
Chapter 8 of the Han Dynasty TCM classic: Nanjing mentioned, “Space between kidneys that pulsates.”
This is probably one of the most important points for health and commonly activated in qigong and Taijiquan.


CV3/CV4- Lower Dan tien is considered an area for longevity, bones, blood, and sexuality/libido.

1. “Sink Qi to the tan tien” phrase in TCC to accumulate Qi there, it is the first martial art to address this location. In TCM it is thought to tonify kidneys and adrenals, strengthen immune system, fortifies bones and sexual organs.

2. Rotation of body: should originate from this dan tien center.

3. Weight shifting: is initiated from this center.

On the Inner Exercise of TCC (Tai chi Chuan): in TCM, Qi has excess or deficiency imbalances. When this imbalance happens, Qi gets stuck or blocked and eventually leads to disease. TCC is used to circulate blood and qi, and when this circulation improves the mind relaxes more. The homeostasis that heals the body can then begin to repair imbalances.

Mentality in Taijiquan: Is one of softness, gentleness, yielding, acceptance.
You yield to force and place self in advantageous situations. Find strength in softness. Competition, success, and power are let go of. Life is full of uncontrollable situations. Trying to control and be perfect creates undue stress. Trying to achieve influence only brings disappointment, and bad health. Releasing muscular tension is important so that we can use feeling to seek out tension. Even when standing , we try to release tight muscles in our thighs.

Conclusion: Martial Art harmonized with Wai gong (External skill) and Neigong (Internal skill).
With diligent practice and perseverance, we believe that the original intent of practicing the solo forms of Taijiquan, you should have a balance of unified external: addressing opponent (martial art) with focus on your external structure, combined with inner awareness of bone structure with relaxation. The Tai Chi classics are the key to obtaining this as previously mentioned. While some channels, vessels, and points are mentioned, they should not be the areas of focused intent, but rather assistants to points of reference for proper structure.


Martial Structure in Action and Purpose in Taijiquan: Gotta know how to FIGHT with it!


video sample of DAO: Square, Wedge, and Spherical structure to uproot opponent

13 chapters on Taijiquan– translation of Cheng Man Ching’s book by Douglas Wile.
Tao of Taijiquan- Jou, Tsung-Hwa
The Master Tapes- Shur Jung school videos from NYC. Can be found here: http://www.chengmanching.com/OrderForm.htm
Ben Lo lectures- Compiled by Martin Inn can be found here: http://www.iritaichi.org/iri-store.html
TCM practitioner and Tai Chi master: Martin Inn, Internal Research Institute: Iritaichi.org

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