299 episodes

Oriental medicine was not developed in a laboratory. It does not advance through double-blind controlled studies, nor does it respond well to petri dish experimentation. Our medicine did not come from the statistical regression of randomized cohorts, but from the observation and treatment of individuals in their particular environment. It grows out of an embodied sense of understanding how life moves, unfolds, develops and declines.


Medicine comes from continuous, thoughtful practice of what we do in clinic, and how we approach that work. The practice of medicine is more — much more — than simply treating illness. It is more than acquiring skills and techniques. And it is more than memorizing the experiences of others. It takes a certain kind of eye, an inquiring mind and relentlessly inquisitive heart.

Qiological is an opportunity to deepen our practice with conversations that go deep into acupuncture, herbal medicine, cultivation practices, and the practice of having a practice. It’s an opportunity to sit in the company of others with similar interests, but perhaps very different minds. Through these dialogues perhaps we can better understand our craft.

Qiological Podcast Michael Max

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 206 Ratings

Oriental medicine was not developed in a laboratory. It does not advance through double-blind controlled studies, nor does it respond well to petri dish experimentation. Our medicine did not come from the statistical regression of randomized cohorts, but from the observation and treatment of individuals in their particular environment. It grows out of an embodied sense of understanding how life moves, unfolds, develops and declines.


Medicine comes from continuous, thoughtful practice of what we do in clinic, and how we approach that work. The practice of medicine is more — much more — than simply treating illness. It is more than acquiring skills and techniques. And it is more than memorizing the experiences of others. It takes a certain kind of eye, an inquiring mind and relentlessly inquisitive heart.

Qiological is an opportunity to deepen our practice with conversations that go deep into acupuncture, herbal medicine, cultivation practices, and the practice of having a practice. It’s an opportunity to sit in the company of others with similar interests, but perhaps very different minds. Through these dialogues perhaps we can better understand our craft.

    279 Not what I Thought, An Investigation of Adverse Reactions • Katrina Smith

    279 Not what I Thought, An Investigation of Adverse Reactions • Katrina Smith

    The principles behind our medicine are relatively simple. The idea is to restore balance to a body that is in disharmony. To detect the patterns and ripples in the system. To facilitate the unimpeded flow of qi as a river does.
    Yet applying these theories in the practice of actual patient care is more complex. Learning in school or from mentors is one thing; cultivating the wisdom to apply this knowledge in the wild, it’s not always straightforward. Sometimes things don’t go how we expect. And all too often, we find ourselves in unchartered territory feeling our way through the unexpected.
    The knotty question then becomes: How do you navigate an unfamiliar terrain? How do you deal with the uncertainties that accompany the practice of medicine?
    In this conversation with Karina Smith, we discuss the difficulties of attending to complicated cases in our practice based on one of her student clinic experiences. We dig into the issues of competence, the role of intention, the irrationality of Chinese medicine, and concerns around overtreatment. And as both a Yin Yoga teacher and Chinese medicine practitioner, Karina also touches on how these two worlds seep into each other.
    Listen into this discussion on the enduring lessons from difficult experiences in the clinic, including navigating adverse reactions and mediating a truce between warring organs.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr 29 min
    278 Digging the Earthly Branches • Deborah Woolf

    278 Digging the Earthly Branches • Deborah Woolf

    Heaven and Earth, the creative and the created, micro and macrocosm. All ways of saying there is a reality we inhabit, and beyond that a lot of mystery. And mystery is something us humans have, at best, an ambivalent relationship with.
    We seek to find some sense of order in what can be a captiously unsettling and unpredictable world. We look to the heavens and seek a larger frame for our experience as we look for the patterns that connect.
    In this conversation Deborah Woolf graciously entertains some questions that I had arise after her Qiological Live presentation on the Earthly branches.
    Listen into this conversation on how the Earthly branches reflect back the influences of Heaven, and help us to understand where we stand in the cosmos and in relation to the seasons, cycles and tides of time.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr 1 min
    277 The Heart in the Clinic • Josephine Spilka

    277 The Heart in the Clinic • Josephine Spilka

    Classical Chinese medicine recognizes the Heart (心 Xin) as a central organ to our being. It’s seen as holding the sovereign position as the emperor of the kingdom (i.e., the body). 
    The Heart is where the Shen (神), the spirit, resides. It’s what gives us discernment and consciousness. In a way, phrases like “follow your heart,” “home is where the heart is,” and “from the bottom of my heart” seem to pay homage to the spiritual and coherent nature of the Heart. But how does this influence our work in the clinic?
    In this conversation with Josephine Spilka, we discuss the importance of being in coherence, acting from a place of presence amid impermanent stories, staying true to our capacities, and setting boundaries in the clinic. Josephine also touches on the influence of the eight extraordinary channels and their connection to the Zheng Qi. 
    Listen into this discussion on coherence, and the need to honor our faculties, integrity, and capacity in any clinical encounter
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr
    276 Interoceptive Awareness • Lisa Taylor-Swanson, Nick Lowe & Elizabeth Osgood-Campbell

    276 Interoceptive Awareness • Lisa Taylor-Swanson, Nick Lowe & Elizabeth Osgood-Campbell

    Tuning in is a cultivated skill that’s in many East Asian Medicine practitioner's toolbox. We learn early on to bring our intention, attention, and awareness to the clinic encounter. To pick up subtle movement and cues on the diagnostic table.  But our "tuning in" often tends to focus on "outside facing" senses; the appearance, smell, sound, taste, or feel of something.
    Interoception turns the gaze to internal sensing—from the clenching of the stomach, to the beating of the heart, or tension in the muscles. It's tuning in to what is going on inside the body. Nurturing interoceptive awareness and honing a heightened bodily awareness helps us and our patients in our clinical work. It improves our capacity to understand, interpret, and process the world around us.
    In this panel discussion with Lisa Taylor Swanson, Elizabeth Osgood-Campbell, and Nick Lowe, we explore interoceptive awareness. We unpack how mindfulness practices can help us cultivate our inner knowing and how ancient Chinese theories factor into all this. We also touch on the use of cutting-edge technologies to track our clinical outcomes and how placebo is merely stuff we don't yet understand about medicine.
    Listen into this discussion on making meaning of our inner sensations and leaning on this to improve our embodied experiences and clinical outcomes.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr 25 min
    275 If You're Falling, Dive— Trauma, Heartbreak and Possiblities • Randal Lyons

    275 If You're Falling, Dive— Trauma, Heartbreak and Possiblities • Randal Lyons

    No one gets through life without difficulties. We all carry wounds and the consequences of the meanings we’ve made in the moments of heartbreak, fear and confusion.
    In this second conversation with Randle Lyons we discuss the dark forest of transformation. How our wounds can be a source of healing, if properly digested and how it’s harder to surrender when you have something to lose.
    Listen into this conversation on addiction and what can happen when we work with an open mind and heart when exploring story, experience and belief.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr 19 min
    274 Panel on Wei Qi • Ann Cecil-Sterman, Laurie Ayres, & Zhongxian Wu

    274 Panel on Wei Qi • Ann Cecil-Sterman, Laurie Ayres, & Zhongxian Wu

    I recently got to thinking about wei qi, especially as we are moving into the dark of the year in the northern hemisphere, and I realized that I hear discussions about wei qi, and how we should attend to it, or nourish it. Often enough, perhaps too often, we equate wei qi with the immune system. And think about strength, rather than balance. What’s more, the commonly used formulas that are famous for ‘stabilizing or strengthening the exterior” are frequently prescribed without any kind of actual differential diagnosis. Concerns about effectiveness and maybe even safety naturally arise.
    In this conversation with Ann Cecil-Sterman, Laurie Ayers and Master Wu, we bring together the perspectives of an acupuncturist, an herbalist, and a qi gong practitioner. The intention here is to see how experienced clinicians from these three  disciplines within East Asian consider the Wei and its use in clinical work. 
    Listen in to this discussion of the Wei qi, its source, cultivation, and connections with the yang, zheng, fluids and Heart.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Tell us how you feel about Qiological

    • 1 hr 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
206 Ratings

206 Ratings

Trish K LAc ,

With gratitude

Qiological is such a great podcasts, thank you for sharing these enriching conversations. Qiological includes many topics that I wish were discussed during my graduate school training.

wiggs5467 ,

Amazing conversations

Great podcast with widespread and inspiring conversations about Chinese medicine. I’m grateful for Michael’s humble and light hearted, poetic approach to this medicine. Thank you!

amazingalaska ,

Love from, Alaska.

Beautiful podcast covering the relevant flows of Chinese medicine.

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Scicomm Media
Jay Shetty
Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes
Lysa TerKeurst
Ten Percent Happier
Peter Attia, MD

You Might Also Like

Wang Ju-Yi's Applied Channel Theory Research Center
Stacey Whitcomb Dipl OM
Nicholas Duchnowski
Everyday Acupuncture Podcast
Amber Magnolia Hill
Commune