No Fear

Forty years ago Mr. Herbert invited me to Arrakis and I learned from the people there:

“You shall not fear.

Fear is the mind killer.

Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration

Face your fear and, without clinging, allow it to pass through you.

And when fear has gone you will see that it was nothing and only you remain.”

A few years later Mr. Lucas invited me to Dagobah where I was taught that focus determines life’s outcome and that, although there is suffering in the universe, there is a clear sequence of events that lead to suffering and that avoiding that sequence can change life’s outcome. We know that fear, especially fear of the future, leads to frustration and anger, anger in turn leads to hate, and hate leads us to the dark side of ourselves.

Worry, anxiety, fear, fright and terror are all parts of a continuum and their differences are in degree and duration

Worry is the apprehensive expectation of things not in evidence leading to fear, which is a sense of imminent danger in the absence of a real or threatened cause.

The prolonged experience of living a fearful life leads to dysfunction, weakness, and premature death. The Ling shu scroll from the Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE) advises:

Fear and worry without relief result in injury to the foundational essence [jing]. The injured core essence can cause the bones to be diseased and deficient. At the time of reproduction, the core essence will not descend [referring to the interchange between essential fluids in the brain and in the kidney as described in the ancient literature]. Thus, the five organs, which control and store the core essence, should not be harmed by excesses of the emotions. If they are injured it will result in loss of protection, and the yin [the substance of the body] will become ‘hollow’. The yin being hollow will result in lack of Qi [which replenishes the jing]. A lack of Qi will cause death.

Psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) is a relatively new field of study that looks at the interactions between the central nervous system (CNS) and immune system. Researchers know that our CNS and immune system can communicate with each other, but they only recently started to understand how they do it and what that means for our health.

The understanding that biological effects of social and mental factors constitute a fundamental revision of the biomedical paradigm, as seen in fields such as psycho-neuro-immunology, which re-conceptualizes healing as the causal effects of adaptive processes on physiological responses.

The nerves in your brain and spinal cord make up your CNS, while your immune system is made up of organs, tissues and cells that defend your body against infection. Both systems produce hormones, enzymes and proteins that can act as messengers between the two systems. In your CNS, these messengers include hormones and neurotransmitters. Your immune system, on the other hand, uses enzymes and proteins called cytokines to communicate with your CNS.

A cytokine is a small protein that’s released by cells, especially those in your immune system. There are many types of cytokines, but the ones that are generally stimulated by stress are called ‘pro-inflammatory cytokines’.

Under normal circumstances, your body releases pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to an infection, injury or other inflammatory process to help destroy germs and repair tissue. When you’re physically or emotionally stressed, your body also releases certain hormones, including epinephrine (adrenaline). These hormones can bind to specific receptors that signal for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

From various research sources the following information has come to light:

  • Bereavement: stories of recently bereaved individuals dying soon after their partner are common. These tales are not just apocryphal. A study that followed 95,647 recently widowed individuals found that during the first week after bereavement, mortality was twice the expected rate. There is more to this than a metaphorical “broken heart”
  • The gut: it is now fairly well established that there is a strong association between sustained stressful life events and the onset of symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cancer: health professionals working with cancer patients know only too well that a patient’s outlook perspective and their quantity and quality of psychological support can hugely impact the outcome of their disease
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus): studies have found significant evidence that elevated levels of stress and diminished social support accelerates the progression of HIV infection
  • Skin complaints: psoriasis, eczema and asthma are all known to have psychological aspects to them. A stressful day at the office can have you scratching as you reach for the asthma inhaler
  • Wound healing: the speed at which a surgical patient heals has been linked to psychological factors. For instance, increased levels of fear or distress before surgery have been associated with worse outcomes, including longer hospital stays, more postoperative complications and higher rates of re-hospitalization. In one study on patients with chronic lower leg wounds, those who reported the highest levels of depression and anxiety showed significantly delayed healing.

Brief stressors including fear and fright; tend to suppress cellular immunity that deals with cellular invaders, like viruses while humoral immunity normally deals with pathogens outside of cells, such as parasites and bacteria.

Chronic stressors that include worry and fear, tend to suppress both types of immunity.

Stress has a measurable effect on the strength of the immune system and therefore its ability to protect us. In a very real way, managing levels of stressors like worry and fear can help maximize the vitality of your immune system.

According to the DMS-4, the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association a Panic Attack is the sudden onset of a discrete period building to a peak with a sense of imminent danger in the absence of real or threatened danger. The signs and symptoms of this condition include apprehension, fear, terror, a sense of impending doom. Shortness of breath palpitations, sweating, trembling, shaking, chills hot flushes, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. Additionally one may be dizzy, lightheaded, experience chest pain or discomfort, choking or smothering sensation and the fear of loss of control.

According to traditional Chinese medicine the above are the signs and symptoms of chronic Qi deficiency and Heart blood vacuity.

From our line of herbal medicines, Earth Wind Botanicals, we recommend the formula Calm Shen which is specifically compounded for Heart Qi and blood deficiency leading to panic attacks.

Also according to the DSM-4 General Anxiety Disorder is six months or more of persistent and excessive anxiety and difficult to control worry (apprehensive expectation), with; restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, muscle tension and disturbed sleep.

According to traditional Chinese medicine these are the signs and symptoms of chronic Qi vacuity and Liver blood insufficiency. Also from Earth Wind Botanicals, we recommend the formulas Peace and Sleep or Brain Food which are specifically compounded for chronic Qi vacuity and Liver blood insufficiency.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not also extol the virtues of daily prayer, meditation and gentle movement to calm the mind, heart and spirit.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Immune Booster

History is full of instances of endemic viral outbreaks and the usually inadequate response by whatever society was in power at the time. Lack of appropriate medical intervention typically resulted in high mortality rates of the victims and medical illiteracy, lack of hygiene; simple concepts of disease prevention, etc. contributed to ongoing and lingering symptoms on a national scale. Asia in general and China in particular were no exception in terms of historically virulent disease but their response has tended to be somewhat more reasoned and consistent over the millennia.

One of the reasons for the Asian success in the treatment of epidemic upper respiratory conditions in particular is the TCM take on pathogenic viral and bacterial disease causes.

Although generally viewed as ‘wind born damp heat toxins’ the primary concern to ancient physicians was the fact that theses wind toxins were highly mutable and inconsistent in their presentation. It was also understood that the use of very strong medicines to resolve toxins only worked for short periods before the ‘winds changed’ (toxin mutated) and a new set of presenting symptoms occurred. This is not unlike the well documented problem that modern biomedicine has with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

One answer to this dilemma was to compound herbal ‘cocktails’ that contained multiple herbs that performed similar functions, i.e. ‘resolving toxins and clearing damp heat’ by attacking the pathogen with various herbs that perform comparable functions but have other different components. The strategy was and is to ‘confuse’ the virus so that while it is trying to adapt to herbal medicine ‘A’, medicines ‘B, C & D’ are still on the attack. This way the preponderance of the compounded medicine is still working full force and the pathogen cannot keep up with the attack.

This is the treatment strategy guiding my formula Immune Booster. This formula is compounded using a broad array of anti viral, anti biotic and anti microbial herbal medicines like Jin Yin Hua     Lonicerae, Lian Qiao Forsythia, Chuan Xin Lian Andrographis and Yu Xing Cao Houttuyniae.

Because Immune Booster is a very aggressive formula and is meant for potentially long term consumption I have included harmonizing and immune strengthening medicines like Gan Cao Licorice, Huang Qi Astragalus, Bai Zhu Atractylodes and He Huan Pi Albizzia. These herbs balance the properties of the compound and to insure against unpleasant side effects that one typically experiences from long term use of pharmaceutical antibiotics and anti-virals.

Immune Booster is intended as a preventative supplemental and is not meant to replace the Covid-19 vaccine.

I strongly urge everyone to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; it works as advertised and is good medicine. However, if one is concerned about post vaccination break through, Immune Booster is my recommendation. This type of herbal compound and its individual components have been researched OO for effects on various strains of influenza and can be used to treat* such bio-medically defined conditions as Zika virus Norovirus, Herpes virus, swine flu H1N1 variant, Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19. During the infamous SARS outbreak 18 years ago, Dr. Deng Tie Tao demonstrated that traditional Chinese medicine treatment proved to be more effective than standard hospital procedures by saving the lives of all patients in his care at the Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of TCM.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

OO Chinese National Center for Clinical Research of Respiratory Diseases, National Center for Pediatric Medicine, China additionally studies on the herbs and their compounds were undertaken at the Respiratory Disease Committee of the Pediatric Department of the Chinese Association for Chinese Medicine. Other research was done at the Committee for Pediatric Health and Herbal Research at the Chinese Academy for Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology. Initial recommendations for the treatment of Covid-19 virus were first published by Wang Yong Yan from the Chinese Academy of Sciences on January 29, 2020. This research has been supplemented by the findings of sixteen independent research institutions as well as field researchers and health care providers on the front lines of the Covid pandemic

*Food and Drug Modernization Act of 1997, allows manufacturers to provide information about off-label uses for drugs without prior FDA approval

Prof. K

Back in the mid to late 1970’s I simultaneously began an internship with a veterinary acupuncturist and was introduced to Native American herbalism.

One of Dr. Saum’s clients was Mr. Hatathli, a rancher and Roadman for the Native American Church, who would trailer his ponies from the reservation to the clinic several times a year. He would be at the clinic all day on those occasions and he and Doc would talk ‘horse and people medicine.’

It was amazing listening to the interplay of ideas and explanations from these two healers while trying to digest the finer points of each system of medicine. I was in college at the time studying biology and botany among other things so I got Doc’s points of reference a little more clearly than those of Mr. Hatathli.

Sometimes after having talked about the healing properties of a specific herb or compound, Mr. Hatathli would later send a packet to Doc for him to try out and the vet was pretty good about using the medicine on his own and then other client’s animals always with the results as intended.

From that time forward I became increasingly fascinated in herbal medicine and studied North American and European herbal remedies. I made a pest of myself at local botanicas and pharmacias trying to find out from the curanderos the indigenous uses of various herbs of the southwest. I even had a pre-internet mail order herbal business for a number of years advertising in Herbalgram and Mother Earth News.

Throughout my studies I often came upon references to Asian herbology but at that time there were zero comprehensive English language publications on the subject. The more I heard about the Asian herbs and protocols the more fascinated I became and in the early ‘90’s I decided to find a teacher. Predicament number one was I did not speak or read any Asian language; problem number two was that at the time I was living in Tallahassee Florida and there was no substantive Asian community as a resource. I figured a more formal approach might be called for so I began contacting Asian medical schools around the US. At that time there were few colleges of oriental medicine/acupuncture and fewer still that taught traditional Asian herbology, but all of the schools that I contacted told me that if I was in Florida I should check out Dr. Su Liang Ku’s school in St. Petersburg. The Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine offered two tiers of education, acupuncture and herbal medicine. But when I inquired about taking the herbal medicine courses alone and Dr. Ku found out about my previous acupuncture training, he insisted that I take the entire course in TCM.

After graduation I moved back to Arizona and set up practice in Scottsdale. During that time I began to develop Earth-Wind Botanicals which embody my blend of North American, European and Asian herbal medical philosophies.

In ‘98 I was invited to teach at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture where I eventually also became Dean of Curriculum. My teaching duties included courses in TCM theory, advanced acupuncture and herbal medicine. During my tenure a number of my students found my surname impossible to pronounce (go figure), and instead called me “Professor K”. The appellation stuck and students and patients have been calling me that ever since.

Our Earth-Wind Botanicals line of formulas include herbal medicines that I custom create for my patients, and I label those custom formulations ‘Prof K’.

Whether I see you in person or we utilize telemedicine I can ascertain your botanical needs and custom compound a formula to fit your specific health requirements. You can visit our Store to see the Earth-Wind Botanicals line up and if you are interested in a custom compounded formula contact me and we can set up an in person or telemedicine appointment.

Yours in good health,

Prof. K

Celestial Immortals

Zhi Xian Tang or the Celestial Immortals formula has an intriguing name and I am often asked who these immortals are and, why is the formula named for them.

Two of the main ingredients in this formula have xian (immortal) in their names: Curculigo (xian mao) and Epimedium (xian ling pi), explaining, most simply, how the formula got its title. Other formulas are named in a similar way, such as Er Dong tang, comprised of Ophiopogon (mai men dong) and Asparagus (tian men dong). But, in that case, the name is not quite as interesting: dong (winter) was used in the name for Ophiopogon because the plant can be used through the winter and was used in the name for asparagus because of similarities in its uses to that of Ophiopogon. In the case of Curculigo and Epimedium, the common term xian (immortal) applies to an interesting and important part of Chinese culture.

Xian mao was named in the book Ben cao gang mu (Li Shizhen; 1596) as one of the herbs believed to contribute to immortality. This property was described as ‘making the body lighter’ when taken over a period of time. Xian ling pi alludes to the immortals’ intelligent nature (pi refers to the spleen, which is, according to the Chinese, a source of wisdom); this name appears to have been a popular designation for the herb that was originally called yin yang huo (which describes it as a sexual tonic).

The Daoists who undertook the effort to become immortals were thought to become lighter and lighter, through meditation, cultivation and herbal medicines, until they could float up into the clouds. The Chinese character for xian (immortal) is the combination of man and mountain referring to those mountain dwelling Daoists.
Around 400 BCE, a poem about attaining immortality, the ode Yuan Yu (Roaming the Universe) was written. It depicts the transition to immortality thus:

Having heard the precious teachings, I departed
And swiftly prepared for my journey.
I met the feathered ones at Cinnabar Hill
I lingered in the Land of Immortality.
In the morning, I washed my hair
In the Hot Springs of Sunrise.
In the evening, I dried myself where the suns perch
and sipped the subtle tonic of the Flying Springs,
I held in my bosom the radiant jade.
My pallid countenance flushed with brilliant color,
Purified, my essence began to grow stronger;
My corporeal being dissolved to soft suppleness,
And my spirit grew lithe and ready for movement.

The writer then describes clinging to a cloud and riding it aloft, to “the very spheres of the storied heavens” where he entered the court of the Supreme Ruler (Heavenly Emperor), and entered the precincts of the Great Beginning. The various stops along the way, at Cinnabar Hill, Land of Immortality, Hot Springs of Sunrise, etc., are the meditative goals in his efforts at cultivating his qi and jing. The tonic of the Flying Springs is his alchemical herbal potion of immortality. Jade was his amulet of spiritual freedom. First among immortality tonic stones is Yu Xue or jade dust whose attributes are to limber the sinews, strengthen the bones quiet the ethereal and corporeal soul, boosts the qi and combined with the appropriate practices helps one to become ‘a non aging immortal’. Though he began pallid, his complexion became radiant, and his jing (essence) was supplemented. Then his physical weight dropped away, allowing his spirit to roam free. The removal of corporeal weight is one of the signs that immortality is at hand and is mentioned frequently in the Shen nong ben cao jing as a property of certain herbs. Epimedium, listed in that text, was not included among the herbs that caused the body to become light, but it apparently gained a reputation as valuable for the immortals at some later date. Even in the ancient text, it was noted the Epimedium boosts the qi and strengthens the will, important contributors to the path to immortality.

Stories of the immortals date back to at least 4000 BCE and have continued through to the 21th century though their halcyon days were during the period from the Han Dynasty up to the first part of the Tang Dynasty. The early Chinese Emperors were quite interested in gaining immortality; but tending to lack the discipline to pursue the Daoist mental and physical exercises, they supported the study and development of tonics that they could take.

The term xian, with the meaning of an immortal, appears in several other herb names, aside from xian mao and xiang ling pi, including

Xian He Cao: Agrimony (hemostatic)

Xian Mao Shen: Scorzonera (qi tonic)

Xian Ren Zhang: Opuntia (vitalize blood)

Jiu Xian Cao: Thesium (clear heat purge fire)

Tian Xian Teng: Aristolochia (vitalize blood)

These herbs have varying uses and their linkage to immortality tonics, if any, is unclear. Dozens of herbs that had names established prior to their use in attaining immortality or named by other methods to designate their origins have been used in alchemical tonics. So, this designation is not necessarily the only indication of the importance of the herb in relation to this rarified use by the Daoists.

The term xian also appears in some names of well-known formulas, such as Xian Fang Hou Ming Yin (Immortal’s Formula for Preserving Life; Angelica and Mastic Combination), which is not an immortality formula per se, but one that was said to have been relayed by the immortals. Indeed, there are numerous stories of herbs and formulas being handed down from or influenced by mystical sources. For example, Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan was said to come from the Heavenly Emperor (Tian Wang) and Si Shen Wan, often translated as Four Immortals Pill, makes reference to the intervention of divine spirits to yield a miraculous recovery. So, the formula Zhi Xian tang takes part in this ancient tradition of connecting to China’s spiritual and mythic icons.

Zhi Xian tang imbeds the formula Er Zhi Tang Ligustrum plus Eclipta, a formula for yin deficiency. The pair of herbs, Ligustrum and Eclipta, can be used as a standalone formula, but more commonly they are incorporated into somewhat larger prescriptions like Zhi Xian tang. The formula name, Er Zhi Tang might be better translated as Two Solstices Pill and refers to when the herbs are customarily collected. Each of the herbs is picked near the time of the solstice, the ultimate manifestation (zhi) of the annual cycle of yin and yang. Specifically, Ligustrum is picked at the winter solstice (ultimate yin, the end of winter, before the weather warms) when its fruits are ripe, while eclipta is picked at the summer solstice (ultimate yang, at the end of summer, before the weather cools) while still in flower.
These and other herbs that are picked or processed at particular phases of the sun and moon or under the auspices of other celestial phenomena are part of the great legacy of Daoist medicine. These practices, along with Lunar Tidal Balance Acupuncture are part of the continued application of Daoist medicine in the 21st century.

Yours in good health,
Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Daoist Nutrition & Digestive Overview

The following is a top down synopsis of Daoist views on the digestive process and general nutrition.

The Mouth is greatly influenced by the Stomach, Ren, Du, Spleen, Kidney, Liver and Large Intestine channels. Because of these complex interior/exterior channel and network relationships the mouth is influenced by and influences all of the other organs and channels.

The tongue belongs to and is ruled by the heart but on inspection primarily manifests the digestive system. This is why the Chinese doctor will always perform a tongue analysis as part of the ‘four inspections’ diagnosis process.

The teeth belong to the kidneys and ‘the back teeth are for grinding  grains the front teeth are for taking fruits and vegetables, the dog teeth are for flesh’. Because fewer of the teeth are canine or dog teeth, less animal flesh should be consumed in favor of more vegetables, fruits and grains whose use teeth make up the majority of dentition.

Clacking the teeth together 36 times promotes saliva which in itself nourishes the Dan Tian and is essential for digestion, never spit saliva, and always swallow it in thirds. The clacking of the teeth also promotes the secretion of fluids of all of the Yin organs.

Chewing the food in a thoughtful meditative manner 36 times per mouthful allows full connection with the five flavors. Eating one food at a time also strengthens the awareness of the five flavors and is the way children instinctively eat.

Humans do not normally eat anything that is not sweet. It may be sweet and sour, sweet and bitter, sweet and acrid, sweet and salty but is still sweet

The sour flavor travels to the liver and the tendons pungent or acrid travels to the lungs and qi, bitter travels to the heart and blood, salt travels to the kidneys and the bones sweet travels to the spleen and flesh.

A little of each flavor will enhance the normal function of the organs and their related tissues but;

Too much salt causes the pulse to become sluggish and the complexion to lose its vitality, the bones become weak, the muscles and flesh wither and the function of the heart becomes suppressed.

Too much bitter causes the skin to dry and the hair to fall out, the function of the spleen will not be able to transport fluids and the stomach will become tense.

Too much sour causes the liver to over produce saliva which stifles the spleens function.

Too much sweet damages the function of the heart and causes difficult breathing, chest distention; a black tongue and the kidneys will be damaged.

Too much acrid causes the muscles and pulse to become slack and the spirit will be injured.

Another function of the mouth is to regulate the mean temperature of foods, warming the cold and cooling the hot so that the food is closer to body temperature when swallowed.

When swallowing the food, follow its passage down the throat before taking the next bite.

The Stomach is the sea of water and grains, qi and blood. It separates the pure matter from the turbid, when the stomach is in harmony it sends the pure substances to the spleen and transports the turbid down to the small intestine. The proper movement of stomach qi is downward and it has the strongest downward momentum of Qi in the body.

The Ling Shu states, “The middle burner originates in the stomach. After receiving qi, it separates wastes, steams the fluids and humors and transforms them into purified essence. It conducts this essence up to the lungs where it is transformed into blood for the whole body. There is nothing more valuable than blood.”

Stomach has a preference for warm and sweet foods.

Stomach has a preference for yellow foods as yellow is the color of earth.

The stomach dislikes cold and heat alike. The natures of food are cold, cool, even, warm and hot.

The stomach will comfortably hold the contents of a ‘begging bowl’ but the being bowl needs to be replenished often.

Ming Men is the life gate fire is generated by the dynamic tension of the kidney yin, yang, and jing (prenatal essence combined with post natal essence), and is the source or spark for the middle burner fire which in turn heats the cauldron of the stomach. Because the Ming Men depends upon post natal essence, the health of the stomach and spleen is in direct proportion to how brightly the life gate fire burns.

The digestive function of the spleen is transformation and transportation, further separating the essence of the pure from the turbid of the pure and ascending the purified nutrient to the heart and lungs where it is transformed into qi and blood. As with the stomach, the ascending nature of the spleen is the strongest in the body.

Stomach separates pure matter from turbid conveying the turbid down to the intestine and passing the essence over to the spleen. The spleen separates the ‘essence of the pure’ from the ‘turbid of the pure’ and sends the turbid down to the small intestine and ascends the essence to the lungs.

The lungs combine this pure nutrient with clear air qi to form blood. Blood is moved onward to the heart and is turned red.

Some of the heart blood is sent to the liver where it is stored and part is transformed into liver blood, blood is impelled throughout the body via the hearts beating/pumping action and the liver function of dispersing and discharging.

The blood is circulated throughout the whole body, the blood and qi filling every organ to capacity.

When the five viscera become over full, the excess is shunted to the kidneys where it is refined into ‘post natal’ or acquired essence.

Post natal essence is the most rarified and concentrated matter of the body and is the chief component of post natal Qi.

The Small Intestine receives the turbid fluids from the stomach and the turbid fluids of the pure from the spleen. The small intestine further divides the turbid from the pure. The pure fluids are transformed into Jin and Ye, thin and thick body fluids. The turbid fluids are conducted to the bladder for excretion.

Large Intestine receives turbid matter and any residual turbid fluids from the stomach and further separates pure from turbid, the pure is used to nourish the kidney yang. The remainder of the turbid matter and fluid is held as feces in the colon and then excreted through the anus at the proper hour, 0:500-07:00 using the clearing and descending action of the lungs. Any time there is an excretory process like a bowel movement there is a loss of qi. It is of vital importance to keep the anus closed, especially when performing any exercise that drives qi downward.

Qi foods are light and easy to digest but not very nutritious, they tend to transform most easily into qi within the body and are essential for the metabolic function of the body. Wei foods are denser and more difficult to digest, they are very nutritious and tend to transform into blood and other material substances in the body.

Raw foods whether Qi or Wei are difficult to digest and therefore the net gain from consuming them is less than cooked foods. The exception to this is fruits which are ‘predigested’ because of the enzymes contained within them that help with quick breakdown and absorption.

Cold Foods hamper digestion by bringing the stomach temperature down, the middle burner cannot ‘cook’ the food before transit time moves food to the next phase of digestion.

In summation; selecting foods from a wide variety of flavors and sources with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits and whole grains that are properly cooked, eating small quantities often and chewing foods thoroughly are some of the simplest and soundest ways to achieve proper nutrition.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM



The Perfect Chord

As the illumination of the moon grows and recedes, ebbs and flows, rises and falls throughout its twenty eight day cycle so too does the moons influence on the body and its energetic channels and acupoints.

During the time preceding the full moon the energy in the channel systems increases in its influence and specific acupoints become stronger in their effect. As the illumination of the moon recedes toward the new or no moon phase, again acupoints within the channels change their dynamic affect on the body. This rhythmic cycle is continuous and unceasing and is called the Lunar Tidal Effect.

Just as there are twelve visible changes of the illuminated phases of the moon each month, so there are acupoints that follow that same pattern in their relative influence. Only the acupoints that correspond most with specific lunar phases are chosen in the Lunar Tidal Effect acupuncture protocol.

The twelve channels of the body have anywhere from nine to sixty-seven acupoints each depending on each channels length, breadth and depth. Of those points the most powerful on each channel exist between the elbows to the fingers or the knees to the toes and of those points there are only six that are always the most influential on each channel. These six points per channel are the places where the power of the Lunar Tidal Effect is the greatest and these are the points chosen for the Lunar Tidal Effect acupuncture protocol. As bodies of water are affected by the pull of the moon as tides, so the channels and points are likewise affected. It is interesting to note that these acupoints are named after bodies of water like well, spring, stream, river, marsh and sea.

Because the points of influence change every two-ish days, if you are receiving regular weekly or twice per week acupuncture using this protocol, the pattern of points used will rarely be the same.

In music, the twelve notes in an octave (I know it’s counter-intuitive but trust me there are) follow a pattern similar to that of the lunar cycle. With stringed instruments like the guitar and piano the changes in the notes are due to changes in the tension, length and gauge of the instruments strings. That tension is not unlike the influence that the moons gravity exerts on our channels and acupoints. In ancient times there were tonal sounds ascribed to each of the organs and their channels, these were later simplified to the ‘six tones’ but there are in fact twelve, six going up and six going down, that again follow a pattern similar to the Lunar Tidal Effect pattern. The twelve octave notes and the twelve tones in Chinese philosophy were all calculated representations of harmony. Harmony is balance and balance is what we are trying to achieve in the practice of acupuncture medicine.

In acupuncture the selection of points based on the Lunar Tidal Effect give us the most appropriate point selection possible at any specific phase of the moon in relation to our channels and those harmonious points. When activated in unison these points give us perfect ‘chords’ for that day and time. The perfect chords of lunar Tidal balance acupuncture harmonize our channels and tune our organs and tissues for a perfect balance of yin, yang, qi and blood.

There are many ways that various schools of acupuncture philosophy try to find the most harmonious combination of points for each treatment but the Lunar Tidal Effect gives us the perfect chord for every treatment every time.

For more information on the Lunar Tidal Effect and Acupuncture see my e-book in our online store

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Vitaminology & Orthomolecular Medicine

Vitaminology is the branch of medical science dealing with the study of vitamins, their nature, actions and use.

When vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes are used medicinally they are referred to as orthomolecular supplements. Orthomolecular medicine is the theory that disease may be cured by providing optimum amounts of substances, such as vitamins, normally present in the body. One of the early proponents of orthomolecular medicine was two time Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Linus Pauling who posited that mega doses of Vitamin C and Zinc were essential for the prevention of colds and flu’s during their prevailing seasons.

Orthomolecular supplements are essentially concentrations of nutrient substances that are normally found in the food we eat. I am often asked, “If vitamins and minerals are found in the food I eat, why can’t I get enough of them in my daily diet?”

There are five main reasons for the need for supplementation of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

First, many people just do not eat a healthy and balanced diet. We tend not to eat enough fresh vegetables and in the West we tend to eat way too much refined sugar and animal fat. These foods cause us to use inordinate amounts of other nutrients to balance and compensate for the over consumption of sugars and fats. For instance if one eats a lot of refined sugar there is an overuse of zinc for compensation and too much animal fat consumption leeches high levels of calcium from the system.

Secondly, many of the foods we eat are often grown in poor soil due to excessive use of tillage, chemical fertilizers and other short sighted and unsustainable farming practices. This compounded by the fact that many people eat foods that have been prepared or stored improperly, causes significant loss of vitamins and enzymes.

Third, in North America we are exposed to toxic chemicals in our air and water, hormonal additives in our food place extra stressors on our systems, and our bodies require additional vitamins and enzymes to neutralize and re-stabilize.

Fourth, those of us who live in an urban environment are subject to large doses of mental and emotional stress. The urban landscape is excessively assaultive on many levels and our nervous systems are unable to cope with this unrelieved stress which in turn uses inordinate amounts of B vitamins and minerals.

Fifth, if one consumes excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages, alcohol, uses tobacco products in any form, is exposed to radiation. Or if one is taking certain pharmaceuticals such as oral birth control or is suffering from chronic illness, especially digestive illnesses, these tend again to use up abnormally large amounts of certain nutrients for stabilization or in the case of digestive diseases; the nutrients may not be fully absorbed.

For all of the above reasons one may need to supplement particular nutrients which may not be found in sufficient amount in the diet. This is not to say that if one takes mega doses of vitamins and minerals that will make up for good basic nutrition but is does mean that given the stressful and polluted world of the 21st century we may not be getting enough vital nutrients from our diet.

From a Traditional Chinese Medical viewpoint, vitamins minerals and enzymes are classified as herbal medicines and have the same hierarchical classification as ginseng, ephedra, bupleurum and angelica. The concentrated dosages of vitamin supplements make them more like medicines than foods even though absorption rates vary from person to person.

The TCM functions of vitamins and minerals have their own minor materia medica and just as there are some herbs that are very widely used and well known to every Chinese doctor for their wide spread efficacy and almost universal benefit so too are there vitamins that are foremost on the list of panaceas every person can use.

B-12 is one such vitamin. In TCM, B-12 has the function of nourishing and coursing the circulation of the liver, which is in charge of circulating the Qi and blood of the entire body. B-12 also supplements the Qi, nourishes the blood by fortifying the spleen, and harmonizes the stomach. B-12 clears heat from the whole system, is anti-inflammatory and improves blood circulation which in turn resolves physical and mental depression.

While B-12 is widely available in foods and as a supplement there are several different types of B-12 available. All B-12 are cobalamin molecules and will have a similar function but methylcobalamin is the most bio-available form of B-12. Bio-availability is important because when you eat food containing B-12 you absorb about 25-30% and when you take a pill or capsule form of B-12 at best 40-50% is absorbed, the remainder is excreted through urination. The greatest absorption of B-12 comes through injection where 95% absorption occurs. When coupled with injecting the B-12 into an acupuncture point such as Taichong LV-3 or Sanyinjiao SP-6 the injection site supercharges the effects of the B-12 on the Qi, blood and circulation of the whole system.

APIT coupled with orthomolecular medicine are very powerful TCM modalities but it must be stressed that all modalities in TCM are based on our diagnostic protocol. Just as a person needs to be confirmed having a spleen and kidney vacuity before we prescribe ginseng as an herbal remedy, so too does a person need to have an appropriate pattern conformation before being treated with injectable medicines.

Orthomolecular medicine regulates the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system and can potentially treat chronic pain and inflammation, auto immune disorders, chronic fatigue conditions, chronic and latent viral diseases, colds and flu, sports injuries and most importantly perhaps, APIT assists the holistic  rejuvenation and regeneration of mind and body.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy

Developed in China in the 1950’s APIT is the injection of sterile biological substances into specific acupuncture points for the regulation of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood.

Acupuncture and its adjunct therapies are all regulatory in nature but APIT allows Doctors to tonify and enhance acupuncture points, channels and the organ systems governed by those channels and points.

Prior to the introduction of APIT, the only way to supplement and actually add any substance to the channel system was with electrical or laser stimulation of the acupuncture points. The use of electro and laser stimulation moderately increases the Yang Qi of the system but not Yin Qi, blood or essence. Otherwise, to introduce Yin, Qi, blood and essence into the system, Doctors needed to prescribe herbal medications and biological supplements to augment the organ systems via the digestive process.

APIT is not intravenous (IV) therapy and the sterile biological substances are never injected directly into the vascular system. APIT stands apart from all other types of injection therapy because of its reliance on the use of acupuncture points. The inclusion of acupuncture specific points for injection provides multidimensional therapeutic dynamics because stimulation of the points themselves are already responsible for a myriad of local and systemic therapeutic results. The combination of the point stimulation and the appropriately prescribed sterile biological substances supercharges the healing effect.

The Hypodermic needles used for APIT are 27-30 gauge (about the same gauge as a regular acupuncture needle). The sterile biological substances used in APIT include but are not limited to 5-10% glucose solution, sterile saline, vitamins such as B-12, C and D-3, various single Chinese herbs and Homeopathic remedies such as Arnica and Traumeel.

APIT can be performed as a stand-alone therapy such as a weekly or monthly injection of vitamin B-12 or in conjunction with other acupuncture modalities such as acupuncture, gua sha, cupping or moxa therapy. Because of the very powerful effect of APIT it is typical to inject only one to four sites per session depending on the sterile biological substance being used. When using saline or most homeopathic substances the four injections can be performed more frequently up to several times per day on different acupuncture points.

APIT regulates the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system and can potentially treat chronic pain and inflammation, auto immune disorders, chronic fatigue conditions, chronic and latent viral diseases, colds and flu, sports injuries and most importantly perhaps, APIT assists the holistic  rejuvenation of mind and body.

Whether a person is suffering from seasonal colds & flu, a chronic health condition, is a wounded weekend warrior or just wants to live forever, Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy is a potent modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM


Many years ago a man came to me and said he wanted to learn to meditate and could I help him.

He told me that he had heard that chanting and mantras were a good way to meditate but that he was uncomfortable with chanting in a foreign language or reciting a mantra that did not make sense to him.

I  advised him to slowly  inhale and think the word “Breathe”

Exhale slowly and think the word “relax”

Inhale and think the word “release”

Exhale and think the words “let go”

I advised him to sit in a quiet place and for twenty minutes once or twice per day and mentally recite this “mantra” while following his breath

The man came back the next week and said that he had been reciting the mantra every day for twenty minutes but didn’t like the word “release” and could he change it to “realize” making the mantra




Let go

I said sure, try that for a week and see how it goes

The man came back the next week and said that he had been reciting the mantra every day for twenty minutes but the word “realize” wasn’t working for him and could he change it to “awaken” making the mantra




Let go

I said sure, try that for a week and see how it goes

The man came back the following week and said that he had been reciting the mantra every day for twenty minutes but decided that he was going to change the word “awaken” back to the word “release” because he felt I had been right all along, making the mantra




Let go

I said sure, try that for a week and see how it goes

The man came back the next week and told me that he realized he had been meditating every day for a month and he felt much clearer and calmer overall

I said great, try that for your life and see how it goes

Mid-line Therapy

Anatomically there are three main planes of the body. These are imaginary flat surfaces that pass through the body and help us differentiate upper from lower, back from front and side to side

These three main planes are

The frontal plane, divides the body into front and back (anterior and posterior).

The horizontal or transverse plane, which divides the body from top to bottom (superior and inferior portions)

The mid-sagittal plane, divides the body into equal right and left halves (this plane represents the Mid-Line.

The mid-sagittal or Mid-line plane is the subject of this article. Imagine a thin, three foot wide by six foot tall sheet of ‘magic’ glass we will use as our dividing tool. Facing the edge of the glass step forward and allow the magic glass to pass through you from top to bottom dividing you evenly into left and right halves. The mid line created by the glass represents the mid-sagittal or mid-line plane.

 The importance of Mid-line learning

I have trained for over forty years in various martial arts systems and in that time the most impactful teacher I have had was Master Randy Miskech. In addition to holding the highest rank possible in Korean Tae Kwon Do (seventh degree black belt), Mr. Miskech has a Masters degree in Physical Education.

As an instructor, Mr. Miskech would take one Tae Kwon Do movement and teach it progressively. That means that a single movement was broken down into many smaller motions. Most movements (if not all) had a chamber position (starting point) and an execution position (stopping point). Within this structure lies what he called the method of the mid-line. Most blocks, punches, and kicks cross the mid-line point of the body (mid-sagittal plane). Many times these movements are set to opposite sides of the body. That is, in order to perform a right low defense block I am required to place my right hand across the mid-line to my left ear, (the right hand must first cross the mid-line of the body) to be in the proper chamber position. Then, during the execution phase the hand again passes downward and to the right of the body through the mid-line to finish in the proper execution position.

Each block, punch and kick requires conscious thought to start and stop in the right position and each movement is then mirrored to match its opposite.

All Asian martial arts as well as boxing and to some degree fencing consistently rely on the focused intent of crossing the midline of the body.

Until recently we did not know that crossing the mid-line forces your brain to ‘rewire’ itself to compensate for the confusion of the movement.

Studies have shown that the percental gyrus of the frontal lobe of the brain, controlling the primary motor functions of the body, must produce neurons and create new neural pathways to compensate for cross-midline movements. Science and technology meet 2000 year old training methods.

To summarize, the more you force your limbs to cross the mid-line plane to a focused end, the more neural pathways your brain will create to compensate for the ‘confusion’ of the movement. More neural pathways will translate to better defined movement, improved motor skill development and increased cognitive capacity. Essentially, it is fitness training for your brain.

‘It has been scientifically substantiated that your brain produces more neurons and creates neural pathways that expand your ability to move and process information. This production of neurons is a direct result of activities that requires the one to consciously cross the mid-sagittal plane (mid-line) of the body.

For thousands of years, masters knew the benefits of martial training, however, all or most of the growth was attributed to self-discipline. Another way it had been described is that repetition created focus. Now we have evidence and a name for that focus, it is what has been come to be known as Mid-Line Training.

Recently, Neurologists have seen evidence that when the body is placed in a situation that forces it to cross the mid-sagittal plane (mid-line) the brain develops new neural pathways to deal with the confusion of the movement and have begun prescribing boxing training to patients with Parkinson’s and mild forms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

One of the martial arts that can be of particular benefit on many levels partially because of its crossing mind-line movements is Tai Chi Chuan.

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that utilizes visualization, breath control, posture and movement to systematically organize and orchestrate the various functions of tissues and organs in the human body.

Tai Chi as a form of exercise has been in continuous practice from the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty (1028 – 221 B.C.E.), to the present day. In China, Tai Chi has been used therapeutically in modern hospitals and sanatoriums since 1955 and in 1956 Tai Chi was introduced as part of the regular curriculum at the four top Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Research studies have been conducted at the Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1986 the China Research Society for Tai Chi Science was founded to oversee research protocols at the colleges and universities. Tai Chi research has also been conducted by colleges and scientific institutions in Japan, Korea, Europe and America. This is a sampling of some of the findings of that research.

  • Cardiovascular: Lowers resting heart rate, less abnormal EKG, greater cardiac efficiency, stabilized blood pressure, less LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, more HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
  • Circulation: Improves microcirculation, peripheral circulation, prevents vascular spasm, very helpful in Reynaud’s syndrome, angina, migraine.
  • Digestive: Improves peristalsis and digestive absorption, fewer pathogenic digestive bacteria (candida), positive effects on ulcers and constipation.
  • Respiratory: Slower respiratory rate, improved gaseous exchange, significant positive effects on asthma and bronchitis.
  • Immune System: greater count and more active T cells, better targeting of antigens, deactivates harmful free radicals causing significant anti cancer effect.
  • Musculo-skeletal: Increases strength, flexibility and bone density, improves coordination, beneficial for arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Brain: increases slow, high amplitude brain waves, improves cerebral blood flow, less incidences of stroke, helpful for paralysis and seizure disorders.
  • Mental Health: Decreases in; stress response, Type A behavior, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder. Improvements in memory, concentration, interpersonal sensitivity

Another important factor in continued long term mental acuity is the use of specific Chinese herbal medicines. The use of herbal medicines for specific conditions should be managed by a doctor of Chinese medicine, but for prevention of senile conditions there are several herbs that can be very helpful.

Herbs like acorus, ginkgo, Siberian ginseng and many species of edible mushroom all have shown to increase cognitive function and memory in numerous scientific studies.

Although often marketed individually, it has been found that using these herbs in specific combinations actually give the best results. For instance, the leaf of the ginkgo tree is particularly useful for increases in long term memory but not so much for short term, while acorus root is very good for short term memory but not as good the gingko for long term memory.

Edible mushrooms like hericium, ganoderma, reishi, shitake and miatake have long been used for longevity and mental acuity in Asian cultures and for the past sixty or so years we have learned that about any edible mushroom produces these same benefits to some degree.

Here at Atlantic Institute, we have developed a formula we call “Brain Food” that is made up of the most effective balance of the four major brain enhancing herbs. In a concentrated (5:1) formula we have engineered a blend of acorus root, gingko leaf, hericium mushroom and Siberian ginseng into a formula that has the best potential for deterring all of the thirty-one patterns of diagnosis that are associated with dementia, senility and Alzheimer’s.

You can order my DVD on Tai Chi & Qigong by going to our Store tab at the top of this page or get a streaming video by going to

You can also order Brain Food by going to our Store tab at the top of this page or by contacting us at

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz

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