Using Raw Herbs in Chinese Medical Dermatology

Sabine Schmitz (M. Med. TCM) is a graduate of the Zhèjiang Chinese Medical University in Hángzhou, China where she majored in Chinese medical dermatology. Her enormous knowledge treasures from China as well as her many years of experience benefit many patients with chronic and complex skin diseases – such as psoriasis and eczema – but also many other patients with various diseases. Sabine has a busy TCM practice specializing in skin diseases, gynecological disorders and infertility treatment. Her first book with Singing Dragon, Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbal Medicine (Revised Edition) was published in 2020 as part of a new dermatology series. Her second book with us, Treating Acne and Acne Rosacea with Chinese Herbal Medicine, will be published in November 2021.

When I look at social media these days, I see more and more reports from patients describing improvements in their skin diseases by using Chinese herbs. That is a good thing because it spreads awareness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and gives other patients, who might currently be looking for a suitable therapy, options and ideas. Sometimes, patients upload pictures of granules, sometimes raw herbs or, in rare cases, I see pills. However, today I would like to discuss why raw herbs are best in the treatment of chronic and complex skin diseases from a therapist’s point of view, who sees difficult skin diseases every day.

Using decoctions as treatment

The wide variety of treatment options developed over the centuries and the extensive range of internal and external applications TCM offers are a direct response to the flexibility required in curing complex disease patterns. When talking about raw herbs, I am referring to “decoctions”, in Chinese this is called jiān jì (煎剂). As seen in practice, decoctions, or teas, of raw herbs are the most effective form of treatment. They are easy to prepare and drink. And when I say easy to prepare, I mean boiling raw herbs up for a couple of hours a week – it’s not rocket science and most patients will do this when the benefits are properly explained to them. Continue reading

Touch is Really Strange: An Interview with Steve Haines

Why can’t we tickle ourselves? How can slow touch convey more powerful emotions than fast touch? How does touch shape our perception of the world? In this short interview, Steve Haines – author of Singing Dragon’s best-selling Really Strange series – discusses the inspiration behind his new book, Touch is Really Strange

When did you start working on the book?

The idea for a book on touch has been around since 2019, but this was definitely a lockdown project. The Really Strange series has been huge fun and continues to get heart-warming feedback. There have been suggestions for books on Depression, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Grief or Breath.

Whilst I have some experience with clients with all those topics, I realised I have far more to say about touch. I use touch everyday in normal work life and teach 2-year courses on being skilful with touch.

What inspired the topic?

In my career I have undergone a paradigm shift in how I understand touch. Continue reading

Yoga Teaching Guides Introduced by Sian O’Neill

Yoga Teaching Guides

Singing Dragon’s Yoga Teaching Guides is a new series of books, launching in March 2021. Edited by Sian O’Neill and written by renowned experts in the field, the books in the series cover essential skills as well as providing inspiration for creative yoga teaching, both for the new and the experienced yoga teacher. In this short piece, hear from series editor Sian as she introduces some of the upcoming books and talks about her inspiration behind the series. Join our mailing list to be kept up to date with new releases!

As a yoga teacher, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and ideas to help improve my classes for students and I have a feeling I am not alone. It can be challenging to come up with varied, interesting (and safe) classes week after week – so practical tips from highly experienced and inspiring teachers are always appreciated.

Sian O’Neill

Following the successful launch of the Yoga Teaching Handbook, it became clear that there is an interest among yoga teachers and trainees in practical tips to enrich their teaching. So, I was thrilled when Singing Dragon asked me to be editor for a new series aimed at yoga teachers, Yoga Teaching Guides, and we are delighted to be launching a series of volumes on topics ranging from supporting injured students; yoga and qigong; developing a home practice; the art of theming, and yoga and Ayurveda – with more to follow. Continue reading

Announcing our new Yoga Teaching Guides

We are pleased to introduce you to our brand new series of books: Singing Dragon’s Yoga Teaching Guides. This series – written by experts in the field – covers essential skills as well as providing inspiration for creative yoga teaching, both for the new and the experienced yoga teacher. In this short piece, hear from Sarah Hamlin, Senior Commissioning Editor at Singing Dragon, as she introduces the series and shares a few hints on what is yet to come. Join our mailing list to be kept up to date with new releases!

Back in 2017, Singing Dragon published the Yoga Teaching Handbook, an edited collection which brought together experts sharing their experiences of the day-to-day practicalities of teaching yoga and managing yoga businesses. The handbook was one of the very first yoga books I commissioned, and it was truly wonderful to work with a group of people so passionate about yoga and so committed to sharing knowledge and advice with the wider yoga community.

Sarah Hamlin, Senior Commissioning Editor at Singing Dragon

Four years later we are launching our brand-new series, Yoga Teaching Guides, inspired by the 2017 handbook. Building on the key topics and themes included in the handbook, our series authors are able to share their expertise in greater depth so that yoga teachers everywhere can refine their skillset, be inspired to think creatively about teaching, and ultimately feel confident in sharing a meaningful yoga practice with students. Continue reading

A Natural Approach to Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Medicine

Sabine Schmitz

Sabine Schmitz (M. Med. TCM) is a graduate of the Zhèjiang Chinese Medical University in Hángzhou, China where she majored in Chinese medical dermatology. Her enormous knowledge treasures from China as well as her many years of experience benefit many patients with chronic and complex skin diseases – such as psoriasis and eczema – but also many other patients with various diseases. Sabine has a busy TCM practice specializing in skin diseases, gynecological disorders and infertility treatment. Her first book with Singing Dragon, Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbal Medicine (Revised Edition) was published in 2020 as part of a new dermatology series. Her second book with us, Treating Acne and Acne Rosacea with Chinese Herbal Medicine, will be published in November 2021.

Change is the only constant in life – a popular quote by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus. And it is true, in life ups and downs alternate, joy and sadness, and so on. This is normal. Life is not a constant continuum of ongoing happiness and living on the bright side as the current pandemic shows us. All of us are facing difficult times right now. In my practice, I observe the longer difficult times like this pandemic for instance lasts the more problems the patients have. Patients get tense, stressed or anxious depending what kind of type of person they are. They either develop new symptoms or, and that’s quite often, old processes flare up again and worsen. As I do specialize in TCM Dermatology and Gynaecology I see this to be true for many skin diseases every day. Chronic skin diseases like psoriasis are good examples of this.

We all know that skin diseases in general are often complicated and neither easy nor fast in their treatment. Stress and emotions like frustration, anger as well as anxiety definitely need to be taken into account. In my practice, I frequently observe in patients with psoriasis who have had episodes of severe stress or periods of recurring frustration and anger a worsening of their skin condition. Thus, we need to take the patients’ emotions and circumstances into account. It would be a mistake not to do this – to not consider the obvious which is often the root cause of the disease. Saying this, I really think that right now our wonderful medicine is needed more than ever! Continue reading

Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice: Knowing What Ki Is

Tamsin Grainger has been a Zen Shiatsu practitioner since 1991 and is the co-founder of The Shiatsu School in Edinburgh, as well as being a prolific writer and teacher. Below, she gives a glimpse of what readers can expect from her new book, Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice.

Introduction

Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice is a guide to bodywork in palliative care. It looks at how Shiatsu practitioners sit with their clients when they are grieving, how they listen to the bereaved, what language they use at the end of life, and above all their touch.

Because Shiatsu practitioners can address and hold the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of clients at the same time, as a result of their deep training based on hands-on experience, they are supremely placed to practice in this arena. My book looks at all these levels and provides support for the practitioner who wants to be centred, open-hearted and well primed.

The book contains a wide range of useful and illuminating theory which has been collected together in one volume for the first time. It covers the dying process and the ideas which underly Shiatsu practice as it pertains to loss and palliative care. It looks at the traditional ideas as well as at current teaching, and supports and encourages each individual to find their own confidence.

Knowing what Ki is

Shiatsu practitioners are taught that Ki pervades everything, that everything is made of Ki. Though invisible in its purest form to most human eyes, it may be felt by clients and practitioners alike. Continue reading

Announcing our Acupuncture Webinar Series: Join us on our Facebook page every week

We are delighted to announce that Singing Dragon is launching a new Acupuncture Webinar Series.

Starting on the 15th of September, join us every Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm BST/3pm EST on our Facebook page for a new webinar by renowned acupuncture professionals.

You can join in the discussions, and our authors will be on hand to answer any questions or comments you may have on the day.

You can also submit your questions for our authors ahead of time by emailing hello@intl.singingdragon.com.

Click here to visit and follow our Facebook page!

 

Our Acupuncture Webinar Series schedule so far features:

  • CT Holman – 15th September – Applying Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches to Chinese Medicine Treatments
  • Rebecca Avern – 17th September – Why do children become ill?
  • Mary Elizabeth Wakefield & MichelAngelo – 22nd and 24th September – Vibrational Acupuncture: Integrating Tuning Forks with Needles
  • John Hamwee – 29th September – Amplifying the Power of Treatment
  • Hamid Montakab – 6th October – TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) versus CCM (Classical Chinese Medicine)

We are in the process of confirming many more events with our authors. Follow our Facebook page to stay up to date with upcoming events!

Please note: webinars will be available for 24 hours, after which they will be available for purchase through the Singing Dragon Library for a small fee.

 

Continue reading

Svadhyaya Breath Journal: Download an extract from the companion workbook to Restoring Prana by Robin Rothenberg

Singing Dragon was proud to publish Restoring Prana: A Therapeutic Guide to Pranayama and Healing Through the Breath for Yoga Therapists, Yoga Teachers, and Healthcare Practitioners by Robin Rothenberg in December 2019, to critical acclaim. We are therefore delighted to announce that Svadhyaya Breath Journal: A Companion Workbook to Restoring Prana by Robin will be published in August 2020, and is now available to pre-order!

This companion workbook provides a pre-formulated breath journal, which follows the chapter chronology of the parent book, Restoring Prana, a training manual on transformative breathing presenting a new way of understanding and applying breath to a wide range of ailments. Each chapter in Restoring Prana ends with specific practices that the reader is asked to track in a breath journal – and this workbook provides a pre-formulated journal for this purpose, with the key concepts highlighted and with space for breath charts, logs and reflection.

Continue reading

Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbal Medicine

We are thrilled to announce that the new, revised and updated edition of Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbal Medicine, the wonderful book by Sabine Schmitz, is being published by Singing Dragon in July 2020.

In this video, Sabine introduces her book, the first comprehensive English-speaking guide to treating psoriasis with Chinese herbal medicine.

We have implemented some exciting changes into this edition:
  • We’ve vividly enriched the book with illustrations, photographs of both the skin and the tongue (including a tongue atlas), as well as in-depth case studies and new information based on the latest research.
  • It is beautifully designed and type-set – readers will now find it much easier to navigate and dip in and out of the text as needed.

The perfect resource for Chinese medicine practitioner or student interested in treating skin conditions, this is the first ‘Western’ Chinese medicine publication dedicated specifically to psoriasis, and it takes a modern, practical approach to treatment, looking at the root cause of the condition from a Chinese medicine viewpoint, examining the most common Chinese medicine syndromes and formulas that have been proven to be most effective, and discussing the role of environment and emotional health.

New TCM Dermatology Series with Singing Dragon

This book is the first of a new TCM dermatology handbook series that Sabine is working on with Singing Dragon, with practical books about the most common skin diseases.

We’re creating the ultimate resources for practitioners to use in clinical practice – easy to read, use and navigate in day-to-day practice, and based on her many years of experience in treating skin conditions with Chinese medicine.

To keep an eye out for upcoming books in the series, subscribe to the Singing Dragon mailing list by clicking here.

Sarah Scharf on Holding Space and Preparing for Teaching Yoga Online

Sarah Scharf, MFA is a yoga teacher, author of the upcoming book, Holding Space: The Creative Performance and Voice Workbook for Yoga Teachers and theatre artist. She holds an MFA in Physical Theatre and has completed multiple training courses in Yoga of various styles. In London she taught at Triyoga – the largest studio in Europe – and worked as a mentor for the Yogacampus Teacher Training. She runs popular workshops and training on voice work and performance skills for yoga teachers, and works as a movement director and teaching artist for theatre. She is an American currently living in Vienna.

Improvisational theatre has a rule that is not to be broken under any circumstances: Yes, And. The principle is simple: whatever is happening must be accepted before we add to it. The pandemic has made this principle my greatest ally. It helps me acknowledge the challenge of uncertain work income, the inability to plan or make decisions with a full picture and the intensity of grief that has rocked me as our world has changed so quickly. At a recent workshop I gave, a longtime yoga and meditation teacher commented that improvisation is very much like mindfulness. I totally agree. Mindfulness as a practice of being aware of what is present, what is actually happening versus being stuck in our thoughts and expectations, is the basis of improvisation.

The “new normal”

Teachers of all types have suddenly been asked to teach through new mediums. People with different types of jobs are zooming and working remotely. Those of us who have work that can be moved online are lucky, yet the transition has been rocky for a lot of us. My background in theatre and many years of teaching experience have really helped me to adapt. Most of this blog is adapted from my upcoming book Holding Space:The Creative Performance and Voice Workbook for Yoga Teachers. We don’t need to be trained actors to communicate clearly and effectively through screens. We do need to embrace improvisation, allow for the learning curves and be extra kind to ourselves. Continue reading