Bob giving an introduction into his thoughts on Traditional Chinese Medicine, how through experimenting on his own body he independently arrived at many similar understandings as TCM and where his views differ.
I would love to talk to you about traditional Chinese medicine. I initially came from the East Coast. At that time, we don't talk about Chinese medicine, we don't talk about energy, that's like far out stuff. It's 2020, everybody now knows about Chinese medicine. It exists, and there is an energy thing. People are starting to understand energy, right? In themselves, not just outside. What happened for me was that I discovered that muscles naturally contract when you stretch, as I've talked about many times, and when you do that, you get a change in your flexibility, the capacity of the muscle to shorten, and it changes the fascial material, and you get regeneration of your tissue, and it changes you biomechanically, and that's fabulous. And when I discovered that, I could hardly wait to fix my body from my automobile accident. So I started spending lots of time fixing my body, and one day I was stretching out my lateral hamstring on the back of my leg, and my bladder contracted. Well that doesn't make any sense to me, why would my bladder contract? So what I did was I called my friend from California on the phone, and she goes, "Hey Bob, "in Chinese medicine, the bladder energy channel "is on the back of the leg where you described." I was like, "I don't really wanna know that." Got off the phone. I then stretched my lateral quad, when I stretched my lateral quad, my stomach contracted. Called her up, "Hey Evelyn, is it true that there's "a stomach meridian in Chinese medicine?" And she goes, "Yes." I said, is it on the back of the shoulders, and she said, "No, it's in the lateral quad," and I said, "Yeah, that's where I found it." I'll call you back. Then I stretch muscle grips on the back inside of my leg, and my pancreas area contracted. Called her up, "Evelyn, is there a pancreas meridian?" "Yeah, there's a spleen pancreas, I don't remember "where this spleen is at." "Evelyn, the pancreas? "I know where that is in my body. "Is the muscle group on the postural medial aspect "of the legs," and she said, "Yes." I said, "Look Evelyn, I don't really know "how the Chinese figured out about these energy channels "or these meridians or these muscle groups "being associated with organs, "but when you get hit by a car at 70 miles an hour, "you become very organ sensitive compared to most people," and those were not subtle feelings I was getting in my organs. Now I had a lot of problems in my organs after my car impact. That was pretty intense. So I was really happy to know that maybe I could stretch different muscle groups and it would affect my organ, and I started doing that, and because I was so closed-minded, I refused to study Chinese medicine and so what I did was that I would just stretch a muscle group until I found the organ, and then I'd open up a Chinese medicine book and found out if we came up with the same results. And then years later I was invited to give a presentation at the 2009 Symposium for the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and the president described me as, "Oh, that's the man that rediscovered Chinese medicine," 'cause I was never taught Chinese medicine, I was too close-minded, instead I discovered it through my own body. So here we are with this database of Chinese medicine. Well, let's make it, let's bridge it from its foundation into how it could actually be. So what's known is that you have muscle groups that have to move you, everybody knows, in eight directions, so you must have eight of those in your legs and eight in your upper body to move you in those different directions. Well, in Chinese medicine, any muscle group when it contracts, that brings your body towards itself is called a yin muscle group. And any muscle group that contracts and takes your body outward or abducts you, is the yang muscle group. If the yang works right, the muscle groups, then what happens is that you find that you feel grounded into the ground, your weight goes down into the ground, and if the yin muscle groups work right, then the yin energy comes up the front and you feel very light through the front. So healthy yang is you get grounded, and healthy yin is you get to rise, and if the yang has blocks in it, dense fascia and scar tissue, then you don't get grounded. Instead, you're uptight, and if the yin muscle groups don't work, then instead of being light and rising, you're heavy and you can't rise. So that's the basis, the yin and yang of the muscle groups in your body. In Chinese medicine, they actually only have 12 meridians initially, in the current version, and then they have a couple other called, that I would call brain and sexual, they would governing vessel and conception vessel, and the brain meridian I realized, they have it just in the trunk, well that didn't make any sense to me, 'cause in what I've discovered with meridians, either go from the legs up into your trunk and your head, or they go from your arms into your neck and trunk, head and trunk. So it didn't make sense that they have a meridian that wouldn't go either into your legs or into your arms. So I investigated by stretching that muscle group on the back of my body, the brain meridian, that it actually went down the back of my leg into the bottom of my foot, and so I increased the pathway and identified that for the brain meridian. And the sexual meridian on the front, I found out it didn't stop in the trunk, it actually starts in your foot and comes up your body and it comes up. So now I finish the brain and sexual meridian. They call them extraordinary or special. I didn't find them special. I do think people are special, but they're not special compared to how the other ones were, and the Chinese numbered them backwards. In other words, if the yang energy goes this way, then they number them from above down, and if the yin energy goes from below up, you have to number them from below going upward. And they had those numbered in the wrong order, so I changed the order of those numbers. So now I had 14. But you have to have 16, because your body can move in eight directions in the lower body and eight in the upper body, so I already had eight in my legs, so I knew there was an extra two in the upper body. What were they? Well, I knew that one of those had to be close to where my large intestine was, but I didn't know where that organ, what organ would be there. So I asked the doctor, and she said, "There aren't any other organs there," and I said, "There's gotta be." She goes, "Well, there's the appendix, "but it's not an organ." I go, "Appendix is it." And then I said, "Well the other one, "which is like what the Chinese call triple heater, "which I call skin," 'cause the Chinese didn't know the skin was an organ, so they called it triple heater, that the skin meridian was close to skin. I'm like, "What's close to skin as an organ?" "No," she goes. I go "No, yes, there has to be," I said, "'cause the skin's the external immune," and she goes, "Well there's an internal immune," I'm like, "That's it." And what's the internal immune? Well that's your thymus, your tonsils, and half the function of your spleen. That makes 16, I'm all done. There's eight muscle groups, they have to move you in eight directions, there's eight organs, there's eight meridian pathways, there's more in Chinese medicine. The muscle groups on the outside of your leg that are associated with the biomechanics of your hip to make you stable are also in Chinese medicine associated with your gallbladder. And the muscle groups on the other side are associated with liver. They're called balancing muscle groups, balancing organ functions, they're complementary of each other. Well, when I discovered that there are these other meridians, the thymus meridian, I found a thymus meridian on my arm, from my internal immune, and I found the appendix meridian through my lat and coming up into my face, into my cheek, and then internal into my temple, I then had two new meridians that were not now taught in traditional Chinese medicine. And I presented that also to the Pacific College of Medicine Symposium. Is that really possible? I mean, everybody knows you have muscles that move you in different directions, and if you move in different directions and if you stretch those muscle groups, sometimes you find that they have dense fascia and scar tissue, and when you remove that dense fascia and scar tissue, by naturally stretching, some people can feel the energy start to move through their body either up or down, where it was blocked. Other people feel their organs changing and upgrading health in their body. Other people feel biomechanical change, and because I'm such a psychological person, I also found out that each one of those muscle groups was associated with developing certain aspects of my personality, and after awhile, there were 16 of them, and I was like, oh, there's 16 personality types. So here you have eight muscle groups in your lower body, eight in your upper body, they're associated with a meridian pathway, an energy pathway, an organ. A type of tissue on the outside of the gallbladder is associated with ligaments. The inside is associated with tendons, so now you don't just have muscle groups and energies and organs, you have kinds of tissue. Well that's really important, 'cause say you have a ligament problem in your wrist, well we could remove the biomechanical distress so you don't have that in the wrist, but the ligaments are controlled by your gallbladder which is in the side of your body, of your lower body, going up your body. And unless you stretch those, that ligament issue won't repair in your wrist, so you need to know, like what kind of tissue you need to repair and then that meridian pathway and muscle group needs to be addressed. I think some people already know there's a hormonal association with each one of the meridians. That's real eight element Chinese medicine, and by the way, the Taoist originally had eight, it got changed. I would do what the Taoist are doing, there's eight element theory of new traditional Chinese medicine. Let's find out more about that.