Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Korben and family moving in August: a thank you note to my patients

With great sadness and also excitement, I’d like to let those who don’t already know that my family and I are moving back to New England in August. This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, trying to reconcile our desire to be closer to family (especially in regards to my son, Julian) with the profound sense of belonging that you’ve all given me as your community acupuncturist.
I’m afraid I’ll never be able to express my gratitude for being able to work so closely with all of you. I have never felt more alive and connected and useful as I do each time I spend I few moments with a patient like yourself, listening, maybe laughing, or maybe saying nothing at all, surrounded by other perfect and mysterious and resting someones, and with the sun at whatever angle it is, and hopefully helping you to settle into a slightly more cooperative and flowing place within your body.
So, a huge thank you to everyone I’ve ever treated here at PCA. I will not remember your symptoms, but your beauty and the very particular way you went ahead and believed in your body and your mind despite the challenges.
Also, thank you to the unbelievably righteous band of volunteers who made this place work logistically and who give it nearly all of its flavor and rhythm. And, thank you to Ellen Vincent, Pascal Vincent, Amy Walsh, Waliyyah Muhsin, Jacks Cody, Lou Cutler, Danielle Stimson, Zem Chance, and Linford Martin for building this thing together. I hope it lasts forever.
Thank you to the rose window on the Hickman Temple for reflecting back perfect design from the north. Thank you to the countless sunsets and occasional violent storms coming from the west. Thank you to the gigantic oak I can see out the back, south window, probably on Springfield, which always focused me when I washed my hands, and to one of the neighborhood hawks which lands in that tree sometimes. Thank you to the many moon rises behind the skyline and to that beautiful (unfinished?) mural, both of which woke me out of complacency when I started feeling like I was “working”. I hope to come back often and bask in the very special energy which is this exact place on earth at rest and at peace.
I will work my regular schedule up through the last week in July. If you are a regular patient of mine, I encourage you to go ahead and get a treatment with one or two of the other fantastic acupuncturists now, so that if you want you can still schedule with me and give feedback and get encouragement.
Please stay tuned for info about a going-away party in July.
With love, Korben. (korbenp@yahoo.com)

History and Myth in Chinese Medicine

If you are interested in Chinese Medical History, there is a lecture on "History and Myth in Chinese Medicine," on June 5th from 3 - 5 pm at the Won Institute. Here is how Salguero describes his presentation:

"Practitioners of Chinese medicine often characterize their healing arts as “ancient,” imagining an unbroken tradition stretching back over thousands of years. Historians of Chinese medicine, on the other hand, have emphasized the ever-changing nature of Chinese medicine and have shown that modern practices have little to do with ancient precedents. This presentation will introduce the audience to the latest historical research on the origins of acupuncture, and the transformation over the past 2000 years in theory and practice. At the heart of the presentation are the questions of why history matters to practitioners, and whether facts and myths can be reconciled."

Pierce Salguero is Assistant Professor of Asian History at Penn State's Abington College. Dr. Salguero has a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has published numerous books and articles on Asian medical history. He is a historian of medicine in China, specializing in religious healing in the medieval period.