Derek (DJ) Steel
Chinese medicine is a truly beautiful medicine and my love for it started in my youth. I was drawn to it because of its simple and holistic view of human beings and the world that envelopes them. The profound models of YinYang and the Five Phases helped me understand so much of the way the world works, and so also how the people around me work. When it came to the beginnings of my formal education at Kootenay Columbia College of Integrative Health Sciences (formerly ACOS), it was really these core principles that drew me in, but over time I learned the power of the medicine and how it had been used for millennia to help relieve the suffering of people in the world and found a deep resonance with that mission.
My focus in both study and practice has always been centered around the Chinese medicine classics. These classics are the books that contain the original knowledge and wisdom of the medicine that we have used to develop our ideas for roughly 2500 years. What this changes in my practice is that I end up using quite different techniques than what I initially learned in school. For example, my diagnostic process has evolved from the study of these works to be more involved than the simple tongue and pulse inspection that is prevalent today. I use a combination of both these more modern practices and the older practices of thorough palpation and inspection of the acupuncture channels themselves to determine the quality of blood and fluid distribution throughout the body. On top of these methods, I also learned that the original form of acupuncture was subtly but distinctly different from that which is practiced today and have adapted my approach to resemble these older techniques, finding it much more effective.
When it comes to herbal medicine, I have had the wonderful opportunity to study with some amazing practitioners and doctors both here in the west and in China during my visit there in 2019. These wise teachers helped me find a simple way of writing herbal formulas that quickly adjust the imbalances in the body and are easily customized around what works and what doesn’t for a given person. My passion for Chinese herbalism is something I often equate to writing poetry, finding the simplest and most elegant way to match the disharmonies in each person’s system.
Using a combination of these and other methods, I focus on treating people who suffer from internal medical conditions, chronic autoimmune disorders, and emotional wellbeing.
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