The Role of the Classical Method

As a values driven clinic, all of our decisions are passed through the filter of how can we best fulfill our mission, which is: We exist to assist our patient’s natural ability to heal. Imbedded in this value is our promise to always put the patient’s best interest above the clinic. Please know that this is the standard that we are applying as we move forward into territory that is, for most Americans alive today, uncharted.  

I want to take a moment to provide you a quick update on information significant to your health and safety, discuss with you the role our Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic plays in our current environment, and, most importantly, discuss with everyone our plans going forward.

First, a quick summary and update of the information we are tracking and feel is relevant based on the current data we have:

Next, I want to talk about disease progression in terms of Classical Chinese Medicine and what we know about the progression in the body.

Early onset symptoms for people testing positive for Covid19 follow the symptom/disease progression that we have experienced before. In a prior letter (link), we discussed the Taiyang – First Stage- from a self-care perspective. From the Taiyang, there is a systematic progression of disease into the lungs. The main strategy is to minimize the possibility of the virus settling in the lungs by keeping the lung physiology balanced.

As you know, the clinic does not treat the virus, but the body’s response to any pathogen. The closest analogue we have in terms of symptoms is the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. In 2009, I was just beginning to treat in the Classical Method herbal lineage that I practice today. This outbreak was my first opportunity to see these formulas in action on patients with a high fever and a serious cough. Patients responded exceptionally well and quicker than with the antivirals and antibiotics that they were being prescribed. The formulas used were ones that had been used continuously for over 1500 years and would have been the exact same formulas that Dr. Tian (who we mentioned here) used to treat the Spanish Flu when he was alive in 1918. As we mentioned in an earlier letter, this was believed to be a similar influenza strain to the one we dealt with in 2009. It was the effectiveness of the treatments with influenza at this time that caused me to begin mastering this older system.

After looking at the disease progression through the lens of Modern Medicine and Chinese Medicine and the work those who have used Classical Method in this current epidemic, I am confident was can effectively help keep many people out of the hospital and significantly minimize the impact if people get sick, though the 2009 and 2020 outbreaks are different and will require a different strategy.

To answer how and why the strategy will be different from 2009, I want to share with you the work of one of one hospital in China. This hospital used the Classical Method to keep its staff of over 1000 medical staff healthy while they treated the outbreak. Using our Classical Method formulas, none of his staff became infected. The hospital, I later learned, had consulted with and used the protocol of the first student of my first Classical Method teacher (who is now deceased). First, they put every hospital employee on herbs to keep them healthy, whether they were experiencing symptoms or not, then they employed formulas specific to the progression of disease, just like we do in the clinic.   

Based, in part, on this hospitals experience, I am convinced that, if we treat early and effectively according to our system of Classical Chinese medicine, we have the potential to help keep many people healthy and minimizing the damage from this outbreak. The key is to keep the disease out of the lungs and to treat swiftly to minimize the chance of developing permanent lung fibrosis.

Because of the extreme amount of uncertainty in the time ahead, we are taking steps to assure that, even if it is not possible to see patients in person (please know that we will make every effort to prevent that), our patients have the ability to respond quickly if you or a loved one falls sick. Here is our strategy:

Phase I: Lung Qi Formula:

We will be offering the herbal formula to anyone who wants it. Availability projected to be late this week. As you know, we normally do not offer formulas without a consult; however, given the circumstances, we feel comfortable doing this because of the real-world results in China.

Phase II: Triage Kit:

We will be offering a triage kit with the formulas we deem most likely to effectively combat this epidemic, depending on the different ways the symptoms present and progress. It is my understanding that, like our experience with H1N1, if the patient is treated quickly with the right strategies the symptoms will not become severe and the likelihood of requiring hospitalization is significantly minimized.  

The Triage Kit will only be available to patients and their families. Please let us know if you are interested so we can try to estimate demand.

One note on this, we have always considered herbal therapies to be an extension of our services and not a product to be sold in and of themselves. Thus, our kits will come vacuum-sealed. If your kit is never opened, you may return it to our clinic in exchange for clinic services in the future.

Our mission, through this difficult time, is to be of service to our community and create a win-win for everyone. This will help assure that Red Earth can remain in business as well as allow us to effectively treat our patients in the face of a fast-moving epidemic.


Please remember: nothing in this article is intended to suggest that people concerned about exposure to Covid 19, or are exhibiting cold or flu like symptoms, should not immediately contact your primary care physician, your local hospital or the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  The scope of our practice does not include diagnosing or treating a Western Medicine disease, such as a virus or Covid 19. As always, our medicine focuses on the patient’s body and not on the specific pathogen as identified by Western Medicine.

For additional information about COVID 19, please contact the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC and/or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Posted in Clinic News, Herbal Medicine, History