Volker Scheid grew up in a family engaged in the cultivation of medicinal herbs. Following an apprenticeship as a gardener he came to England to study phytotherapy, acupuncture, Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine. Further studies led him to China, where he spent three years at Beijing and Shanghai Universities of Chinese medicine as well as learning privately from different master physicians. Volker’s clinical studies led to a deepening academic involvement with East Asian medicines pursued at the University of Cambridge, the School of African and Oriental Studies (London), and now the University of Westminster, where he is Professor of East Asian Medicines and Director of the EASTmedicine Research Group. He has published over 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as two monographs and joint authored volumes including Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China (Duke UP 2002) and Currents of Tradition in Chinese Medicine, 1624-2000 (Eastland Press 2007). Volker has been in private practice since 1984 and lectured internationally on various aspects of Chinese medicine since 1996.
Lecture Choice 1a

The Centre (zhong 中) in Chinese Medicine and Culture

2pm-3:30pm, Saturday 3rd November, King's College, London

In many ways, the “centre” or “middle” can be conceptualised as the axis around which Chinese medicine turns. The middle burner is the axis of the qi dynamic, for instance, and the Spleen and Stomach are the centre of qi transformation. The “Doctrine of the Mean” (Zhong yong 中庸) is an important principle of medical practice and self-cultivation as well as one of the four books of Confucian philosophy. Not surprisingly, whole schools of Chinese medicine have focused on treating the centre but equally unsurprisingly they disagree on where that centre is and how it should be engaged with. In this talk I will present a brief overview about ideas regarding the centre or middle in Chinese medicine and explore how, as clinicians, we can engage with these often philosophical ideas.