Mekong River, Vientiane, Laos, 1974My first exposure to Asian culture occurred in 1974. At 17 years old, I traveled extensively, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan. It was an eye, mind and spirit opening journey that left a deep impression, planting a seed that would germinate later. In college, I explored Taoist philosophy and martial arts.
My first experience with Chinese medicine happened in 1982 when a Japanese friend gave me an Oriental bodywork treatment. I had been quite ill for many weeks and was unable to recover. Katsu kindly gave me a short acupressure session. At the time, it did not seem like much happened. After he left, I fell asleep for five minutes and had a brief, one image dream/vision, instantly resolving a nagging emotional situation. When I woke, I felt significantly better and intuitively knew I was healing. This experience got my attention and curiosity.
Katsu and I studied together for a year. Eventually, I studied with his teacher and ultimately with the founder of the Jin Shin Do acupressure system, Iona Teegarden. During these years, I felt strongly drawn to Chinese medicine as a career.
In the early 1980's there were not many schools of Chinese medicine like there are now. Most of my training was through tutorials, mentors and apprenticeships in Asia and the US.
I studied Chinese language and kung fu in Portland, and moved to Taiwan to begin several years of travel and study in Asia. In Taipei, I connected with my first Chinese herbal teacher, Dr. Zhang. Later, I studied with Bob Flaws and Honora Wolfe in Boulder, Colorado. From there I went to Shanghai for tui na training with Dr. Ting Ji Feng and his staff at the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Dr. Zang & me, Shanghai, 1990On another trip to Shanghai, I studied pediatric tui na (Chinese Pediatric Massage) with Dr. Zang and Dr. Shen at the Shanghai Number 2 Medical University.
Returning to Portland, I opened my private practice with Edie Vickers at An Hao Clinic, continuing my training with clinical experience. Here, I connected with Subhuti Dharmananda and the Institute of Traditional Medicine regarding Chinese herbs.
I've studied tai chi and chi kung with various teachers, including Charles Blodgett and Ken Cohen in the US, and various Chinese teachers in Asia. In 1987, I met Mantak Chia and found a Taoist chi kung and meditation system that resonated deeply, reinforcing everything learned in my studies of Chinese medicine.
I eventually became a certified instructor and have been teaching since 1990. Since that time, I have traveled to Chia's retreat center, Tao Garden, outside Chang Mai, Thailand in an ongoing development of chi kung and meditation.
I taught Oriental Bodywork classes at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine from 1987 – 1991. I've taught various workshops at massage, acupuncture and naturopathic schools in addition to my own classes.
Anya Grace & me, 2000When I first started out on this journey, my general plan was to study Oriental bodywork for four years, practice this while studying herbs for four years, practice these while studying acupuncture for four years. After feeling competent in bodywork and herbs (taking a little longer than planned), I realized there were plenty of tools available and did not pursue acupuncture.
My professional training has not been a standard route. Not being limited to one school, I have had the great fortune to study with some truly remarkable teachers in many disciplines related to Chinese medicine. With deepest appreciation and gratitude, I honor all these teachers, and their teachers, and their teachers before them...all the way back. Any skill or ability I bring to this practice is due to them all.
The general theme that flows through professional training and my personal life is the Taoist approach to everyday living. To me, this means a genuine curiosity and wonder to explore any and every thing, using whatever arises in the moment as a gateway to that underlying natural way – the Tao.
This manifests within my professional practice of Chinese medicine. Recently it also involves a major move from Portland to John Day, Oregon. I feel called to bring what I've learned in Asia and 30 years of clinical experience to this beautiful community, following in the clear footsteps of Ing 'Doc' Hay, the China Doctor of John Day.
Here I find joy in bicycling; kayaking on the John Day River; playing piano and writing poetry. With mountain snow there is cross country skiing in the mountains. The garden calls year round and building an underground greenhouse connects with dirt & rock...lots of rock. Each day unfolds in this natural process, and, like a kayak in the river, we can follow.
John Day River, Kimberly, Oregon
Logan Valley, Strawberry Mtns.
the tao that can be posted to a website
is not the eternal tao............... webmaster tzu
© 2017 Kyle Cline