Dear friends, colleagues, and visitors,
Since I was a young boy, my grandfather often told me: “Every man has his own path, and so long as you are diligent, you will find yours.” I firmly believe that teaching and fostering Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) through the Chi Institute is my path and my life’s destination. However, it is not a destination that I arrived at immediately on my own. Rather, it is a course that has emerged gradually and organically, one down which I have been urged by different people and events. I want to use this space to share with you some of these major landmarks in my path towards founding the Chi Institute.
The first time I stepped foot on US soil was in 1992, when I visited several Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) schools. I was then a professor of TCVM at China Agricultural University, and I was baffled to find that these American institutions of Chinese Medicine classified themselves as either “Five Elements” or “Eight Principles” schools, when these two theories are simply different sides of the same coin. Five Elements and Eight Principles Theory are inseparable from each other and are both fundamental to Chinese Medicine, and I wondered how one could assemble a comprehensive TCM curriculum by focusing on either one or the other.
Then, when I settled with my family in Florida in 1994, we became friends with local veterinarians, some of whom had trained in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. However, I was surprised to discover that despite their years of study, these veterinarians had yet to practice acupuncture on their patients. They told me that their training programs had focused on theory at the exclusion of practice, and that they had barely touched acupuncture needles, much less place them in animals. It pained me to see these bright practitioners lack the confidence to practice what they had taken so much initiative to learn, and I once again questioned the efficacy of Chinese Medicine education programs in the US.
Finally, from 1994 to 1997, I was given the privilege to give talks on TCVM at over a dozen veterinary organizations, invitations that took me around the world to not only the US, but also Ireland, Canada and Japan. During these travels, I was heartened and inspired by the enthusiasm of the many veterinarians who were eager to learn more about this ancient healing system that was nevertheless new to the Western world. After an acupuncture seminar in Kentucky, an equine practitioner approached me and said: “Dr. Xie, your hour-long presentation has cleared from my mind twenty years of doubt.” A Canadian vet bemoaned that I was not given time to teach them more. And a senior TCM faculty remarked after my talk: “this guy can really make this complicated old theory easy to grasp.” These encouraging comments along with my previous observations about the lack of effective TCVM education in the West eventually led me to establish the Chi Institute in 1998.
Since the founding of the Chi Institute, TCVM has become a destination for thousands of veterinarians who have felt their lives enriched by its time-honored healing methods and principles. Whether TCVM is your final destination or one of many stops along your life’s journey – I welcome you to open your heart and mind to this deep body of knowledge.
May good Qi be with you always,
Founder and President
Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine