One of Canada’s most trusted and beloved health practitioners introduces Western women to the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine and the time-tested practices that have helped optimize physical and emotional health for centuries.
Since establishing her practice in Canada twelve years ago, Dr. Xiaolan Zhao has treated thousands of women suffering from fatigue, PMS, infertility, depression, menopausal symptoms and other gynecological disorders — health problems that are all too common in the West but less so in China, where traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been an integral part of women’s lives for thousands of years. As a physician originally trained in Western medicine who later took up the practice of TCM, Dr. Zhao has seen how effective the Chinese approach is for her patients, and she’d like to see more Canadian women incorporating its wisdom and practices in their own lives, as a complement to their regular health care.
In Reflections of the Moon on Water, she explains the unique philosophy behind the healing tradition, a way of thinking that is liberating and empowering for women. Sharing stories from her own life and the lives of her patients, Dr. Zhao shows that we have nothing to reject about our feminine selves, and explains how we can develop new relationships with our bodies and our emotions. There is so much every woman can do in terms of ongoing and preventative self-care to improve her health and vitality and prevent illness. By making simple changes in diet, exercise routine, sex life and the way we deal with stress and our emotions, we can profoundly improve our health now and into the future.
"Many Westerners think Chinese medicine sounds too complicated or too esoteric. They find discussions of yin and yang, or the life energy known as qi intimidating. In fact, Chinese medicine is very simple and accessible. Many of the herbs we use are ordinary ones. Sometimes, I might treat a patient’s sinus condition with eucalyptus or other familiar herbs, and she’ll say, "Oh that smells just like what my grandmother used to give me." So much of Chinese medicine is based on intuition and common sense. Although the history behind TCM is 5,000 years old — 4,500 years older than our scientific traditions — it is knowledge open to anyone."
—excerpt from Reflections of the Moon on Water
Dr. Xiaolan Zhao was a surgeon in China before coming to Canada on a scholarship to do medical research at Queen’s University. After seeing the great interest that was developing in alternative medicine, she decided to open her own traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Toronto. Since then her practice has grown to over seven thousand patients, the majority of whom are women.
“It’s the air of kindness and authority that so many rarefied folk find appealing.”
“Xiaolan infuses the poetic terminology of this traditional medicine into each chapter. For some, exposure to this eloquent language would be enough reason to read this book. It is that beautiful…. For any woman looking to deepen her understanding of self, this book could be considered essential. For any man in the process of developing compassion for a woman experiencing her uniqueness, this could help to enlighten the mystery.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“This primer on ancient Chinese practices mixes philosophy, personal insight and advice into a very pleasurable read…. An excellent and highly readable intro.”
"TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is my number one choice of healing modalities for women. It's safe, effective, and holistic. Reflections of the Moon on Water is a beautifully written manual that reveals the wisdom of this ancient tradition for modern times."
—Dr. Christiane Northrup
Praise for Dr. Zhao:
"Xiaolan brings to the art of science and healing, a rare combination of precision and compassion. A gift, indeed."
—Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies
"Xiaolan Zhao is an exceptional person with a unique blend of knowledge, experience, love and compassion, who gives her all for the well-being of the patients under her care."
—Aref Vaezi, M.D. C.C.F.P.
"Xiaolan listens to your words, looks into your eyes, feels your pulse. She’s a health practitioner who understands the language of the body."
—Barb Minett, owner of The Bookshelf, Guelph, Ontario