Translating Ancient Chinese Wisdom into Medicine for Today


The Back Story

About Imperial Tutor is rooted in my desire to share what I have learned from the ancient Chinese classics (medical, philosophical, cosmological, and otherwise) with dedicated practitioners and students of Chinese medicine. I have spent my entire adult life immersed in these teachings and have been profoundly affected by them. I am convinced that they offer powerful and elegant answers to many of the problems facing us today and can assist all of us in our healing work, as we strive to create harmony between Heaven and Earth.

The vision and inspiration for "Imperial Tutor" was born at a Chinese astrology reading in the spring of 2017 where I learned that my professional focus in this lifetime is to serve as "Imperial Tutor." A more normal person might stumble over that job description, but to me this made immediate and perfect sense. It also gave me a clear direction on how to change my life going forward to better match my mìng 命 (destiny). I know that I am no emperor nor leader of any kind and find situations where I have been thrust into leadership roles quite stressful. I also know that in this particular lifetime I don't get to be a hermit in the mountains or nomadic goat herder, as I often wish. A tutor is a person who gives guidance or instruction to individuals or small groups. I started tutoring (music, German, and Latin) in middle school, to earn the money for my first bicycle, and have loved this role ever since. "Imperial" is not an adjective I would use to describe myself, but the point of this job description is that I get to support YOU and enable and inspire and educate YOU, so that you can assume the leadership role that is in your stars.

In the classical Chinese world view, the equivalence between medicine and rulership, and between the roles, skills, and approaches of the Emperor and the Physician, is ubiquitous. Both doctors and rulers, at least in ancient China, are supposed to establish good order and "nurture life" (yǎng shēng 養生) by managing flow, by draining excess and supplementing deficiencies, resolving blockages and containing gushing floods. Intimately linked through resonance between the microcosms of the physical body and the body of the state with the macrocosm of Heaven and Earth, the skills of one are easily translated into the skills of the other.

The human body is just like a state. The chest and abdomen are like the imperial palace, the arrangement of the four limbs like the outskirts, the divisions of the bones and joints like the hundred offices. The spirit is like the elite, the blood like the servants, and the qì like the general population.

Knowing how to treat the body, you thereby know how to rule the state. By loving your people, you create peace in the state. By cherishing your qì, you keep the body complete. When the population scatters, the state perishes. When the qì is used up, the body dies.

– Baopuzi 抱朴⼦, quoted in Sun Simiao 孫思邈, Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang 備急千金要方

And in this way, it is my great pleasure and honor to support you, dear "Emperor" or perhaps still "Prince" or "Princess," on your path to mastery of this unique ability to restore order and harmony, in our proper role as humans between Heaven and Earth, by sharing what I have learned from the Chinese philosophical and medical classics.

Our Team

Sabine Wilms PhD

Sabine Wilms PhD

Founder & teacher

Sabine Wilms PhD

Sabine Wilms is the author and translator of more than a dozen books on Chinese medicine and specializes in bringing ancient Chinese wisdom to life. In addition to writing, translating, and publishing her work through her company Happy Goat Productions, she lectures at conferences and schools around the world and is on the faculty at the College of Classical Chinese Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine. With a strong academic background in early Chinese philosophy, medicine, and religion, she is known for her historically and culturally sensitive approach to Chinese Medicine but also sees it as a living, effective, ever-changing, and much needed response to the issues of our modern times. She lives happy as a clam on Mutiny Bay on Whidbey Island near Seattle. Sabine's CV is found HERE.


Scott Tower-Maloney, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Scott Tower-Maloney, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.


Scott Tower-Maloney, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Scott Tower-Maloney is an acupuncturist, herbalist and experienced international lecturer with over 30 years of clinical practice.  He has a degree in Religious Studies from Yale and a deep interest in the emotional roots of both disease and healing.  He has been moved, personally and professionally, by the deep wisdom of Wang Fengyi and is passionate about sharing this material with others.




Susie Minger

Susie Minger, a former college biology instructor, has a Masters degree in Avian Science. She and Sabine met at NUNM where Susie had been a college administrative assistant for 5 years in the School of Classical Chinese Medicine. Not only can Susie assist you with your needs at the retreat, she will be more than happy to identify any bird for you during your stay on Whidbey Island.


Sabine and Lillian with Peter Firebrace at Rothenburg Congress

Sabine and Lillian with Peter Firebrace at Rothenburg Congress


Lillian Pearl Bridges

The Lotus Institute of Lillian Pearl Bridges focuses on Transformation: personal, professional, and spiritual, as well as enhancing environments and lifestyle. Her unique programs are all based on ancient Daoist Wisdom passed down through Lillian’s Chinese family lineage, combined with her deep knowledge and years of research and experience in the fields of Psychology, Medicine, Food, Color and Design. Lillian's teachings on the Golden Path have had a profound influence on Sabine's decision to follow her heart and have trust in the universe.

Learn more about Lillian at lotus


Z'ev Rosenberg

Z'ev Rosenberg

Senior Advisor

Z'ev Rosenberg, L.Ac.

Z’ev Rosenberg, L. Ac., began his studies of Asian schools of medicine in the early 1970’s, with studies in macrobiotics, shiatsu, and theory of Chinese medicine.  He received a degree from the Santa Fe School of Natural Medicine in Western herbal medicine and body therapies in 1976, Kushi Institute (Boston, Massachusetts) in 1979 in macrobiotic counseling, Southwest Acupuncture College in 1983 in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine (post-graduate master’s degree in Oriental Medicine) in 1989.  He served as president of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado (1984-1987) and as Chair of the Department of Herbal Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego (1987- 2013. At present, Z’ev maintains a private practice in herbal medicine and acupuncture/moxabustion with a specialty in chronic autoimmune disorders. He terms what he practices as ‘full-strength Chinese medicine’, designed to manage and treat difficult conditions. He also directs the Alembic Institute and recently finished his first book, Return to the Source: Han Dynasty Medical Classics in Clinical Practice (Singing Dragon Press).