The Dreamers’ Den Series Ep 5: When Dreams, Acupuncture and a Snake Change Lives (a conversation with Bob Quinn)

Dreamers Den Podcast Episode 5 Bob Quinn When Dreams Acupuncture and a Snake Change Lives with Leilani Navar

Can a dream change someone’s life? You know my answer is an enthusiastic Yes.

But how about a dream combined with acupuncture, in just the right dream-inspired spot?

That’s next-level.

Scroll down to the bottom and hit Play now – or keep reading for some fun tidbits, and links.

Bob Quinn was one of my acupuncture and herbal medicine professors at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He hosted the dream workshop I attended with Jeremy Taylor in 2012.

In this episode, you’ll hear some golden advice from a man whose waking life is “awash in dreams.” He talks about working three dreams from any single person, and watching for themes to repeat three times. He shares how to check for confirmation of what we think we know (which is, in fact, merely what we project that we know) about another person’s dream.

My fellow acupuncturists will be right there with us for this whole conversation. (There is a little bit of “shop talk,” using some lingo of the Chinese Medicine profession.) Still, this episode is also for all of you who are anywhere from “curious” to “passionate” about dreams.

Bob shares a story of a dream changing someone’s life – two people’s lives, actually. And by extension, mine. Maybe yours. Listen to the experience his patient had. Her experience is key for me, because even if there weren’t any Chinese Medicine interpretation, experiences like the one she had influence our lives from that day forward.

Bob also speaks about his appreciation for several teachers in his life, including Heiner Fruehauf and Jeremy Taylor. I want to mention one more as well: Dr. Ed Neal. Around the 45-minute mark of this interview, Bob and I each answer this question: “What’s going on when people dream in the symbols of Chinese Medicine, even when they’ve never heard of this symbol system?”

You’ll hear Bob appreciate the way I express my answer. I want to say that I learned to think and speak in this way largely from Ed Neal. As much as Heiner Fruehauf expanded my understanding of this science of symbols, Dr. Neal taught me how to view the Five Elements as an expression of the expanding and contracting of all things in the universe.

The free pdf I have online for you, How the Five Elements are Speaking in Your Dreams, is also influenced by another extraordinary Chinese Medicine teacher, Jeffrey Yuen. If you want to dive deeper on what I describe, get my full writeup about it at

One more fun thing that didn’t make it into the episode: Back in 2012, Bob shared someone’s dream with me that took place on “Highway 1”. We talked through the dream’s connection to the Heart organ.

Later, I said the dream had been about “PCH.” I referred to Highway 1 that way without even thinking about it. That’s what we always called Pacific Coast Highway, where I grew up in California.

“What did you call it?” Bob asked. I had to explain. He loved it: “PC” is how we abbreviate “Pericardium” in Chinese Medicine (the “heart protector”), and “H” is how we abbreviate “Heart.” Another one of those hidden dream puns, only showing up when certain listeners hear the dream in their own language.

So then, when East Forest graciously allowed me to choose some of his music for this podcast (which you hear at the beginning and end of every episode), I selected a song called “Pacific Coast Highway.” The feel of it was perfect, plus the title reminded me of this conversation with Bob years ago.

When he sent me the music file without vocals – what was it titled? “Highway 1”

So, here we are. Swimming, on and on, in this sea of symbols together.

Hit Play at the bottom of this post, or click one of the links below to listen on Apple or Spotify.

Links mentioned:

Bob Quinn Seminars

Bob Quinn on dreams on YouTube

Blue Poppy archive including Bob Quinn’s blogs

Classical Chinese Medicine (Heiner Fruehauf’s site)

Music by East Forest

*this post originally appeared on

Leilani Navar