Finding this book wasn’t very easy, but I plan to scoot over to China some day to study acupuncture and this textbook was listed as required reading. Considering the SARS epidemic currently in the Orient, and my maxed out credit cards, don’t expect any exotic reports from China too soon!
I bumped into this book on the Internet at http://www.acu-market.com when I was searching for acupuncture schools in China. It is interesting to look at all the nifty gadgets, herbs and books available at the site. I bought a few along with this book.
The site also sells the required paraphernalia for practicing the art of acupuncture, and believe me after reading this book I now believe this is an art!
The first chapter is a rundown of the history of this amazing science. Did you know the original acupuncture needles were made of stone?! I have to admit that sterilized stainless steel will get my attention much faster than jabbing me with stone! Did you know there are different types of acupuncture needles?
The history of acupuncture and Moxibustion is immense, but has been reduced to a full chapter. Since this book is written in English, by the English department at Beijing University International School, it is loaded with “proper” English.
All the Chinese names are converted to phonetic English equivalents, although the occasional Chinese character is used to show the student what they should know of rudimentary Mandarin characters. This is only for discussion purposes. That might actually change in class but by then maybe I will have added Mandarin to my “little bit of this language, little bit of that language” by the time I go to China.
Interesting information in this book begins with yin and yang and goes on to include the proper understanding of how to find acupuncture points. Often you will see the acupuncture point described as so many “cun” (pronounced tsuen) this way from one point or another. The complete understanding of cun is given and illustrated. I found the illustrations very helpful considering I’m not very visual and always have to stop to think about something that is visually described.
The book has chapters dedicated to introducing diagnostic methods, (including pulses, ear and patient history). But, I give you the proper warning – this is not a do-it-yourself book. Don’t use anything but the proper sterilized needles and PLEASE avoid winding up in hospital from stupid mistakes. Never practice on anyone else.
Always use this text with a proper instructor, or as in-depth reading.
Well, enough of mother’s scoldings. The text also has in-depth charts of the meridians and collaterals, blood and body fluids, zang-fu organs, acupuncture points, and etiology and pathogenesis. The text give you a good introduction to acupuncture and Moxibustion techniques, internal diseases and gynecological and other diseases, including pediatric ailments.
This isn’t a Sunday read on the porch. This is intense study. Frankly I’ve been working at reading this book for a couple of solid months. Some points will take a good long while to sink in and multiple readings.
Practice with the correct needles begins with piercing paper and packages of cotton balls, and ends with piercing yourself (if you follow the directions given in the text.)
One thing this book has given me is a truly healthy respect for the difficulty of information that goes into understanding the human body and the healing techniques that go into this treatment method.
There are other books you can also read before or after reading this text but some are more in-depth and assume a level of information has already been absorbed or achieved by certification courses. Check out the ones I have added below which are great before reading this text.
Traditional Acupuncture: The Law of the Five Elements
by Dianne M. Connelly, Ph.D. (This text is often quoted as a good first book to read”?more general level of information).
Acupressure: Acupuncture Without Needles,
by J.V. Cerney.
(A true classic and a very useful book -especially if you want to learn the basics without getting into trouble with needles!)
Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).