Friday, April 20, 2007

A Manual of Acupuncture

Book Description
Once in a great while an extraordinary book is published that sets an entirely new standard in its field. A Manual of Acupuncture, published by Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications, is just such a book. Painstakingly researched over many years by Peter Deadman, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Chinese Medicine, and colleagues Mazin Al-Khafaji and Kevin Baker, this book is certain to become the primary reference in the West for the study of acupuncture points and channels.
Introductory chapters describe and illustrate the channels and collaterals, the various categories of points, and methods of selection, location, and needling. Ensuing chapters present each of the points of the 14 channels as well as the extra (miscellaneous) points, identified by their English and pinyin names, and Chinese characters. Each point is located in accordance with the most exacting anatomical standards to be found in any Western textbook.
For each point there is a dedicated drawing, followed by regional body drawings. The quality of the 500 drawings is far superior to those in any other TCM text. There are also practical pointers for finding and needling the points, and cautionary information about what to avoid. In addition to point indexes by their English and pinyin names, there is an index identifying every part of the body reached by each of the channels, and separate indexes of point indications listed according to both TCM and biomedical symptoms.

About the Author
Peter Deadman studied acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in England and China, and for the past 20 years has been in private practice in Brighton, England. In 1979 he founded The Journal of Chinese Medicine which he edits, writes for, and publishes. He has also been a teacher of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and has lectured widely throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Israel, Australia, and the United States.
Mazin Al-Khafaji studied acupuncture in England and China, followed by intensive studies in modern and medical Chinese in Taiwan. In 1987 he graduated as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine from the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has since been in private practice in Brighton where he specializes in dermatology. Dr. Al-Khafaji is also a frequent lecturer in Chinese medicine in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Kevin Baker qualified in Medicine at Cambridge University and St. George's Hospital Medical School in 1979, subsequently specializing in Accident and Emergency Medicine and Surgery. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1983, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1986. Thereafter, he pursued studies in acupuncture in England and China, which he currently practices in addition to psychotherapy and general medicine.

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful:

Better than Chinese Texts, March 30, 2003
Reviewer: Jonathan Bailey (Lawton, OK USA)

This is the only text that I have on the subject of acupuncture. I am not a practitioner, but had hoped that this one (expensive) text would be sufficient to give me a total foundation in the discipline and would eventually allow me to use acupressure or some rudiments of the field in my own efforts to promote good health.
I was a little dissappointed that the introductory and foundational material was lacking in the book, and that there were no separate sections on diagnosis or expositions of the nature of pathogens. The book is essentially a description of each and every one of the 360 or so primary acupuncture points of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is a good bit of material about methodology of point selection, but the real gem of this book is the intelligent and thorough descriptions of the points, their properties, and how to locate and needle them. The reason that I gave the book five stars is that it is far more complete and logical in its point descriptions than any of the Chinese texts used by my acupuncturist, a Chinese chiropractor who was a medical doctor Shanghai for eight years before coming to the US and becoming a chiropractor. Often when a discipline is translated from one language and culture to another, the highly systematized translation is more complete and sensible than the eclectic literature corpus upon which it is based. Those who devised this book have created a phenomenally comprehensive synthesis of over 3,000 years of Chinese medical tradition. They have taken on a monumental task and succeeded brilliantly. The quality of this reference is so high that I would even recommend it to practitioners from the orient who are coming to the US or other English-speaking countries to start a practice. First, it will it help them learn the English vocabulary of acupuncture jargon and help them understand our butchered pronunciations of the many Chinese words in an English acupuncturist's vocabulary. Second, they will be able to better communicate their activities to their patients. Finally, the book is as high a quality reference as anything they will have brought with them from Asia.

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful:

The Bible of Acupuncture!!!, December 22, 2001
Reviewer:Mauricio C. Quintana "cintain" (Mexico City, DF Mexico)

At last! This book is not a manual of acupuncture, it is THE manual.
Students of TCM, don't let the price tag intimidate you, and let me assure you that it is worth every penny. This hefty and handsome volume leaves nothing unsaid, and meticulously provides detailed information, plenty of informative quotes from a wealth of classical sources, and is a joy to handle, browse, and read from. Of particular interest and value are the sections which describe the special point groupings, because they not only provide the lists of points which belong to these categories, but also systematized and coherent explanations behind the workings of cleft-xi, yuan-source, luo-connecting, and many other point categories. Also of great value are the commentaries pertaining to each individual point, because they describe relationships and important pointers regarding the workings of each individual point, how their use and indications developed through history, and other tidbits of information which will open new avenues of investigation and application for astute students and practitioners. The commentaries on the points provide not only information, but are written in a lucid prose, the style of which aids memorization and learning of important information.
The point location information is accurate, albeit in a few cases too brief, in my opinion. The illustrations are very detailed and actually useful (unlike in other texts) in locating the points. The notes and cautions on needling of points in sensitive areas are placed where they are readily visible, and provide information on the local anatomy of the point, and what the consequences of inappropriate insertion could be.
There are charts which show major points per anatomical region (which are actually legible and understandable), and indexes aplenty: pinyin and chinese point names, english point names, and a particularly interesting point indications index. There is also a Glossary of the Wisemanese-seeming terminology used by the authors, which although similar to that of A Practical Dictionary, is not exactly the same.Should you buy this book? ABSOLUTELY!!! You will never need another acupoint book, EVER. There is a companion set of Point cards by the same authors, which uses the same illustrations and a summary of point information based on the contents of the book. One word of advice, though: if it stays standing on the shelf for too long, the pages tend to sag. However, given the amount of use this book has, that's unlikely to happen.

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