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For acupuncture study or a reading list, everyone has their own favourites: here's mine.
These are books that I suggest patients read to give them more of an idea about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Some of them are good introductions, several are practical, and one is definitely a text-book: you can tell from the price.
If, however, you want to become a professional acupuncturist click on acupuncture schools.
The Web That Has No Weaver - Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted Kaptchuk
This is a great book, often used for acupuncture study. It explains in simple terms many of the concepts used in Traditional Chinese medicine.
Ted Kaptchuk has an enquiring mind and spent many years in China intensively studying.
The 5 Laws for Healthy Living by Angela Hicks
Angela Hicks has written several books about the Five Element (or 5-Phase) system, and this is the easiest to read.
This is often used for acupuncture study by schools of Chinese medicine that emphasise the Five Element system.
The Five Element system is a way of using acupuncture in Chinese medicine that is probably as old as the Yin/Yang system.
Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies: Psychology, Energy and Chinese Medicine by Leo Hammer
This is a longer book: full of interest but you may take a little while to adapt to this way of thinking about health.
It's not easy all through and some of it is of more interest to practitioners for acupuncture study, especially if they ever attended courses given by Dr Hammer's Chinese mentor John Shen, because of his unique insights, handed down to Leon Hammer.
Helping Ourselves - A Guide to Chinese Food Energetics by Daverick Leggett
This is an introduction to how the Chinese look at food energies. Easy to read, but not that easy to apply.
Many of the foods are difficult to find in typical Western countries and don't assume that you should eat only the foods listed for a given condition.
Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia
This book is far more than a simple introduction.
In fact, it was probably a major textbook for your acupuncturist when studying.
It doesn't cover where the different acupuncture points are but discusses in some depth the general theory behind Chinese Medicine.
Not cheap - but then, it's a textbook!
If you've read my page on cupping, an ancient and venerable art which, though by no means only Chinese, has been thoroughly considered by Chinese medicine, and you want to give it a try, read Cupping Therapy by Ilkay Zihni Chirali.
He's Turkish and first experienced its power when his mother used cups to help him overcome a cold. Years later, when he studied Chinese medicine, he realised that here was a whole theory of health and disease that embraced cupping as a wonderful therapy.
It's practical, pretty safe when done as described, and more homes should do it!
The next book - Qi stagnation - Signs of Stress - is by me. Because my page on Qi Stagnation was visited so often by people from all round the world, and because of so many questions about it, I decided to expand it a bit.
When I started I thought it would be a quick 80 pages but in fact it is rather more than that.
Even then, some of the chapters, notably that on Yin and Yang, had to be quartered. The omitted material might become the basis for other books.
The last book in this list is also by me. It's on a subject - Yin Deficiency Burnout and Exhaustion: What to Do! - that affects almost everybody sooner or later, as they overwork, age or acquire ongoing symptoms of ill-health.
My page on the subject on this site gets a good many visitors, and people seem to think it's well explained there.
However, many people still email me about it so here's a book that expands on it. Not too long, and not too expensive I hope. This book is much more readable in the softback version.
If there's a book you like which you think I should include in this reading list, let me know by using the form below.
Don't forget to head it up, 'Reading List - Suggested Book'.
Of course, if you're more interested in professional acupuncture study, in other words you are considering becoming a professional acupuncturist, you'll need to get a qualification so click here for Acupuncture Schools.
Such courses last typically 3 or 4 years and give you a qualification which is of degree status.
There are a number of excellent schools of Acupuncture round the world, and the link above takes you to some in the UK.
If you are more interested in the links between China and Scotland, click on SCA.
Lastly, if having looked through this list the idea of reading about acupuncture is giving you a headache, you could always see an acupuncturist!
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
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