Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have become very popular in the last decade. I started practising nearly 20 years ago now and at that time I would only see people that either had tried EVERYTHING else and wanted to try it as a last resort or those that were labelled as ‘alternative’. How different is it nowadays! Acupuncture and TCM have become widely known and available and a lot of people are now using it as a first port of call when they have health problems. As people experience a relief of their discomfort or an improvement in their overall health many become fascinated with this ancient treatment method and wish to know more about it. For those I decided to write this blog and list my 4 favourite TCM books that you can read without any prior knowledge.
Chinese Medicine – The Web that has no Weaver by Ted J. Kaptchuk
In 1997 this was the first book about TCM that I ever read. I started it and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I was fascinated to find a different approach to health care, one where interconnections between all aspects of the body and mind are taken into account. This book explained the theory and practice of TCM thoroughly but in a way that I could easily understand without prior knowledge. At that point in time I was a physiotherapist but always felt limited in what I could do for people. It was this book that made me sign up to study TCM and I have never looked back. After my 3rd year studying acupuncture I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard that the author of this book, Ted Kaptchuk, was coming to Amsterdam to teach a Chinese herbal medicine degree. It turned out that I loved his teaching even more than his book. He is a truly remarkable wise man with a wealth of TCM knowledge. If you’re really interested in knowing what TCM is all about and don’t mind getting into a bit of detail, you won’t regret reading this book.
Listen to your Body – The Wisdom of the Dao by Bisong Guo and Andrew Powell
I crossed paths with the author of this book, Bisong Guo, after I finished my studies and moved to Australia. I was no longer a physiotherapist but practising TCM full time when Bisong came to Perth to teach Qigong. Over time I attended several of her courses and became a Qigong practitioner myself. I was very fortunate when she came to my clinic several times to treat patients and teach me some real acupuncture gold nuggets. The book she has written provides an explanation of the foundations of TCM but it also teaches you how to tune into and listen to your body. It is filled with daily rituals to promote your health and well-being. It is a true practical application of ancient wisdom adapted to the demands of modern life. Over the years I have loaned my copy of this book to many patients and it I still recommend it all the time.
Live Well Live Long – Teachings from the Chinese Nourishment of Life Tradition by Peter Deadman
I love this book. It was only first published in 2016 but its author, Peter Deadman has practised and studied Chinese medicine and health cultivation traditions for over 45 years. It is like a manual of how to care for your body, mind and spirit from the point of view of the Chinese tradition of nourishing life (yangshen). What makes this book a very interesting read is that all his teachings are backed up by research. It is a very comprehensive book describing all aspects of life. Other than that I absolutely love all the quotes, mostly from ancient Chinese literature, that are scattered throughout the book.
Understanding your Life – A Patients Guide to Chinese Medicine by Warwick Poon
This book is such a little gem. Warwick Poon is a Chinese medicine practitioner in Melbourne and in this book he shares his wisdom about life through the lens of TCM. He answers all those questions patients always ask. lt gives great insight into TCM diagnosis, describing what you can tell from the ears, the lines on the face and the toes. The book goes on a journey through the different phases of life and explains them from a Chinese medicine point of view in easy to read short chapters. Understanding your life is a valuable book for everyone that is interested in understanding life from an alternative, traditional Chinese, viewpoint. Well worth a read!