This text shows that point names, the traditional means of identifying acupoints, have meanings that are hard to grasp. It promotes understanding of each point's use in acupuncture practice by considering the meaning, context and significance of each. The 363 points covered are listed according to the system currently in use in China.
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This is a quite unique book in the field. The title does not capture the breadth of information covered in this text. The authors not only compiled historical and modern uses of hara diagnosis (abdominal palpation) in the field of East Asian medicine, but also attempted a compilation of historical and modern literatures in an effort to explain how and why Japanese practitioners have placed such a strong emphasis on hara diagnosis. After introducing the historical literature, the text examines the several important concepts and models that are found in the early literature. In particular the internal pathways of the extraordinary vessels are discussed in detail. Mental and emotional correspondences and concepts in East Asian medicine are also discussed. The source theories of the Ling Shu and especially the Nan Jing are described in some detail. The concepts of the moving qi between the kidneys and the triple burner are described at great length, and in more detail than in most other books. Historical ideas about the anatomical basis of the triple burner and the channel systems, and speculations about the embryological development of these systems are also described. Modern anatomical correlates are postulated, examining the possible anatomical basis of the channel systems, extraordinary vessels, triple burner and moving qi between the kidneys, including detailed discussions about possible embryological correlations. Although speculative in nature, these discussions compile a wide and very interesting variety of theories that can extend our understanding of acupuncture.
The clinical chapters of the text describe basic methods of examining the hara, the various palpatory findings and their general interpretations. This is followed by a large chapter on abdominal shiatsu, and a compilation of traditional Japanese massage methods. The use of hara diagnosis in meridian therapy and especially in the work of Dr. Yoshio Manaka are detailed. The last two chapters extend Manaka's ideas compiling a variety of clinically useful ideas and methods including the system of open points. These chapters on the work of Manaka serve as a good introduction to the use of ion-pumping cords, and Manaka's general treatment approach.
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