Some people love getting acupuncture and could care less how it works. Other people want to know exactly how it works. If a point is sore, “what is that?!” And they may want to read about Chinese medicine in their spare time.
For that second group of people, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 books on Chinese medicine, based on the opinions of me and some other acupuncturists. These books are considered for the “layman,” and are written in easy-to-understand language, not all Chinese-mediciney-talk like your yin repletion being consumed by your yangming brightness channel and so forth.
- The Complete Illustrated Guide to Chinese Medicine by PhD Tom Williams.
Great pictures, easy to read.
- The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness by Mischa Cohen, LAc.
Mischa presents the medicine clearly and has easy to follow suggestions for self care.
- Healing With Whole Foods, Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford.
Integrates Oriental and Western nutritional knowledge. It’s a book that many acupuncturists have read and recommend for their clients. It was one of the first books I read on Chinese medicine! It’s not meant to be read all at once, but more as a resource for specific conditions. It lists specific foods that can aggravate and heal certain problems.
- A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman and Mazin Al-Khafaji.
Excellent, invaluable resource for students and practitioners alike. I use it all the time to re-read and remember specifics about acupuncture points. The anatomically detailed pictures of the acupoints are a must for understanding point location, if that’s what you would like to do.
- The Web that has No Weaver by Ted Kapchuk. This is actually the book that I recommend to patients interested in learning more about Chinese medicine. Let’s just say 7 out of 10 acupuncturists recommend it. The ones who don’t say it’s too much for the casual reader; it’s more for people who are interested in pursuing Chinese medicine as a careerpath.
- Chinese System of Food Cures by Henry C. Lu. I think I owned this book at one time; never read it and finally gave it away! Not to say it’s not good; it gives specific Chinese medicine “cures” for certain health problems and can be very useful.
- Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life by Gail Reichstein. Overview of 5 elements theory and real-life applications in healthcare (acupuncture and diet), exercise, and feng shui.
- Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield, L.Ac. and Efrem Corngold, L.Ac., DOM. A thorough guide into all aspects of Chinese medicine: yin and yang theory, the phases of disease, how acupuncture and herbs work, and a nutritional guide based on Chinese medicine principles.
- Tao of Healthy Eating by Bob Flaws. Flaws is renowned in the small world of acupuncturists. “Famous” if you will. This book delves into Chinese medicine theory, but only as it relates to nutrition. Foods that causes imbalances, and other foods that help to heal those imbalances.
- Adventures in Chinese Medicine by Jennifer Dubowski, L.Ac. is an overview of Chinese medicine theories and principles, written in easy-to-understand language and has plenty of pictures and diagrams. It sounds like a great book for children and teenagers who are showing interest in natural medicine and want to know more.