Chinese acupuncture is a mixture of ideas from ancient Chinese scripts (the Nei Jing ) and from the 1970’s reinterpretation of the Nei Jing . Parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, parts are metaphorical, and parts are based on theories that are simply untrue. However, this is not usually acknowledged and instead the Nei Jing is only selectively quoted and presented as though it were all factual. This has produced a medical system that is notoriously difficult for Westerners to understand, has no scientific basis, and is at odds with today’s physiology.
This book resolves all these issues by analysing the Nei Jing theories on metabolism, organ function, physiology, and the five phase theory; and clearly explaining which parts of these ideas are fact based and which untrue. The valuable, fact-based elements of the Nei Jing are then related to today’s physiology, so that the overlap can be clearly seen.
This approach enables students to readily understand Nei Jing metabolism and physiology; to appreciate the valuable, fact-based elements of Chinese medicine; and to understand how to apply these in clinic. This also makes it possible to clearly communicate about Chinese acupuncture to Western patients, which was previously a considerable challenge.
The book also analyses recent scientific ideas on how acupuncture may work, and describes its own “intelligent tissue” hypothesis. This groundbreaking hypothesis is supported by objective experimental data and provides a lucid and plausible explanation of what the meridians are, what acupuncture is; and it also clearly describes the mechanism that enables acupuncture to correct organ malfunctions.
The book is an updated and expanded edition of the author’s previous book: Secrets of the Hidden Vessels.
Fletcher Kovich runs his own Chinese acupuncture practice in the UK.
“The book is fascinating. It gives great insights into the organ functions and also uses an interesting approach to explain the mental and emotional factors in causing disease. My students find the book indispensable.”
- Brandon Fuller, Program Chair, East West College of Natural Medicine, Sarasota, Florida.
“The book is an excellent alternative to the Maciocia textbook (The Foundations of Chinese Medicine) and my students find it very useful in their studies.”
- Fanyi Meng, Programme leader, BSc Acupuncture course, Lincoln College, UK.
“We have come across many books on Chinese Medicine and particularly like this book’s approach of blending the Western and Chinese understanding of the organs, to make it clear that both systems describe the same organs.”
- Sam Patel, Joint Principal, The International College of Oriental Medicine (UK)
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About the Author
In 2016, he published a groundbreaking book on Chinese acupuncture, which provides a new explanation of how acupuncture works and also clearly describes the key aspects of Chinese medicine in terms that today's readers can understand.
Since 2017, he has been conducting a research project to obtain objective scientific data to validate his "intelligent tissue" hypothesis on what acupuncture is and how it works. He has already published several scientific papers describing the results.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 13
A brief history of Chinese medicine 13
The layout of this book 21
CHAPTER 2. CHINESE MEDICINE METABOLISM AND PHYSIOLOGY 23
Translation of key Chinese medicine terms 23 How the body processes food 23 Overview of Chinese medicine metabolism 24 The Chinese terms for these various “influences” 25 Summary of contemporary metabolism 26 Other uses of the term “influence” 26 What was the Nei Jing notion of a “meridian”? 29 What are “collaterals”, “tertiary network vessels” and “blood vessels”? 31 How accurate are the Nei Jing notions of metabolism and physiology? 33 The role of the san jiao 38 Conclusions 40 The intake of food and air 41 The manufacture and transport of blood 42 The notion of defence against pathogens 44 Does any vapour-like substance flow in the “meridians”? 47 The notion of “original influence” 47 The role of the kidneys, bladder and intestines 47 Does it matter that Chinese medicine uses metaphor? 48
CHAPTER 3. TODAY’S NOTION OF “CHI” 49
The Nei Jing model of how acupuncture works 50 The 1970’s model of how acupuncture works 51 The intelligent tissue model of how acupuncture works 54 A scientific definition of chi 58
CHAPTER 4. PANCREAS AND STOMACH 61
Attribution of Chinese medicine organs 61 The functions of the pancreas 63 The Chinese medicine approach 63 The difference between functions and effects 64 The Chinese medicine functions and effects 64 1. Completes digestion, enabling the digested resources to be transported around the body 65 The advantage of Chinese medicine 67 2. Provides strength and substance to the muscles 68 3. Produces the sense of taste and lip colour 69 4. Prevents haemorrhage 69 5. Counters the effect of gravity on the organs 70 6. Has mental and emotional functions 71 Improper function 74 How a diagnosis is made 75 Facial colour and tone of voice 75 The pulses 75 The term “dampness” 76 Tongue examination 77 Treating poor pancreas function 78 The value of regular maintenance treatments 79 Causes of poor pancreas function 80 Helpful changes to the diet 81 Other terms used for pancreas conditions 82 Effects on the quality of the blood 83 Stomach conditions 84 The functions of the stomach 84 Improper function 85 The causes of stomach problems 86
CHAPTER 5. THE MENTAL FUNCTIONS OF THE ORGANS 87
CHAPTER 6. LIVER AND GALLBLADDER 99
CHAPTER 7. LUNGS AND LARGE INTESTINE 123
CHAPTER 8. KIDNEYS AND BLADDER 153
CHAPTER 9. HEART AND SMALL INTESTINE 183
CHAPTER 10. PERICARDIUM AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM 213
CHAPTER 11. MERIDIAN SYMPTOMS 221
CHAPTER 12. MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL FACTORS IN CAUSING DISEASE 229
CHAPTER 13. DETAILED CASE HISTORIES 247
CHAPTER 14. SHOULD THE NEI JING BE INTERPRETED LITERALLY? 263
CHAPTER 15. PULSE DIAGNOSIS 301
CHAPTER 16. ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT OF VIRAL AND BACTERIAL INFECTIONS 311
CHAPTER 17. SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF THE MERIDIANS 319
CHAPTER 18. THE ELECTRICAL ENERGY WITHIN THE BODY 339
CHAPTER 19. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ORGAN HIERARCHY AND THE MERIDIAN LOCATIONS 349
CHAPTER 20. THE ELECTRICAL CURRENT CONTAINS ORGAN INFORMATION 367
APPENDIX A. FURTHER EXAMPLES OF SYMPTOM TRANSFER 381
APPENDIX B. THE DAILY CYCLE OF ORGAN ACTIVITY – MIDNIGHT TO NOON, EBB AND FLOW 385
APPENDIX C. TONGUE DIAGNOSIS 389
APPENDIX D. MORE DETAIL OF THE BODY’S ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES 391
APPENDIX E. THE YIN-YANG HIERARCHY OF THE ORGANS 397
APPENDIX F. OTHER RESEARCH INTO HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS 407
REFERENCES AND ENDNOTES 417
GLOSSARY OF TODAY’S CHINESE MEDICINE DISEASE TERMS 455