I would recommend all acupuncturists to read this book. It confirms many of my long-held beliefs about the problems surrounding modern Chinese acupuncture (TCM), and its insidious spread into the West under the illusion that it somehow represents traditional acupuncture, which it so clearly doesn’t. Thank goodness that this is at last being recognised, not least in
My thoughts have been further strengthened by reading another important and well-researched book by Volker Scheid, Currents of Tradition in Chinese Medicine, 1626 -2006 (Eastland Press 2007). Although concentrating almost entirely upon herbal acupuncture, with only a handful of references to acupuncture, the picture he paints is of the enormous pressures placed upon Chinese medicine over the past 50 years or more in what can be seen as a fight for its survival against the forces within China supporting the primacy of Western medicine. Chinese medicine became a pawn in China’s attempts to work out the position it should take in relation to Western medicine, and continues to suffer from this uncertainty, whilst at the same trying to defend the importance of acknowledging its own long medical heritage.
Somehow acupuncture found its own escape route from the political turmoil within
Ironically, therefore, it is in the West that the precepts of traditional acupuncture found fertile ground upon which to allow its damaged roots to re-plant themselves and grow so prolifically. It is therefore doubly ironic that it should fall to me, a Western trained five element acupuncturist, to hand the gifts which my practice has given me back to a birthplace which hardly recognises the acupuncture inheritance on which I base this practice.