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Acupuncture & Moxibustion Formulas & Treatments (Great Masters Series) [Paperback]

Ming Wu , Bob Flaws
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1996 0936185686 978-0936185682 1st
Cheng DAn-an was the single most important Chinese acupuncturist of the mid-20th century. He created the modern acupuncture college curriculum in China and rescued acupuncture and moxibustion from oblivion in its native land. As a teacher of many other famous teachers of acupuncture, such as the late Dr. James Tin Yau So, Cheng Dan-an is the father of modern Chinese acupuncture. This book is a collection of his formulas and treatments for a wide range of traditional Chinese diseases, such as cold damage, warm heat diseases, wind stroke, mania, diarrhea and dysentery, cough, phlegm rheum, panting & wheezing, the five accumulations, and more. This is a seminal book in the development of modern acupuncture which should not be overlooked by any Western practitioner.

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From the Publisher

We chose to publish this book even though most Westerners have never heard of Cheng Dan-an because, if one does know a little something about the modern Chinese history of acupuncture, one has to know about the tremendous role Cheng played throughout the entire middle part of this century. This book can either be used as a stand alone treatment manual, or it can be read as a seminal transition text from premodern to modern Chinese acupuncture. In particular, students of Dr. James Tin Yao So in the early days of the New England School of Acupuncture will find this book extremely enlightening, since it is the source for many of their teacher's treatments and ideas.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

On Qi Gong What is known as essence spirit is qi. What the ancients meant when they declared, "One should cultivate magnificent qi" was to cultivate essence spirit. When living, my late father repeatedly instructed me to practice qi exercise but he did not explain the reason [for so doing]. Therefore, he failed to evoke my confidence [in such exercises]. In clinical practice, however, I was always inferior to him in obtaining effects through needling. Later, I began to believe in the teaching of my late father and have kept on doing qi exercise [to this day]. Sure enough, my needling effect was heightened greatly. For that reason, after I had returned home from Japan, I included a course of qi exercise and needle manipulation exercise in the curriculum of the acupuncture school I established in 1935.

In 1938, when I resumed the acupuncture school in Sichuan [having moved because of the Japanese invasion of eastern China], among the students there was one named Huang from Guangdong who was skilled in fencing. He, too, believed in the existence of electricity [in the human body]. Whenever he performed massage on a person, he kept his hands about an inch over the surface of the patient's body. Nevertheless, the patient could feel a current of hot qi penetrating their muscles and [then] relief. Wherever [Huang's] hands moved, [the feeling of] this hot qi moved. In the case of a slight malady, such as wind cold, Huang said [he could] effect recovery after performing such massage for only a short while. He came to my school to learn the theory of the channels and network vessels in order to incorporate this into his massage practice, thus treating disease for others [more effectively] while making use of human physiological electricity.

One night, [Huang] was sitting quietly in a small, dark room, two short swords in his hands pointing toward each other. At the beginning, the tips of the swords were 23 inches apart. Between them there appeared a white beam of light like the glow of fireflies. Little by little, it [grew longer] and connected the tips of the swords. [Then Huang] increased the distance between the tips of the swords and the beam grew until it became about one chi [approximately one foot] long. This verified [for me] the truth of my late father's teaching. Regrettably, before long, Mr. Huang went away for some reason, and, [not knowing] where he was in such a vast country, I have never met him again. Even today, I feel sorry [for not having the chance to meet him again].

In a word, there exists electricity in the human body. Qi exercise discussed in this part is a practice of concentrating the electricity of the body in the fingers in order to enhance the effect of needling by the strength of this electricity... The magnificent qi that the ancients referred to may be nothing else but this electricity...

People who cultivate Daoism or lived under a self-disciplined regimen probably attempted to gain control of and exploit human physiological electricity. In terms of its characteristics, this electricity can be described as a wild horse and dust. It is as hard to control as a wild horse and to collect as dust which pervades the air. If we are to make use of it, we should first concentrate [our minds] and gain control over it...

What is meant by maximal control [of qi] is concentration of one's thought, to concentrate the force [of one's attention]... Acupuncturists practice cultivation of qi solely for the purpose of expediting the healing disease. They have no higher ambition. Therefore, in this practice, they need not obey such rigorous disciplines as those living the life of a Daoist [monk]. I am for a method of practicing qi cultivation that can be applied anywhere, anytime, in other words, a method requiring no fixed observances.

It does not matter whether one sits or stands or lies down. The only requirement is for the trunk to be kept straight with the limbs posed as the practitioner likes. The most important thing is to concentrate one's mind and attention on the point three cun below the navel [i.e., the lower dan tian]. Coordinating with one's respiration, one expands the abdominal muscles on exhalation and contracts the muscles on inhalation. With each process of expiration and inspiration, [the stomach] bulges and contracts. The more slightly and more slowly [the stomach so moves], the more easily one gains progress [in cultivation of qi]. However, one should not pay attention to breathing instead of the abdominal movement of bulging and drawing in. The exercise can last 520 minutes, and one can practice it during any spare time...

[Another posture is] sitting up, legs erect on the ground, eyes and mouth closed, [the tip of] the tongue in touch with the upper [inside] gums. Except for the above, other points in the exercise are the same as for the first, and this exercise is equally effective.

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Masters Series
  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Poppy Pr; 1st edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936185686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936185682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,708,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical information applied clinically March 27, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those looking to understand diseases and their treatments from the classical viewpoint of acupuncture as may be found in such books as zhen jiu jia yi jing, ling shu and zhen jiu da cheng. You won't find the herbalised acupuncture version here(i.e zang fu diagnosis and throw in all the needles at once and hope for the best).

This book reflects the clarity of Cheng Dan-An and his family lineage of acupuncturists. It represents a type of acupuncture that is as rare as hens teeth in todays time. One that accurately perceives the pulse as it is at that point in time and that aims to fluctuate that pulse back to a position of homeostasis. Although the book doesn't relay this important step, the preceeding understanding of the possible aetiology and proceeding application is given with clarity and simplicity. Brilliant.

Great references to the classics are presented to explain the various view points of pathogenesis and treatment for each category which are grouped according to classical categories (e.g diarrhea and dysentery, diseases of the hands and feet etc) and not the western disease names as is the case in recent times.

Acupuncture is classically a pulse based art, reading energy directly as it is NOW, and not as it was yesterday or has been as may be the case with symptoms. Reading the points prescribed by Cheng Dan-An with this in mind and with the practitioners understanding of how different points (by themselves, not in combination) alter the physiology and response in the pulse makes this book a rare diamond. Most acupuncture books are static preformulated responses to agreed upon pathologic conditions in formularised approach.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Material Succintly Presented January 10, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a shame this book is going out of print. Though it lacks a full discussion of the complete reasoning behind each specific point, it discusses etiology and mechanics of disease processes and offers effective treatment plans for the patterns presented. I have used several formulas from this work, and they were very effective. The point prescriptions are somewhat different from many TCM textbook protocols, but the effectiveness of some of what I've tried already, along with the interesting way the treatments are described in terms of point order and stimulation time are unique to this book and similar only to Tin Yau So's book. (Tin Yau So studied with a student of Cheng Dan An) All acupuncturists should check it out!

(2013) In addition to the copies still out there, the publisher has made this book available as an ebook, so it still can be had.
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