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The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists. Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0443074899
ISBN-10: 0443074895
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This version remedies some of the shortcomings of the first edition and is now as near a complete exposition of Chinese medicine theory as could be presented in a single text. It is unlikely to be supplanted for years to come, if ever, and with Giovanni's similarly seminal textbooks on clinical practice, diagnostics, gynaecology and obstetrics and tongue diagnosis, forms the bedrock for all practitioners of Chinese medicine in the West.'

Peter Deadman

"The text is beautifully presented in two colours. A large number of clear illustrations and text boxes highlight the important points and aid readability. Learning outcomes are summarised at the end of each chapter. This is a well designed and easy to read textbook, which sources mainly from the classic Chinese medicine texts, including both ancient literature and modern books. It benefits from the author's rich experience in clinical practice in the West and his training in China. An in-depth understanding of the principles and theories of TCM enables the author to explain this complicated ancient healing system in a way that is understandable to Western students.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in studying TCM systematically, particulary those intending to develop a career in acupuncture." R Guo, Exeter, UK

About the Author

Giovanni Maciocia is one of the most highly-regarded and respected authors and lecturers in the West. He is Visiting Associate Professor at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has many years of experience in teaching and practice. Giovanni trained initially in the UK and then in China, learned Chinese to be able to study from original Chinese texts, and was one of the first practitioners and authors to introduce Chinese medicine in a clear and accessible way to a Western student audience.
Giovanni Maciocia has written other best-selling books under the Elsevier Churchill Livingstone imprint - The Practice of Chinese Medicine: The Treatment of Diseases with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, 2e (ISBN 978-0443074905), Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide, 1e (ISBN 9780443064487), The Channels of Acupuncture: Clinical Use of the Secondary Channels and Eight Extraordinary Vessels, 1e (ISBN 9780443074912), The Psyche in Chinese Medicine: Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disharmonies with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, 1e (ISBN 9780702029882), and Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine, 2e (ISBN 9780443104220).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1236 pages
  • Publisher: Churchill Livingstone; 2 edition (July 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0443074895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0443074899
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.7 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The index of this book is inaccurate, starting at page 417 or some point in that previous section. From page 417 to the end of the book the actual page numbers are four less than the ones listed in the index. For example, if you look at the index listing "Transporting (Shu) Points 787-802", the section on Shu points is actually 783-798. Before page 417, the page numbers are accurate.

So if you look something up in the index and it doesn't seem to be on the indicated page, don't despair. Flip two pages back and you'll probably find it.
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Format: Hardcover
As a matter of presentation, description, and explanation, this book is near unmatched. When the revision of this edition comes out, if you have any desire to explore and develop your understanding of TCM, you will have to get it. But wait until they repair the index. It is the lousiest, most absurd index I've ever seen. I work as a Teacher's Assistant for an Asian Bodywork Therapy class, so I get a lot of questions from students, and this text has everything you would ever want to look up, if only you happen to be so lucky that the index and the actual material you're looking for match up. So, like I said, everything about this book but the index is fantastic. The index is so bad, though, the book deserves a recall. Wait until that happens, or pour through the pages with unmatched patience, and make your own index.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Acupuncturists and acupuncture students alike seem to either love or hate G Maciocia. My Beijing teachers fell in the latter camp, as do I. We were never introduced to Nigel Wiseman (e.g., Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture (Paradigm title)) at my Los Angeles school, and I suspect my initiation into Chinese medical might have been less maddening had we not been distracted my Maciocia's wordiness and gift for needlessly complicating just about everything.

I have not found the book at all helpful, and I am soon to finish my Chinese medicine program. I greatly regret having been suckered into buying it during my first quarter of school.

Alumni/ae "out in the field" report that they do refer to Maciocia's Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide book (and my Ob-Gyn prof likes his Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine, 2e-- but still seems to prefer Jane Lyttleton's Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine, 1e) in their daily practice, but again there are many (or at least several) very good (English language) diagnosis texts (Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, The Treatment of Disease in Tcm: Diseases of the Eyes, Ears, Nose and, for example) that, for my money, make Maciocia seem like an over-reaching arriviste.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up with Eastern medicine, and have studied Taoist classics in depth for over a decade. Maciocia tries to substantiate his understanding with excerpts from various classics that had radically different perspectives and paradigms, making this book inconsistent and incoherent. His repetition of the same ideas over and over does not make his incorrect and shallow understanding of TCM correct or deep; it's just mind numbing. The material of the whole book could have been covered within a hundred pages or so without losing any information that is of any value instead of spreading it out over a thousand pages. This is a bad textbook for TCM students who want to seriously study Eastern medicine.
9 Comments 33 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The sheer depth and breadth of the clarity and insight about Traditional Chinese Medicine that comes through this book with such ease for a reader is a wonder. Strong praise, yes; but all too often these subjects are obscure...and even good books usually only *start* to give people new to the subject insight as well as good, foundational knowledge.

Don't be put off by the size of the book or it's price - in this case, it's well worth it.

This book makes it easy to understand paradigms that are new and unusual to most westerners, with greater depth than is usually found -- in addition to providing LOTS of foundation and background knowledge.

I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Doctor of Chinese Medicine with twenty years of experience, including over ten years in China, and am one of the only westerners to have earned a Chinese Medicine PhD in China (done entirely in Chinese) and to be licensed to practice Chinese Medicine in China. I've also been teaching for nearly ten years, and have taught Chinese Medicine at universities in China, and for the last year at a Chinese Medicine college in the US, where this textbook is a required text for the various licensing exams, and therefore a required text in several classes that I teach- namely Chinese Medicine Theory and Chinese Medicine Diagnostics. Therefore, I believe I have the expertise and experience to make a meaningful assessment and critique of this book.

While "Foundations" does contain much useful information, there are errors throughout, both textual and diagramatic, some from the author himself and some that appear to be typographical and likely the fault of the publisher. The layout is also shockingly poor and creates readability issues.

These problems create difficulties for both students and their professors, and for such an [exorbitant] price I believe it is reasonable to ask that a serious re-editing of the book be undertaken.
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