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Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing 1St Edition Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590560921
ISBN-10: 1590560922
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Reviewed by Andy Wickens

In her first book, Dechar aims to identify the essential tenets of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, melding the mythic practices with thephilosophy and techniques taught to modern practitioners. Central to her practice, as illustrated here, is her notion of "Alchemical Acupuncture"―theblending of acupuncture, the Five Spirits of traditional Chinese medicine, and the psychosomatic healing of Taoist psychology. Dechar presents case studies throughout, illustrating principles from her practice. She strivesnot to translate Chinese medicine into a Western form of understanding but instead supports Western expansion of consciousness to allow for anunderstanding of this type of reality. Her depth of understanding is evident, and this impressive goal may best be placed into the hands of existing practitioners. Dechar's book is admirable in its scope but difficult in its detail. The concepts are explained well, but the average consumer may find it all a bit overwhelming. Recommended for public libraries and alternative medicine collections and highly recommended for students in the field.

About the Author

Lorie Eve Dechar’s unique approach to the practice of traditional Chinese medicine emerges from her commitment to discovering a healthier and more integrated way for herself and other human beings to live on planet Earth. Her background includes a master’s degree in Acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute and training in Archetypal Psychology, Gestalt and Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy as well as stints as a gardener, environmental activist, poet and Zen student. Lorie currently maintains a private practice in Manhattan and Nyack, New York, where she focuses on the interconnections between physical, emotional and spiritual issues in her patients’ lives. She is a member of the faculty of the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City and leads workshops and trainings nationwide. Lorie divides her time between New York and East Blue Hill, Maine.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590560922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590560921
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Phyllis Stern on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found Lorie Dechar's Five Spirits to be breathtaking in the way it presents a new vision and context for healing. When talking about the ephemeral "spirits" of Chinese Taoist thought (which are guideposts on our journey, like the chakras), she shows that the journey downward that includes the parts of ourselves that seem most chaotic and where we have least control is a journey to true integration. I read this book after a recent illness, and it helped me to turn toward deep forces for healing within myself. With many case histories and graphics, this book is also a joy to read -- entertaining, engaging and beautifully written! I would recommmend it to professional healers, or to anyone on a personal healing journey.
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I'm an acupuncture student and was looking for a more in depth discussion of the mystical aspect of acupuncture...The title is beautiful and implies insight into the spiritual and alchemical aspects of acupuncture, yet it does not do that. Instead we are given case histories and few acupuncture points used, but no background info as to why those points were chosen. There was nothing alchemical or spiritual about the book. Although it does give a good example of the interview process of the patient.
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This book, "Five Spirits", it is indispensable the all that that works with psychology and acupuncture. Being more thoroughly known the five spirits, Shen, Hun, Yi, Po and Zhi, we can understand the disturbances psychic, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical better that so much afflicts us, still more in a life so afflicted that the modern times impinge us. It is an easy and fluent reading, of great value to all searching of the human knowledge. Every acupuncturist and psychologist should read this book, and even the veterinary doctors that work with disturbances of animal behavior. It is a good book!
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This book profoundly affected my practice as an acupuncturist and as a person. Ms. Dechar is a humble, wise and learned scholar who has seriously researched the five spirits and the process of alchemical acupuncture for decades. I studied with her in NYC over 10 years ago and can say she is truly a gifted practitioner and this book encapsulates her wisdom.
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This definitely ranks as one of the top books I have read all year. The author has unique and fascinating insights into humanity and how we can heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

She is an acupuncturist and a teacher/trainer in New York City. Her basic philosophy is a blend of traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM), archetypal psychology, gestalt, focus-oriented psychotherapy and Taoism.

Alchemical acupuncture uses all of these systems mentioned above and takes the "lead" of life such as life threatening diseases, irritating symptoms, alcohol and drug addiction, child abuse, chronic pain, obsessions and compulsions and turns them into the "gold" of transformation and healing. It is a creative process in which the practitioner and the patient are actively involved and is more of a work of art than science.

This book is about a lot more than acupuncture because she is delving into the essence of what life is all about and seeing what you would normally think of as irritating, terrible or catastrophic situations as fodder for growth and healing. She also give specific and beneficial advice so you can turn your own lead into gold.

The five spirits are:

Shen: The Spirit of Fire--Inspiration, Insight, Awareness and Compassion
Hun: The Spirit of Wood--Vision, Imagination, Direction and Benevolence
Yi: The Spirit of Earth--Integrity, Intention, Clear Thought and Devotion
Po: The Spirit of Metal--Animal Wit, Embodied Knowing, Receptivity, and Appreciation
Zhi: The Spirit of Water--Instinctual Power, Courage, Will and Wisdom

I learned a great deal about myself by reading about these five spirits.
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Five spirits is hands down my favorite book on chinese medicine. It's beautifully written, and weaves together Lorie Dechar's deep understanding of the Phases and the Spirits, and great patient stories. I have bought 3 copies as gifts for fellow acupuncturists because I love it so much and love sharing it!
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I have been practicing 5 Element Acupuncture since 1994 and this book is fantastic !! The only book on the subject that is equally applicable to both laymen and practitioners. Bravo Lorie !
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Honestly, this is one of the most awesome books I've encountered. Every time I read more, I admire the author's poetical integration of an ancient cosmology with more modern insights into psychology and the living, enduring presence of mythology as applied holistically. It carries you into a new realm of experiential understanding.
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