Between Heaven and Earth

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Click the image for more details..If you've ever had the experience of being told that your "chi" was blocked, or even more befuddling, something like you have a "Liver-Spleen disharmony", and really wondered exactly what that meant, I recommend this wonderfully informative read: "Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine", by Harriet Beinfield, L. Ac, and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., OMD.

Acupuncturists Beinfield and Korngold beautifully demystify the ancient and poetic system of Chinese Medicine, bringing it into our more familiar Western understanding. 

As they write, "The ancient Chinese had their own mythos, language, circumstances, preoccupations, and we have ours. This book represents a nexus, a point of convergence, a meeting of worlds". And, (this is) "..not the definitive summary of Chinese medicine, the last word, but a starting point for new discourse that invites the next utterance."

The authors divided the book into three overlapping parts: Theory, Types and Therapy

"Theory" allows us to get a glimpse of the ideas and the paradigm upon which Chinese medicine is based.

"Types" describes the five archetypes, aligned with the five elements, symbolizing human character and psychology.

"Therapy" describes the methods of acupuncture, herbs and diet, and how they are used in Chinese medicine.

I have read a number of TCM and acupuncture books over the years, and I have to say that this one gave me the most "aha!" moments, having the ability to penetrate some of my more ingrained Western way of seeing things, and allowing for a deeper understanding of this profound philosophy.

And just for fun, "Between Heaven and Earth" includes an assessment for the reader of their own elemental predisposition, which Beinfeld has graciously allowed me to include here. As for what to do with this information once you've determined whether you are wood, metal, water, earth or fire, you can either get the book, or check back here in the coming weeks for a breakdown of attributes, tendencies, common health issues and treatments for each element.

So. What's your element?

Take the Assessment here...