The Channels of Acupuncture: Clinical Use of the Secondary Channels and Eight Extraordinary Vessels

The Channels of Acupuncture: Clinical Use of the Secondary Channels and Eight Extraordinary Vessels

Giovanni Maciocia

One of the most highly-regarded and respected authors and lecturers in the West, Giovanni Maciocia, illuminates and examines the art of traditional Chinese acupuncture with this in-depth look at the secondary channels and other key structures encompassing the human body in Chinese anatomy. This book describes in detail the pathways, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of the Luo, Muscle, and Divergent secondary channels, as well as other key structures such as the Cou Li and Huang membranes, and gives a thorough, clear overview of subjects poorly understood and incompletely covered in other English language texts. Drawing on his broad clinical experience, the author covers the energetic physiology, pathology and points by body area, providing ease of access for both the student and practitioner of acupuncture. The Channels of Acupuncture presents comprehensive and clear information on an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine.

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JCM Review

THE CHANNELS OF ACUPUNCTURE: CLINICAL USE OF THE SECONDARY CHANNELS AND EIGHT EXTRAORDINARY VESSELS
by Giovanni Maciocia
Churchill Livingstone, hardback, 738 pages

The channels are one of the unique features of Chinese medicine, the key anatomical/energetic feature that underpins the view of the body as an integrated whole. Rather than muscles, connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels etc. Chinese medicine emphasises the channels that interweave all these structures, connecting the exterior of the body with its deepest layers, the extremities with the centre, above with below and vice versa. This perception is extant today, not only in the practice of acupuncture, tuina and herbal medicine, but also of qigong where stretching and twisting the body, in tune with the breath and focused attention, is understood to open the channels throughout their depth (rather than simply stretch the muscles). The knowledge of the channels goes back around two thousand years, and is marked by an extraordinary period of development during the Han dynasty (approximately 200 BCE to 200 CE). Discoveries at the Mawangdui and Zhangjiashan sites, sealed in 168 BCE, show an unsophisticated system of eleven channels which travel roughly parallel to each other without interconnecting. By the time of the Yellow Emperor’s Classic, probably not much more than 200 years later, much of ‘modern’ channel theory is laid down. It is axiomatic of course to say the channels particularly underlie the practice of acupuncture, but this often seems to be forgotten, given the emphasis on individual points and, in recent years, on the study of modern anatomy at the expense of traditional Chinese anatomy (i.e. channel anatomy). I have experience of teaching in many different countries, but while I am often shamed by students for my approximate grasp of muscular anatomy, I have yet to fi nd a single student or practitioner with a comprehensive knowledge of the channels, particularly the secondary channels and the deep pathways of the primary channels. This reluctance to teach channels to the same level as modern anatomy ends up failing students who are nevertheless often expected to learn the points in great detail. For it is clear from even a cursory study of the traditional indications of the points that while some are empirical, some derive from their location, and some from their association with the zangfu and the ‘external’ pathways of the primary channels, many can only be understood from their effect on the deep pathways of the primary, luo-connecting and divergent channels. Furthermore many uses of the points involve channel relationships (particularly the six channels) or derive from broad principles of channel treatment (for example that the more distal points treat the head while points near the knees and elbows treat the chest and abdomen). As in all things, learning great swathes of detail is made easer by understanding the principles that underlie it. Here then we have a book that can help remedy these defi ciencies and bring channel theory to the forefront of our attention. Aided by numerous attractive illustrations and many quotations, it covers virtually every aspect of channel history, theory, pathways and clinical use, not just of the primary channels of course, but also of the membranes and fat tissue, the triple burner, the connecting, muscle, divergent channels and the cutaneous regions. Considerable attention is lavished on the eight extraordinary vessels which occupy around half of the book’s length. This is yet another extraordinarily comprehensive book from Giovanni Maciocia which adds to his ever-growing list of core Chinese medicine textbooks.

Peter Deadman

Contents

PART 1
THE CHANNEL SYSTEM
Chapter 1 CONCEPT OF “CHANNEL” IN CHINESE MEDICINE
Chapter 2 MORPHOLOGY AND FLOW OF QI OF CHANNELS
Chapter 3 THE MEMBRANES (HUANG), FAT TISSUE (GAO), THE CAVITIES AND TEXTURE (COU LI) AND THE TRIPLE BURNER CAVITIES
Chapter 4 FUNCTIONS OF THE CHANNELS IN GENERAL
Chapter 5 THE CHANNELS IN DIAGNOSIS

PART 2
MAIN CHANNELS
Chapter 6 PATHWAYS OF THE MAIN CHANNELS
Chapter 7 CHANNEL SYMPTOMS
Chapter 8 TREATMENT OF MAIN CHANNELS
Chapter 9 THE FIVE TRANSPORTING (SHU) POINTS
Chapter 10 CATEGORIES OF POINTS
Chapter 11 THE COMBINATION OF ACUPUNCTURE POINTS

PART 3
CONNECTING CHANNELS (LUO MAI)
Chapter 12 MORPHOLOGY AND PATHWAYS OF CONNECTING CHANNELS
Chapter 13 PHYSIOLOGY OF THE CONNECTING CHANNELS
Chapter 14 AETIOLOGY AND DIAGNOSIS OF THE CONNECTING CHANNELS
Chapter 15 PATHOLOGY OF CONNECTING CHANNELS
Chapter 16 TREATMENT OF THE CONNECTING CHANNELS

PART 4
MUSCLE CHANNELS (JING JIN)
Chapter 17 MORPHOLOGY AND PATHWAYS OF THE MUSCLE CHANNELS
Chapter 18 MUSCLE CHANNELS - FUNCTIONS AND AETIOLOGY
Chapter 19 PATHOLOGY AND SYMPTOMS OF MUSCLE CHANNELS
Chapter 20 TREATMENT OF MUSCLE CHANNELS

PART 5
DIVERGENT CHANNELS (JING BIE)
Chapter 21 MORPHOLOGY OF DIVERGENT CHANNELS
Chapter 22 FUNCTIONS AND CLINICAL USE OF THE DIVERGENT CHANNELS

PART 6
CUTANEOUS REGIONS
Chapter 23 THE 12 CUTANEOUS REGIONS

PART 7
EIGHT EXTRAORDINARY VESSELS
Chapter 24 THE 8 EXTRAORDINARY VESSELS
Chapter 25 CLINICAL USE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY VESSELS
CHAPTER 26 GOVERNING VESSEL (DU MAI)
Chapter 27 DIRECTING VESSEL (REN MAI)
Chapter 28 PENETRATING VESSEL (CHONG MAI)
Chapter 29 GIRDLE VESSEL (DAI MAI)
Chapter 30 YIN STEPPING VESSEL (YIN QIAO MAI)
Chapter 31 YANG STEPPING VESSEL (YANG QIAO MAI)
Chapter 32 COMBINED YIN AND YANG STEPPING VESSELS' PATHOLOGY
Chapter 33 YIN LINKING VESSEL (YIN WEI MAI)
Chapter 34 YANG LINKING VESSEL (YANG WEI MAI)
Chapter 35 COMBINED YIN AND YANG LINKING VESSELS’ PATHOLOGY
Chapter 36 THE EIGHT POINTS OF THE DIVINE TURTLE

PART 8
THE INTEGRATION OF MUSCLE AND CONNECTING CHANNELS
Chapter 37 PAINFUL OBSTRUCTION (BI) SYNDROME
(TRAUMA, SPORTS INJURIES, REPETITIVE-STRAIN INJURY)

Overview

AuthorGiovanni Maciocia
Publication Date27/01/1976
PublisherChurchill Livingstone
Number Of Pages768
Book FormatHardback
ISBN978-0-443-07491-2

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