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The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine

"Demystifies Oriental medicine in a remarkably rational analysis of both its strengths and weaknesses". -- Science Digest

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Congdon & Weed; 1st edition (March 1983)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0809229331

ISBN-13: 978-0809229338

Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

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This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the theory and philosophy behind traditional Chinese medicine. The average lay person may find more information here than they need at first but better that than a dumbed-down, less comprehensive book which will leave them nothing to turn to if/when they eventually decide they want more information. And unlike some Chinese medical books where 'facts' are produced seemingly from thin air, each of Kaptchuk's chapters is followed by an extensive section of notes/references.The Web was one of the first books on Chinese medicine published in English for the layman and despite its limitations, I feel it is still one of the best. I am a practicing acupuncturist/herbalist and I recommend this book to my patients. It isn't perfect - sometimes there's too much detail, the illustrations could be clearer, could have included more info about herbs, etc. But to Kaptchuk's credit, some sections of this book are written with a beautiful simplicity unmatched by anything I've seen written since, e.g. when he compares the way Chinese painters represented the natural elements in their landscapes to the "poetic logic" a Chinese physician employs when evaluating a patient. It is no small task to sum up traditional Chinese medicine in a single volume but Kaptchuk has done an admirable job.

This book is considered required reading for every acupuncture student and is often recommended for patients who are interested in learning more about the medicine. I find it too difficult for the layman. and the text becomes laborious. Exploring the wonders of Chinese medicine should be exciting and enjoyable. There are many books which fulfill this with excellent illustrations. As students we found the book less than helpful and few ever finished reading this tome. As a practitioner, it sits on my shelf, but I have never referred to it.My recommendations for the beginner in these studies are:1. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Chinese Medicine by Tom WilliamsGreat pictures, easy to read. Have it my waiting room. Most read by my patients (next to the Chinese astrology books).2. The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness by Mischa Cohen, LAcMischa presents the medicine clearly and has easy to follow suggestions for self care.3. Healing With Whole Foods, Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul PitcfordIntegrates Oriental and Western nutritional knowledge. Excellent resource for layperson and practitioner alike.4. ANYTHING by Giovanni Maciocia or Dan Bensky5. A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman and Mazin Al-KhafajiAs a professor of acupuncture, I have found this textbook to be one of the best attempts to integrate all of the translated material and organize it into a very readable reference. Excellent, invaluable resource for students and practitioners alike.

This book is a very good treatment of the subject of acupuncture, and its associated methods of diagnosis and pattern recognition. Herbology is not discussed. Having finished the book, one will at least have an understanding of what one's acupuncturist is talking about, and may be able to take steps to better one's health. The meridians are described in basic detail, with interior and exterior branches discussed. Points and their properties are not discussed. Overall, a very good and basic description of acupuncture and its methods.

I had to learn TCM basics as part of my chinese martial art training. This book was invaluable in learning the basics of TCM. Ted Kaptchuk's writing is at times confusing, but overall is pretty well easy to understand.A Great Book! 5 Stars********************NEW COMMENTS************************The above was my former review of this book. It is now almost a year later and I am now enrolled in Chinese Medicine school. Now that I have to know a great deal of theory, I find that this book is a bit lacking on explanation, as compared to "Foundations of Chinese Medicine : A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists" by Giovanni Maciocia. This book, I find is a much better basic explanation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) than "The Web That Has No Weaver." Apparently the California Acupuncture board uses The Web book for their exams, as well as others including Giovanni's. I wanted to correct my review now that I have some perspective and understanding in Chinese Medicine. Still a good book with 3 stars.

Ted Kaptchuk has distilled the essence of ancient Chinese medicine in this clear expose. He explains the body organs as they were understood by the ancient Chinese, the acupuncture points and meridians, the fluids and flows, both of energy and fluids, in easy-to-understand language. A+ for clarifying the concepts of this medicine. With some imagination you may even begin to understand how such an ancient art could tackle modern challenges like AIDS and cancer, which it does. This book is a classic that will be around for a long time. The nice thing about it is that it clarifies ancient Chinese medicine to a person with no background in the subject.

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