Thinking of studying Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine? Before attending school, it will help to have a foundation of the theory that this medicine is built upon. Listed here are 5 of the best books to read before going to school for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Making the decision to study Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is an exciting one, and one that will take at least 3-6 years of dedicated schooling, and countless hours of clinic and self study. Choosing a few books to read before attending an Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine program will set you up for success during your time in school, especially in your first year courses explaining Foundational Theory.
Having a background in the culture, theory or way of thinking that surrounds this medicine is not necessary, but will help things make sense sooner as your dive into your studies.
Some programs may require or recommend specific books or articles prior to your program, so make sure to read those as well as the ones listed here below.
5 Best Introduction to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Books
- The Web That Has No Weaver- Written by Ted Kaptchuk
This book is an amazing introduction to Chinese Medicine, and a must read for students and seasoned practitioners alike. The author is a well known researcher and you will most likely come in contact with many more of this writings during your studies. The information may be a bit dense to digest right off the bat but is a great reference. You will enjoy coming back to read this book after a few years of studying (or practicing) as well!
- Between Heaven and Earth: A guide to Chinese Medicine- Written by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold
This guide poetically introduces Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and the theory beneath it. It offers gentle and easy insight by providing the personal account of the authors introduction to Chinese Medicine. They utilize a more simple language and well thought out metaphors that can be easier to understand in the beginning of your studies, rather than other translated or more medical texts.
- Tao Te Ching– Written by Lao Tzu
There are many translations of this ancient text, so find a version that resonates with you and read it often. It provides insight on living a peaceful daily life, and echos ways to practice this medicine. Chinese medicine taught in the US is actually a compilation of many east Asian cultures and stems from many ancient Taoist teachings, of which this book helps explain. This text is more focused on ways to live in balance than the actual medicine itself. A great read to get into the mindset behind some of the more complex theory.
- Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition- Written by Paul Pitchford
The go-to nutritional guide for Chinese Medicine Nutritional Theory. This book is one of the best reference guides for western and Chinese medicinal nutrition alike. It explains the basis of nutrition from macro to micro nutrients, talks in depth about the energetic nature of food, disease presentation and diets that may help, and is loaded with over 300 delicious recipes, mainly plant based.
- The Yellow Emperor Classic of Medicine: An New Translation of the NeiJing Suwen with Commentary- Written by Mashing Ni
This book cannot be overlooked, and is a must upon your bookshelf. Again there are many translations of this ancient text, but this particular version is very popular and easy to read. It lays the foundation of Chinese medicine, has a base in Taoism, and is regarded as one of the most important books of Chinese Medicine. Said to have been written by the Yellow Emperor Huang Di, its origins are not fully known. It goes into depth not only about diagnosis but treatments such as herbalism, lifestyle, acupuncture, and diet.