THE HEALING PATH: The Practical Guide to the Holistic Traditions of China, India, Tibet and Japan

Jacqueline Young, Author
Jacqueline Young, Author . Thorsons $22.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-00-761263-5
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Converts and skeptics alike will admire Young's balanced, accessible study of Eastern medical traditions. More comparative anthropology than health guide, it will be ideal for people interested in Eastern medicines but daunted by the information glut. Young (Acupressure Step by Step), who has extensive and intensive training (five years in Japan studying acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, movement therapy and so on; advanced acupuncture and qi gong training in China; numerous visits to India to study Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicine) advocates an informed selectivity (i.e., pick and choose from among these practices), which avoids blurring the traditions into the kind of exotic pan-Asian fantasy promoted by some Westerners. Each country is presented distinctly, as are their unique traditions. Concise historical contexts offer some fascinating tidbits. For example, after observing Indian doctors performing nose reconstructive surgery in the 18th century, British surgeons introduced the practice to Europe. By necessity, Young's far-ranging overview details only a few specifics, like Tibetan yoga, and mentions numerous others with refreshing and striking matter-of-factness. The layout is both artistic, featuring abundant reprints of Tibetan mandalas or sacred Japanese talismans, and instructive, with images of Japanese bathers in natural hot springs and photographs of stretching, massage and other techniques. This graceful treatment will please practitioners and help newcomers decide where to begin, and the book's selection by the One Spirit Book Club will bring added attention. (May 15)

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