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Between Heaven and Earth [Paperback]

Harriet Beinfield , Efrem Korn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 30 1992
Two of the foremost American educators and healers in the Chinese medical profession demystify Chinese medicine's centuries-odl approach to health. Combining Eastern traditions with Western sensibilities in a unique blend that is relevant today, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH opens the door to a vast storehouse of knowledge that bridges the gap between mind and body, theory and practice, professional and self-care, East and West.

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Between Heaven and Earth + Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

For anyone seriously interested in learning about Chinese medicine, Beinfield and Korngold provide a comprehensive, though technical, look at it. The book is divided into three parts: theory; the psychology of Chinese medicine and therapy; and such treatment methods as acupuncture, herbs and diet. Licensed acupunturists, Beinfield and Korngold stress that the models of Eastern and Western medicine are significantly different. Consequently, so are methods, emphases and outcomes. Chinese medicine, they claim, readjusts the body's balance and enhances self-healing--while Western medicine, in contrast, stresses suppressing and eliminating pathological phenomena, and crisis-intervention. The authors don't discount the need, in some instances, for Western medicine. In fact, they bring this issue up poignantly with an event close to home: their son was born with a heart deformity that required specialized surgery. To help maintain his health, his parents incorporated herbal remedies in his diet. A particularly interesting concept is "culinary alchemy" or kitchen medicine, based on the Chinese tenet "Who we are determines what is most beneficial for us to eat." The authors provide an extensive, cross-referenced compendium of herb names, as well as information on using Chinese patent medicines and formulas for general health problems.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Chinese medicine uses a variety of diagnostic techniques, such as observation, pulse-taking, and questioning, to determine a patient's type and optimal therapy. Here, two Western practitioners describe for Western lay readers philosophy, diagnostic techniques, and possible treatments. They also show how an understanding of the five Chinese elements--wood, fire, earth, metal, and water--enables one to begin to understand one's own patterns of physical and emotional health. Beinfeld and Korngold have done a handy job of explaining this esoteric and frequently misunderstood modality. For New Age health collections in public libraries.
- Judith Eannarino, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Lying motionless, gazing at a chart on the wall showing streams of force connecting the little toe with the corner of the eye in a web of continuous loops, I feel my breath soften and my vision sharpen. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read this book and used it as a reference in acupuncture school. I highly recommend it to everyone, including my patients.
It gives you a basic understanding of how the organs are viewed in Chinese medicine.
For example, the heart is affected by all emotions. Thus, if you experience extreme emotions for an extended period of time, you can develop a heart Qi (energy) deficiency. This would cause insomnia, palpitations and fatigue. This can be cured with acupuncture and herbs.
If you have too much stress, your liver energy becomes stagnant, or stuck. This causes you to be even more stressed with each added stressor. Chinese medicine can fix that.
Fear affects the kidneys. Have you ever noticed how often you have to go to the bathroom when you go to the dentist? :) Your kidneys become weak and can't control your bladder.
Chinese medicine treats the root of your health issues. Your symptoms will go away once you address the underlying problems.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only One Piece of the Puzzle Sept. 14 2003
I must first admit my bias: I seek to write a better intro to Chinese medicine than this, or the Web that has No Weaver...
This book talks only about "5 Phase" Chinese medicine- this is only one school of thought in Chinese medicine, and most acupuncturists don't practice it to the degree that you find described in this book.
Most acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists practice TCM, or some variation of it. There are many acupuncture styles (I mean Japanese, Korean, Tong, etc.), and herbal medicine is based on organ-system pattern diagnosis... you'll find none of that in this book.
What is in this book is good and interesting, and perhaps an ok intro to Chinese medicine, but please remember there is much much more to even getting acquainted with Chinese medicine. "The Web..." is much too philosophical and scholarly for more readers. The danger there is that no one will read the whole thing.
The danger with "Between..." is that readers will misunderstand the breadth and variation within Chinese medicine and be confused when they visit an acupuncturist who does not practice 5 phase style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for this seminal book on acupuncture Jan. 12 2001
By A Customer
What a great book...If I had to be marooned on a desert island, etc., etc., with just one book on acupuncture, helpful for understanding the human condition, this would be the book, and there isn't even a close second that comes to mind. The authors were **the** people who brought an understanding of Chinese medicine to the U.S. in the 1970s, and this book is a heroic attempt to educate us and interest us at the same time with what they had found. It's hard to tell whether they're classic five element practitioners (I've heard differing points of view on this) but they do a FABULOUS job on breaking down what's involved with that unique, and very hard to find out about, form of acupuncture. Although practitioners will say that they can only figure out your type from actually diagnosing you in person, I found that when I put my husband and me through the written "tests" in the book, very comprehensive, we actually came out ahead: and figured out "what" we were, 1.5 years ahead of the acupuncturist so doing. That gave me even more confidence in the book. Not to mention, reading and thinking about what the test revealed about us HUGELY promoted our understanding of ourselves and each other, and made for a fun adjunct to a vacation weekend. This is a great book, and I find myself referring to it again and again, though I've also read--and own--many of the other now classic books in the field. Simple enough for a lay reader, but definitely able to communicate the elegance of the practice. Go authors! :-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Oriental Medicine June 12 1998
By A Customer
This book gives a good foundation for understanding how the Chinese five elements theory is used in clinical practice. The description of five-element theory is very poetically written, so the book is fun to read. There is also a good introduction to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. The chapters on acupuncture and herbal medicine are fairly technical, so if you don't have much interest in these areas, you may find the sections boring.
The main problem with the book is it's over-emphasis on the Five Elements. From what I understand, the Chinese five element theory is not regarded as important to diagnosis and treatment in TCM as the theory of yin/yang and chi (in fact, the validity of the theory is still hotly debated in China today) so its treatment here may be a bit over-emphasized.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Clear Presentation May 5 2000
This is the most involved and lucid explanation of the Five Phases that I have found. I refer many of my patients to this book when they come for their initial session. It has numerous drawings, charts and graphs to support the written text. The Five Phase Theory, as presented in this book, can assist practicing acupunturists or students of Oriental Medicine in deepening their understanding of how to successfully handle the myriad problems and dis-eases presented by their patients. In my 25 years of practice I found extremely few books so well written and organized for everyday use and review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the Informed consumer May 29 2000
By A Customer
This book has been a valuable resource to me as a person seeking healing through various alternative medicines. While I found Chinese Medicine helpful I didn't understand why, and I now feel as though I can take an active roll in discussions with my provider about various treatments. I do not have a long attention span when it comes to dry manuals, but this book was written to be understood and will hold your interest. The only part of the book I found lacking was the index. As I tried to put together a 'treatment plan' for myself, I had difficulty finding specific topics/herbs again.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars FULL INTRO, MAYBE TOO FULL
I found this book to be very very full of information on TCM. Being a beginner in this area, I was amazed at the amount of material combined in this one book. Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by Vanessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and Deep
I have read a lot of books about how the universe works but this one also tells us how to live in it. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars For the Uninitiated
The nature of the content is fine for the lay reader, but hardly worth the time and money for the serious. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Only half a book
This book only rates a 3 with me. While some of the information is good, I must agree with an earlier reviewer that the extreme focus on the five elements is over-done to the... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2002 by Patrick Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting overview of chinese medicine
In the first glance I couldn't get the idea of information contained in this book but after spending few minutes on the contents I decided to purchase it. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2002 by Dr. Abdul Rehman Jami
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what's needed
For a beginning student of of TCM like myself, this book is invaluable. Its language is clear and accessible. Read more
Published on Sept. 6 2001 by Steven A. KinCannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is an excellent book for the person beginning to learn about chinese medicine. Very informative and easy to read.
Published on July 23 2001 by C. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars A high quality book
Wether or not the book perfectly matches what you are looking for, you are getting quality for your money.
Published on Sept. 5 1999
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