Nourishing Destiny

Nourishing Destiny: The Inner Tradition of Chinese Medicine

by Lonny S. Jarrett

Peter Eckman in his forward to the book states that both Jarrett and Worsley have a ‘touch of genius’ and ‘meet the criteria for spirits and sages’ as set out in the Nan Jing.

It is probably the only book that integrates the various traditions of Chinese Medicine in an academic style. It is comprehensively referenced with footnotes after each chapter.

The index is divided into two, a Pinyin Index, which lists the Chinese names, such as, Hun; Fu; Mingmen, etc. and an English Index, which lists the Acupuncture points, and concepts, such as decision making, heaven and earth, and testing emotions. It is divided into three sections; chapters 1-7 discuss the theoretical foundations of Chinese Medicine. Chapters 8-11, discusses the theory of Five Elements and how we can apply it to the human condition. The physiology of Blood and Qi is also discussed. Chapters 12-15 apply the theoretical understanding from the first two parts to the acts of diagnosis and treatment.

Throughout, when particular concepts are discussed, such as, Tao; Shen; Qi; and Blood, boxes neatly describe the etymology of the Chinese character for that particular concept. I found this helpful as the descriptions help to clarify the meaning of the words (e.g. p302 – Qi).

The final chapter is an in depth study of two cases. Jarrett gives his general first impression of the patient; highlights of the TD (he calls Intake Interview); Reasons given for seeking treatment; Analysis of the Interview; His Pulse Diagnosis; the Therapeutic strategy; Herbal Treatment (as he is also a herbalist); details of the Acupuncture treatment given for 8 – 10 sessions; Discussion and Summary of each case.

There are chapters on each of the Elements, discussing them in detail, and giving examples of case histories for each Element. There is a chapter discussing Blood and Qi, and one on the nature of Acupuncture points. One chapter discusses the TD in detail; how we as practitioners can gather the information, we are looking for – not on a physical level necessarily, but ways to discern CSOE. Jarrett does this in a similar vein to Worsley’s book – Vol. II Traditional Diagnosis – but also gives examples of possible questions to ask. Further, because the rest of the book is so clear about the various attributes of each Element and their imbalances, it helps us to understand what the answer to any particular question may mean depending on the person’s CF.

The final chapter is an in depth study of two cases. Jarrett gives his general first impression of the patient; highlights of the TD (he calls Intake Interview); Reasons given for seeking treatment; Analysis of the Interview; His Pulse Diagnosis; the Therapeutic strategy; Herbal Treatment (as he is also a herbalist); details of the Acupuncture treatment given for 8 – 10 sessions; Discussion and Summary of each case.

I view this book as a guide that clearly explains the theoretical concepts of Chinese Medicine that are based in the classics. Jarrett, has found a way of exploring the basic concepts of the Tao and applying them to practice, and a way to impart this knowledge in a clearly laid out format that is well referenced and thoroughly explained.

It is an expensive book, but one worth buying. I would go so far as to say it is the definitive textbook we have all be waiting for and would recommend it to any student or practitioner of Five Element Acupuncture.

Extract from a Book Review by Maria Doyle (2000 CTA)

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