Book Review: Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts

This book is an excellent introduction to both Western and Eastern anatomy concepts. It is not excessively detailed, but gives a good grounding in both systems.

See this book on Goodreads

The book begins with a brief overview of Western anatomy (organs, muscle and nerve groupings), and Eastern concepts (meridians and acupoints, and how the flow of Qi changes throughout the day).  I doubt anyone who grew up in the west will learn anything from the Western section, except possibly some names for muscle groups.  The Eastern section was the one that fascinated me.

There are some diagrams of acupoints and tables of correspondences.  They show not only where the acupoints are, but what they can be used for and how they interact with each other.

At the end of the book are a chapter on healing (resuscitation and massage) and a chapter on martial arts (how to increase the effectiveness of your strikes). Those chapters, responsibly, come with warnings about learning from qualified teachers and not practicing without supervision.  The healing chapter includes some simple first aid which you can do on yourself.

I particularly enjoyed the diagrams of meridians and acupoints – named in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English, as well as alphanumeric code. It was interesting connecting the dots, as it were, on the pressure points that we use in Shorinji Kempo – and seeing how many more there are that we don’t use (at least that I’ve seen so far!).

I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about Eastern medicine. Have a quick read through to get the lay of the land before going back to study the pages that interest you.  You can pick up a copy on Amazon.

Published by Nicola Higgins

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something* martial artist, Girlguiding Brownie and Ranger Leader, and actuary. She somehow also finds time to read, fuss her cat, and occasionally spends time with her husband. [* please note that "ten or more" is still something.]

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