By Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Trade Paperback Book
This title is in production. Cover design and price are subject to change. Publication date TBD.
Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée’s 101 Key Concepts of Chinese Medicine is in the final preparation stages and should be available this fall. It is a truly seminal text that examines the key concepts of Chinese thought and thus, of Chinese Medicine. Beginning with Heaven and Earth, and proceeding through the Five Elements, organs and the foundational concepts of diagnosis and therapy, the text presents the most-elegant explanations available in the English language.
Drawing on character etymology, quotations of classical texts and the analogies in which these concepts are rooted, Dr. Rochat gives more than definition by linking Chinese cultural ideas to medical concepts and the relation of those concepts to one another. The reader gains not just a definition, but a sense, a feeling for the ideas as they were understood in the Chinese language.
The work is often lyrical, for example, this single, small paragraph in the section on Jing gives a sense of the depth of this character that would not be otherwise be revealed:
Jing 精 signifies what is pure, subtle, refined, excellent, peerless, quintessential, luminous (of spirit). It denotes things without artifice; what is astute, experienced; intelligent, penetrating, lucid. It is the Spirit (of a person), the center. These meanings convey a pure and powerful vitality expressed both in mind and body. The essences represent vitality as animation, like the soul or the spirit, and are the most subtle of all substances. At the same time, they are the vitality as expressed as substance, and what allows them to be transformed. They are the basic fabric, the raw material that makes possible bringing beings into life.
This is a very rewarding book, it leaves the reader not only with more knowledge of the medical arts, but with a feeling for the ideas that encourage what the Chinese laud as a “Heart Approach,” a knowledge beyond words.