The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine


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By Daniel Keown
Trade paperback book
ISBN 9781848191969
294 pages, 6.00 x 9.00″

Why can salamanders grow new legs, and young children grow ne fingertips, but adult humans can’t regenerate? What is the electricity that flows through the human body? Is it the same thing the Chinese call Qi? If so, what does Chinese medicine know that Western medicine ignores?

Dan Keown’s highly accessible, witty and original book shows how Western medicine validates the theories of Chinese medicine, and how an integrated theory can enlarge our understanding of how bodies work on every level. He explains the generative force of embryology, how the hearts of two people in love (or, in scientific terms, ‘quantum entanglement’) truly beats as one, how a cheating heart is also an ill heart (which is why men are twice as likely to die of a sudden heart attack with their mistress than with their wife), how neural crest cells determine our lifespan and why Proust’s madeleines evoked the memories the did.

Packed with good stories and surprising details, this book shows how the theories of Western and Chinese medicine can together explain mysteries of biology and reveal how the body really works.

About the Author:

Dr Daniel Keown has worked as a registered doctor since graduating with a medical degree from Manchester University in 1998. In 2008, he completed a degree in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at Kingston University. He is a member of the British Acupuncture council and has studied alongside the renowned Dr. Wang Ju – Yi at the Institute of Channel Diagnosis in Beijing. He lives and practices in Turnbridge Wells, UK.

Praise for The Spark in the Machine

“I started reading this book and thought ‘wow!’ – I couldn’t put it down! Using his engaging writing style, Dr Daniel Keown makes sense of how the latest scientific understanding of systems theory unites with the holism of our oldest medical tradition. Everyone from the general public to Western and Eastern medical practitioners, in fact anyone who is curious about the remarkable way the human body functions and develops, should read this book.”

-Angela Hicks, Joint Principle of the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, Reading, UK, and author of The Principles of Chinese Medicine

Additional information

Weight 1.10 lbs
Dimensions 8 × 6 × .75 in


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