Health, Relief & Maintenance Practices

There is a tradition within the Chinese view of life for at least a modest amount of self-sufficient concern for one's heath. After all, a philosophy of subtle relations between the microcosm (person) and the macrocosm (universe) would, in any event, foster the ability to take care of yourself and those around you to some degree. It's certainly more difficult to understand this philosophy if you have absolutely no knowledge of or sovereignty over your own body. We have here many practices which do not require great study or prolonged concentration to acquire. Peruse these titles and see what strikes your interest. We can almost guarantee there will be something ...

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Qigong books.
A little memory about martial health...

Shaolin 12 Road Tan TuiNew! KP035 A Pearl from the Dragon's Neck
Secret Revival Methods and Vital Points...
Regular price $28.95, Plum price $26.00 English, 302 pages, drawings and photos

A Pearl From The Dragon's Neck is dedicated to “hit medicine,” a useful and some might say essential branch of Chinese martial arts.

Tom Bisio's book concentrates on subjects to cure diseases, to speed healing of injuries, to maintenance of health. What distinguishes “hit medicine” is its attachment to martial injuries and cures, and there is good historical indication that this medical branch predated (as a matter of fact, contributed to) the later more sophisticated systems of Chinese medicine. The text offers instruction on how to locate and stimulate points and channels, then apply that knowledge to classical structures such as revivial points, San Cai points, Five Intersections, 12 Miraculous Points, etc.

As Bisio writes, "Although A Pearl from the Dragon's Neck has a sequential structure, one can pick up the book and begin almost anywhere. You can literally page through the book, find something that catches your interest and begin there."

"Revival methods are very important, not only in martial arts settings, but also in the context of sports, and first aid situations in daily life. Revival methods do not just restore consciousness. They are also reactivate the internal Qi Dynamic, and immediately begin undoing the damage that begins to accrue immediately following a blow to a vital point during an acute event like a stroke or heart attack."

normally $20.95 PLUM 16.95, 347 pages, softbound, illustrated

Chinese Tui Na MassageKW035 Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes
Susan Lynn Peterson, PH.D.

normally $20.95 PLUM 16.95, 347 pages, softbound, illustrated

A BIG book on the use of western herbs for contact injuries and more. This text is divided into sections: first some general rules on usage then 64 different herbs and their use. In each case Ms. Petereson addresses these topics:

What is it good for?
How Do you Use it?
Dosage: How much do you use?
What should you be aware of before using it?

A glossary, section on footnotes, list of websites and more make this a good reference work for anyone who might want to use herbs to reduce swelling, support cardiovascular health, learn about the preparation of herbs or, in general, anything connected with this compendium of information. Martial artists derive great benefits from knowing good methods of treating themselves for the inevitable strain, sprain or bruise associated with practice. Comprehensive.

Chinese Tui Na MassageKC026 Chinese Tui Na Massage
Xu Xiang Cai

$18.95 ours 17.00, 218 pages, softbound, illustrated

This text is subtitled “The Essential Guide to Treating Injuries, Improving Health & Balancing Qi”. Here is a straight-forward and serviceable book on Chinese massage techniques for health. Many teachers and practitioners of martial arts, Chinese and otherwise, can gain great relief, reduce the chances and influences of injuries and optimize their practice by the application of Tui Na. In China this art is highly esteemed and definitely part of the overall picture of Chinese medicine which far too many people assume is centered only around acupuncture. Tui Na is the inspiration for Swedish massage but has a technique all its own of great efficacy. This text shows all the basic moves, discusses the Tui Na relationship to the meridian system and deals with treating specific injuries and ailments. The structure of the book is easy and clear listing the application of the technique as well as key points and variations. Previous experience helpful but not mandatory.

Chopsticks Acupuncture

KC030 Chopsticks Acupuncture
Shmuel Halevi

$26.95, 296 pages, softbound, illustrated

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Reviewed by Narrye Caldwell L.Ac.:

When Shmuel Halevi’s book, “Chopsticks Acupuncture,”first came across my desk I’m embarrassed to admit I thought it had to be some kind of gimmick. I’m so glad I set aside my initial reaction and read it. This is a well written and practical self help book that teaches the reader how to stimulate acupuncture points with sticks to treat pain and disease. Halevi is an Israeli acupuncturist with close to 30 years of experience in Chinese Medicine. He provides a clear and concise section on the history and basic concepts of Chinese Medicine. The rest of the book is devoted to discussing point prescriptions and stimulation techniques with different types of sticks for various diseases. I was particularly impressed by the point location diagrams and the photographs that show proper stick manipulation. The book is so well done that anyone could feel confident trying out these methods.

What really won me over was Halevi’s story of how he “discovered” this method. He was in agonizing pain from a kidney stone, and unable to treat himself with acupuncture because of his own pain and the difficulty of reaching the necessary points with needles. In a desperate attempt to find relief he jammed a stick that one of his children had been playing with into the most tender point on his back. He experienced relief after a few minutes of pressure. This experience led him to explore the use of sticks in his acupuncture practice and the result is this book. Having experienced the agony of kidney stones myself, and having been nowhere near as resourceful in handling it, my hat is off to Halevi for coming up with this ingenious approach that anyone can use.

Chinese Medical TeasKC054 Chinese Medicinal Tea
Zong Xiao Fan and Gary Liscum

$24.95, 311 pages, softbound, some woodblocks

This is a compendium of simple and easy to make Chinese herbal tea remedies. Most of these have only three or four ingredients and only need to steep in boiling water. These home remedies, tested throughout time, cover a whole spectrum of ailments including respiratory, liver and kidney, dermatological, gastrointestinal and many other complaints. We've used  teas like this in our daily lives and consider them a boon to any household.

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Shinese Self Massage TherapyKC024 Chinese Self Massage Therapy
“The Easy Way to Health”
Fan Ya Li

$17.95, 154 pages, softbound, illustrated

Tui Na, Chinese Massage, is a great health practice. Here is Tui Na applied by yourself to yourself. It has always been a source of confusion and consternation to us that so few people touch their own bodies in a self regulated form of health practice. What could be more rational and simple. But so many of us no longer feel like we own our bodies anymore. We go to the doctor for pills and, worse, permission to feel. These are simple, straight forward techniques. Don’t think you have to be a nurse or health practitioner to do this. Even one technique could release pain and allow you to gain more control of your own health.

Shaolin Herbal Formulas

KS007 Secret Shaolin Formulas
for the treatment of External Injury
Transmitted by Patriarch De Chan,
translated by Zhang Ting-Liang & Bob Flaws

$19.95, 152 pages, softbound

This book contains hundreds of authentic herbal formulae for external injuries. It was compiled by De Chan (from whom, by the by, we personally learned the Shaolin Ba Duan Jin years ago). These records from the Shaolin Temple itself cover such martially specific injuries as prescriptions for injuries such as "Neck Hit by Halberd" and "Injury to Bone Due to Poisonous Arrow". Plasters are also given. This book shows real formulae and therefore not necessarily composed of easily obtained herbs. Prescriptions are in Pinyin and Latin. Topics include Medicinal Wines, Dim Mak injuries, Fall and Strike injuries and more. No illustrations.

Self Massage

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KK002 Keep-Fit Self-Massage
Li Ye Pu & Bai Hao Man

$14.95, 185 pages,
softbound, photographs and illustrations, oversized,

There are quite a few books like this which show Chinese massage techniques coupled with acupuncture points. The essential advantages of this text combine simplicity, an organized and simple introduction to massage and a limited number of points. Once that's established the book lists many complaints treated through applications of the stated points and methods. For instance we see in the Table of Contents such complaints as: stiff neck, constipation, diabetes, arthritis, insomnia, bronchitis, Raynaud's disease and many others. A little massage practice, on oneself or others, would be of help.

A Tooh from the Tiger's MouthKT036 A Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth
Tom Bisio

$17.00 240 pages, softbound,

This new book is not exactly a Qigong text. It does talk about the many interesting and useful aspects of martial arts as related to general health and particularized Chinese medicine. It covers diet, poultices and plasters, moxibustion and other treatments for the vicissitudes inevitable in life and martial practice. A lot of folk medicine here and one of the first books where the Western knowledge of medicine and the Eastern approach are casually and easily married. This is an authentic branch of Chinese medicine roughly equivalent to "sports medicine" only centuries older and in some cases more effective. It has been associated with Kung Fu practice for millennia.
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Chinese Medicinal Wines and ElixersKC019 Chinese Medicinal Wines and Elixers
Bob Flaws

22.95 , 216 pages, softbound, no illustrations

Bob Flaws, a VERY well-known writer and Chinese medical practitioner from the old school, gives over 200 formulas for authentic medicinal wines. As in all of his books, Flaws records both the Chinese and Latin name for each ingredient. Among the specific sections covered we have: Stretching Sinews and Bones; Fortifying Spleen and Harmonizing the Stomach; Women's Diseases; External Injuries and others. Most alchohol-based wines can have from one to ten herbs and age for about a month prior to use.

NOTE: This is a new REVISED edition with up to date medical identifications, easier ingredients lists, explanatory footnotes and more. Bob Laws began his study of acpuncture in 1977. He is a well known figure in not only the Chinese medicine but also, due to his publications interests, in the martial arts world.

Essential Anatomy for Martial ArtistsKE009 Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts
Marc Tedeschi

$29.95, 143 pages,Oversized

This unique book will familiarize practitioners and martial artists with basic concepts of the human body, as defined by both Western and Eastern Medical traditions. Written in a clear, concise style, this beautiful and informative text presents information previously unavailable in a single source.

  • Over 133 line drawings and 60 photos in color and B/W
  • Twenty essential self-massage and revival techniques
  • Detailed principles of pressure point fighting
  • Comprehensive listing of pressure points in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean along with translations of the names

This is a long-overdue text that is very nicely and clearly illustrated and perfect resource for martial artists interested in point location from both a healing and martial perspective. We would show you a picture of the inside but all it is is a series of extremely comprehensive lists of point correspondences. Definitely a good reference volume.







Martial arts as a health practice: despite popular advertising, martial history shows a varied picture. There were quite a number of styles that , over the long time, were not conducive to health at all (unless of course we count survival as a definite health benefit). On the other hand there have been many great discoveries and methods—proven amazingly beneficial—developed through the long experimental history of the art . Now, due to political and cultural reasons, many folk remedies from China are almost exclusively known in the martial sphere. You sit on an cracked, wobbly stool with the odor of the recently opened linement so strong your eyes are watering and your teacher (or somebody's) is alternately rubbing Hit Medicine into your purple bruise and taking long drags on his ever-present cigarette. There's a lot of yelling as he calls his lunch preferences to a habitually unimpressed wife and you remember...