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Suggested Reading

The Web that Has No Weaver by Ted Kakptchuk is a thorough introduction to Chinese medicine which is especially helpful for those who would like to learn more and are scientifically minded.

Acupuncture for Everyone by Dr. Ruth Kidson is the first introduction to acupuncture that I read when I began seriously considering studying Chinese medicine. It is clear and easy to read and helps to dispel some of the mystery surrounding Chinese medicine.

The Healing Art of Qi Gong by Master Hong Liu with Paul Perry helped to change the way I saw the world and how I defined medicine and health. Because it chronicles Master Hong Liu's journey into the world of alternative medicine it is fun to read. It also has some mention of research that has been done, and diagrams of simple yet powerful qi gong exercises. It is a wonderful book for someone wanting to begin a self-care practice.

The Healing Promise of Qi by Roger Jahnke is a beautiful text which helped to guide me as I began my meditative practice. It has wonderful diagrams, simple exercises, and steps to follow as you enter the world of Qi. The margins are decorated with relevant calligraphy for those who like symbols and there is a chapter on western research and qi for those who are scientifically minded like me.

The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff are wonderful, fun introductions to Taoist thought process and a great way to start seeing the world from a different point of view. I personally could not set these books down when I was reading them.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan is an eye opening book describing how far our society has gone from eating from the land. I really enjoyed this book because it has sound practical advice and mentions a lot of good research to back his point of view. If you want to improve your diet and live a healthier lifestyle this book is a must in my opinion.

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman reads a little too much like an infomercial for my taste, but his advice is sound and the research mentioned is good. If a healthy diet is not enough for you and you want to prioritize weight loss following Dr. Fuhrman's challenge is a great way to go. I personally would modify his meal plans to remove the processed foods mentioned but his overall formula for eating mostly vegetables is simple effective advice.

Wind in the Blood by Garcia, Sierra, and Balam is an amazing book for those who are curious about the similarities in traditional healing practices around the world. The book highlights the similarities between Mayan and Chinese medicine and so was of particular interest to me since my family comes from El Salvador.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ortiz is a powerful tool for communication. If you are struggling with miscommunications or difficult relationships this is a wonderful tool to help you see things more clearly and objectively and therefore resolve conflicts without getting upset or investing your personal energy.

Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst was recommended to me by my father and is an excellent resource for "growing up." Through the objective lense she introduces you gain a deeper perspective to the steps we all go through in life, in order to better navigate the journey with maturity and wisdom. I especially liked this work because it explained many of the lessons I had come across though mindfullness and Buddhist teachings, but through the lense of psychology.

No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for life by Thich Nhat Hanh was an excellent resouce. It is in my oppinion a must read for anyone facing end-of-life issues, either your own death, or the death of a loved one. Regardless if it is the suffering from a loved one long past, or a fast approaching death Thich Nhat Hanh shares wisdom and perspective that can transform the way you see or approach death and eliminate the suffering that often surrounds it. I especially liked this book because he not only shares philosophy but also gives practical advice that can be done at the death bed, to help the passing of a loved one.

Knocking on Heaven's door by Katie Butler is another wonderful resouce regarding end-of-life issues. This is another book that was very hard to put down. She raises the question, "what is a good death" and takes you through the very different experiences that her father and mother had around passing away. She not only shares the very intimate experience of losing her parents but details the shift our culture has gone through regarding death as technology and medical interventions advanced. Her experience encourages you to be aware of the whole process, so that you can be engaged and empowered rather than getting swept away down a path you would not choose but that is all to common in our society.

The Art of Mindful Living and No Mud, No Lotus: the art of transforming suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh are both wonderful works introducing concepts and simple exercises in mindfulness. They are easy to read, and hard to put down. If you are curious about meditation, but don't know where to start these are excellent resources. No Mud, No Lotus especially so if stress or depression is keeping you from being happy.

Iodine: Why you need it, why you can't live without it by David Brownstein is a great resource for anyone struggling with chronic disease. Most people think Iodine is just for the thyroid, this book explains how every cell in your body requires iodine, and how making sure you have enough can make a huge difference in your search for optimal health.

Salt your way to Health by David Brownstein dispels the dangerous american myth that salt is bad for your blood pressure. This book explains in great detail why a good quality sea salt is necessary for optimal health.