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Between Heaven and Earth

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  941 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Two of the foremost American educators and healers in the Chinese medical profession demystify Chinese medicine's centuries-old approach to health. Combining Eastern traditions with Western sensibilities in a unique blend that is relevant today, Between Heaven and Earth opens the door to a vast storehouse of knowledge that bridges the gap between mind and body, theory and ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 30th 1992 by Ballantine Books (first published 1991)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  941 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackson Burnett
The first half of this book explains traditional Chinese medicine in language those of us from the West understand. It's fascinating and helpful. The second half of the book deals primarily with herbs and foods used to restore balance. It was not easy to understand and was more than I wanted to know.
Craig Karls
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clear concise introduction to Chinese Medicine.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
Very excellent overview of TCM. That being said, I don't think I am ready to understand TCM philosophy despite feeling eastern philosophy in general. I think both approaches have much to offer, but I have a hard time getting over things like diabetes being caused by insufficient water. That's not to say Allopathic medicine doesn't have its hang ups, I think both systems need some serious introspection/change.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent for those who know little about Chinese Medicine and those who have been studying it for years! Helpful for practitioners to explain to their patients/clients as well. A very good read for anyone! I am always referencing this book!
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a good general overview of traditional Oriental Medicine. I'd recommend it for someone starting out with very little to no knowledge. There are better books if you want more details.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful book was recommended to me by my acupuncturist. Unlike many books on Chinese medicine that I've skimmed over the years, this book helped me tremendously in making sense of TCM. The author explains a rather complex framework in a clear and practical way. What I learned from reading this book has helped me change some habits and significantly improve my health. While TCM is quite complex, I feel more engaged in discussing my health with my acupuncturist, now that I have a better bas ...more
Oct 26, 2010 marked it as unfinished-for-now
Loving it so far. Makes fantastic sense: Western philosophy of medicine viewing the body as a machine/doctor as mechanic vs. Eastern philosophy of body as a garden/doctor as gardener (issuing more preventative care as opposed to reactionary solutions).
Dec 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Interesting subject poorly executed.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Found this book very helpful due to all the allergies and things I tend to be allergic to. This provided me with an alternative view to my own health.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you want an overgeneralization of Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbal recommendations that are likewise overgeneralized, this is the book for you. Overly psychology-based approach to serious physical health problems. It introduces the concepts of Yin and Yang, and of the Five Elements, but that's the only good takeaway. And I suspect even that might not have been explained properly.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Loved the intro and all the theory, but the rest of the book got kinda confusing and muddy for me.
Sarah Kerr
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book for those wanting to learn more about TCM. Very understandable
Kriss A Erickson
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Between Heaven and Earth is a well-written, clear exploration of the Chinese Five Element theory as it is applied to the body's systems, to acupuncture, herbs and the overall balance and health of the body/mind/spirit.

Beinfield and Korngold write passionately about the energy systems of the body and how to understand the elements to keep your body in balance. They see stress and other energetic factors as the core cause of illness. As such, the better we are able to understand how our bodies res
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this while in massage school. It was required reading for our Oriental Massage course, but I found it enthralling. It describes the basics of traditional Chinese medicine, teaching about the 5 element theory of illness and also teaching the basic meridians used in acupuncture and acupressure. It not only teaches the elements of Chinese medicine, it explains why these elements are used. It pulls from traditional Chinese texts as well as modern scientific discoveries. After reading it, I fe ...more
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is widely appreciated by anyone wanting to learn about Chinese Medicine. It's written by the first Westerners to bring acupuncture to the West, and it beautifully explains principles in language that is clear and easy to understand. It also explains the differences between Chinese and Western medicine very well. Though I have read it, it's really a great book to go back and reference. I could read it many times over and keep learning.
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Chinese Medicine, or personality types
Recommended to Lorena by: Shauna Broderick
This is a good introduction to Chinese medicine. It includes the physiological sides of the Five Phases (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water), as well as the psychological side. The personality links with the Five phases was my favorite part of the book. The physiological side was harder to understand, but still worth reading.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Using I-ching and elements with yin yang theory. It is an interesting and knowledgeable read.
I haven't yet fully read it myself, but I use it frequently for references when I look up information on herbs and remedies.
Fascinating and approachable introduction to five-phase theory. I really enjoy this type of thing because it is a new theoretical framework for understanding nature, the human psyche, health, etc. and the interactions between these things.
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Marcia
Recommended to Nicole by: Julia Thie-acupuncturist
I started getting acupuncture and wanted to know "HOW" it works, this book is informative and easy to understand. Western medicine can't hold a candle to what other cultures have to offer concerning health and healing.
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: chinese-medicine
Dense, and in some cases big question marks about intuitive leaps I'm not 100% on board with. But for people who have been trained in Five Element Theory it is thought-provoking. Not a book I love to return to.
Apr 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in acupuncture, how Traditional Chinese Medicine "works"
This books is an accessible look at the philosophy and history behind Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) without getting too complex and detailed. However, do not stop with this one. Use this book to get the general ideas down, and then move on to The Web That Has No Weaver or any TCM textbook.
Amy Sedgwick
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive guide to Chinese medicine

Nice narrative. Breaks down complexities of 5 element theory nicely. Really liked the contrast and interplay between Western and Eastern medicine and how these two approaches can co mingle to support health. Very good .
This book gave me a better background into how acupuncturists work and the systems they use.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book on Acupuncture, also has a wonderful section on acupressure first aid!
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Good intro to TCM. Very helpful, recommended by my accupuncturist as a primer.
Oct 20, 2009 added it
A great introduction to Chinese Medicine
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to Chinese medicine. I haven't read it cover to cover yet, just sections.
Ya-Ling Liou
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
informs a large part of my clinical thinking
a great window into the world of Eastern medicine.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating stuff. Recommended by my acupuncturist.
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