Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Acupressure Atlas by Kolster & Waskowiak, M.D.

book cover

The Acupressure Atlas
by Bernard C. Kolster M.D.
& Astrid Waskowiak M.D.

ISBN-13: 9781594772078
Oversized Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Healing Arts Press
Released: October 2007

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Goodreads (modified):
A fully illustrated and comprehensive reference guide to acupressure.

Trouble sleeping, sensitive stomach, headaches, joint problems, allergies: Sensory ailments such as these have been steadily increasing in Western countries for decades. Acupressure--massage along the body’s meridians in accordance with traditional Chinese medicine--can effectively prevent and treat these disorders, and more. The Acupressure Atlas is a fully illustrated and comprehensive reference guide that demonstrates how acupressure techniques activate and accelerate the body’s self-healing powers to alleviate many health problems, including the common cold.

Acupressure confers a holistic health benefit. It is suited to self-treatment, the treatment of a partner, and the treatment of children. Along with an introduction to the origins and principles of traditional Chinese medicine, The Acupressure Atlas provides the most important basic techniques as well as step-by-step instructions (illustrated in full color) of the practical and specific information needed to put the healing techniques of acupressure at your fingertips.

My Review:
To give a little background, my brother has been trained in acupressure and shiatsu massage. While he was visiting for Christmas this year, we got to talking about that (among other things) and I wondered if acupressure might help the continual stiffness and soreness in my shoulders and upper arms. I tried it, and it helped a lot. I wanted to know more, so I bought this book and have been using it.

I've also used acupressure to relieve a tension headache. Though I've never had really bad PMS cramps, I used the PMS cramps routine (a similar routine is given free on this video) just hours before the cramps would normally start, and I didn't have cramps at all. Very nice. So acupressure does work, though I don't accept the eastern philosophy behind it. The information given in the book about the western medicine ideas about why it works make more sense to me.

The Acupressure Atlas is a layman's guide to acupressure. It tells you how much pressure to use, for how long, and how to find the points and what the various points help with. Full-color pictures showed where the points were and were very useful and easy to use. A woman was used in most of the photographs showing where the various points were, but they also had a naked computer-generated male model (which included a few full frontal nudity shots) showing these points.

This book didn't contain every last acupressure point, but it did contain the great majority of them. In general, the instructions on how to find the points were very clear and finding the points wasn't difficult. However, a few times the instructions would say to massage the points in a certain order yet they gave the directions to find the next point as a certain distance from the point after that one rather than from the point just left. It wasn't difficult to convert the directions using information given elsewhere, but I thought that odd.

The book started with information about acupressure and the eastern philosophy behind it. It then taught the basic techniques of acupressure and went over the main acupressure points on each body section (on the face, top of the head, the neck, the back, etc.). It then covered various routines to use for health issues (sleep problems, headaches & migraines, fatigue, bronchitis & bronchial asthma, sinus ailments, colds & flu, menstrual problems & PMS, urinary tract infections, digestive problems, gastrointestinal problems, motion sickness & nausea, neck pain, back pain/lumbago, tennis elbow, head & neck massage, relaxation exercises, whole-body massage). These were given step-by-step and illustrated so you didn't have to flip around in the book.

In the appendix, the points were listed in sequence by meridian (with information on how to locate them and what they did). There were also skeletal diagrams, meridian diagrams (with all of the points shown on the full, computer-generated male model), and a glossary.

Overall, I'd recommend this book as an excellent guide to acupressure.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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