I’m currently reading…

Dan KeownThe Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine by Dan Keown, a book which shows that the acupuncture pathways are simply the fascial pathways and Qi the embryological energy that enables self-organisation.

He’s actually a fully qualified medical doctor who works mainly in Emergency medicine. In 2008 he completed a degree in Chinese medicine and acupuncture from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, and so whenever possible he uses acupressure in the Emergency department, which for me is such a great thing to hear how he mixes the 2 together. 

He became interested quite young in Eastern medicine, and realised that the West had totally misunderstood Qi, and the acupuncture channels, which we called meridians and he feels really misrepresenting their true meaning. Outlining how Qi is far more of an intelligent force than was represented, the intelligence of knowing what should be where, and when it’s strong we can have no disease state. He refers to how similar the fascia and collagen is to the ancient descriptions of the acupuncture channels and Qi, how it creates a web of electricity. Explaining how important and powerful the electricity created in our body can be, and using examples of Becker’s work on salamanders to prove his point and how at some stages in our lives it can even help us to regenerate limbs. A fascinating book, which is humorous, and totally accessible to the lay person, at times he had me laughing, but not at the ridiculousness of anything because what he says makes total sense and is backed up by his clearly extensive medical knowledge.

When he speaks about the power of electricity or Qi he says if medical people were aware they could regenerate limbs then they would have to open up a whole new medical department, which made me laugh wondering what on earth would they call it! But this isn’t just about the children’s fingers regenerating as he points out, he talks in the book about the spleen replacing itself, the liver can almost completely regenerate itself, and I had my tonsils out, its in my medical records, yet the last time my doctor looked I had a set of tonsils!! Does regeneration happen more than we think it can do? It really made me start to think.

Is there mystery behind acupuncture as the sceptics say, not really, he explains it’s not a mystery of acupuncture, it is a mystery of growth,  it’s clearly from the Eastern perspective electrical organising, energy, running in channels, which communicates, and allows us to be communications vehicles, which Western medicine understands as morphogens, and electrical currents running in connective tissue planes. We are highly intelligent communications machines, using energy, and light, and it has intelligence and memory. 

His sense of humour has created some new words, elecQicity, but I don’t like it any where near as much as Spancreas which had me rolling around the floor laughing. Cracking.

When he links the energy in the body and the light it emits, it starts to remind me of Our Return To The Light by Barbara Wren, another book I’ve recently read, and I had the pleasure of talking to Barbara about.  He makes a fascinating point about the channels of Qi in the body and how they end at the finger nails which is where the light emissions tend to be the strongest, a totally fascinating point.

He highlights how modern medicine is effectively catching up with the Chinese doctors of acupuncture, and what they knew, which is that the space between the cells are as important as the cell itself. 

An really interesting book which truly highlights how closely Western and Eastern medicine are at times, written in easily understandable language making it totally accessible to those who don’t have an understanding of acupuncture. Mind you if you have an understanding of Star Wars it will definitely help!

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