Chinese Medical Characters 2: Acupoint Vocabulary
This volume continues the style of presentation in Volume One, featuring the root vocabulary of acupoints and their function within the conceptual system of Chinese medicine. The format of the second volume is the same as that of the first. Each of the 100 characters is introduced in its simplified and complex forms with significs and stroke counts for both forms. The most commonly used equivalents of the characters are also shown. Further descriptions give the composition of the character, explain the evolution of its meanings, and give examples of character combinations. A final section sets out the stroke sequence for the character and includes space for students to practice writing the characters. The Chinese name reflects a point's location, function, yin-yang and five-phase affiliation, or relationship to the channel system. Thus they tell students someting about the clinical utlization of the point, or provide a mnemonic key to important features of its use. For all acupuncture points, a literal translation of the point name is given. For easy review purposes, an appendix contains a systematic list of channel point names which are exclusively comprised of characters introduced in this book and in Volume One. When you have mastered these two books, you will be amazed at how many point names you can read!
People propose ideas about Chinese medical language that are not justified by the facts. Among these myths is the idea that Chinese medical language is so "fuzzy," with so many variable meanings that it cannot be translated without the intervention of someone with very special qualities. This is not the case. See this very interesting comparison which contains the entire Chinese text of Ten Lectures on the Use of Chinese Formulas by Professor Jiao Shu-de. This comparison color-codes every character that you will learn how to read in each of the "Chinese Character" books. What it demonstrates is that with a relatively small vocabulary, and a reasonable understanding of Chinese grammar, you can read very useful information in Chinese. Clearly, this level of knowledge does not make you a translator or an expert on the linguistics of the Chinese language. However, it does give you access to information that you might otherwise depend upon others to provide. The comparison file is very large (167 pages)