John R. Cross Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley California, 2008 www.northatlanticbooks.com Paperback, 183 pages, $19.95
(Reviewed by Sara Mokone, EJOM Vol. 6 No. 2)
Summary: ‘A sequel to Healing with the Chakra Energy System, this book combines traditional acupuncture analysis and treatment with the chakra energy system of Ayurvedic philosophy’. The summary of the aims of the book were provided by the author.
The book is divided into four well illustrated chapters. The introduction makes it clear that this is an individual approach, based on years of clinical experience and personal research. He welcomes objective evaluations of his methods.
Chapter one contains a description of the chakra energy system. The concept is introduced that illness may result from unresolved grief or trauma. Emotional causes which reach into the body to be manifested physically at a later stage. The chapter outlines the acupuncture points which can be used to promote balance at each of the defined chakra energy levels.
His writing is flowing and friendly and full of little gems about the links between the emotions and the energy strata.
Chapter two covers his own research into combining the two systems: traditional Chinese medicine and the chakras. It assumes knowledge of the acupuncture meridian system and zang fu, Five Elements and Eight Extra channels.
‘Western trained acupuncturists and those who learn and study symptomatic pain relief have missed out one of the crown jewels of acupuncture: the Law of Five Elements.’
Here he describes how to combine TCM ‘laws’ with the Ayurvedic approach. He mentions how a particular chakra level is dominant during each of the ‘seven ages of man’. Using knowledge of the person’s constitution and age, he suggests ways of balancing the key points of the appropriate major chakra and associated extraordinary meridians.
Chapter three describes a different approach to treating pain conditions using the minor chakras. By this stage you might be reeling with new points to remember in relation to each of the 21 minor chakras and want to find an explanation for how these points have been allocated their significance.
Chapter four deals with the treatment of chronic conditions, for example, a method of treatment for chronic asthma, described on p.134. The description is illustrated and easy to follow: to promote hormone production using the key points of the major chakras combined with the use of the eight extraordinary meridians and Bladder 1.
The reader will be guided by the diagrams, tables and illustrations which, for example, show the links between the endocrine system and the chakras. This is a book for practitioners who want to explore ways of improving the effectiveness of their treatments, and are experienced enough with their own paradigms to try to integrate other systems. It is not for a complete novice.
My one reservation is that in my experience it takes skill and practice to feel the beat of the chakras. The book does not stand alone and requires a course of practical study in this complex area.
John R. Cross has practised and taught orthodox, traditional and complementary medicine for over 30 years. In 2005 he was awarded a fellowship by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, a prestigious award for his work in integrating complementary therapy approaches including acupuncture and reflexology.
This book does go some way to fulfil his stated aim. I would recommend it for those who want to specialise in the healing arts – and have knowledge of oriental medicine theory.
Sara Mokone A registered acupuncturist and chartered physiotherapist, Sara runs a clinic combining acupuncture and physiotherapy. She teaches and practises qi gong and is a tutor for the Taichi Chikung Forum for Health. She has edited a book on acupuncture and related techniques in physical therapy and was a consultant on E. Mackenzie’s ‘Chikung – exercises at the heart of Taichi.’ (Hamlyn 2000.)