REVIEW:The Acupuncture Response
McGraw Hill; 2001
By Glenn Rothfeld, MD
Reviewed by Amelia Lynn Dolson, MD
As physician acupuncturists, we face a continual challenge in the evolution
of medicine bridging the gap. Dr Glenn Rothfeld provides
a very practical tool for this endeavor with his latest book. While
directed toward patients, it will also prove useful in helping other
physicians and medical students understand what the excitement is all
The book begins with Rothfelds own journey to acupuncture, which
will appeal to those rooted in Western medicine. The 2nd chapter has
a clear description of Qi, Yin-Yang balance, the Five Elements, internal
and external causes of disease, and an introduction to the meridian
channels. The 3rd chapter describes the theories of how acupuncture
works from a Western perspective as well as the challenges of doing
so. The 4th chapter describes specific acupuncture techniques that patients
may experience as well as adjuncts such as Chinese Herbal Medicine,
Qi Gong, meditation, massage, acupressure, and right living.
While the book somewhat favors the Five Element paradigm, the discussions
are aimed at helping patients understand that their acupuncturist may
approach the same problem in a variety of perfectly valid ways.
Half of the book is devoted to a more detailed discussion of each of
the Five Elements. Included in this section are the familiar metaphors,
a description of the energy of that element in health and disease, in
balance and out of balance, and treatment approaches. Specific ailments
commonly associated with that element are discussed from both a Western
and acupuncture perspective. I especially appreciated the gentle discussions
of the spiritual aspects of the elements. Four or 5 acupuncture points
pertinent to the element are described to give some understanding of
how points are chosen for treatment, without overwhelming the reader.
The positive, healthy aspects and unique strengths of each element are
emphasized. Specific self-care advice is given relative to each of the
The elemental section is followed by a chapter describing the integration
of acupuncture into Western medicine including success stories in major
U.S. hospitals, cost and insurance issues, acupuncturist qualifications,
with specific information by state, how to find an acupuncturist, what
to expect on a 1st visit, and treatment protocols. A brief final chapter
shows the reader a glimpse of the future of medicine with a futurist
case study involving a physician who is knowledgeable about energy medicine.
Finally, an appendix provides resource information.
Specific studies are cited in pertinent sections, providing a strong
scientific reference; this book also helps the reader see the rational
within the intuitive. I especially enjoyed the artful interweaving of
the physical, energetic, and spiritual dimensions of each of the elements.
The natural juxtaposition of allopathic and Chinese medicine physiology
will also help win over the reluctant. The self-care homework assignments
clearly enlist the patient in his or her own health care.
I highly recommend this book. It is sure to become a favorite for acupuncturists
to give to new patients and non-acupuncturist colleagues alike.
Dr Amelia Lynn Dolson is a Pathologist in private practice in Tallahassee,
Florida. Dr Dolson is Board-certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
Amelia Lynn Dolson, MD
1899 Eider Ct
Tallahassee, FL 32308-4389
Phone: 850-878-5143 Fax: 850-942-6622