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Acupuncture for Headaches, Eyes and ENT Pathologies

by Hamid Montakab MD

listed in acupuncture

[Image: Acupuncture for Headaches, Eyes and ENT Pathologies]


When I review any book, the two criteria are a) Does it fulfil what it says on the front cover and b) Would I have been proud to have written it myself! In the case of this book, both are a resounding YES! It is a great book. There are some minor reservations that I’ll outline later.

This book will become a classic of traditional Oriental medicine as it’s the first book of its kind to look at all head conditions, including allergic rhinitis, from a traditional Classical medicine and not from a Western medicine angle. Dr Montakab can be proud of this tome – it shows his wealth of knowledge that others can only dream of attaining. He has, after all, been involved in acupuncture practice, research and teaching all his professional life. He was drawn to write about head conditions because of the headaches and migraine he suffered as a child and how these were helped with acupuncture.

The book is in four sections 1. Head Energetics 2. Physiopathology, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Principles 3. Acupuncture points of the head and 4. Classification and Treatment. There is also a very useful appendix outlining the various meridian pathways. To the joy of many practitioners there are 44 examples of Case Histories to embellish the practical nature of the approaches. Head Energetics discuss the many aspects of chi flow and not just single meridian imbalance. He uses a Continental type of traditional acupuncture based upon the Six Chious, Divergent meridians, Barrier and Luo points as well as the ‘sinew’ or superficial meridians. Diagnosis is purely by patient symptoms and nothing is mentioned about tongue, pulse, abdominal or any other form of traditional diagnosis or analysis. I was very pleased that he discussed in detail the eight extraordinary meridians and their use in head conditions – eye opening! The fourth section covers every imaginable head condition that you would wish to know about. These include conditions of the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and throat, speech, skin and teeth. The book provides a wealth of information. There is an excellent Index of Symptoms and Treatments which makes for easy reference.

Each condition is discussed with phenomenal detail. I was particularly impressed with the treatment of scores of individual conditions of each part of the head and how the minutia of each symptom was given a different aetiology based on Zang-Fu. 

Let me say, loud and clear, that this is not a textbook for the acupuncture student or newly qualified acupuncturist. And, not wishing to be patronizing in any way, it is not an ideal read for medical acupuncturists who concentrate on pain relief and the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions based upon scientific research and have little knowledge of the traditional aspects of this wonderful form of medicine. The author does, however, quote a few research-based articles at the end of each of the individual Section 4 chapters.

Even though this is a great book, there are two issues with it that I need to address as it should be incumbent on all reviewers to be honest about what they see as flaws. Firstly, in 1997 the World Health Organisation standardized acupuncture nomenclature in order that we all talked and wrote the same language. Surely a practitioner with the vast knowledge of acupuncture should know of this, and yet many of the meridian abbreviations were not as they should be according to the WHO. Secondly, this is a £40 hardback; whether it will eventually be presented as an affordable soft back or Kindle edition I have no way of knowing but the publishers should be aware of this. Finally, this book cries out to have colour illustrations in order that the excellent line diagrams can be interpreted in a clearer way. The black and white (with several shades of grey) is not good enough in such a prestigious book. Some diagrams had 4 different shades of grey making it almost impossible to distinguish one energy line from another.

These, though, are minor irritations and the reader should not be detracted by these. I would thoroughly recommend this book for your bookshelves. 

About the Author

Hamid Montakab MD has been teaching and practicing as an acupuncturist for 45 years. He is also a lecturer and teaches internationally at postgraduate level. He lives in Saviese, Switzerland.

Further Information

Available from Singing Dragon and

John R Cross
Singing Dragon
£40 / $44.99

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