Dynamic Chiropractic - December 17, 1993, Volume 11, Issue 26

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Book Review

Title: Atlas of Chiropractic Techniques

Author: Drs. Thomas Bergmann, David Peterson, Dana Lawrence Category: Doctor Education Publisher: Churchill Livingstone Publication: Hardcover book, 803 pages

What could be more important than your technique? There are scores of them in our profession. The Atlas of Chiropractic Techniques is a thorough and complex compendium. The authors have attempted to document and explain hundreds of adjustments that are usually learned by word-of-mouth. They explain the anatomy, physiology, and rationale of these adjustments. They also support the explanations with extensive references from the literature making, this a scholarly tome.

A textbook such as this is a welcome addition. Students in the future will have the benefit of a single volume from which they can study adjusting techniques. The 803 pages are divided into seven chapters, appendices, and an index. The chapters are titled, General Overview of the Chiropractic Profession, Joint Anatomy and Basic Biomechanics, Joint Assessment Principles and Procedures, Principles of Adjustive Technique, The Spine, Extraspinal Techniques, and Research and Validation. This will be very valuable to the student and will serve as a reference textbook for academics. The value to the practicing doctor is somewhat less. Much of the text is theoretical, scientific, and the adjustive techniques seem basic. The clinician who will love this book will be the one who loves studying the diagrams with force vectors, exact contact points, and gets excited studying biomechanics.

Thomas F. Bergmann, DC, is a member of the clinic faculty of Northwestern College of Chiropractic and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Chiropractic Technique. David H. Peterson, DC, is associate professor at Western States Chiropractic College. Dana J. Lawrence, DC, is professor at National College of Chiropractic and editor of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. This is certainly a very qualified trio to have written a textbook like this. Their academic affiliations are obvious when perusing the book. Chapter 3, for example, has 310 footnoted references.

This is a very high quality textbook. It is expensive at $149.95. However, if you break down the cost based on how much information is contained and how much research and work went into writing it, the value is equal to the price.

I am pleased to report that this book, with its scholarly tone, will be a classic. It does elevate the reputation of the entire profession. The old adage is true that if it is not written down, it does not exist. The authors have successfully documented in a very scientific and professional manner what was once just hearsay and anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of chiropractic.

Eggleston Rating: 8


Title: Acupuncture, Meridian Theory, and Acupuncture Points Category: Doctor education Author: Li Ding Publisher: Pacific View Press 3011 Action Berkeley, CA 94702 (510) 849-4213 Publication: 413 pages, hardcover

Editor's note: This was one of two books Dr. Steven Eggleston reviewed in the September 12, 1993 issue. He noted then that although he has referred patients for acupuncture with excellent results, he had little knowledge of acupuncture. Dr. Eggleston invited a review of the book by someone with a greater understanding of acupuncture. Stephen R. Gunter, DC, took the challenge and now gives us his review:

As a Westerner studying Eastern medicine, it has been noted that the Chinese perception of the body as an "event" rather than an "object" contributes greatly to the misunderstandings which have plagued previous authors and translators of acupuncture texts. Early writings were in fact often translations from Chinese pictograms to French, and ultimately to English.

The result was a characteristically Western attempt to organize the more than 400 acupoints by numbering them along their "meridian," or channel. This method facilitates memorization of the points by virtue of their coordinates on a chart, but implies nothing of the relative indications for their selection, nor the anatomical landmarks which aid in their clinical location.

These two faults are admirably addressed with this recent contribution to the literature. By providing the conceptual meaning behind the pictogram, along with the familiar point numbers, the author moves us from a "wide angle" view to a close-up, and back again to wide angle, now with renewed understanding.

No mere cookbook of needling prescriptions, this text is perhaps the most important second book on your acupuncture reading list. The illustrations are unusual in their break with tradition, but adequate in their performance; charts and tables are kept to a minimum.

Rating: 9

Stephen R. Gunter, DC
Sunnyvale, California