The Great Intent

The Great Intent: Acupuncture Odes, Songs and Rhymes by [Richard Bertschinger, Harriet E J Lewars]Songs and rhymes have been used by physicians for centuries in China as a means of memorising and passing on methods of practice and behaviour, moral attitudes, effective points, diagnostic tips and rules of thumb. These newly translated poems offer a rich insight into the life and thought of these skilled doctors, as well as practical indications for treatment. Contemporary acupuncturists can see from these poems the depths of the tradition, better understand a breadth of diagnostic skills and treatment planning, and as a result greatly improve their appreciation of intent within their own practice. The poems also serve as a gentle introduction to the philosophy behind acupuncture practice.  £24.99 Click here to buy on Amazon.

This is the first translation of these acupuncture odes, songs and rhymes from the Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion compiled by the Chinese physician Yang Jizhou during late Ming China. The book includes a comprehensive introduction that places the work in historical, cultural, and medical context, a symptom index, a point index glossary and a list of helpful points for common signs and symptoms encountered in acupuncture and physiotherapy clinics.


‘It is a difficult job to read traditional Chinese medical canons in the classical style – even for the young Chinese – but an exceptional translation into English can miraculously benefit scholars worldwide who wish to study the real ancient meaning of Chinese medicine. Richard Bertschinger’s The Great Intent is such a book.’Professor Dr Bo-Ying Ma, MD, MA, PhD, FRSM, Chairman of the Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, UK

The Great Intent by Richard Bertschinger truly demonstrates that the Chinese acupuncturists were much more adept at using language to aid learning when compared to the simple mnemonics and acronyms used in Western medicine. This unique book would be of great interest to experienced acupuncturists wishing to understand more about the complexities of traditional assessment, diagnosis and treatment.’ Helen Oakes, Clinical Editor of the Journal of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists.

‘If you love Chinese medicine, read this book. You will actually feel that you are part of a centuries-old tradition. In a way, it’s a bit like having the handouts from a Ming dynasty college. But it’s more… Richard, in a labour of love, conveys across centuries some of that ineffable “stuff” called wisdom.’ john Hicks, Joint Principal and co-Founder of the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine.

‘The heritage of the ancient Chinese masters has made its way down to us via the written and the oral traditions, the latter partly in the form of songs and Odes. Richard Bertschinger had the inspiration of translating for the Western world Yang Jizhou’s written collection of these odes. The Great Intent is an absolute must for any practitioner of Classical acupuncture.’ Dr Hamid Montakab, Swiss author of Acupuncture  for Insomnia .