November 4, 2009

Four Paws Five Directions

by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM

Our book review this month is on a book which encompasses Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, Acupressure, & Food therapies. Four Paws Five Directions delves into the world of Chinese Medicine, simplifying this complex practice of preventative healthcare. The book was published ten years ago and has been a mainstay in our office here since The Honest Kitchen’s inception four years ago.

TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine can be a bit daunting at first, especially in a Western world where preventive modalities are not frequently used in the conventional Western medical approach. The book’s outline covers Chinese Medicine theory – complete with an explanation of Meridians and the Five Elements, which are important in recognizing imbalances in the patient’s constitution. Dr. Schwartz then goes through Diagnosis, Treatment; with each body system explained, and a List of Plates. These plates correspond to Meridians and Acupressure points. Personally, I appreciated the photos of her dog & cat models used for the plate depictions, as they were achieved through an obviously gentle and ultra-humane approach – with a cat shown batting a ball of string to show the underbelly. And although the terminology is extensive, Dr. Schwartz breaks down each philosophy as well as giving examples from canine and feline patients she has treated herself. With clear, uncomplicated strategies to diet and acupressure, you can assess the constitution of your dog or cat, and apply these at home.

We should also mention that The Honest Kitchen does not endorse a book with the intent of anything other than sharing our experiences and knowledge of publications that have made an impact in our lives, or those of our four-legged friends.

For a list of additional recommended readings please click here!