Acupuncture Today and in Ancient China


by Fletcher Kovich


Acupuncture Today and in Ancient ChinaChinese acupuncture is a mixture of ideas from ancient Chinese scripts (the Nei Jing) and from the 1970’s reinterpretation of the Nei Jing. Parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, parts are metaphorical, and parts are based on theories that are simply untrue. However, this is not usually acknowledged and instead the Nei Jing is only selectively quoted and presented as though it were all factual. This has produced a medical system that is notoriously difficult for Westerners to understand, has no scientific basis, and is at odds with today’s physiology.

This book resolves all these issues by analysing the Nei Jing theories on metabolism, organ function, physiology, and the five phase theory; and clearly explaining which parts of these ideas are fact based and which untrue. The valuable, fact-based elements of the Nei Jing are then related to today’s physiology, so that the overlap can be clearly seen.

This approach enables students to readily understand Nei Jing metabolism and physiology; to appreciate the valuable, fact-based elements of Chinese medicine; and to understand how to apply these in clinic. This also makes it possible to clearly communicate about Chinese acupuncture to Western patients, which was previously a considerable challenge.

The book also analyses recent scientific ideas on how acupuncture may work, and describes its own “intelligent tissue” hypothesis. This groundbreaking hypothesis is supported by objective experimental data and provides a lucid and plausible explanation of what the meridians are, what acupuncture is; and it also clearly describes the mechanism that enables acupuncture to correct organ malfunctions.

The book is an updated and expanded edition of the author’s previous book: Secrets of the Hidden Vessels.

Fletcher Kovich runs his own Chinese acupuncture practice in the UK.


"The book is fascinating. It gives great insights into the organ functions and also uses an interesting approach to explain the mental and emotional factors in causing disease. My students find the book indispensable."
- Brandon Fuller, Acupuncture Chair, East West College of Natural Medicine, Sarasota, Florida.

“The book is an excellent alternative to the Maciocia textbook, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, and my students find it very useful in their studies.”
- Fanyi Meng, Programme leader, BSc Acupuncture course, Lincoln College, UK.

“We have come across many books on Chinese Medicine and particularly like this book’s approach of blending the Western and Chinese understanding of the organs, to make it clear that both systems describe the same organs.”
- Sam Patel, Joint Principal, The International College of Oriental Medicine (UK)

Some purchase options


United Kingdom

Further reading

Articles and essays on Tractional Chinese Medicine.

Recent acupuncture research.