Author: Damo Mitchell and Spencer Hill. Artwork by Spencer Hill.
Publish Date: 2016
Publisher: Singing Dragon
Catalog ID: ISBN: 978-1-84819-286-7
The Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine is a compendium of colourful and amusing cartoons, which depict the key clinical syndromes that appear within classical Chinese Medicine. The authors have poured through the literature on Chinese Medicine and Daoist philosophy and have condensed the central themes relevant to clinical practice into a light-hearted and charming format which is at once a pleasure to look at and easy to digest.
Underlying the creative chaos permeating nearly every page, the book’s layout is clearly and logically structured to depict, in the form of a graphic novel, the most important syndromes that affect each of the key Zang Fu organs. Chapter by chapter, you are guided through the fundamental imbalances that affect each of the organs, including the physical symptoms and signs, psychological manifestations, as well as the diagnostic signs found on the pulse and tongue for each disorder.
The cartoons themselves are absolutely wonderful and make the book worth buying in their own right. Each character, whether a patient, hapless onlooker or a sagely healer are depicted as various talking animals. To name a few they include melancholic snakes, an anaemic tigress, insomniac pigs, a snot-ridden dog, robotic cats, a snow snake, talking bananas, an axe wielding zombie and even the authors themselves make an appearance. The storylines of the individual cartoons are as varied as the characters are, and include a temple robbery, mushroom farming, melon venders, turd-throwing monkeys, ghostly visits and balloon rides. In a variety of environments from snowy mountains, through bamboo forests and blazing deserts to dusty libraries, underwater depths and even from the perspective of the internal organs themselves, the authors somehow clearly convey the fundamentals of Chinese Medical syndrome differentiation without completely losing the plot.
This book is mainly a treatise on syndrome differentiation, but for the keen-eyed know-it-all, there can be found various nods to the principles that are used to treat the conditions within the book. Mainly, you can find references to acupuncture points, as well as dietary and herbal formulae that give the cartoons a depth of meaning beyond their educational and entertainment value.
I enjoyed reading this very original book and found it beneficial to my ongoing acupuncture studies. Whether you are interested in Chinese Medicine, or whether you just like opening a book and having your retinas splashed with colour, I would highly recommend giving this book a read.
Dr Seb Smith
Seb Smith has been studying the Daoist arts including Qi Gong and Chinese Medicine since he started medical school in 2007. He is a qualified Qi Gong instructor under Lotus Nei Gong and is a contributor to the Scholar Sage online magazine.