A simple, well-illustrated introduction to Chinese herbal medicine. While information on self-diagnosis and treatment is included, the material itself makes clear the need for the help of a knowledgeable professional caregiver. Chmelik has studied and practiced in both China and England (he is president of the UK Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine), and he explains the principle underlying the therapies: illness occurs when there is a disharmony or an imbalance of forces in the body. Treatment is based on restoring balance. “The very nature of the Taoist principles on which it is based stresses the oneness of everything, the inseparability of solid matter and energy and the fact that there is a common source of all phenomena and experience.— (In contrast, Chmelik points, out, the allopathic approach, “combats ill-health with drugs that have an oppositional effect.”) Chmelik describes the framework of Chinese herbal medicine: Qi, yin-yang, the five elements, four seasons, 12 organs, and the basics of self-diagnosis. He then describes various health problems,and how they are viewed and treated. Pain, for example, is said to result from blockage of Qi and blood in the meridian channels, causing stagnation. A discussion of herbs, their healing properties, and their use completes this guide. A worthwhile look at health and illness as viewed from a very different frame of reference; but the healing practices themselves are revealed as too complex for self-treatment.