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Foreword by Larry Dossey, M.D.
428 pages, Ballantine Books
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"The long awaited masterpiece...this breakthrough book is destined to become the classic reference on body energy and healing." --Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

Learn about:

  • How to integrate Qigong practice with conventional medicine to create an effective program for self-healing.
  • The history and philosophy of qigong.
  • Scientific and experimental evidence that Qigong works and how it works.
  • How to relax, improve sleep, increase vitality, and eliminate stress.
  • Simple methods to correct your posture, achieve balance and grace, and deepen the breath.
  • Easy-to-follow illustrations and descriptions of healing exercises and meditation techniques.
  • The Healing Lifestyle, including diet, sexual health, and emotional healing.
  • Qigong for Arthritis, Cancer, Headaches, Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Heart Disease, and other conditions.
  • Chinese Healing Touch: assessing imbalance and effective methods of treatment. Create a healing presence.
  • Extensive Footnotes, Bibliography, and Resources.


By Kenneth Cohen
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448 pages, Ballantine Books, Hardcover (image shown) or Paperback

Winner of the Best Spiritual Books Award from Spirituality & Health Magazine and First Place Winner, National Health and Wellness Book Award from Books for a Better Life and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

HONORING THE MEDICINE is the major comprehensive work on Native American/ First Nations healing traditions. It was written as much for the general reader who is unfamiliar with American Indian medicine, as for the medicine man and woman or the western physician. Kenneth Cohen has been a teacher and health educator for more than 30 years, and is able to put complex subjects in terms that are easy to understand.

Kenneth Cohen takes a simple, but revolutionary approach to Native American medicine. The book begins by exploring the core principles of Native American medicine: what values make one a whole and happy human being, in harmony with one's family, community, and the natural world? Then there are entire chapters on specific Native American methods of healing, including counseling and massage-- fundamental therapies that no previous author has explored in detail. He offers new interpretations for the roles of humor, prayer, music, herbs, and dreams in healing, and discusses the differences between men's and women's healing gifts.

In each chapter, Cohen explains how Native Americans of various tribes understand healing therapies, how western medicine, psychology, or religion interpret them, and how he understands them, from the vantage point of more than a quarter century of practice. He includes numerous case studies, drawn from his own clients.

Yet, Cohen writes from within the tradition, well aware of what kind of information may not be put on the page-- such as practices that are the private property of individual healers, clans, or tribes.

Today, people throughout the world admire Native American arts, crafts, and literature. Yet America's original healing traditions remain unknown, and most people consider them something of the past, perhaps even extinct. HONORING THE MEDICINE reveals the diversity, richness, continuity, and effectiveness of Native American healing, giving it the place of respect it deserves among the world's great healing traditions.

Cohen shows that Native American healing is not a museum relic, but a living tradition. Also, he does not shy away from examining the effects of colonialism, including the economic and political injustices that continue to threaten Native values, traditions, land, and life. How can we preserve Native peoples' healing wisdom, Cohen asks, without preserving their lands and sovereignty? His book is a call for peaceful activism and justice.

The book is written in an engaging, personal style, with a balance of scholarship, story, and wit. It includes an extensive bibliography, endnotes, and resources.

FYI, A Note from Ken Cohen: The original title of my book was Honoring the Medicine: Principles, Values and Practices of Native American Healing. Did you know that authors rarely have rights over the titles of their books? My publisher decided to keep the title but change the sub-title from Principles, Values and Practices... to "The Complete Guide to Native American Healing." I said, "Oh no you're not. With more than 4.1 million Native Americans divided into more than 700 Nations, there is no such thing as a complete guide. Random House had more meetings and informed me that the sub-title would be "The Comprehensive Guide to Native American Healing." I was irate, "The term 'comprehensive' is offensive to me and to my Native colleagues. Use this subtitle and I will black-list my own book and not participate in your publicity attempts." After more meetings, the publisher decided on "The Essential Guide to Native American Healing." Lest I lose even the main title, I agreed. I interpret the subtitle as "Looking for the Essence" rather than "The Essential Guide-- you must buy this book."

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