The Tao of Trauma: A Practitioner’s Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment

By Alaine D. Duncan with Kathy L. Kain. North Atlantic Books, 2019. 352 pages. $21.95/paperback; $14.99/eBook.

This book is intended for use by clinicians of various types in treating trauma survivors. It demonstrates how Eastern medicine (Acupuncture and Asian Medicine, or AAM) works together with Western clinical practice. The goal of treatment is “restoring balance and regulation in survivors of traumatic stress.” Recovery benefits patients, their families, and the surrounding communities. Trauma has an unwanted legacy that manifests in disruptions such as physical illness and behavioral problems. This book’s approach begins with the body and moves into the mind; trauma continues to live in “tissue memory” even when talk therapy addresses it. The text eloquently states: “Expressions of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit exist as a coherent whole; restoring balance and regulation in any one of these dimensions informs all dimensions.” This book contains text with illustrations, appendices, endnotes, and an index so that it is an effective guide for practitioners.

Alaine Duncan also wrote a related article, “Courageously Faithful: Bringing Peace to War,” about her acupuncture work with veterans. An adaptation of her plenary talk at the 2008 FGC Gathering, this article was published in the November 2008 issue of Friends Journal.

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