Senses and sensitivity by John Hicks

04 April 2024 | Review
Emma Scott
Member: Worcestershire
This gem of a book – Senses and sensitivity: The ‘doing’ of Five Element constitutional acupuncture – brings together all of John Hicks’s handouts, developed over the years, for the Five Element Skills module taught at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine.

Visually appealing and highly accessible, this is a very practical and informative guide to diagnosing the causative factor within five element acupuncture. Framed around anecdotes, this book is a useful tool which is organised under the four aspects of diagnosis – colour, sound, odour and emotion.

Presented in an easy-to-read format, this compact guide is simple to navigate and peppered throughout with warm-hearted anecdotes. From observing colour on the tube, to eavesdropping in a café! I especially enjoyed hearing stories about observations of JR Worsley whilst in practice.

John Hicks Senses And Sensitivity Book Cover

Perfect for students – or for more experienced practitioners who might want to fine-tune their diagnostic skills and knowledge – John Hicks provides many different strategies to practise, develop and explore. The skills required are broken down into easy-to-understand stages. And there are useful diagrams and tables summarising key points.

For example in chapter 8 ‘Testing Fire’, the reader is given a list of exercises with which to develop their skills. Whether it is making a list of joyful words, practising using joy and sadness in yourself, or being alert for the descent from joy into sadness, there is a great bank of ideas from which to choose. This format is repeated and relevant for each of the five elements.

In my role of supervisor, I particularly liked the positive and supportive messages to share with students such as, Ask yourself how well you are doing rather than asking how badly you are doing. An important message when so often we focus on what we can’t do rather than celebrate what we can.

This book was a pleasure to read with its aesthetically beautiful images – I’m sure I recognised the fabulous Danny Blythe doing qigong? It will be a great addition to your acupuncture toolkit – highly recommended!

Senses and sensitivity: The ‘doing’ of Five Element constitutional acupuncture is published by Laughing Water Press