Secrets of the Hidden Vessels

Secrets of the Hidden Vessels

Explains how Chinese acupuncture works in terms Western readers can understand

by Fletcher Kovich


The Nei Jing consists of ancient Chinese scripts from different authors and is the foundation of Chinese acupuncture. But several factors make the Nei Jing, and also today’s Chinese medicine, difficult to comprehend.

Parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, parts are metaphorical and not intended to be interpreted literally, and other parts contain contradictory theories, many of which are simply untrue. And in today’s Chinese medicine, these issues are not usually addressed. Instead, Nei Jing content is sometimes modified (in line with today’s physiology) while other parts are selectively quoted. Added to this is the problem that Chinese medicine concepts can seem incomprehensible to Western readers, and all this makes the study of Chinese medicine daunting.

This book tackles these problems by pointing out which parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, metaphorical, or untrue. It clearly identifies the conflicting theories on metabolism and points out which parts are true and which untrue. It points out the content that has been more recently modified within Chinese medicine, so that this no longer causes confusion. Thus, the book presents a Chinese medicine that is more authentic to the Nei Jing. But at the same time, key concepts such as the Chinese medicine organ functions are also clearly explained in relation to contemporary physiology. The book brings an unusual transparency to Chinese medicine, making the whole subject easier to understand.

The subject is also brought up to date by describing the recent “primo vascular system” research, which identifies the anatomical structures that correspond to the meridian system. And the book also analyses contemporary hypotheses on how acupuncture works and offers its own groundbreaking hypothesis.

The book provides students or practitioners with an indispensible guide to properly understanding the Chinese medicine of the Nei Jing. And it also enables Chinese medicine to be explained to patients using terms they can understand.

Fletcher Kovich runs his own Chinese acupuncture practice in the UK.



"The book is fascinating. And from the teaching perspective, it is a great tool to help students understand the organ functions. The book also uses an interesting approach to explain the mental and emotional factors in causing disease, which again will greatly assist in the teaching of this aspect of Chinese medicine."

- Brandon Fuller, Program Chair, East West College of Natural Medicine, Sarasota, Florida.


 “We have come across many books on Chinese Medicine and particularly like this book’s approach of blending the Western and Chinese understanding of the organs, to make it clear that both systems describe the same organs. There is a global paradigm shift in medicine, and the importance of Chinese Medicine in understanding the body and health plays a key role in the West’s acceptance of alternative approaches to healthcare.”

- Sam Patel, Joint Principal, The International College of Oriental Medicine (UK)


Download sample chapters in pdf format


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