The Barefoot Doctor's Liberation
, as its sub-title suggests, claims to be "the perfect holistic antidote to stress, depression and other unhealthy states of mind". It is a delightful paradox of our culture that we are increasingly sceptical of anything supernatural while we are, at the same time, increasingly fond of bizarre therapies, fortune telling, astrology and New Age religion. There seems to be an inverse proportion in the relationship between the decline of traditional religion and the growth of alternative beliefs. So popes and archbishops must fall, but a Buddhist, Taoist Shaman calling himself the Barefoot Doctor seems to be perfectly normal and acceptable. You might come to this book with this view, but you'll be won over in the end.
The Barefoot Doctor writes well in a punchy, funny and easy style. In 54 short chapters he tells us how to be liberated from all that troubles us from cynicism to cosmic suffering. Happily, even though he clearly believes in his wacky cures, the Barefoot Doctor doesn't take himself too seriously. His approach is to mix a dollop of common sense advice with a big portion of Eastern theories about the soul-body relationship. Deep breathing, positive thinking and a sensible approach to diet and exercise are combined with advice on how to "warm your liver", to defeat depression and how to motivate your spleen to conquer anger problems. There's some acu-pressure stuff thrown in as well as some moderate massage and reflexology. This is a fun book with a lightweight inspirational self-help message. As the author himself says, take it all with a pinch of salt and it might do you some good. --Dwight Longenecker
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Barefoot Doctor is the modern day equivalent of a nomadic healer (but he's also got) enough charm and humour to make palatable at least some of the pseudospiritual psychobabble his vocation involves" DAILY TELEGRAPH
"A charismatic figure with a calming way (of helping his charges) … one to catch." TIME OUT
"(After one hour of healing), the sense of lifted spirits and serenity is overwhelming" VOGUE