"Our immune systems — our innate ability to defend ourselves against disorder and disease — are slowly being weakened by the ongoing devastation of our planet's delicate ecosystems and by the tens of thousands of chemical pollutants contaminating our air, food, and water, as well as lifestyle changes that are affecting our emotional and psychic well-being," write herbalist and acupuncturist Jason Elias and co-author Katherine Ketcham. In this accessible resource, they show how ancient medicine can combat a variety of modern maladies.

The Chinese believe that the five elements govern the physical, emotional, and spiritual existence of human beings and that an excess or deficiency in any one of these forces can have a major impact on physical health and emotional well-being. Elias and Ketcham present a questionnaire to help readers determine their type. They then examine the five elements of self-healing — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — and give specific advice on stress reduction techniques, dietary changes, exercise regimens, Chinese and Western herbs, nutritional supplements, and acupoints. The second section of the book targets the causes, symptoms, and treatment of immune system disorders including colds and flus, allergies, asthma, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema and psoriasis, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.