To Err is Human

The first book I published was the Thai Herbal Medicine, which I co-wrote the second edition of with Pierce Salguero. As things went into final edits I asked Pierce, who had published several books already, what to expect in the end process.  Pierce kindly sent me an e-mail with a bullet point list of steps:  Back and forth edits, formatting,  galleys, publishing etc.  The last point on the list said the following:

"Then, just when we're feeling like kings/queens of the world, the very first time we open up the book to use it in our classes or show it to a friend, our eye falls on a glaring typo. Our delusions of self-importance are immediately dashed, and we get a sinking feeling in our gut that this book is full of many more mistakes"

long tail boat northern Thailand

I used to find typos and other errors in books I would read and think "how the heck could this be here?".  Now, having gone through the publishing process twice, I have far more compassion for authors. I understand better just how human, and therefore fallible, the process of creating a book is.  

I have not found too many errors in Thai Herbal Medicine; it was after all, a revision of a previously published version of the book.  It had the advantage of two authors, and what seemed like endless rounds of edits.  Not so with Seven Peppercorns, which publishing industry time frames that I do not really understand necessitated quick edits and a hasty journey to print that my experience with Thai Herbal Medicine did not prepare me for.  

And so, until the time comes when I can do a full revision of Seven Peppercorns: Traditional Thai Medical Theory for Bodyworkers, I offer this page to insure that my lovely readers have accurate information. Please note that the study of Thai medicine is ongoing, which means that in addition to finding mistakes, I will from time to time most likely need to add something here simply because my understanding has evolved.  I will always strive to make sure that the information I share is as accurate as possible. 

Book Corrections for Seven Peppercorns

I'm not worrying about simple typos, just informational errors or omissions.  Check back in the future to see if I have found more to add. 

Page 45 ~ In the verses for removal of disease the first line is missing.  It should start with SAKKATAVA BUDDHARATANAM OSADHAM

Page 90 ~ I really don't know how this map of the wind gates got so messed up.  
 ~ While you can feel the pulse at the temples, this isn't really a wind gate.  
~ Femoral wind gates should be depicted on the upper thighs.  These are the wind gates that most Thai massage therapists first learn if they are taught to do "blood stops".  They are felt in several places on the upper leg, but the swirly image should be on the upper quarter of the thigh slightly medial and just below the inguinal crease. 
 ~ The abdominal wind gate should be centered, not slightly to the left side of the body as shown.

• Page 104 ~ The chart on this page lists the rainy season as being Water element and the cold season as being Wind element.  It should list rainy season as Wind and cold season as Water.  While there is indeed a lot of water during the rainy season, rain is full of movement.  So much so that wind actually dominates, not water.  Plus, if you pay attention to rain storms, you will notice that they are usually preceded and accompanied by a lot of wind. 

Page 128 ~ Nûat Karsai; how this term has plagued me.  My original understanding of it was that it referred to bodywork for the reproductive organs.  Then I was told that this was a misunderstanding and that it actually referred to visceral organ massage in general, inclusive of all organs.  That is the idea that made it into my book.  My current understanding is back to reproductive organs and I have reason to believe this is correct.  Most commonly, male reproductive organs.  There continues to be things to clear up about this though.  These days Nûat Karsai is being taught in western Thai massage circles rather casually.  Due to the extremely intimate nature of the work, and the high potential for it be misused and misinterpreted, it was traditionally only taught privately to select students.  This is why, while I have had training in Nûat Karsai I do not teach it.  The other thing that is happening now is that people are teaching Chi Nei Tsang, a more modern visceral manipulation modality, and calling it Nûat Karsai.  This has led many people to believe that Chi Nei Tsang is Thai.  I like to give credit where credit is due, and so I encourage people to be discerning and try to be clear about what it is that they do.  It is my understanding that credit for Chi Nei Tsang goes to its creator, Mantak Chia.

Page 185 ~ By some magic of goblins the organ point chart that ended up in the book is an image that shows the liver and gallbladder points repeated on the left side of the body where the stomach and spleen points are supposed to be.  This here is the correct point chart. 


Book Corrections for Thai Herbal Medicine

Page 80 ~ The formula for Benjagoon lists galangal as a substitute for sakaan.  The correct substitute is Piper cubeb.  Galanga can also be used to substitute for the Fire element; not as a substitute for plumbago, but as an herb for the Fire element in general