The Dynamic Heart and Circulation

Edited by Craig Holdrege

 AWSNA Publications, 2002
$20 (softcover, 151 pages)


Written by doctors, scientists, and teachers, the contributions in this book present a dynamic picture of the circulatory system that both balances and puts into perspective the prevailing one-sided mechanical explanations that dominate science and medical education. High school and medical students today don't usually learn “the heart has functions that can be interpreted in terms of a pressure pump”; rather, they learn “the heart is a pump,” meaning that's all it is. When a metaphor is taken as a fact and becomes the sole lens through which one looks, the richness of reality recedes behind the sharp and narrow focus. One aim of this book is to transcend this narrow view and to begin to restore life to our understanding of the heart and circulation.

This book will fill a long-existing void in the literature. It will stimulate teachers, health professionals, scientists and lay people seeking a dynamic perspective on human physiology that is both detailed and comprehensive.


“This excellent book, easily understandable for most readers, gives us a living picture of the heart... The heart is revealed to be a wonder of biological design that performs many more functions in the human organism than generally understood until now.”

— Ronald Koetzsch, from a book review in Renewal (Spring/Summer 2003)


Preface and Acknowledgments v

1. The Heart: A Pulsing and Perceptive Center  CRAIG HOLDREGE 1

2. The Polarity of Center and Periphery in the Circulatory System  HEINRICH BRETTSCHNEIDER 22

3. The Physiology of Circulation: A Reappraisal  HERMANN LAUBOECK 53

4. A Dynamic Morphology of the Cardiovascular System  WOLFGANG SCHAD 77

5. Patterns in the Evolution of the Heart and Circulatory System  CHRISTIANE LIESCHE 98

6. The Embryonic Development of the Cardiovascular System  MATTHIAS WOERNLE 115
                Preface By Heinrich Brettschneider

Appendix A: Heart Anatomy 144 Appendix B: The Hydraulic Ram 145 About the Authors 146
Glossary 147

Index 149