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Traditional Chinese Medicine Essay

2720 words - 11 pages

Traditional Chinese medicine is a series of different medical practices that have been influenced and promoted throughout china’s history based on cultural or religious beliefs about the inner workings of the human body and the world around us. Much of the field lacks a purely scientific basis for its effectiveness, but it is often cited as being insightful or even helpful in most modern day scientific journals. Additionally while new medical technologies have continued to be introduced into the Chinese public overtime, the overall usage of traditional chines medicine and the cultural beliefs connected to it still remain a huge part of Chinese society as a whole. Because of this analyzing ...view middle of the document...

Additionally archeological finds have unearthed a near 10,000 character manuscript dated to the han dynasties in 168 bc called the “recipes of 52 ailments” which is believed to contain many of the oldest records of Chinese medicine that future medical techniques may have partially based on(Dunas).These manuscripts list around 53 different diseases and ailments, such as warts, snake bites and swellings, and provides pages worth of information on how to treat them. They also contained some less scientific beliefs about human diseases, such as the belief that, teachings on how to perform exorcisms for the sake of health as well (Dunas).
Huang Di Nei Jing
It wasn’t until much later in the year 475 that more concrete and established ideas of medicine came into being in china. Around this time a series of famous texts came into being, called the Huangdi Neijing(otherwise known as the Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon). These texts, which were traditionally separated into two separate 91 chapter parts, centered around a dialogue between china’s yellow emperor(a past emperor of china credited for building the foundation of the china country) and two medical advisors named qi bo and Shàoyú(Dunas). Throughout the dialogue the three of them discusses ideological/world view concepts based on what is currently encompassed in modern Chinese doasnism, and related that to how a person could analyses and treat disease in the human body(Dunas).
For example some concepts that were discussed were the famous beliefs of “yin and yang”, the “5 elements” and the inner life force known as “qi”. In addition the texts also introduced the idea of using more specialized diagnostic techniques, as well as examles of the etiology of disease and acupuncture.
The dialogue also set itself apart from past medical texts like the 53 ailments, by dismissing beliefs that disease could somehow be related to the influence of evil spirits. Instead it set the groundwork for a belief that disease was caused by a series of imbalances in the human body, which would need to be rebalanced again to make a person healthy again.
Influences of the inner cannon on Chinese medicine
Due to the influence of the yellow emperor’s inner cannon, which became widely prominent due to the yellow emperors status as a national hero in china, most traditional Chinese medicine texts/ideologies afterwards built their worldviews and ideals based on what the yellow emperors inner cannon had already established. In some cases several texts such as two called the Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and Miscellaneous Illnesses and Canon of Problems, added new elements drug use or increased focus on acupuncture, and other ideological concepts, but for the most part it stayed the same. Additionally modern Chinese governments have often emphasized the importance of traditional Chinese medicine because of its cultural value and ability to promote natural pride in the country, cementing its status as a major proponent of the...

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