File Name: chinese medicine and healing an illustrated history .zip
It also contributes to a growing corpus of scholarship exploring the way that awareness of and concern with the structure of the body historically shaped Chinese medical thought and practice. It began as a playful challenge between friends: who was the stronger? Then he took strips of bamboo, wrapped them in paper, and placed them around the arm as splints. Finally, he wound a cloth wrapper around the outside of the bamboo strips to fix them firm and tight.
Although the Chinese medical landscape was historically well-peopled with practitioners like the Hus, few such healers prior to the twentieth century left writings that revealed not only what they did in practice, but also how they thought about what they did. Existing histories of Chinese medicine have examined infectious diseases and functional disorders epidemics, plague, beriberi, leprosy, smallpox, madness 2 as well as ailments afflicting specific body parts and populations skin diseases, eye diseases and gynecological and pediatric maladies.
But while Chinese practitioner-authors have amply documented the richness of this healing legacy, we still lack a critical and historically-sensitive account of its development. More broadly, a study of the injured body allows us to reconsider the significance of body structure in the historical development of Chinese medical thought.
Today, TCM is a form of alternate and complementary medicine, primarily focusing on chronic dysfunctions that biomedicine cannot cure. The explanation that developed, which still dominates present-day views, is that Chinese medicine was not actually interested in bodily structure, but rather in the transformations and functions of qi, the material force that underlies and enables all cosmic phenomena.
But the growth of biomedicine-dominated hospitals marginalised Chinese medicine in the treatment of emergencies. To survive as a profession, Chinese doctors were compelled to focus instead on chronic illnesses. To heal injuries, the doctor required not just knowledge of qi transformation, but also knowledge of body structure and how to restore it.
Not only was Hu concerned about damage to bodily structures, but his Compilation shows that this structural body could become the focus of therapeutic and epistemological innovation. Next, I will survey the Hu family medical cases and the way Hu selected from different manual and pharmacological techniques. Finally, I will focus on Hu as a bone setter, with particular attention to his treatment of shoulder and hip dislocations. A special problem was how to treat female patients, given that norms of gender propriety nominally forbade the male doctor to touch the female body.
At the same time, those who had the means would pursue a classical education for their sons. In late imperial China, the practice of medicine was regarded as a technical art, and it did not in itself confer much social or cultural prestige. Not surprisingly, they assigned the greatest prestige to healers who worked with their minds, namely those who drew on their knowledge of cosmological dynamics to compose prescriptions of drugs tailored to each individual patient.
As experts in manual healing, the Hu family would have ranked low on this imagined hierarchy of doctors, but as literate men, they would have enjoyed higher social status relative to other manual healers. In terms of social class, their clients ranged from peasants and labourers to members of the scholarly elite. Hu also notes that he was on close terms with a group of men from his hometown who were working at the Ministry of War. Thanks to these connections, Hu was asked to treat the wife of a ministry clerk when she broke her leg.
In his preface, Hu noted that there was a dearth of specialised texts on the subject. Although Hu said that he was paying the woodcarvers to make the printing blocks, it appears that Compilation never circulated as a printed work. The only known extant versions are two handwritten manuscript copies, held by university libraries in Beijing and Guangzhou.
This suggests that Hu may have indeed started to print the work, but was unable to complete the project. These ranged over topics such as how to wash, dress and bandage wounds; how to set simple and compound fractures; how to anaesthetise patients before carrying out painful procedures; when to needle and when to cut through flesh; how to staunch bleeding and suture injured body parts; and how to promote healing and treat the sequelae of injuries, including what biomedicine would identify as shock and infection.
His compilation strategy was to weave together famous writings on the treatment of injuries, supplementing them with lesser known works as well as his own therapeutic experiences. These represented an unprecedented attempt to elevate the treatment of bone-related injuries into a distinct curriculum within literate medicine.
An important reference was Xue Ji — , a former imperial physician, influential doctrinal innovator, and prolific medical author. Later authors routinely described this work as the earliest specialised treatise on injuries. Xue did not set bones, but would treat patients for complications from fractures.
Besides the works of famous Chinese doctors like Xue Ji, Hu cited teachings from the martial monks of the Shaolin Monastery, treatises by palace doctors of Choseon Korea, and a description of the body written by the Jesuit missionary Adam Schall von Bell — , who had served as Director of the Imperial Observatory under Emperor Shunzhi r.
Besides investigating corpses and skeletal remains, Chinese inquests also assessed the wounds of those who had been assaulted and might be in danger of dying. The official manual thus contained detailed descriptions of wounds and bones that Hu integrated into his Compilation.
In both the body and title of his work, Hu also deliberately employed a new term to describe the knowledge that he had now synthesized. Besides being used by Hu Tingguang, the term also appeared in the work of Qian Xiuchang, a literate specialist in trauma medicine from Shanghai.
Qian completed a text called Supplementing the Essentials of Traumatology Shangke bu yao in Hu laid out his medical curriculum in 12 numbered juan book sections plus two unnumbered sections. The Compilation emphasised both image and text, manual healing and pharmacology, doctrine and practice. These serve as visual references for the work as a whole and correspond to later textual discussions.
The next two juan , numbered 1 and 2, establish the scholarly pedigree of traumatology by presenting learned medical descriptions of the injured body and its treatment, as well as medical and forensic descriptions of the bones. Next, he presents pharmacological remedies oral and topical for treating soft tissue injury and the sequelae of injuries, augmenting these with medical cases from the writings of Xue Ji and other learned doctors.
Starting with the head, face and neck, the discussion then moves through the chest, back, flanks, arms and legs. Here Hu also compares information from forensic works with descriptions in the Golden Mirror. He also adds information about important forms of soft tissue injury, including an entry on cut throats and a discussion of eviscerating injuries.
The remainder of the Compilation is devoted to drugs and formulas. Hu collated the descriptions of individual drugs that Li identified as useful for treating injury, and he arranged them according to the type of injury that they were said to treat. Finally, juan 9 to 12 present a catalogue of formulas organised by type of injury.
Here Hu also incorporates forensic descriptions of different kinds of wounds and how to distinguish between them. This was necessary, he suggested, because existing practitioners relied excessively on proprietary methods developed by their families, with scant knowledge of the properties of drugs or the principles of learned teachers:. Alas, how can this be considered ethical medicine? More important, however, Hu aimed to disseminate bone setting knowledge to a literate audience and to convince educated doctors that it was a worthy pursuit.
These also highlight bone setting, mentioning manual techniques before pharmacological ones:. Many studied medicine as an amateur pursuit, and some even compiled their own anthologies of useful lore. I humbly consider the fact that the hair and skin of our bodies is received from our parents, and we dare not destroy or injure it. People study medicine, and they possess the skills to benefit people, and the desire to benefit the world.
Other medical writers had noted that scholarly doctors tended to look down on manual healing. In addition to conveying this information through diagrams, mnemonic verses, and detailed descriptions of bones and how to treat them, Hu would teach his readers by sharing his own experiences as a healer. Individual doctors or their disciples authored cases to demonstrate their skills or the superiority of certain strategies, while medical learners and seasoned doctors alike read cases to supplement their own store of therapeutic experience.
Almost all these cases involved patients treated by Hu Tingguang 33 cases , by his father 6 cases or by father and son together 1 case.
The remaining two cases involved a person who died after a fall without treatment, and a local butcher who attempted suicide by slitting his own throat and was treated by a government doctor. Notably, he demonstrated for his readers how he himself would improvise and innovate on the basis of existing knowledge. Certain occupations also carried inherent risks: an awning-maker fell from his scaffolding, a bricklayer slipped from a mossy ledge, a military man fell from his horse during a mounted archery test.
To handle these varied situations effectively, the doctor needed to master many different techniques, and he also needed to know which methods were most appropriate in each case. His patient, a girl of 12, had sustained a violent blade wound to the crown of her head, which continually bubbled out blood. Then Hu remembered two manual methods that he had read about for stopping the bleeding from blade wounds: applying a cauterising heat to the wound, and applying a piece of black felt to the wound.
The bleeding then stopped. The bleeding girl was cured by manual methods after drugs failed. The converse dynamic appears in the case of a woman of 60 who dislocated her jaw while yawning. He therefore administered medicinal decoctions designed to bolster qi. In the case of an injured stonemason, Hu employed manual techniques and drugs in tandem, displaying both erudition and inventiveness.
Hu happened to be in the area visiting his relatives. But because he had not brought along any drugs with him, he had to improvise. Once this was ready, Hu began his treatment, starting with physical manipulation of the thumb, followed by application of the paste:.
I counseled the employer to hold the stonemason fast in his arms. Without regard for his pain, I quickly took hold of his finger and rubbed it [back into] a round [shape]. Then while the pepper sugar was hot, I spread it thickly onto the finger and then wrapped it, using cloth to tightly bind it. Thereupon, his pain stopped, and it did not form pus and it did not swell. After ten days, he was healed. Hu answered that it was his own creation, and he rejected the snobbish belief that a drug had to be expensive in order to work well.
His explanation echoed the ideals of the Confucian doctor, simultaneously demonstrating his knowledge of medical literature, his knowledge of pharmacology and his sympathy for the humble:. Now when using medicines in the homes of the common people, the first principle is to select that which is cheap, and the second is to select that which is convenient.
The nature of pepper is acrid and hot. Acrid can dispel, and hot can promote circulation. The flavour of sugar is sweet and cold. Sweetness can soothe pain, and cold can eliminate heat. In general, when people are injured, there are none who do not have stagnant and impeded [blood] causing heat and pain. Although this method was invented by me, it addressed the illness signs, and today we obtained its efficacy.
In explaining the rationale behind this remedy, Hu also referred to a wider realm of practical knowledge, not recorded in books. This was effective because mallow also broke up stagnation and enlivened blood. It seems, in fact, that healers such as Hu were expected to know how to sew up wounds.
Chinese Medicine and Healing is a comprehensive and admirable book on the subject, covering from the pre-Han period BCE to the present-day world. It has been almost two decades since Paul Unschuld published his notable but much criticized individual contribution, Medicine in China: A History of Ideas. This new arrival is much needed and a great improvement, in terms of scope, theoretical sophistication, and scholarship. This declaration sets the tone for the rest of the book, and they deliver on their promise of theoretical clarity and complexity of Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account.
Hinrichs and Linda L. Barnes John Welden bio T. Barnes, editors. Such a monumental task would otherwise exceed the expertise of any single researcher, but since this field has rapidly grown over the last few decades, there are now many temporal, spatial, and intellectual arenas of study being undertaken. Not only is this accomplished, but they also educate the reader on both the variety of practices that fall within the larger sphere of healing and exciting new directions that researchers are currently exploring. The book is organized chronologically, dividing history into periods that are named after dynasties while trying to avoid the temporal limitations associated with their founding and fall. The first chapter examines the Pre-Han period ca.
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A new foreword by Linda L. Linda L. Berkeley: University of California Press. Berkeley: University of California Press, Berkeley: University of California Press;
This book traces the long history of practices and ideas around healing processes in China from the earliest evidence we have found on oracle bones late Shang dynasty, ca. It owes much to the dynamic research undertaken since the s by the Chinese themselves and by international academics over the last four decades. The book illustrates, by its very format, that this dynamism has gone from strength to strength: in addition to comprehensive contributions written by the nine leading international scholars Constance Cook, Vivienne Lo, Fan Ka-wai, TJ Hinrichs, Angela Ki Che Leung, Yi-Li Wu, Bridie Andrews, Volker Scheid, and Linda Barnes, we find more than fifty sidebars written by forty or so outstanding researchers which notably open windows on new fieldwork in such countries as Tanzania, Iraq, and Argentina. It will be of interest to a very wide audience, regardless of their familiarity with China or Chinese medical history. Indeed, each chapter takes great care to provide political, social, and cultural context to the actors, the ideas, and the practices involved in medicine and healing processes.
Alternative Medicine for the Elderly pp Cite as. Acupuncture is a method of treatment that involves the insertion of fine needles in the skin at crucial points believed to be of health significance [1—4]. The term acupuncture is European and was invented by Willem Ten Rhyne a Dutch physician in the early part of the seventeenth century. Acupuncture originated in China more than years ago as part of system of medicine that involves not just the insertion of needles, but in addition employs in addition therapeutic approaches such as moxibustion, cupping, herbal products, tuina and qiquong . It deals not just with medical matters but also with philosophical concepts of the operation of the universe that melded Taoism with concepts of Confucianism.
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The history of medicine shows how societies have changed in their approach to illness and disease from ancient times to the present. Early medical traditions include those of Babylon , China , Egypt and India. Sushruta , from India , introduced the concepts of medical diagnosis and prognosis.
Since receiving her PhD , she studies the history of medicine in late imperial China.
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