Medicine through time

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Chinese Medicine

Medicine in China was quite different to that in the Islamic empire or Europe. Chinese medicine was based upon different beliefs and the culture within China led to medicine being developed in a totally different manner.

China was isolated from the outside world both geographically and culturally. Contact was limited to trading caravans which traveled along the silk road. Ideas from Europe and the teachings of philosophers did not therefore have a major impact upon the medical practices of the Chinese.

Chinese medicine was based on energy. They looked at the balance of energy and exhaustion and tried to seek out ways of balancing harmful influences with beneficial influences.

One of the major Chinese medical theories was that of Yin and Yang. Yin is cool, night, passive, inward and restful. Yang is the opposite, hot, day, outward and energetic. They believed that the two had to be balanced. For example if someone was to have a lot of daylight and exercise but little sleep (night) or rest then they would become ill.

Chinese doctors as a result spoke of diet, exercise and relaxation methods which were combined with treatments such as acupuncture and moxibustion: which both deal with the flow of energy around the body. These are now considered to be 'alternative' forms of Medicine.

Acupuncture was considered a very important tool and doctors had to be able to place the needles in the right place (pressure points). To ensure that doctors were capable models with holes in would be made, then covered with wax. The doctor had to break the seal of the wax, which would then allow fluids to leak from the dummy. Until they could do this accurately on models they were not allowed to practice.

Oriental and Islamic medicine - other pages in this section:

Oriental medicine: background, Disease, anatomy and surgery, Islamic medicine, Chinese medicine, Source based activities


Amazon Buyer Review:

This book is based on Greek medicine as understood and some what improved by Avicenna. Gain insight in to the holistic energetics of health and disease by reading this book. Understand the role within the body of the Four Elements Earth, Water Air and Fire and the Four Humours Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile and Black Bile.

Review by Abdul Kareem

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