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Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text

UNSCHULD Paul [Other titles by this author]

ISBN: 9780520233225

California University Press 2003 1st Edition

AU $175.00
Currently Out of Stock Please Inquire for Due Date

 Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature

With an appendix: The Doctrine of the Five Periods & Six Qi in the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen The Huang Di nei jing su wen, known familiarly as the Su wen, is a seminal text of ancient Chinese medicine, yet until now there has been no comprehensive, detailed analysis of its development and contents. At last Paul Unschuld offers entry into this still-vital artifact of China's cultural and intellectual past. Unschuld traces the history of the Su wen to its origins in the final centuries B.C.E., when numerous authors wrote short medical essays to explain the foundations of human health and illness on the basis of the newly developed vessel theory. He examines the meaning of the title and the way the work has been received throughout Chinese medical history, both before and after the 11th century when the text as it is known today emerged. Unschuld's survey of the contents includes illuminating discussions of the yin-yang and five-agents doctrines, the perception of the human body and its organs, qi and blood, pathogenic agents, concepts of disease and diagnosis, and a variety of therapies, including the new technique of acupuncture. An extensive appendix, furthermore, offers a detailed introduction to the complicated climatological theories of Wu yun liu qi ('five periods and six qi'), which were added to the Su wen by Wang Bing in the Tang era. In an epilogue, Unschuld writes about the break with tradition and innovative style of thought represented by the Su wen. For the first time, health care took the form of 'medicine,' in that it focused on environmental conditions, climatic agents, and behavior as causal in the emergence of disease and on the importance of natural laws in explaining illness. Unschuld points out that much of what we surmise about the human organism is simply a projection, reflecting dominant values and social goals, and he constructs a hypothesis to explain the formation and acceptance of basic notions of health and disease in a given society. Reading the Su wen, he says, not only offers a better understanding of the roots of Chinese medicine as an integrated aspect of Chinese civilisation, it also provides a much needed starting point for discussions of the differences and parallels between European and Chinese ways of dealing with illness and the risk of early death.

230 x 155mm; 19 line illustrations; 22 tables

536pp

(For this item please quote stock ID 19539)

Related Subject Areas:

TCM Classics      TCM History      Yellow Emperor     

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