Chinese Medicine and Healing: An Illustrated History

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Chinese Medicine and Healing is a comprehensive introduction to a rich array of Chinese healing practices as they have developed through time and across cultures. Contributions from fifty-eight leading international scholars in such fields as Chinese archaeology, history, anthropology, religion, and medicine make this a collaborative work of uncommon intellectual synergy, and a vital new resource for anyone working in East Asian or world history, in medical history and anthropology, and in biomedicine and complementary healing arts. This illustrated history explores the emergence and development of a wide range of health interventions, including propitiation of disease-inflicting spirits, divination, vitality-cultivating meditative disciplines, herbal remedies, pulse diagnosis, and acupuncture. The authors investigate processes that contribute to historical change, such as competition between different types of practitioner — shamans, Daoist priests, Buddhist monks, scholar physicians, and even government officials. Accompanying vignettes and illustrations bring to life such diverse arenas of health care as childbirth in the Tang period, Yuan state-established medical schools, fertility control in the Qing, and the search for sexual potency in the People's Republic. The two final chapters illustrate Chinese healing modalities across the globe and address the challenges they have posed as alternatives to biomedical standards of training and licensure. The discussion includes such far-reaching examples as Chinese treatments for diphtheria in colonial Australia and malaria in Africa, the invention of ear acupuncture by the French and its worldwide dissemination, and the varying applications of acupuncture from Germany to Argentina and Iraq.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking a historical, sociological, and anthropological approach, this expansive survey makes a scholarly pursuit accessible, with crisply edited essays and fascinating illustrations that break down a complex medical tradition whose relevance has not diminished. From the despotic third-century B.C. emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, who helped preserve medical texts and was immortalized by the terra cotta army buried with him, to "deep surgeries" otherwise unheard of in the ancient world, the earliest illustration of acupuncture in 1023, and 16th-century smallpox vaccinations, 200 years earlier than in the West—Cornell history professor Hinrichs and Boston University School of Medicine scholar Barnes present a rich exploration of the evolution and impact of Chinese medicine, successfully showcasing its "possibility for endless... combinations and customized adoptions." One essayist discusses how the 1960s counterculture in California recast Chinese medicine as a "naturalistic, holistic alternative to the biomedical establishment." In the 1970s, Nevada became the first state to designate Chinese medicine as a "learned profession," and later, a New York City hospital led an initiative developed by the stepfather of Tupac Shakur to treat heroin addicts with acupuncture. Medical professionals and alternative medicine aficionados will find plenty to appreciate in this compelling study. 76 photos, 5 illus., 9 maps, 11 tables. (Jan.)
Los Angeles Review of Books - Emily Baum
Covering over 3,000 years of medical history, the volume demonstrates how successive schools of medical thought adopted new practices, accommodated old ones, and diverged from their own ideological and institutional roots in response to new sociopolitical contexts… The book examines the complex relationship between Chinese medicine and the West… While the sheer breadth of information contained within the volume might appear daunting, the book itself is actually quite approachable. The authors assume little foreknowledge of Chinese history on the part of the reader, and do a nice job of integrating general contextual information with specific examples of medical practice (often offset from the main text in gray boxes). The use of visual imagery, including maps, anatomic charts, and photographs of practitioners in action, further reinforces the multiplicity of ways in which Chinese medicine has been deployed in a range of settings and geographic contexts. By culling from a wide variety of primary and secondary sources and recruiting over 50 scholars to contribute to the volume, Barnes and Hinrichs are able to create a book that is thorough and comprehensive, yet not intimidating… Chinese Medicine and Healing can serve as a reference for students, scholars, and anyone looking to understand the historical roots of contemporary Chinese medical practices.
Charlotte Furth
Hinrichs and Barnes have produced a large, ambitious, blockbusting volume that provides both encyclopedic range and contextual historical detail. The book is a great reference for a wide range of readers, including students, scholars, clinicians, and anyone seeking to better understand a medicine that is uniquely embedded in a civilization's specific cultural history.
Arthur Kleinman
Very impressive! An extraordinarily broad and rich compendium, Hinrichs and Barnes have orchestrated a vast collection of history and anthropological observations of professional and popular practice which will be useful for the expert and the general reader.
Library Journal
Hinrichs (history, Cornell Univ.) and Barnes (medical anthropology, Boston Univ. Sch. of Medicine) assembled contributions from 58 interdisciplinary international scholars to produce a rich history of Chinese medicine across 3,000 years. Illustrations, historical documents, and short biographies of transformational figures enliven the topical narratives. Concluding sections examine the current state of Chinese medicine that has spread throughout the world. Contributors describe a distinctive medical culture that began with shamanism, followed by the practices of ancient sages such as the Yellow Emperor, who portrayed health as the result of harmony of the individual with his or her ancestors, children, society, and nature. Disharmony was thought to result in disruptions in the flow of qi (vital energy) throughout the body. Such disharmonies produced illnesses, requiring religious ritual and special diets, exercises, medicines, and, eventually, techniques such as acupuncture. Though ancient traditions were respected, Chinese medicine was never static, and conquests and assimilations of neighboring cultures wrought changes, particularly after Western medical knowledge and practice diffused throughout China in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Verdict Although the book’s patchwork of articles of various lengths does not yield a smooth narrative, it is nonetheless an authoritative and encyclopedic compilation that should be of great interest to specialists in a variety of scholarly fields.—Kathleen Arsenault, St. Petersburg, FL

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674047372
  • Publisher: Harvard
  • Publication date: 1/7/2013
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 258,318
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

TJ Hinrichs is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University.

Linda L. Barnes is Director of the Masters Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at Boston University School of Medicine. She holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at BUSM, and in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University.

Andrew Edmund Goble is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon.

Paize Keulemans is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University.

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Read an Excerpt

From Chapter Eight: The People’s Republic of China: 1949-Present

Folk Nutritional Therapy in Modern China

Chinese folk nutrition in recent centuries drew on the idea that foods could be heating, cooling, wetting, drying, strengthening, or cleansing. The most important dimensions were heating (re) and cooling (liang; a few foods were cold, han). These concepts developed from a medieval fusion of Chinese ideas of yang and yin, and Hippocratic-Galenic humoral medicine introduced from the Near East (“Galenos” is referenced in one fourteenth-century text). Experience of famine also reinforced the realities of food energy and its importance in maintaining body heat. More recent fieldwork in southeast China shows that managing diet remains the first recourse when responding to illness (Anderson 1988, 1996).

Heating foods included those that were high-calorie, subjected to high heat in cooking, spicy or bitter, or “hot” in color (red, orange). Cooling foods were low-calorie, watery, soothing or sour in taste, or “cool” in color (whitish, green). Cooked grain was considered perfectly balanced, serving as a reference point. In contrast, cool foods treated hot illnesses, which involved sores, reddening, rashes, dry skin, and sore throat—symptoms similar to those of a burn (and illnesses often recognized by biomedicine as involving vitamin C deficiency). Green vegetables were among the most commonly used.

Typical cool conditions involved low body temperature, chills, pallor, weakness, watery eliminations, and symptoms resembling those of hypothermia. Anemia most commonly fit these criteria, as did tuberculosis and recovery from childbirth. Treatment involved easily digested red and organ meats, ginger, Chinese liquor, wolfthorn berries (gou ji zi, Lycium chinense), rich in vitamins and minerals, and similar foods. Such interventions addressed the anemia and alleviated conditions related to excess cool conditions. Heating foods were often eaten simply to maintain body heat. Everyone knew, for example, that eating baked goods or fatty meat on a winter day would keep one warmer than would a diet of vegetables.

Strengthening (bupin, lit. “supplementing” or “patching things”) foods were usually easily digested, nutrient-rich protein foods, like the dark meat of poultry, organ meats, mushrooms, and several herbal foods (Hu 2005). Some specifically strengthened particular organs—usually deriving from organs themselves. For example, pork lungs helped human lungs, liver helped liver, and penises of harem-keeping animals like seals or deer supplemented human male genitalia. Sometimes resemblance was enough: walnut meats strengthened the brain. Red liquids, especially port wine, strengthen the blood. Sometimes, a red fruit like red jujubes, did the same. Black items (from black dog meat to stout beer) often strengthened the body. Food with a gelatinous texture was thought to have special qi and was valued for replenishing yang. Such foods, if high in protein and minerals, were particularly valued: birds’ nests, rare fungi or sea cucumbers, as were less common game animals from tigers to vultures.

Bland to slightly sharp herbs were cleansing (jing), clearing away undesirable moisture, phlegm, impurities, and contamination in the body. Some contained chemicals recognized in biomedicine as antibiotic, astringent, or diuretic. Other foods were “poisonous” (du), in the sense that they potentiated poisons in the body. For example, although live male poultry kept away demons and had other ritual functions, when dead they were thought to exacerbate cancer.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Linda L. Barnes TJ Hinrichs 1

1 The Pre-Han Period Constance A. Cook 5

Oracle Bones of the Late Shang Dynasty (ca. Thirteenth-Eleventh Centuries B.C.E.) Ken Takashima 8

The Dreams of the Lord of Jin Constance A. Cook 18

The Hexagram Gu Xing Wen 20

2 The Han Period Vivienne Lo 31

The Treatment of Women Lisa Raphals 42

A Late Han Adept TJ Hinrichs 53

3 The Period of Division and the Tang Period Fan Ka-wai 65

Shamans Lin Fu-shih 67

Prerequisites for Treating Childlessness Jessy J. C. Choo 70

Nurturing the Fetus Sabine Wilms 71

Childbirth Jen-der Lee 73

Ingestion of the Five Sprouts Gil Raz 82

The Celestial Brigand and Illness Donald Harper 84

Sun Simiao Victor Xiong 87

4 The Song and Jin Periods TJ Hinrichs 97

Plague God Cults Paul R. Katz 119

Legendary Daoist Women Catherine Despeux 121

Song Printed Medical Works and Mediveal Japanese Medicine Andrew Edmund Goble 123

5 The Yuan and Ming Periods Angela Ki Che Leung 129

Arabic Medicine in China Paul D. Buell 132

Tuê Tinh-Vietnamese Monk-Physician at the Ming Court C. Michele Thompson 134

A Choson Korea Medical Synthesis: Ho Chun's Precious Mirror of Eastern Medicine Soyoung Suh 137

Medical Schools and the Temples of the Three Progenitors Reiko Shinno 140

Children's Medicine Hsiung Ping-chen 145

Li Shizhen Kenneth J. Hammond 151

Variolation Chang Chia-Feng 157

6 The Qing Period Yi-Li Wu 161

Fertility Control and Demographics Francesca Bray 162

Female Alchemy Elena Valussi 167

The Nineteenth-Century Bubonic Plague Epidemic Carol Benedict 171

The Emperor's Physician Chang Che-chia 175

The Jianghu Performance of Medical and Martial Arts in Late Imperial Vernacular Fiction Paize Keulemans 183

Eighteenth-Century European Views of Gongfu (Kungfu) Linda L. Barnes 191

The "Warm Diseases" Current of Learning Marta E. Hanson 204

7 The Republic of China Bridie J. Andrews 209

Dissection in China Larissa Heinrich 220

Neurasthenia (shenjing shuairuo) in China Hugh Shapiro 227

Advertising Hygienic Modernity Ruth Rogaski 232

8 The People's Republic of China Volker Scheid 239

Propaganda and Health Stefan R. Landsberger 243

Folk Nutritional Therapy in Modern China Eugene N. Anderson 259

Inventing Qigong David Ownby 264

Chinese Medicine as Popular Knowledge in Urban China Judith Farquhar 272

Seal Penis, Viagra, and Sexual Potency in Post-Mao China Everett Zhang 275

Religious Healing in the People's Republic of China Thomas DuBois 277

SARS, Bird Flu, and Media Transparency in China Hepeng Jia 280

9 A World of Chinese Medicine and Healing: Part One Linda L. Barnes 284

Acupuncture in Argentina Betina Freidin 294

Acupuncture in Germany Gunnar Stollberg 313

Textuality and Truth in U.S. Chinese Medicine Education Sonya Pritzker 318

Acupuncture in Iraq Lazgeen Ahmad (Interview by Douglas Newton) 322

Get on Track with Subhealth: Changing Trajectories of "Preventive Medicine" Mei Zhan 325

Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trials and Chinese Medicine Ted J. Kaptchuk 329

10 A World of Chinese Medicine and Healing: Part Two Linda L. Barnes 334

Chinese Medicine in Africa Elisabeth Hsu 335

"Trialing" Chinese Medicine in Colonial Australia Rey Tiquia 343

TCM and Chinese Immigrants with Tuberculosis in New York City's Chinatown: A Case Study Ming Ho 347

Is Vietnamese Medicine Chinese Medicine? Laurence Monnais 350

Visualizing Qi Nancy N. Chen 356

Taiji in America Elijah Siegler 359

Bibliography 381

Acknowledgments 435

Contributors 437

Index 443

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