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Journal Article

Making Theoretical Principles for New Chinese Medicine

Rhonda Chang
Health and History
Vol. 16, No. 1 (2014), pp. 66-86
DOI: 10.5401/healthhist.16.1.0066
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5401/healthhist.16.1.0066
Page Count: 21
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Making Theoretical Principles for New Chinese
                    Medicine
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Abstract

It is commonly assumed that contemporary Chinese Medicine has an ancient lineage and its practice can be related in a straightforward way to medicine practiced in China for thousands of years. In this article, I argue that this impression is mistaken. What we currently call traditional Chinese Medicine is only sixty years old and it does not share the same theoretical principles to the ancient medicine of China (referred to as yi). Both yi and contemporary Chinese medicine practices use herbs and acupuncture methods, but yi is based on the principles of yinyang, wuxing whereas contemporary Chinese medicine is fundamentally based on western anatomical understandings of the body and disease, and notably, the two practices create different healing outcomes.

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