A leading authority explains the origins and history of Chinese medicine from its beginnings in antiquity to today. Paul U. Unschuld describes medicine's close connection with culture and politics throughout Chinese history. He brings together texts, techniques, and worldviews to understand changing Chinese attitudes toward healing and the significance of traditional Chinese medicine in both China and the Western world.Unschuld reveals the emergence of a Chinese medical tradition built around a new understanding of the human being, considering beliefs in the influence of cosmology, numerology, and the supernatural on the health of the living. He describes the variety of therapeutic approaches in Chinese culture, the history of pharmacology and techniques such as acupuncture, and the global exchange of medical knowledge. Insights are offered into the twentieth-century decline of traditional medicine, as military defeats caused reformers and revolutionaries to import medical knowledge as part of the construction of a new China. Unschuld also recounts the reception of traditional Chinese medicine in the West since the 1970s, where it is often considered an alternative to Western medicine at the same time as China seeks to incorporate elements of its medical traditions into a scientific framework. This concise and compelling introduction to medical thought and history suggests that Chinese medicine is also a guide to Chinese civilization.
Preface to the English EditionIntroductionPart I: The Historical Foundations1. Origins and Characteristics of Chinese Medicine2. The Lack of Existential Autonomy3. The Longing for Existential Autonomy4. Quotations from the Medical Classics5. The Banality of Violence6. The Mawangdui Texts7. Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology in the New Medicine8. Deficiencies in the Credibility of the New Medicine9. The Alternative Model: The View from Illness10. Radical Healing: Life as a Form of Disease11. Between Antiquity and the Modern Age12. Two Medical Authors of the Ming and Qing DynastiesPart II: Modern and Contemporary Times13. The Confrontation with the Western Way of Life14. The Persuasiveness of Western Medicine15. The Opinions of Intellectuals and Politicians16. The Selection17. The Surprise18. The Creative Reception of Chinese Medicine in the West19. The Objectification of the Discussion: Opportunity and ChallengeEpilogueNotesIndex