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    Louis Kuo Tai, Fu 1999. The origins of surgery: 1. From prehistory to Renaissance*. Annals of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong, Vol. 3, Issue. 4, p. 127.

  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

I.2 - History of Chinese Medicine

from Part I - Medicine and Disease: An Overview
The Ma-wang-tui manuscripts, the Huang-ti neiching, the Nan-ching, and the Shen-nung pen-ts'ao ching are the main sources for current understanding of the early developmental phase of Chinese medicine. The history of leprosy in Chinese medicine is one example of the persistence of ontological thoughts of Chinese medical history. Closely linked to the ontological perspective of Chinese medicine is a functional view that is recorded in medical literature beginning with Han dynasty sources. The most impressive mode of treatment recorded in detail in the Ma-wang-tui scripts is drug therapy. After the emergence of Chinese medicine, a dichotomy prevailed between two major currents. One was the so-called medicine of systematic correspondence; the other was pragmatic drug therapy. The oldest available text today on women's diseases and obstetrics is the Fu-jen liang fang. If the Han dynasty was marked by the initial development of Chinese medicine, the Song-Chin-Yuan period was the second most dynamic formative-period in the history of Chinese medicine.
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The Cambridge World History of Human Disease
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