Basic Theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (International Acupuncture Textbooks)

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In the Ming Dynasty acupuncture and moxibustion were work up to a climax that many problems studied deeper and broader. There were more famous doctors specialized in this field.


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Chen Hui of the early stage of Ming Dynasty, Ling Yun of the middle stage, and Yang Jizhou of the later stage, all were known far and wide in China, and exerted a tremendous influence upon the development of acupuncture and moxibustion. The main accomplishments in the Ming Dynasty were: 1. Extensive collection and revision of the literature of acupuncture and moxibustion, e.

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All these works were the summarization of the literature of acupuncture and moxibustion through the ages. Studies on the manipulation methods of acupuncture. On the basis of single manipulation of acupuncture, more than twenty kinds of compound manipulation were developed, and an academic contention was carried out about different manipulation methods.

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Questions and Answers Concerning Acupuncture and moxibustion by Wang Ji in was the representative work of that academic dispute. Development of warm moxibustion with moxa stick from burning moxibustion with moxa cone. Sorting out the previous records of acupuncture sites located away from the Fourteen Meridians and formation of a new category of extra points.

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From the establishment of the Qing Dynasty to the Opium War , the medical doctors regarded herbal medication as superior to acupuncture, therefore acupuncture and moxibustion gradually turned to a failure. In the eighteenth century Wu Qian and his collaborators compiled the book Golden Mirror of Medicine by the imperial order.

In this book the chapter "Essential of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in Verse" took the practical form of rhymed verse with illustrations. Li Xuechuan compiled The Source of Acupuncture and Moxibustion , in which selection of acupuncture points according to the differentiation of syndromes was emphasized, acupuncture and herbal medication were equally stressed, and the points on the Fourteen Meridians were systematically listed.

Besides these books, there were many publications, but none of them were influential. In , the authorities of the Qing Dynasty declared an order to abolish permanently the acupuncture-moxibustion department from the Imperial Medical College because "acupuncture and moxibustion are not suitable to be applied to the Emperor. Following the Opium War in , China fell into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society. The Revolution of ended the rule of the Qing Dynasty, but the broad masses of Chinese people were in deep distress until the founding of People's Republic of China, and acupuncture and moxibustion were also trampled upon.

Basic Theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Introduction of Western medicine to China should have been a good turn, but the colonists used it as a medium for aggression. They claimed: "Western medicine is vanguard of Christianity and Christianity is the forerunner promoting the sale of goods. From , the reactionary government of China continuously yelled to ban traditional medicine and adopted a series of measure to restrict its development, resulting in a decline of Chinese traditional medicine including acupuncture and moxibustion. Because of the great need of the Chinese people for medical care, acupuncture and moxibustion got its chance to spread among the folk people.

Many acuouncturists made unrelenting efforts to protect and develop this great medical legacy by founding acupuncture associations, publishing books and journals on acupuncture, and launching correspondence courses to teach acupuncture. Among those acupuncturists, Cheng Dan'an made a particular contribution.

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At this period, in addition to inheriting the traditional acupuncture and moxibustion, they made efforts on explaining the theory of acupuncture and moxibustion with modern science and technology. In , Liu Zhongheng wrote a book entitled Illustration of the Bronze Figure with Chinese and Western Medicine , paving the way for studying acupuncture through combination of traditional Chinese and Western medicine in the history of acupuncture.

At this period, acupuncture and moxibustion gained its new life in the revolutionary base area led by the Communist Party of China. In October of , after Chairman Mao Zedong made a speech on the United Front of Cultural and educational workers in Shanxi-Gansu-Ningxia border region, many medical doctors trained in Western medicine began to learn and to do research work on acupuncture and moxibustion, and to spread its use in the army of the base area.


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  • In April , an acupuncture clinic was opened in the International Peace Hospital in the name of Dr. Norman Bethune in Yan'an. This was the first time that acupuncture and moxibustion entered into a comprehensive hospital. An acupuncture training course was sponsored by the health school affiliated to the Health Bureau of the People's Government in northern China in All these efforts like the seeds spread over the liberated area, and promoted the understanding of acupuncture and moxibustion for Western medical doctors.

    Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Government has paid great attention to inheriting and developing the legacy of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology. In Chairman Mao Zedong adopted an important policy to unit the doctors of both Western and traditional schools; in the same year, Zhu De wrote an inscription for the book New Acupuncture , pointing out, "Chinese acupuncture treatment has a history of thousands of years.

    It is not only simple and economical, but also very effective for many kinds of diseases.

    So this is science. I hope that the doctors of both Western and traditional schools should unite for the further improvement of its technique and science. In this way acupuncture and moxbustion were unprecedentedly popularized and promoted. Since then the research organizations of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology on provincial, municipal and autonomous regional levels have been set up one after the other, in which the research divisions of acupuncture and moxibustion are included.

    In a few provinces and cities institutes of acupuncture and moxibustion have also been established. There are teaching and research groups of acupuncture and moxibustion in every college of traditional Chinese medicine, and in some of the colleges departments of acupuncture and moxibustion have been founded. In many city hospitals, special clinical departments of acupuncture and moxibustion have been set up. Acupuncture and moxibustion have been carried out even in commune hospitals.

    Many institutes and colleges of Western medicine have put it into the teaching curriculum and taken it as a scientific research item. To apply modern scientific knowledge to the research work on the basis of exploring and inheriting the traditional acupuncture and moxibustion is the prominent characteristic of the present research on acupuncture and moxibustion.

    In the early s, the main work was to systematize the basic theory of acupuncture and moxibustion, to observe its clinical indications, and to make a systematic exposition of acupuncture and moxibustion with modern methods. From the later stage of s to the s, the following were carried out: deep study of the ancient literature, extensive summarization of the clinical effect on various disease entities, propagation of acupuncture anesthesia in clinical use, and experimental research to observe the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion upon the functions of each system and organ.

    From the s up to now, investigations have been done on the mechanism of acupuncture anesthesia and acupuncture analgesia from the viewpoints of operative surgery, anesthesiology, neuroanatomy, histochemistry, analgesia physiology, biochemistry, psychology and medical electronics, on the phenomena and nature of the meridians from the viewpoint of propagated acupuncture sensation and other angles, and on the relationship between acupuncture points and needling sensation, between acupuncture points and zang-fu organs.

    Now the accomplishments of acupuncture and moxibustion research gained in China including sorting out of the ancient legacy, the clinical effect and the theoretical research by modern scientific methods are in the forefront of the world. The Dissemination of Acupuncture and Moxibustion to the World. In the sixth century, acupuncture and moxibustion were introduced to Korea. The Xinluo royal court of Korea in AD gave the title of Acupuncture Professor to those who taught acupuncture students.

    It was also in the sixth century that acupuncture and moxibustion were passed on to Japan.

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