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Chinese MedicineTraditional medicine of China has a long historical and cultural backgrounddating back about 2500 years The ancient Chinese people were able to reacha level of social stability that included the ability to treat disease ofemotional physical and spiritual origins Although a belief in spiritsas the cause of disease has remained in China even to the present day theview that the body obeyed a natural order struck a chord in the intellectualelite of ancient China It was this elite class that refined and developedthese ideas over many centuries1The ideas that the ancient Chinese had about the organs of the body andtheir functions as well as the causes and development of disease show largedifferences when compared with Western medicine2The Chinese do not think of theory as we do in the West as needing to beproven to reach the highest degree of truth A Chinese doctor can look atthe kidney as a machine and think of it as a reflection of universe2 Hecan apply two different disease classification systems cold damage or warmdamage where he feels it is appropriate without being deterred by contradictionsbetween the two3One Western method of gaining knowledge is analysis It is the method ofbreaking things into component parts to understand the whole This methodhas been applied in China but not to the same level as in the West Analysisis one of the important features of all western modern science and technologyIn fact the analytical approach is the basis of western medicine and itis part of the Western mindset4Analysis is not as important to Chinese medicine as in the West The ancientChinese did use analysis in their investigation of the human body but toa lesser degree Analysis provided some important insights into the workingsof the human body The ancient Chinese knew for example that the stomachand intestines were organs of digestion and that the lung drew air fromthe environment5The origins of Chinas medical knowledge is not certain They observedphenomenon and identified relationships and patterns
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