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Traditional Chinese Medicine Review Research Paper

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Table of Contents
Introduction
Key People who development medicine in China
Historical period Associated with Chinese Medication
Different types of medicine
Reference

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Introduction

Traditional Chinese medicine abbreviated as TCM is a complementary or alternative medical system that is practiced in most parts of the world. This group includes traditional practitioners who originated from China. TCM has developed for a long period of time. The TCM constitutes diagnosis, theories, and treatments like acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine. It’s sometimes called Oriental medicine and includes other traditional East Asia medicine; Japan and Korea. The belief is that the body of a human is interrelated and is constant in contact with the environment. (James, 1999 pp.3)

Key People who development medicine in China

Hua Tao- He was a famous physician in the period of the Eastern Han Dynasty and the period of Three Kingdoms. Many people of that time referred to him as “an immortal who had passed the gates of this life” and “a man with the complexion of a youth and a snowy beard”. He was the first person to use anesthesia during surgery. This anesthesia was a combination of alcohol and an herbal concoction called mafia. (Fan, 2004 pp.314-316) Apart from the treatment he also devised ways to enhance health. This was among the Wuqinxi; (Frolics of the Five Animals) an exercise which was derived from the movement of tiger, bear, deer, crane, and ape. He was also able to diagnose miscarriages and predict the sex of the fetus through the position of the fetus. He was an expert in digestive system diseases and anomalies. He was able to treat general Zhou Tai and later worked in the court and frequently treated Cao Cao with acupuncture to stop the pain. He was later jailed for lying to Cao Cao and later was executed after burning a book Nang Shu “medical practice book”. This was a loss to TCM. (Fan, 2004 pp.313-320)

Zhang Zhongjing-He was an Eastern Han physician and was renowned during the later years of Eastern Han. He lived in the periods from 150 to 219. He derived and developed medication principles and also summed up the experience that he obtained. He learned medicine through Zhang Bozu and accumulated more literature from various sources. During his period there was frequent febrile disease. He later wrote the masterpiece Shanghan Zabing Luin’s “treatise on Cold Pathogenic and Miscellaneous Diseases”. He later lost the book during war time. It was later picked up and was compiled into two books: On Cold Damage and Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer.

Huang Fu Mi-He lived between the period 215 and 282 CE in the Chin dynasty. He was a renowned physician and compiled a book called Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. This was the earliest systematized text on acupuncture and moxibustion.

Sun Simiao-He lived in the periods 581 and 682 and was in the dynasty of Sui and Tang. He was given the title of China’s King of Medicine because of his contributions and care to his patients. He later wrote two books: Beiji Qian Jin Yao Fang “Essential Formulas for Emergencies a Thousand Pieces of Gold” and Qian Jin Yi Fang “Supplement to the Formulas of a Thousand Gold Worth”. He also wrote a famous quote “the Chinese Hippocratic Oath” which is still read by Chinese physicians, on their regards with their patients. (Fan, 2004 pp.313-320)

(As an author Fan gives clear and detailed information on key people who were behind the developments of Chinese medicine).

Li Shizhen-He lived between the periods 1518 and 1593 in the Ming Dynasty and was influenced by the Neo-Confucian of those times. He is among the greatest physicians and pharmacologists in the history of china and was also a naturalist. He wrote a book Bencao Gangmu. In this book, there are more than 1800 drug details 1100 illustrations, and 11000 prescriptions. It has also 1094 herbs and their applications to treatment. His works are further developed in zoology, botany, metallurgy, and mineralogy. His father who was also a physician also motivated him. He became the assistant president at the Imperial Medical Institute. He later left the position and started correcting medical writings that we incorrect. He wrote the book for a record 27 years and this took a total in his life. He died before the publication of his works. (Marc, 2000 pp. 63-109)

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Historical period Associated with Chinese Medication

Eastern Zhou-This was the period when an organized medical system developed. During this time court officials were trained to be able to solve various medical problems, for example, Jiyi where medical practitioners were trained to cure internal illness, yang were physicians who treated external illness, and shiny treated dietary problems. A notable physician was Bian Que who used skills of sight and hearing to diagnose and see the problem of a patient. He was also a specialist in gynecology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and otorhinolaryngology. (Marc, 2000 pp. 63-116)

Warring states-During this period China was split into seven different parts. This period saw the development of yin / yang philosophy and also the use of five elements. During this period there was a book called The Yellow Emperor’s Medicine Classic and it was written by several doctors. It was written in two parts; sun and Lingshu. This book was among the earliest writings on medicine. (Marc, 2000 pp. 63-123)

Sony Dynasty-This was the period when medicinal Administration duties and medical education were separated. The administration part was concerned with the delivery of medical services and their practice. Wang Aushi a political person developed the perfect examination and good curriculum in medicine. Medical Schools developed such as the Imperial Medical College. Examination for students also began and medical schools were divided into departments. Statues made of bronze were further used for acupuncture practice.

Ming Dynasty 1368 – 1644 AD-During this period there were eminent physicians and there was the publication of various treaties that testified blossoming medical theories and practices. Three schools of medicine developed; school of nourishing, school of warming and invigoration, and school of epidemic disease. This period saw the advancement of surgery as a way of treating both external and internal diseases. It extended to the treatment of cancer. There was also the development of analgesia, asepsis, and hemostasis which assisted the development of surgery. Also during this period, there were the ravages of venereal disease and the promotion of acupuncture. There were also pharmacopeias and books to describe its prescriptions and the prevention of smallpox started. (Mark, 1999 pp.43-97)

(Like Fan, Mark provides well-researched work on the historical figures who worked tirelessly with an aim of establishing reliable Chinese Medicine, Besides Mark has carried deep research on the historical periods associated with the Chinese medication)

Qing Dynasty 1644 – 1922 AD-During this period there was further development on febrile disease and a further study of webbing which was a disease that was associated with heat. Among people who took a study on this kind of disease were Yei Gui, Xue Xue, and Wu-Tang even though there was further development of anatomy but based most of its works on Huang Di Nei Jing. This period also saw the introduction of treatment for smallpox through vaccination.

Different types of medicine

Qigong a Chinese system: philosophy, physical training, preventive and therapeutic health care. Qi usually means air, breath, or vital essence while Gong means self-discipline, work, achievement, or mastery. In general, this art combines isometrics, aerobic conditioning, isotonic, relaxation, and medication. Then Qigong is a discipline that allows us to control the life force that occurs throughout our bodies. Qiong has more than 3000 varieties and five major qigong traditions which are Buddhist, Taoist, martial arts, medical and Confucian. Thus it includes Taiji and Kung Fu. ( Maciaco, 1997 pp. 25-47)

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Taking these kinds of exercises lowers; pulse rate, blood pressure, metabolic rates, lactate production, and oxygen demand. It also raises the endocrine system’s capacities and capabilities. It has a control effect on the substance cyclic guanosine monophosphate and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. They play minor roles in respiration in the provision of oxygen. Also, it supports serenity by slightly increasing the temperature and increase the rate of oxygen absorption. In general, Qigong activates Qi which improves blood circulation and balances yin yang. It also boosts the immune system and stimulates the conduction of meridians and the channels through which Qi flows. (Maciaco, 1997 pp. 25-63)

Acupuncture therapy, a way of alleviating pain and suffering and also promotes health; this method has been used and tested for a long period of time even though it still remains mysterious. An acupuncture view and hinges health and sickness as vital energy, energetic balance, and energetic imbalance. This looks like how the western medical doctor monitors the blood flowing through the vessels and feels the messages that flow through the nervous system. The acupuncturist, meridians, and channels are a way of assessing the flow and distribution of vital energy.

Through stimulating some areas in the meridians an acupuncturist can influence health and sickness. In the earlier years, acupuncturists usually used fine and slender needles but of late there are other methods that are used: herbs, magnets, electricity, and lasers. This then allows the body to heal itself. (Maciaco, 1997 pp. 25-96)

(Maciaco’s book provides well-researched work on the different types of Chinese medicine)

Herbal Medicine includes the basic theory of Chinese medicine and how their herbs are prepared and prescribed. Herbology is away in the Chinese tradition of combining medicinal herbs. The prescript herbs are prepared by a practitioner and it takes a short time and its preparation depends on the person’s dying/any conditions. Even sometimes some types of herbs are added to cancel any toxicity that is present. Research on TCM has focused mostly on acupuncture. The view of the effectiveness of acupuncture still is controversial in scientific society. They claim that acupuncture is effective in some illnesses but not in all. They also say, though there evidence based medicine, that it’s moderately effective in preventing nausea. Still, there is no clear point that it can treat chronic low back pain, neck pain, or headache. Other reviews show that acupuncture lacks efficacy and others say that there is nothing that shows whether it’s effective. (Fan, 2004, pp.314-318)

Even though there are these issues the WHO, National Institute of Health (NIH), and American Medical Association (AMA) agree that it’s relatively safe but further investigations should take place. There is also an issue concerning the Chinese herbs such as those herbs that have the shape of the heart can treat the heart. This has not been fully researched because of the expenses and expertise required. Some medicine has been extracted from these herbs such as artemisinin for the treatment of falciparum malaria.

There has been a great deal of co-operation between TCM and Western medicine and especially in ethnomedicine. There are various compounds that are found in the Chinese herbs which are supposed to be exploited in both continents. Their relationship is more contentious. More Western Medical schools are introducing classes in alternative medicine in their curricula. The older generation of Western doctors views Chinese medicine as archaic pseudoscience and superstition. Other people in the west view TCM as unscientific and mystical and also there is the presence of unscrupulous or well-meaning but poorly trained TCM practitioners that have done more harm than good. TCM hospitals in China have microscopes and most TCM practitioners know how to use them. (Fan, 2004, pp.314-320)

Chinese people don’t see the difference or there is no conflict between the Western kind of medication and their TCM. There is also the belief that the Chinese kind of medicine is good for maintaining health. An example is when a person sees a western doctor to treat appendicitis but also exercise or uses Chinese herbs to keep the body healthy to prevent appendicitis or to recover quickly from surgery. On the other hand, western doctors support the idea of TCM. Also in China, there is a medical degree that combines both the Western kind of medicine and TCM.

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(The author (Fan, 2004) has deep coverage of the different types of Chinese medicine. This gives satisfactory information to the reader.)

Chinese doctors who practice the Western kind of medication have been described as giving patients a lot of prescriptions that can be easily be treated by Chinese herbs. TCM is also cheaper compared to western kinds of medication. Also, there is a belief in the TCM that western medicine is mostly based in the laboratory and there is no concern about the feelings of the patient.

Modern Chinese medication uses both what is best in the West and what is best from the East. It combines both the modern concepts of anatomy and physiology with traditional Chinese treatment and diagnosis. An example is Tom Tam’s Qi loop which states that there are six groups of energetic, which are energetic sources, pre-natal energetic, energetic functions, Tom Tam Healing System, Physiologic energetic, and effective points. (Holland, 2000 pp.45-83)

Even though there is a contract between the Western cultures, TCM has not been displaced. There are two reasons that have made the spread of TCM in the western world: TCM is effective in different scenarios and the cheap way for those who can’t afford the Western kind of medicine. Recently there is no evidence to show the difference between Chinese physics and Chinese biology.

As this information indicates the history and development of Chinese medicine have developed for a low period of time. Their effectiveness also introduces many people and instructions to research in this TCM and how it can be adapted by other continents.

(The book shows how diverse Chinese Medicine is since it incorporates both the East and the West. Holland (2000) explains the affordability of TCM which he calls “the choice of many”)

Reference

David, D. Biometrics: Technologies and Systems (The International Series on Asian Studies in Computer and Information Science). Boston: Kulwer Academic Publisher, 2000.

Fan, K.W. 2004. “On Hua Tuo’s Position in the History of Chinese Medicine,” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 32.2:313-320.

Holland, A. Voices of Qi: An Introductory Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine, New York: North Atlantic Books, 2000.

James, K. Traditional Chinese Medicine, London: Cambridge University Publishers, 1999.

Jin, a el , Clinical Reflexology of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing: Beijing Science and Technology Press, 2004.

Maoshing, Ni, Ph.D. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine: A New Translation the neijing Suwen with Commentary. Boston: Shambhala Publication, Inc., 1995.

Sawako, A. The Doctor’s Wife, Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd., 1996.

Mark, W. Giants of Japan: The Lives of Japan’s Greatest Men and Women. Tokyo: Kodansha America, Inc. 1999.

Maciocia, G. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists, New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997.

Marc, S. Herbal Medicine. Fundamentals of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, St. Louis: Saunders El Sevier, 2000.

Ni, Mao-Shing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine: A New Translation of the Neijing Suwen with Commentary, Shambhala, 1995.

Pamela, S. “Naturopathic Medicine.” Fundamentals of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, St. Louis: Saunders El Sevier, 2000.

Paul U. Medicine in China: A History of Ideas, New York: University of California Press, 1985.

Scheid, V. Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis, London: Duke University Press, 2002.

Veith, Ilza. Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen; The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. New York: University of California Press, 1966.

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