History Of Chinese Medicine

The medical culture is believed to have begun in China over 5, 000 years ago. The medical culture has therefore borrowed a lot of aspects from the Chinese medical culture. However, the western medical culture differs in a great way from the Chinese culture. Distinctive features of diagnostic methods, medical science, prescriptions, theory, and cures are borrowed and developed from the Chinese culture. According to the Chinese tradition, the physiology of a human body is through a balance between yin and yang. Yang represents the outer and positive factors that affect the body while yin refers to the internal and negative factors. Human health is dependent on the balance between the two factors. Yang will protect the body from the outer elements and harm associated with these external factors. Yin, on the other hand, provides and stores energy and making it possible for external protection. The balance of these two factors should always be in harmony. The harmony of these factors influence operation of the body organs and maintaining life.

Diagnostic Methods

The main diagnostic tool used by the traditional Chinese medicine was through physical observation. They did not use any apparatus for observation. The observation was, however, divided into four major areas.

Observation: The body will always coordinate the outer appearance to the interior appearance. The external appearance will, therefore, tell what is happening to the inner organs. The inner organs will communicate and show any signs of a problem on the skin, the tongue, excrement and the sensory organs. A doctor will there rely on outward appearance to diagnose and prescribe.

Auscultation and Olfaction: this is where the doctor listens to the sound made by different organs of the body as a reference for diagnosis. They could also use odor from excretions like saliva, sweat and urine.

Interrogation: this is when the doctor asks questions to the patients and relatives and uses the information gathered to diagnose and prescribe medication. They will enquire about the previous medical history and genetic conditions in the family lineage.

Taking pulse and palpation: When the body is stable, the pulse rate will be stable. The doctors will note the patient's pulse conditions and use that information for diagnosis.


After the physical observation, traditional Chinese treatment involves medication for herbs to take care of different conditions. With time, the medication would change. As western medicine became widespread, patients have changed the medication procedure. They are supposed to boil for long periods as it is believed that the herbs may contain some ham full effects.

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