Oriental Medicine: An Illustrated Guide to the Asian Arts of Healing
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The traditional medical systems of Asia evolved over centuries of empirical observation and
diagnosis and treatment of disease. Based on a corpus of written material, they are found
embedded with the symbols, concepts of the body and world views characterising the
historical differences between civilisations. This is the first book to present to both
general and specialist readership an illustrated guide to the main codified medical
traditions of Asia from the perspective of Western scholars as well as that of physicians
actually working today within each system.
An introduction by Fernand Meyer outlines how traditional medical systems reflect complex
social and cultural realities which help us to understand how different societies,
including our own, interpret and relate to matters of health and disease.
The main streams of Indian, Tibetan and Chinese medicine are the subject of fifteen
contributions, providing a brief history of each system and a clear exposition of theory
and the principal methods of diagnosis and treatment. How these ancient systems have
adapted and are actually integrated today with Western biomedicine in India, Tibet,
China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, is the subject of individual chapters.
The principal themes and subjects of traditional Asian medical systems are copiously
illustrated with field photographs taken by Mark De Fraeye over a number of years, and
which are balanced with the traditions' fascinating body charts, herbals, aides memoire,
as well as instruments, amulets and other medical paraphernalia.
The book concludes with essays on the three main healing deities of Asia; Dhanvantari,
Shennong and the Medicine Buddha.
This publication will be of multi-disciplinary interest and use to historians and social
scientists, as well as to physicians and the general public interested in a vast
heritage of complementary and alternative therapies.