Ancient (classical) TCM history
Yin-yang symbolMuch of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derives from the same philosophical underpinnings that inform Taoist and Buddhist thought, and reflects the classical Chinese belief that the life and activity of individual human beings have an intimate relationship with the environment on all levels.
In legend, as a result of a dialogue with his minister Qibo (岐伯), the Yellow Emperor (2698 - 2596 BCE) is supposed by Chinese tradition to have composed his Neijing Suwen (《内经·素问》) or Inner Canon: Basic Questions, also known as the Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon). The book's title is often mistranslated as Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. Modern scholarly opinion holds that the extant text of this title was compiled by an anonymous scholar no earlier than the Han dynasty just over two-thousand years ago.
During the Han dynasty (202 BC "220 AD), Zhang Zhongjing (张仲景/張仲景), the Hippocrates of China, who was mayor of Chang-sha toward the end of the 2nd century AD, wrote a Treatise on Cold Damage, which contains the earliest known reference to Neijing Suwen. Another prominent Eastern Han physician was Hua Tuo (c. 140 " c. 208 AD), who anesthetized patients during surgery with a formula of wine and powdered hemp. Hua's physical, surgical, and herbal treatments were also used to cure headaches, dizziness, internal worms, fevers, coughing, blocked throat, and even a diagnosis for one lady that she had a dead fetus within her that needed to be taken out. The Jin dynasty practitioner and advocate of acupuncture and moxibustion, Huang-fu Mi (215 - 282 AD), also quoted the Yellow Emperor in his Jia Yi Jing ("乙经/"乙"), ca. 265 AD. During the Tang dynasty, Wang Bing claimed to have located a copy of the originals of the Neijing Suwen, which he expanded and edited substantially. This work was revisited by an imperial commission during the 11th century AD.
There were noted advances in...