Chinese Medicine

By William R. Morse, M.D. Pages i–xxiii, 1–185. In Clio Medica. Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., New York, 1934

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In this little volume the author has packed not only a vast amount of information, but also a philosophy of life and theory of cosmogony which has controlled the lives and actions of a people for several thousands of years. Without at least an elementary understanding of this background it would be impossible to understand the attitude of the Chinese toward disease. Throughout all of the approaches to the origin of disease in China there is the concept of the opposing nature of the yang and the yin principles, the Heaven and the Earth, the male and the female, the good and the bad, the light and the dark. Disease is due to lack of equilibrium of these two forces within the human body and treatment consists in resuming a proper balance. This unanswerable logic practically closed the door to a scientific inquiry into the nature of disease or even into an accurate interpretation of human anatomy or physiology.