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Compare and Contrast the Relative Contribution of India and South East Asia to China's Medical Tradition - Essay Example

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Compare and contrast the relative contribution of India and South East Asia to China’s medical tradition. Compare and contrast the relative contribution of India and South East Asia to China’s medical tradition. 1. Introduction The development of medical systems worldwide is usually differentiated in accordance with the local culture and ethics…
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Compare and Contrast the Relative Contribution of India and South East Asia to Chinas Medical Tradition
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Download file to see previous pages The above view can be made clear through the following fact: Chinese medical tradition has been divided into two, major, parts: ‘the Confucian school of thought and the Daoist context’ (Elm and Willich 2009, p.77). The differences between these two frameworks have been significant, a problem that influenced the development of the country’s medical tradition. Apart from the local culture and scientific development, the Chinese medical tradition has been influenced by the culture and the trends of the South East region and India. The level at which South East Asia and India affected the Chinese medical tradition is difficult to be precisely identified mostly because the views included in the literature published on this issue lead to different assumptions. In any case, it is clear that South East Asia and India influenced the Chinese medical tradition, a fact reflected in the incorporation of many substances, through India and South Eat Asia, in the country’s medical tradition. The specific issue is set under examination in this paper. Emphasis is given on the ways that various medical substances entered China through India and the South East Asia. Particular reference is made to tobacco and opium, two medical substances that have highly affected the Chinese medical tradition, as verified through the studies developed in this field. 2. China’s medical tradition as influenced by India and South East Asia 2.1 The influence of India and South East Asia on China medical tradition The medical tradition of China has been highly differentiated from those of the West; the country’s medical tradition presents also significant references to the similar frameworks of other countries in the South East region. Reference should be made, for example, to the study of Selin (1997). In accordance with the above researcher, food therapy has been a common element of medical traditions in Europe, India and Near East (Selin 1997, p.676). It is noted that in China, food therapy has been related to ‘the yinyang philosophy and the Five Phases theory’ (Selin 1997, p.676). In this context, the medical history of China has been strongly related to philosophy, a trend, which is not, developed in India and the other South East Asia countries. In accordance with a report published by the World Health Organization in 2003, the Chinese medical system has a history of around 5000 years and it is highly based on the use of plants (Singh 2011); in fact, in China more than 7000 species of plants have been identified; most of these are key elements of the country’s medical system (Singh 2011). In the study of Arnold (2000) reference is made to the contribution of India in the development of medicine and other scientific sectors of China, as also in other regions of the South East Asia. It is explained that due to the long presence of British in India, the country’s technology and scientific knowledge was benefited, a fact that also influenced neighboring countries, such as China (Arnold 2000). Leslie (1976) notes that the revival of traditional medical system is highly promoted in China today, a trend, which is not reported in other countries of the Near East and the South East Asia, apart from India. From this point of view, the Chinese medical history can be considered as strongly related ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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