Pulse Diagnosis in Early Chinese Medicine

Pulse Diagnosis in Early Chinese Medicine : The Telling Touch

By (author) Elisabeth Hsu

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This is a study of the earliest extensive account of Chinese pulse diagnosis, or more accurately, the examination of mai. Dr Hsu focuses on a biography of Chunyu Yi, a doctor of the early Han, and presents the first complete translation into English of the Memoir in the Historical Records by Sima Qian (d. ca 86 BCE). This Memoir contains biographies of the physician, medical case histories and interviews, and constitutes a document of enormous importance to the history of medicine in China. The analysis covers the first ten medical cases and their rich vocabulary on touch, as used in Chinese pulse diagnosis. The patients treated were mostly nobility of the kingdom of Qi in Eastern China, who suffered from the indulgences of court life and were treated with early forms of decoction, fomentation, fumigation, acupuncture and moxibustion. To date there is no book on early China of its kind.

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  • Hardback | 422 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 26mm | 798.32g
  • 05 Jul 2010
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0521516625
  • 9780521516624
  • 537,146

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Author Information

Elisabeth Hsu is Reader in Social Anthropology and Fellow of Green College, and convenor of the MSc and MPhil in Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. Previous publications include The Transmission of Chinese Medicine (Cambridge, 1999), and Innovation in Chinese Medicine (Cambridge, 2001).

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Review quote

"This book is a welcome if odd contribution to the expanding field of Chinese medicine." -Michael Nylan, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

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