An Exploration of the Cultural Roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Who Can Ride the Dragon? presents the essence of traditional Chinese medicine so that contemporary readers can appreciate its origins, its characteristic concepts and ideas, and most importantly its relevance to contemporary health and well-being. It pays particular attention to the nature of Chinese imagery and thought, tracing a fractal pattern of lines of influence that have developed over thousands of years.
Beginning with a basic premise—that to understand traditional Chinese medical concepts, texts, theories, and methods, one must quite literally come to terms with the cultural roots of the subject—the authors explore the ways in which Chinese language has influenced the development of medical concepts and theories since ancient times. They examine folk beliefs, myths, and customs that underlie the structure of medical theory in China, and investigate the relationships that exist between Chinese religio-philosophic ideology and medical theory and practice. Subsequently, the authors examine the literary tradition in China and suggest several important ways in which literary influences have pervaded medical thinking, strategy, and practice. The richness of the scientific tradition in Chinese history and the two common venues of medical development—folk medicine and court medicine—are portrayed.
Finally, the authors sensitively elucidate the relationship between sexual culture and medical theory, based upon examination of a number of ancient texts including passages from the great Tang dynasty physician, alchemist, and sexologist,Sun Si Miao, as well as other sources.
Who Can Ride the Dragon? conveys the Chinese viewpoint of their medicine and culture. The authors write with an appreciation for and a perspective of practice and teaching in China. As they explore the deep roots of its past, readers will admire the beauty and complexity of ancient Chinese medicine and discover its relevance to modern healthcare.