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The Liao, Xia, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties (916~1368)

Development of Preventive Medicine

People of the Yuan Dynasty (1271~1368) knew not only the value of a lukewarm bath, but also that of a cold bath.  When Marco Polo traveled in China he found that the beautiful veil adorning by maids-in-waiting who served food for emperors had the function of preventing breath from contaminating food.  Hence we can see that people at that time already knew something about health care.

 
 
Marco Polo
Development of Medical Theory
In this period, a number of medical specialists with new ideas emerged.  Proceeding from different perspectives, all of them pointed out that "ancient formulas cannot cure all of today's diseases." They advocated new and original academic ideas in treating disease.  Among them, the most influential were Liu Wansu, Zhang Congzheng, Li Gao, and Zhu Zhenheng.  Their theory enlivened the academic atmosphere of the time, enriching the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, and opening up a new road for the development of medicine.
 
                                                 
                                                           Liu Wansu  Zhang Congzheng     Li Gao  Zhu Zhenheng
 
Medical specialists of this period took a detailed study of the medical works handed down from ancient times.  Nan Jing Ben Yi (The Genuine Meaning of the Difficult Classic) written by Hua Shou studied Nan Jing (Difficult Classic) in detail.  Zhu Jie Shang Huan Lun (Annotation to Treatise on Cold-induced Diseases) written by Cheng Wuji was the one which comprehensively annotated Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced Diseases).  Achievements of diagnosis in this period mainly manifested in sphygmology and tongue diagnosis.  The most outstanding monograph on diagnosis is Zhen Jia Shu Yao (Essentials for Diagnosticians), written by Hua Shou.  A monograph on tongue diagnostics is Ao Shi Shang Han Jin Jing Lu (Ao's Golden Mirror of Cold-induced Diseases), compiled by Du Ben.

 

 
Ao Shi Shang Han Jin Jing Lu (Ao's Golden Mirror of Cold-Induced Diseases)
 
Development of Various Clinical Fields
In this period, subspecialty of medicine became more refined.  There was obvious progress in the treatment of children’s diseases.  Famous medical specialists like Liu Wansu, Zhang Congzheng, Li Gao, and Zhu Zhenheng all had new elaborations in pediatrics.  Hua Shou was the first physician who discovered and described speckles in the buccal mucosa of a measles patient.  Surgery and orthopedics also underwent considerable development during this period.
Development of acupuncture and moxibustion also had specific characteristics at this time.  Bloodletting was mostly used in acupuncture.  More acupuncturists specialized in moxibustion turned up during this period.
 

Development of Ethinc Medicine

Medicine of national minorities had an exuberant development during the Jin and Yuan Dynasties (1115~1368).  It manifested itself in many aspects, such as Tibetan medicine, Mongolian medicine, Uygur medicine, and Dai medicine.  The compilation of Hui Hui Yao Fang (Prescriptions of the Hui Nationality) and Yin Shan Zheng Yao (Principles of Correct Diet) introduced the culture of medicine of national minorities, and assimilated it into the culture of Chinese medicine at the same time.  It was actually the crystallization of a cultural exchange.

 
 
Yin Shan Zheng Yao (Principles of Correct Diet)
 


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