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 >> Culture and History >> The History of TCM
The Song Dynasty (960~1279)

Characteristics of Medical Institutions

Emperors of the Song Dynasty (960~1279) attached unprecedented importance to medicine.  The government set up the "Medical Books Press".  There were nearly one hundred medical formulas and books extant from the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  The medical progress of the Song Dynasty (960~1279) also manifests itself in the development of medical education, improvement of diagnostic levels, and advancement of various clinical fields.
Medicaments were listed as monopolized commodities in the Song Dynasty (960~1279) and were managed by the government exclusively.  In 1148 the Song Dynasty (960~1279) set up the Bureau of People’s Welfare Pharmacy.  It sold medicinal substances or products to people at a non-preferential price, and engaged in wholesale, and interchange of them.  The government also established rules and regulations to give medical service and herbal medicines to common people in summer, winter and especially in seasons when epidemic diseases were prevalent.  Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Bureau of People's Welfare Pharmacy) also popularized the use of patent medicine, which brought great convenience to people.
 He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Bureau of People's Welfare Pharmacy)

Medical Educational Systems of the Song Dynasty (960~1279)

The Imperial Administration of Health was the highest institution of medical education established by the government of the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  In local areas, medical schools were set up to train special talents of medicine.
The government of the Song Dynasty (960~1279) paid more attention to medical science than other dynasties.  They set up specialized institutions to emendate, print and publish medical books.  There were many medical works edited and published by the "Medical Books Press": Huang Di Nei Jing (Huangdi's Canon of Medicine) annotated by Wang Bing, Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing (The ABC Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion) written by Huangfu Mi, Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases) written by Zhang Zhongjing, Mai Jing (The Pulse Classic) written by Wang Shuhe, Qian Jin Yao Fang (Invaluable Prescriptions for Emergencies) and Qian Jin Yi Fang (Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions for Emergencies) written by Sun Simiao, Wai Tai Mi Yao (Medical Secrets of an Official) written by Wang Tao.
Mai Jing (The Pulse Classic)

Development of Preventive Medicine

There was obvious development in preventive medicine in many aspects in the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  They included cleaning the environment, eliminating mosquitos, carrying out cremations, opening commercial bathrooms, drinking boiled water and constituting sanitation laws and regulations.  Formation of the health preservation genre in the Song Dynasty (960~1279) enriched and reinforced the contents of traditional Chinese health care.  According to records, Ba Duan Jin (The Eight Pieces of Brocade) came up just before the end of the Northern Song Dynasty (960~1279).

Ba Duan Jin (The Eight Pieces of Brocade)

Development of Medical Theory

In the Song Dynasty (960~1279), accumulated experience in the dissection of cadavers greatly increased the knowledge of human anatomy.  Detailed anatomical drawings began to appear.  Ou Xi Fan Wu Zang Tu (Ou Xifan's Anatomical Illustrations), drawn by Zhu Jing, and Cun Zhen Tu (Anatomical Atlas of Truth), compiled by Yang Jie are both collections of drawings based on autopsies.

Cun Zhen Tu (Anatomical Atlas of Truth)
Various kinds of classical works about materia medica come out successively.  The most important one was Jing Shi Zheng Lei Bei Ji Ben Cao (Classic Classified Materia Medica for Emergencies), compiled by Tang Shenwei.  At the same time, theories of formulas were enriched gradually, along with the bloom of books on formulas, which is reflected in the Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Bureau of People's Welfare Pharmacy).
Tang Shenwei
Development of Various Clinical Fields
Clinical medicine in the Song Dynasty (960~1279) was further advanced.  Achievements of obstetrics and gynecology were particularly significant.  In the Imperial Administration of Health of the Song Dynasty (960~1279), obstetrical departments were set with obstetrics professors to train gynecologists and obstetricians.  This pushed forward the development of obstetrics and gynecology in the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  Fu Ren Da Quan Liang Fang (The Complete Book of Effective Prescriptions for Women), written by Chan Ziming, was the first comprehensive monograph on gynecology and obstetrics. 
During the Song Dynasty (960~1279), a number of distinguished pediatricians emerged, among whom Qian Yi was an outstanding representative.  Xiao Er Yao Zheng Zhi Jue (Key to the Therapeutics of Children's Diseases) written by him, represented the outstanding achievement acquired in pediatrics during the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  Furthermore, the government issued decrees about children's healthy growth.
Qian Yi
Departments of ophthalmology, dentistry and department of pharyngology had separated into independent divisions in the Song Dynasty (960~1279).  This was the result of constant enrichment in the theories and experience about diseases of the five sense organs.  The progress of ophthalmology was of the most outstanding among them.
Bronze Figures
Acupuncture and moxibusation had further development in the Song Dynasty (960~1279), and built a new milestone in the developmental history of Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion.Wang Weiyi was a famous acupuncturist who served imperial family. He compiled Tong Ren Shu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu Jing (Illustrated Manual of Acupoints on the Bronze Figure) in 1026, and cast two three-dimensional bronze figures with points, which were used as teaching aids for acupuncture pupils.

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