Chinese Medicine

Vivienne Lo and Michael Stanley-Baker

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546497
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Chinese Medicine


This article leans towards practice-orientated accounts. The historical enterprise dignifies itself with the idea that it is possible to share something of the sensory and perceptive style of the originators of early Chinese healing practices to deepen our appreciation of their textual legacies. Indeed the ethnic and cultural boundaries of China itself are contested. This article discusses some observations about how the sensory modalities of Chinese medical thought speak powerfully to a modern global audience who frequently feel their own individual experience of health and sickness devalued in the processes of modern standardized medicine. With these methodological tools at our disposal, the door also opens into a rich inter regional cultural and material history, and a narrative not only concerned with internal ‘Chinese’ genealogical developments but also ready to tackle the transitions, transformations, and transmissions that happen to medical knowledge as it is exchanged between different peoples across physical domains as well as down through generations of healers.

Keywords: Chinese; ethnic boundaries; textual legacies; material history; medicine; health

Article.  9376 words. 

Subjects: History ; Asian History

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