Currents of Tradition in Chinese Medicine 1626-2006
- ISBN: 9780939616565
- 2007, 564 pages
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This is an absorbing story about a lineage of traditional physicians in China which began in 1626, and whose contemporary members (including Qin Bowei) shaped the modern practice of TCM all over the world.
In 1626, a young man named Fei Shangyou moved his family to Menghe, a small town in the Yangzi delta of China. According to family legend, he abandoned his career as a scholar and began working as a physician. In doing so, he founded a medical lineage that continues to the present day. This book describes the development, flourishing, and decline of this lineage and its many branches, as well as that of the other medical lineages and families with which it merged over time to form the current of Menghe learning (Menghe xuepai). This current and its offshoots produced some of the most influential physicians in the Chinese medical tradition during the 19th and 20th centuries. Menghe physicians, their disciples and students treated emperors, imperial mandarins, Nationalist Party generals, leading figures in the Communist Party, affluent businessmen, and influential artists.
In late imperial China, Menghe medicine was a self-conscious attempt to unite diverse strands of medical learning into one integrated tradition centered on ancient principles of practice. In Republican Shanghai, Menghe physicians and their students were at the forefront of medical modernization, establishing schools, professional associations, and journals that became models for others to follow. During the 1950s and 1960s, the heirs of Menghe medicine were key players in creating the institutional framework for contemporary Chinese medicine. Their students are now practicing all over the world, shaping Chinese medicine in Los Angeles, New York, Oxford, Mallorca, and Berlin.