Early Texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine – An Ancient and Sophisticated Medical System

This ancient grave is found on "China Hill" in Melaka

Ancient documents and medical textbooks reveal that traditional Chinese medicine was an advanced medical system practiced long before Western medicine.

Legendary Experts From the Early Days of Traditional Chinese Medicine

In this portion of a stone carving from the Eastern Han Dynasty, Bian Que is depicted as a bird with a human head performing acupuncture on three patients. Image by BabelStone. CC BY-SA 3.0

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in shamanism and developed over thousands of years into a sound medical system. Ancestral experts of the art have entered the canon of traditional Chinese medicine, and have been elevated to the level of divinity in popular Chinese culture.

The Origins of Chinese Medicine

This arresting statue of Lao Tzu (Laozi), the founder of Taoism, is in in Quanzhou, China. Image by Tom@HK. CC BY 2.0.

Traditional Chinese medicine is possibly the oldest continually used medical system known to humankind. Based on the use of herbal medicines, acupuncture, diet, and lifestyle, traditional Chinese medicine has proven effective in many contexts. A central tenet of Chinese medicine is that ideal health is achieved through harmony with nature.