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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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The Yellow Thearch's Body Image

The Yellow Thearch's Body Image

13 The Yellow Thearch's Body Image
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

Historical documents enable us to reconstruct the beginnings of medicine from the second and first centuries bc. These documents are referred as the writings of the Yellow Thearch (also known as the Yellow Emperor), since it was under this name that they were handed down. The description of highly complex systems of vessels in the writings of the Yellow Thearch is in three different orders of magnitude. First, there are the twelve great pathways. Three parallel vessels with four subdivisions each run from the torso to the fingers, from the hands to the head, from the head to the toes and from the feet back to the torso. Second, there are network vessels that act as links between the separate sections of the great pathway system and together comprise a comprehensive network. A third level includes “grandchild” vessels. These depart from different places in the network and end somewhere in the tissues. The writings of the Yellow Thearch paired every great pathway on the left and right sides of the body with a well-defined organ.

Keywords:   Yellow Thearch, well-defined organ, parallel vessels, grandchild vessels, network vessels

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