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Wang Qing-Ren

Decent Essays
Wang Qing-ren (1738-1831)

“To treat illness without understanding the viscera and bowels is no different from a blind man walking in the dark” - Wang Qing-ren (1768-1831), Physician, Qing Dynasty
Wang Qing-ren (1763-1831) was a famous physician of traditional Chinese medicine during the Qing Dynasty. He wrote the Yi Lin Gai Cuo (Correcting the Errors in the Forest of 
 Medicine), his only published work, which first appeared in print in 1830 just a year before he died. Since then, it has been re-published numerous times in China, Japan and Korea, and is 
 considered “one of the most reprinted books in all of Chinese medicine” (Minehan, 2007). The book was found to be controversial because it challenged many long-held beliefs in 
 Traditional
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Early Origins and the Classics
Wang Qing-ren’s goal was to correct what he thought were mistakes made by the ancient medical scholars in the oldest of Chinese medical texts, the Huangdi Nei-jing (Nei Jing) or Inner
Classic of the Yellow Emperor. The Yellow Emperor Huangdi is one of China’s most ancient mythical patriarchs, and considered as the “founder of the Chinese nation around 4,000 B.C.E.— 3,900 years before the Nei Jing was written.” (Mainfort, 2004). Although Huangdi has been 
 traditionally credited with writing the Nei Jing, it was actually compiled by a series of unknown authors between 300 and 100 B.C.E. (Kaptchuk, 2014).
Considered as the ultimate ‘bible’ of TCM, the Nei Jing sets forth the foundations of Chinese life sciences and medicine drawn from the Taoist traditions of the Yin-Yang and Five Elements concepts. These concepts provided an intricate but systematic set of correspondences between
WANG QING-REN (1738-1831) 4 the human body and man’s natural environment. It placed strong emphasis on theoretical 
 principles for achieving physiological, mental and spiritual balance according to physical
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As the oldest source of early Chinese 
 medicine theory, the Nei Jing has naturally undergone many centuries of interpretations and 
 revisions from later thinkers and Chinese physician-authors since its inception back in the Han dynasty (206 BC). Hence it is both preserved, elaborated upon and reworked over time and, in the case of Wang Qing-ren, even challenged (Kaptchuk, 2000).
Ming and Qing Dynasties - New Developments in Medical Theory Between the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1840) China underwent a series of significant 
 transitions, most notably from feudal society (Ming dynasty) to a form of commodity-based economy (latter part of the Qing dynasty) as the result of widespread restructuring of the central and local governments. Taxes were levied, land was reclaimed and the cultivation of export crops such as hemp and cotton was encouraged, thus paving the way for commercial trade to flourish.
This period of change and growth made way for new developments in science, technology,
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