The Chinese Concept of Health in Huangdi Neijing
Keywords:黃帝內經, 健康文化, 神形論
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
Health is fundamental to the human condition. The concept of health is culture-dependent and historically developed in each culture. The Huangdi Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) is an ancient Chinese masterpiece about human health and medical treatment. Based on the classical Chinese view of the unity of heaven and man, the Huangdi Neijing understands health as somatic and spiritual harmony: it emphasizes the smooth fluxing of the qi essence, the well-structured body, the fullness of vitality, and the equilibrium of yin and yang. In addition, health is an individual and dynamic concept, according to which the degree of one’s health depends on social standing, status, age, and geographic environment. To maintain and pursue health, humans must comply with the laws of nature, such as by staying emotionally calm, seeking the balance of yin and yang, controlling the diet, regulating living schedules, avoiding overwork, preventing evil factors, and pursuing internal spiritual orientation. These ideas of health are in many ways consistent with, and even comparable to, the holistic definition of health provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, they are characteristic of a particular Chinese culture, providing a more vivid and concrete account of health than the more general view of the WHO.
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Copyright (c) 2017 International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine
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