‘A Thousand Changes and Ten Thousand Transformations’: Individualising Illness in the Northern Song (960-1127)
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The history of ‘pattern differentiation as the basis for determining treatment’ (bianzheng lunzhi 辨證論治) or, conceived more broadly, ‘individualisation of treatment’ in Chinese medicine has become an important topic among both clinicians and medical historians. This article contributes to that discussion by describing Northern Song physicians’ worries about and methods of approaching the problem of the complexity of illness. It concludes with a suggestion for a new way of conceiving of the history of this important aspect of modern Chinese medical practice.
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