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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 210-215

The records of anatomy in ancient China

Department of Anatomy, College of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Lisheng Zhang
Department of Anatomy, College of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CMAC.CMAC_18_20

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Through long-term observations and repeated practices of human body structure, anatomical knowledge in ancient China has gradually developed from the sprouting period when ancient Chinese hunted animals for survival, to anatomical exploration, which breaks the shackles of fear and religious rites. For example, Hua Tuo (华佗), a famous doctor in the period of The Three Kingdoms, did exquisite abdominal surgery; Yan Luozi (烟萝子), a Taoist priest in the period of The Five Dynasties, drew a map of human anatomy; Wang Weiyi (王唯一), a medical official in Northern Song dynasty, was responsible for casting acupuncture bronze figures, an anatomical mold for practicing acupuncture; Song Ci (宋慈), a forensic expert in Southern Song Dynasty, wrote Xi Yuan Ji Lu (《洗冤集录》 Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified); Wang Qingren (王清任), a physician in Qing Dynasty wrote Yi Lin Gai Cuo (《医林改错》 Correction on Errors in Medical Works). Ancient Chinese anatomy is far ahead of Western anatomy in understanding and describing human body structures. It has made great contributions to the emergence of Huang Di Nei Jing (《黄帝内经》 Huangdi's Internal Classic) and laid a solid foundation for the establishment of visceral manifestation theory and meridian and collateral theory. Even now, it has served the basic theory of traditional Chinese medicine and clinical practices. Anatomical knowledges, such as relevant operation records, books, Atlas, models in ancient China, especially the names of Zang-organ and Fu-organ, bones and five sense organs, are still used in modern anatomy and modern medicine, making indelible contributions to the development of modern anatomy in China.

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