Modified and translated by CFJA
This is the fifth blog about acumoxa treatment. Since the content on acumoxa is heavy due to its long history and it played a central role in the medical field in Japan and China, we will be breaking it down into pieces and writing several blogs. What is Eastern Medicine? 01 was about acupuncture from the ancient times to the Asuka period (592 – 710); 02 was about acupuncture until the beginning of the Edo period (1603 – 1868); 03 was about moxibustion until the beginning of the Edo period; 04 was about acumoxa after the Edo period. This one will be about China.
Kampo medicine declined in Japan because the Meiji government recommended German medicine. Today, herbal treatment 薬草治療 (also known as herbs, Kampo-herbal treatment 漢方薬治療), the main medical treatment of Kampo 漢方, has not yet been revived as a national medicine. Acumoxa treatment 鍼灸治療, Seikotsu treatment 整骨治療 (bone-setting), and Anma treatment 按摩治療 (massage) were established in 1911 when the Regulations for the Control of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatment Businesses 鍼術灸術営業取締規則 and the Regulations for the Control of Massage Treatment Businesses 按摩術営業取締規則 were issued.
On the other hand, in China, in the Spring and Autumn Warring States Period (770 – 476 BCE), the word “good doctor 良医” are seen, confirming the existence of doctors. In the Qin Dynasty – they were the first to unify China – the position of the Minister of Imperial Medical Affairs 太医令 was included in the state government system. This shows that the state placed great importance on medicine from ancient times. In the Shurai 『周禮』, one of the 13 Confucian sutras, five official positions were introduced: medical officer 醫師, dietary officer食醫, physician 疾醫, abscess doctor瘍醫, and veterinarian 獸醫. The medical officer was the centre of medical care and provided medical care. The dietary officer controls the nutrition and temperature of food served to the king. The physician is concerned with the treatment of diseases of all people. Abscess doctor treats wounds, pus and other external injuries and skin diseases. The veterinarian takes care of animals. This system was an imitation of Ishitsuryo 医疾令, an ancient Japanese medical law in the first edition of the Taiho Code『大宝律令』in the early 8th century.In China, from the Han dynasty through the Sui, Tang, Yuan, Song and Ming dynasties to the Qing dynasty, herbal and acumoxa treatment continued to be practiced as national medicine. The mainstream of medicine was herbs – acupuncture was given little importance and moxibustion was rarely practiced. We think that this is one of the reasons why moxibustion was not taken up much in the book, Lingshu『霊枢』(Jp. Reisu) from Huandi Neijing『黄帝内経』which is the first systematized medical book in China. As the central focus was on herbs, acupuncture did not seem to have developed much and was considered to be supplementary. The background to the great development of acumoxa in Japan is that it was difficult to obtain herbs, thus they had to make full use of acumoxa. The fact that Japan and China are opposite would be inevitable when tracing their historical backgrounds.