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The Development of Wind Aetiology in Chinese Medicine. Part One - Historical Theory

The Development of Wind Aetiology in Chinese Medicine. Part One - Historical Theory
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Volume 1 Issue 2 - April 2006

by Attilio D'Alberto

Introduction

Wind’s historical background in ancient China dates back to the beginning of the written word, yet its historical development within the textus receptus of the Huang Di Nei Jing Suwen has not been so linear. The differences between the writings of the Mawangdui manuscripts to its later cousin the Suwen may shed light on the evolution of wind aetiology in Chinese medicine and the development of that most elusive of forms, qi itself. Qi is defined as ‘air, gas, vapour, flatus’, whilst wind is defined as ‘any natural movement of air’ (Wiseman and Ye 1998, Harper 1998). Wind is air in motion, yang in nature, a yang evil and lies at the root of all illness. It is a natural element, like a wild horse, it cannot be readily tamed; only shamans were thought to be able to control its actual movement. Qi theory however, is a more complex force that encapsulates both negative and positive aspects. It can be controlled by Humankind within the body by the direction of thought, exercise and the administration of traditional folk medicine.
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