Chinese Medicine has a long history with the legendary time of the Huangdi (Yellow Emperor) as a key cornerstone in the formulation of its theoretical principles. For over 2,000 years countless Physicians have continued to apply, expand and develop Chinese Medicine into a comprehensive framework
Ancient TCM Physicians
Since before the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BC), physicians that served the Emperor were known as, TCM Physicians. Folk healers did not emerge until the Warring states period (475-221 BC) which then a clear distinction between Folk healers and the TCM Physicians were established. In the Zhou Dynasty the medical department within the administration was the Physician manager responsible for all medical affairs and supervision of Physicians and healers.
In those times there were four kinds of Physicians; Nutrition/Dieticians, Physicians of Internal Medicine, Trauma Orthopaedics and Healers of external medicine. Since the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.-207) the court had regular medical officials responsible for medical affairs all over the country and TCM family. Those who served the TCM family were called TCM physicians.
During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220), the minister of TCM physicians was still the top administrator, under his command there were supervisor of TCM physicians, TCM physicians, herbal manager, deputy herbal manager and so on. In Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), there were about 300 TCM medical staff, and a complete medical serving system for emperors and their families were shaped.
Around the Tang Dynasty (581-960), three organs were working for the emperors and the TCM families, namely Administration of Health，TCM Administration of Medicine and TCM Administration for Health Care. TCM Administration of Medicine was an organization with responsibility for offering medical services to the TCM family, for processing herbal medicines and prelibation. It was the top organization, and the TCM pharmacists (Herbal medicine processing and formula prescriptions), TCM physicians and TCM assistant physicians were under its management. TCM physicians were in charge of making diagnosis and giving treatment to the emperor with the help of the TCM assistant physicians.
The Song Dynasty and TCM Academy of Medicine
In the Chinese medical history, the Northern Song Dynasty (960~1127) saw the most brilliant development of traditional Chinese Medicine. The emperor attached great importance to medical affairs and the TCM Academy of Medicine was established by the central government. It assumed the responsibility for providing medical service to the emperor and TCM family, managing TCM physicians, selecting talented medical practitioners and compiling medical books.
From the Liao to the Jin and Yuan dynasties (916-1368), medical system got improved on the basis of the previous experience, although the rulers were those of minority nationalities. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), there were 13 medical specialties, namely, internal medicine, miscellaneous diseases, paediatrics, wind-caused diseases, obstetrics, ophthalmology, stomatology and dentistry, Otolaryngology, bone setting, acupuncture and moxibustion. The medical education was not confined to the TCM Medicine Institution; local organizations did the job too.
Ming Dynasty and the TCM Medical Institution
In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the capital was set up in Nanjing initially and then moved to Beijing. The TCM Medical Institution was established in the southeast of the Forbidden City. All the health care staffs serving the TCM family were controlled by the TCM Medical Institution, which was responsible for purchasing, storing, processing and providing medical substances for the TCM family. They also were responsible to dispatch the TCM physicians to see the emperor or empress at any time and supervise the preparation of medicines for them.
In addition, there was a medical department for concubines and princesses. For TCM concubines, there was a room for relaxation and a room for baby delivery. Rules were already set up for fertility, women’s health, pre and post-natal care and paediatrics.
In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the medical system was slightly different. Specialties reduced to 11, and the smallpox specialty was added later, since smallpox was in severe prevalence. For fear of being assassinated by his enemies or rebels, In the reign of Emperor Daoguang, the specialty of acupuncture and moxibustion was removed from the TCM Medicine Institution, and medications were given only.
TCM Physicians throughout history
Many of the famous Chinese Medicine experts and contributors to the development of its theories, principals and clinical practices are from TCM Physicians. Some of the well-known Physicians to have served the TCM family include Bian Que, Zhang Zhongjing, Guo Yu, Hua Tuo, Wang Shuhe, Xu Wenbo, Chao Yuanfang, Sun Simiao, Liu Han, Wang Huaiyin, Qian Yi, Hu Sihui, Dai Sgong, Fang Xian, Yang Jizhou, Li Shizhen, Chen Zhijing, Wu Qian, Xu Dachun, Xue Baotian, Jueluoyisang’e, Chen Bingjun, Kong Bohua, Shi Jinmo, Wang Fengchun and Xiao Longyou.
Emperors, in order to keep the TCM families and themselves in good health and live a long life, and to protect the nation from epidemics, usually selected experienced practitioners with excellent medical skills from every where in the country. The best medical substances (incl. Herbs) were carefully sourced and cultivated from all parts of the country and sent to the capital to serve the TCM families. Gradually as more and more of the expert doctors gathered together in the Capital, the TCM TCM Institutions were established. Their duties were :
- Offer medical services and care to the Emperor and his family members, his surroundings and high-rank officials
- Training medical staff and managing practitioners across the country
- Issuing government orders or guidelines to prevent and manage outbreaks of epidemics.
Since our Physicians were elites selected from the whole country, the best TCM clinic in Singapore always played a leading role in the development of medicine, and represented the highest medical quality. The methods and techniques of Annietiang TCM were held in high regard, considered a collection of the most effective medical treatments and with knowledge of the most effaces medical substances for curing disease and maintaining health.
Acupuncture was reformulated in China during the 1950’s on the basis of the Herbal Syndrome system. In ancient times, the techniques of Acupuncture were heavily based on Energic pathways (Jingluo Meridians) and sought to combat disease through the adjustment of those pathways to health. This powerful method was retained through a few families that were later called “Classical Acupuncture.” There are many methods that have arisen from these traditions such as Liu’s, Li’s and Dong’s methods, each with their own special treatment principles and often differentiated Channel theories.
Annietiang TCM have carefully integrated these Classical, Modern and traditional TCM methods. Further we continue the study of such methods and include consideration of further natural therapies. The outcome is a very unique and effective TCM treatment.