Chinese Medicine and Cultural Transformation

By: Brendan Kelly

Abstract

A fundamental tenet of Chinese medicine is that as humans we are connected to the world around us, and that the microcosm and the macrocosm – the little picture and the big picture – offer similar views, with the difference being merely a matter of scale. In light of over two decades of voluminous Western research indicating that the stability of the climate has been seriously compromised, how can Chinese medicine contribute to the ongoing discussion about climate change? Even a basic discussion of yinyang theory can provide significant insights into what climatologists describe is happening globally. This article examines prevalent assumptions about climate change held in the industrialized West through the lens of Chinese medicine, and explores deep-reaching philosophical understandings from classic Chinese medical texts that have much to offer in discussions about – and action towards – climate stabilization.

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