History of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The information presented provides a very general overview of TCM. TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) for horses and farm animals has existed for centuries. Farm animals had economic value. Horses were important for military, transportation and farm use. This made it very important for these species to receive medical care.
For small animals, it has probably been used only for a few decades. In any case, the TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) concepts used for humans and farm animals easily can be translated to pets.
Just because we use TCVM does not mean everything is being performed as it was 3000 years ago. TCVM has transformed itself continuously through the ages as medical knowledge advanced and new problems were identified.
This is not unlike current Western human or Veterinary Medicine. Many of the recommendations made today in human medicine for a given problem are different than they were even a year ago.
ALL medicine is an art. It is constantly changing as more information is added.
What follows is a basic time line for TCM and TCVM, it is by no means complete, it is just to give you an idea of the extensive history involved with Chinese medicine:
16th-11th Century B.C.
• First development of veterinary knowledge in China
11th century-221 B.C.
• Zhou Li Tian Guan, a history book of the Zhou Dynasty, records the existence of full time veterinarians treating disease
• Zhou Li (The Rites of Zhou Dynasty), Shi Jing (The Books of Songs) and Shan Hai Jing (The Book of Mountains and Rivers) describe over 100 Chinese medicines
• Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine) documents the basic theories of Traditional Chinese MEdicine and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
• Yin-Yang and Five element theories were developed. These two theories form the foundation for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. These theories developed between 722 - 221 B.C.
206 B.C. - 220 A.D.
• Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Shen Nong's Book of Medicinal Herbs) reported 365 herbal medicines. This was the earliest Chinese materia medica
• Veterinary prescriptions have been found written on bamboo slips
• Leather horseshoes and hoof trimming used to prevent hoof disease
• Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold induced Disorders and Miscellaneous Diseases) was written.
265 - 581 A.D.
• Bo Le Liao Ma Jing (Bole's Classics on Treatment of Equine Diseases) published
• Tai Pu Si, a branch of government in charge of veterinary medicine was established with 120 veterinarians
• Many texts published including Liao Ma Fang (Prescription for Horse) and Yu Ji Liao Ma Jing (Classic on Treatment of Equine Diseases)
• Comprehensive veterinary education system developed. From 705-707 A.D. there were 600 veterinarians, 4 veterinary teachers and 100 veterinary students in Tai Pu Si, a veterinary institution in China. (Interesting because according to ENCARTA ---The first veterinary school was founded in Lyons, France, in 1761. Later known as the Royal Veterinary School, its purpose was to provide study in the anatomy and diseases of horses, cattle, and sheep. The first American veterinary institution, the Veterinary College of Philadelphia, operated from 1852 to 1866. The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, established in 1883, has the distinction of being the oldest accredited veterinary school currently operating in the United States.)
• Bing Ma Jian (Hospital of Sick Horses) became the first veterinary hospital in China
• Quan Ji Tong Xuan Lun (Treatment of Sick horses) described pathology of internal organs and treatment of common diseases
• The government made veterinary training a law
• Ben Cao Gang Mu (Compendium of Materia Medica) describes 1892 Chinese herbs and 11,096 Chinese herbal formulas
• Traditional Chinese medicine developed slowly
• Ma Niu Tuo Jing Da Quan (The Complete Collection of Diseases of Horses, Cattle and Camels) was written based on an earlier work
• Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine nearly perished due to general lack of attention and political environment
• Western Veterinary medicine imported to China in early 20th century
1949 - Present
• Establishment of Peoples Republic of China resulted in renewed revival and development of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
• Institutes of TCVM research and education were founded
• New acupuncture techniques (laser, electroacupuncture, etc.) were discovered
• Modern science helped reveal how certain treatments work on a cellular level.
• Current veterinary education in China can be Western Veterinary Medicine only, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine or a combination of both.
Information from Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine by Huisheng Xie DVM, PhD, MS and Vanessa Priest DVM.