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Shen: structuring category in the rationale of Chinese medical

Claudia dos Santos Ferreira Madel Therezinha Luz About the authors

Today, Chinese medicine is practiced in the West and in China itself by means of classical Chinese medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and contemporary Chinese medicine, which mainly diverge in the value given to some of their categories, including Shen, which is often translated in the West as 'mind' or 'spirit'. This article seeks to discuss Chinese medicine from the perspective of medical rationale, defined by the presence of six dimensions: cosmology, vital dynamics, medical doctrine, diagnosis and treatment. It also attempts to demonstrate the importance of Shen in each of these dimensions, making it an element that structures Chinese medicine as a medical rationale. Seen from this angle, the diminishment of this category could compromise Chinese medicine, turning this age-old theory into no more than a treatment.

medical rationale; Chinese medicine; complementary medicine; Shen


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