Taoist Treatise on Health and Disease
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicineis an ancient treatise on health and disease. The book has proven influential as a reference work for practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine well into the modern era. The book takes the form of a discussion between Huangdi and his physician in which Huangdi inquires about the nature of health, disease, and treatment.
The ideas in the book have a basis in Taoist philosophy. The key to a long healthy life is to follow the natural way of the universe. Health and illness are caused by an imbalance of the two basic forces, yin and yang, and by the influence of the five elements (water, fire, metal, wood, and earth) on the organs of the body.
The Huangdi Neijingrecognises that, for everyone, the processes of the body follow certain natural rules and that health and disease are influenced by natural ageing processes, as well as the environment. All this needs to be understood to ensure accurate diagnosis and specific treatment for a condition.