TCM history - The Shang Period


The Shang People 1700-1100BC

About the Shang
The Shang people, one of China's earliest ancestors, lived in the Yellow River basin of China. During this period, medical principles were very primitive in form, and based on myths and oracle bones legends as well as experience. Inscriptions on oracle bones of buffalo and tortoise shells describe the use of wine and hot water as medicine, and the use of needles and bronze knives as surgical instruments. In addition, these oracles shed light on a number of diseases and illnesses.

The Shang believed their existence was closely tied with the universe where they were located in the center with the heavens positioned above and the earth positioned below. The Shang also believed that the earth was "flat and divided into three concentric squares." The concept of the universe The concept of the universe was used to explain the laws of nature. Relationships were formed between the cosmos and humans. For example, the skin of the human body corresponded with the flat texture of the earth, the five internal organs corresponded to the five elements of wood, fire, water, earth, and metal, and the eyes and ears related to the sun and moon in the heavens.