The Shang Han Lun is one of the most important classical texts of Chinese medicine. It is extensively studied, and considered to be fundamental to the development of Chinese medicine throughout history.
Despite the fact it was written over 2000 years ago, the insights expressed in this text, are still relevant to the understanding of the human physiology and pathology; many of the formulas described in the text are still popular in clinical use today.
The text was written by Zhang Zhong Jing and outlines a physiological model and a corresponding systematic treatment module. The physiological model is composed of 6 systems, which are responsible for all bodily functions. Each system has it’s characteristic dynamics, mechanisms of actions and pathologies. By recognizing which of the systems is harmed, accurate treatment can be applied, to restore the system’s proper dynamics, and thus to restore health to the body.
The contribution of the Shang Han Lun to the development of Chinese medicine includes the following:
- The application of theoretical principles into practice. The Shang Han Lun is a clinical guide. Based on theoretical principles of Chinese medicine, introduced in earlier texts, such as the Nei Jing, it has created an applicable and effective treatment methodology. The text has also greatly contributed to the continuous progression of Chinese medicine, by inspiring later generations of physicians in the development of additional diagnostic and treatment modalities.
- The foundations of differential diagnosis and understanding of the importance of treatment tailored to the individual’s specific needs.
- The formulas detailed in the text, present a broad and deep understanding of the potential of herbs to affect the bodily functions. Many of the formulas have proven through time and clinical experience to be extremely effective, and are still in popular use.
- The synergic combinations of herbs and principles of modification of formulas, teaches us the art of herbs medicine. This text demonstrates how a small number of accurately chosen herbs, can achieve broad spectrum of clinical results.