Chairman Mao Invented Traditional Chinese Medicine
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Check out this fascinating story by Alan Levinovitz over at Slate!
In case you missed it, Oct. 7-13 was designated Naturopathic Medicine Week, according to a Senate resolution sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski and passed by the Senate with unanimous consent. Among the reasons the Senate cited:
Naturopathic physicians can help address the shortage of primary care providers in the United States.
The profession of naturopathic medicine is dedicated to providing health care to underserved populations.
Naturopathic medicine provides consumers in the United States with more choice in health care.
Mikulski and the rest of the Senate may be surprised to learn that they were repeating 60-year-old justifications of Chinese medicine put forward by Chairman Mao. Unlike Mikulski, however, Mao was under no illusion that Chinese medicine—a key component of naturopathic education—actually worked. In The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Li Zhisui, one of Mao’s personal physicians, recounts a conversation they had on the subject. Trained as an M.D. in Western medicine, Li admitted to being baffled by ancient Chinese medical books, especially their theories relating to the five elements. It turns out his employer also found them implausible.