In this review we can try to understand that the intention of the author is to compare greek and chinese medicine, conversely, Kuriyamadiscusses the importance of bloodletting in both systems. The author makes an emphasis not only on the scientific criteria of the procedure but also the cultural differences at the time. Though, Kuriyamatakes an approach that is focused on facts, he strongly implies some of his own opinions funded on well documented points.
The author describes the history of bloodletting ranging from antiquitythrough the mid-nineteenth century, as explained that the letting of blood flourished as one of the most common and trusted means of healing and treating the human body in greek medicine. However, this wasnot the case in chinese medicine. Bloodletting became a prime pillar of greek medicine and only later, after Hippocrates. One of the greatest advocates for the technique, Galen devoted no less thanthree lengthy works to venesection (On Venesection, On Venesection Against Erasistratus, and On Venesection Against the Erasistrateans), elaborating in these and other writings a theory of the body andits afflictions which made bleeding both the preferred treatment for a wide range of disorders, and the chief tool of prophylaxis.
Bloodletting in contrast wasn’t unknown in ancient China either.References to it still found in the “Neijing” (medical text homologous to the Hippocratic corpus), as described by the author, that bleeding was the main therapy promoted in the work. Long before thedevelopment of acupuncture and needles a development which Yamada Keiji dates to the Western Han Chinese healers punctured abscesses and let blood with bladed-stone or bronze scalpels called bianshi.Though the identification of blood with vitality militated against bloodletting, the association of qualities of blood and qualities of life made blood a competing target of cures.
So how did...