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Illness as an experience, not as an entity.

"The prevailing biomedical model, inherited from the anatomical and bacteriological investigations of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, treats diseases as entities. From this perspective, diseases can be considered separately from the individual people in whom they manifest; a disease such as syphilis is thought to have a single cause, to express itself in a universally recognizable way, and to be treatable by a standard regimen. But Chinese doctors, as is clear from the early medical literature, approached illness as an experience, not an entity. And an experience, unlike an entity, could have many different causes and appropriate treatments. Its expression was not universal but depended on the individual patient’s circumstances."

- Hilary A. Smith, Professor of History at University of Denver

Taken from her paper "Understanding the jiaoqi Experience: The Medical Approach to Illness in Seventh-century China".

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