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1. Imagining practice: Sense and sensuality in early chinese medical illustration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a discussion of the phenomenon of the mai, what the term referred to and what it meant in practical medical terms. It revisits the relationship between text and artefact, concentrating on their relationship to practice. One can think of the figurine as a visual aid to guide medical intervention, and this will be the first concern of the chapter. The chapter discusses that knowledge of the whereabouts of these entities (later canonical medical compilations, strategic passes and junctures of the body) is an important feature of the development and control of moxa-cautery practice. To understand the concept of mai, the chapter looks to ideas of qi and the cultivation of the inner body, already well developed in the Mawangdui and Zhangjiashan sexual and breath-cultivation literature. The chapter presents a discussion of the latter subjects the animation of the body in self-cultivation.

Keywords: figurine; mai; Mawangdui; moxa-cautery practice; sensuality; Zhangjiashan



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