The Origins of psychosomatic diseases in a few Chinese Classics

Beyens Francois
Rue de 1’Amazone 62, 1060 Brussels, Belgium

We receive the theories of acupuncture and of Chinese medicine as a whole. But, at the beginning, it seems that they led sometimes independent lives, that their respective level of complexity and refinement followed different destinies through the movements of times.

The nascent mind of Chinese medical thinking, as witnessed by the first publications of which we have existing, though later, copies, shows the kind of orientation it displayed. The structures of the mental, emotional and spiritual fields, were examined and analysed. Their relations to the proper fimctioning of the body were observed, the influences they could exert on different functions and organs, and the modifications they could undergo through changes in these same functions and organs, were noted.Qi and Blood, Essence and Mind, were part of a configuration in which mutual control and mutual transformation were a kind of rule followed in the evolution of physiological or pathological responses to the environment and to the inner world of each human being. In this configuration some older concepts, originating from the past, like the Hun and the Po, played a si&127;nificant role in the effort to place into categories the different facets of mind’s nature. An attempt was also made to differentiate between the most important qualities of the thinking process as well as of the emotional behaviours. Finally, the rules of the Five Elements were used to manipulate these fields into similar categories.

The results of these efforts, as we will see from a few chapters of the Nei Jing, and briefly from later texts, show the diversity of tendencies, the originality of different minds, which however coincide in the basic principle according to which the dynamics of physiological and pathological organic and functional mechanisms are tightly connected with the intellectual operations and the emotional reactions. But they also demonstrate the awkwardness and the lack of subtleties of these first attempts. From the start, body and mind, body and emotions, mind and emotions, were treated as part of the human being’s complexity, a testimony to what we call now psychosomatic relations.