Case Number 16

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 54)


In this case Xu Shuwei is treating an official’s sister who seems to have a mental or psychological condition. First she raved and acted as if she had seen a ghost, becoming totally uncommunicative. Xu attributes this to problem with the xue [blood] and asks the patient’s mother about her daughter’s menstrual cycle. The mother claims that the daughter had just begun to menstruate. Although Chinese physicians more often than not used major symptoms and pulse diagnosis as the primary tools for differential diagnosis, listening to the patient or her family members was also part of the process. The fact that Xu inquires about xue [blood] in a female patient reminds us that the gendered perception of the body had long since become prevalent. Xu uses the Treatise’s reasoning to explain how the pathology causes this mental condition. He claims that it occurs only at night.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Visiting ProfessorRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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