How do you assess the state of a broken bone when you can’t directly see it? Writing in 1808, Chinese doctor Qian Xiuchang discussed a problem shared by healers world-wide prior to the X-ray age: “When someone has a dislocated or fractured bone, the bone and joint are wrapped in flesh. Looking at it from the exterior, it is hard to get a clear understanding, and there is the danger of making an error.” To improve the state of bonesetting knowledge, Qian compiled Supplemented Essentials on Medicine for Injuries (Shangke buyao). That book can be found in the collection of the National Library of Medicine and is now accessible online.

To read Dr. Wu's full blog post detailing the Comparative perspectives on body materiality and structure in the history of Sinitic and East Asian medicines workshop that was held October 2-4, 2015 please visit