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I Ching

Related Terms

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Background

  • The I Ching is an ancient Chinese text, which embodies the interplay of yin and yang within Chinese cosmology. The book is also popularly used as a tool of divination.
  • The I Ching describes the philosophy and cosmology that continues to be the fulcrum of Chinese cultural beliefs. The concepts inherent in this text are the inevitability of change, the evolution of events as a process, and the dynamic balance that exists between opposites. Indeed, Chinese medicine including acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbs were developed and their uses have co-evolved in the same political context and worldview. The I Ching describes the interconnection between these differing forces; this description is also the basis of traditional Chinese medicine.
  • The I Ching was written in the Tang Dynasty, between 2852 B.C.E. and 2738 B.C.E. Though the mythical cultural hero Fu His is given credit for writing the original I Ching, the actual author is unknown.
  • In China as well as in the West, the I Ching is used as a tool of divination. Most individuals consult the I Ching for general advice, rather than as a source of answers to yes or no questions. The process of consulting the book as an oracle involves determining the hexagram by a method of random generation and then reading the text associated with that hexagram. The translation of the title into English used to be "Book of Changes", but is more recently and accurately translated to "Classic of Changes."
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Practice

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Theory/Evidence

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.