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Acu-moxa aid: landmark measurements, Chinese MS, late Qing

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Credit: Acu-moxa aid: landmark measurements, Chinese MS, late Qing. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Description

Line drawing in ink and brush style from an anonymous manuscript probably dating from the end of the Qing period (1644-1911). The image shows the outline of a human body viewed from the front. Captions in corresponding places on the body indicate the distances between various landmarks on the bodily surface, as an aid in establishing the location of acupoints and the paths of the channels and collaterals at the front of the body. For instance, on either side of the head, there is a caption reading 'From in front of the ear to ermen (Ear Portal) is 1 cun, 5 fen'; a caption on the face reads 'The distance between the cheekbones (quan) is 7 cun', etc. The units of measurement are the chi [Chinese foot] and cun [Chinese inch], the length of the cun being based on the proportions of the individual's body, i.e. 1 cun = the distance from the base of the middle finger to the end of the crease of the middle joint. 10 cun = 1 chi. Compare Image L0034732, which is very similar.

Lettering

IMAGE TITLE: Chart of measurements (chicun) on the supine body. OTHER LETTERING: Human beings may be large or small, tall or short, so their bodily measurements cannot be based on the same unit. The chi and cun are longer or shorter according to their bodily dimensions. The same applies to the young and the old. From jiehou (the Adam's apple) to quepen (the Broken Basin -- supraclavicular fossa) is 4 cun. The circumference of the chest is 4 chi 5 cun. The width of the breasts is 9½ cun. From the supraclavicular fossa down to [] [] (two archaic characters of uncertain meaning) is 9 cun. From [] [] to tianshu (the Celestial Pivot -- depression beside the umbilicus) is 8 cun. From tianshu to henggu (the Transverse Bone -- top of the symphysis pubis) is 6½ cun. From hengu to the top of sifu (the Four Supports - here, the bones of the lower legs) is 1 chi 8 cun. Hengu is 6½ cun long. From the armpit to jixie (the lowest rib) is 1 chi 2 cun. From jixie to bishu (the Ham Pivot - the trochanteric region) is 6 cun in length. From bishu down to xizhong (the middle of the knee) is 1 chi 9 cun in length. From the top to the bottom of neiguan (the Inner Pass - here, possibly the knee joint) is 3½ cun in length. From neifu (the bottom of the tibia) to neihuai (the internal malleolus) is 1 chi 3 cun in length. From the knee to the internal malleolus is 1 chi 6 cun. The internal malleolus is nearly 3 cun from the ground. The foot is 1 chi 2 cun long and 4½ cun wide. From fushu (the instep) down to the ground is 3 cun in length.

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