The Skill of the Ancient Physicians

December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

Source: The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, by Huang-fu Mi.

Hua Tuo and Zhang Zhong-jing [were famous Chinese physicians who] lived during the Han dynasty. With a wealth fo extraordinary [herbal] formulas and treatments, and with rich experience in treating unusual cases, Hua Tuo worked wonders in curing countless difficult cases. no one has been able to give a comprehensive account of his achievements. The following examples illustrate the skill of these two physicians.

Once Hua Tuo was asked to treat a royal wine taster named Liu Ji-yan who was suffering from apprehension and malice (wei e) and whom he treated and cured. Hua Tuo predicted: “In nine years Ji-yan will suffer a relapse and the root of this will be apprehension and malice. If this illness comes to pass he will die.” In the end it was as Hua Tuo said.

One day upon meeting Wang Zhong-xuan who was just over twenty years of age, Zhang Zhong-jing observed: “Gentleman, you have unknowingly contracted an illness. At the age of forty your eyebrows will fall out, and one half a year after your eyebrows fall out you will die.” He prescribed Five Stone Decoction (Wu Shi Tang) to avert this eventuality. However, Zhong-xuan found these remarks offensive so although he accepted the decoction he did not take it.

Three days later Zhong-jing saw Zhong-xuan once again and said, “Didn’t you take the decoction?”

Zhong-xuan said, “But I have taken it.”

Zhong-jing replied, “Your complexion definitely indicates that you have not taken the decoction. Gentleman, how can you treat life so lightly?”

Zhong-xuan, however, did not heed the warning. After twenty years his eyebrows fell out, and after another one hundred and eighty seven days he died. In the end it was as Zhong-jing said.

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Entry filed under: Inspiring.

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