Chinese medicine

Basic TCM principle

A basic principle in traditional Chinese medicine is illustrated in the following story told by the Legalist philosopher Han Fei Zi (280-233 BCE).

"One day the court physician addressed the duke and told him that he had noticed that he had a muscular disease. The duke replied that he did not suffer from any medical problem. When the doctor left, the duke said to his courtiers that physicians like to tend to healthy people and earn money from "curing" them. Ten days later, the doctor said to the duke that his flesh was diseased, and that if he would not take care of it, his condition would worsen. Again, the Duke did not take his words seriously. After another ten days, the doctor arrived at the court once more, looked at the duke, and left without saying a word. The duke sent one of the courtiers after him to ask what had happened. The doctor replied, "As long as the muscles were damaged, it would have been possible to cure them by massage and hot bandages. When the sickness spread to the flesh, it would have been possible to cure it by acupuncture. If it was concentrated in the internal organs, it would have been possible to treat it with a heated metal rod. But now that the disease has reached the bones, no treatment will help". Five days later, the duke called for the doctor's help, but the latter had fled."

The lesson of this story is that a skilled doctor attacks the disease in its early phase, when it can still easily be cured. This is not something that western medicine can ever apply as it’s just not within them as it’s beyond their comprehension and capabilities.

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