Top Doctors Do NOT Treat Symptoms: Daoist History of Medicine

Top doctors have been revered since ancient times.

We all do our research diligently to find the best doctor’s office.

Whether they be for regular checkups or major surgeries, medical doctors serve to maintain our health.

But what if we found out, through history of medicine, that great doctors of the past didn’t necessarily “treat” patients?


What are we reading?

The excerpt below is written by a 15th century daoist, doctor and prince from Ming dynasty. He went by an alias 臞仙 (Emaciated Immortal).

He has also written about the importance of breathing exercises to live longer.

古之神聖之醫
Sacred doctors of the past
 
能療人之心
Were capable of treating hearts 
(= intents) of human beings

預使不致於有疾. 
And prevented them from getting sick.
 
今之醫者, 
Doctors of today, however,
 
惟知療人之疾而不知療人之心. 
Know how to treat people’s sickness but not their hearts.
 
是猶捨本逐末,
This is like throwing away the roots and chasing the treetops,
 
不窮其源 
Not digging into the headwaters 
(= source) 
 
而攻其流,
But attacking its flow,
 
欲求疾愈. 
Wishing for the sickness to improve.
 
不亦愚乎
Is it not also foolish?
 
雖一時僥倖而安之, 
Even if occasionally, by luck, the patient feels at ease
 
此則世俗之庸醫, 
It is what a profane quack would do,
 
不足取也.
(Their care) not worth taking.

This is where they believed all illnesses originate from.


As a matter of fact, treating the “source” of disease is the fundamental principle of eastern holistic medicine.


The author claims that all other doctors who only care about treating the symptoms are merely practicing quackery!


I prefer to call it “partial medicine,” where doctors only treat the “parts” of a “whole” that they objectively view as diseased;


and isn’t it what conventional medicine has become?


Sure, if a patient sustained an injury of blunt force trauma, then relying on today’s medical technology would yield a good prognosis.


Yet, do we question WHY patients got themselves in such horrific injuries?


Maybe they love speeding in the highway because it’s thrilling.


Maybe they cherish getting themselves in reckless and combative situations.


The author would agree that truly great doctors would examine the patients’ emotional circumstances to prevent their misfortune.


They fix CHARACTERS, people!


太白眞人曰,
The Supreme White enlightened being said,
 
欲治其疾, 
If one desires to cure the sickness,
 
先治其心. 
First cure the heart.
 
必正其心 
The heart must be righteous
 
乃資於道. 
For one to rely on Dao’s endowment.
 
使病者盡去心中 
Have the patients reach into their hearts
 
疑慮思想,
For their doubts and ideologies,
 
一切妄念,  
All the delusions, 
 
一切不平,
All the grievances,
 
一切人我, 
All the selfishness,
 
悔悟平生所爲過惡. 
And repent their faults and sins for lifetime
 
便當放下身心.
This is letting go of the body and heart appropriately

以我之天而合所事之天. 
And uniting the cosmic self with the cosmic duty.

The Emaciated Immortal paid his homage to the enlightened Daoist.

(If anyone has historical information about the Supreme White, please share with us!)

The truth is that ancient medicine merged philosophy, spirituality, and science all in one.

As religious as it sounds, feeling remorse for our moral misjudgment and ethical errors is how we begin to improve ourselves.

No longer are the days of ego-driven and prejudiced way of being.

Now we see ourselves align with the greater whole, the macrocosm, and its divine purpose.


久之,
For a long time,
 
遂凝於神
Complying, focusing and relying on their Spirit
 
則自然心君泰寧.
Will naturally ease the heart greatly.

性地和平
Tempers are harmonious
 
知世間萬事 
And they will know that everything in this world 
 
皆是空虛
Are all empty

終日營爲皆是妄想.
And what they have done this entire time are delusions.
 
知我身皆是虛幻, 
They will also know that their own bodies are all illusory
 
禍福皆是無有, 
Curses and blessings are all non-existent
 
生死皆是一夢. 
Life and death is a one big dream.
 
慨然領悟, 
When they realize it, with full of (sad and angry) emotions,
 
頓然解釋. 
Everything will be cleared at once.
 
則心地自然淸淨. 
Thus one’s character naturally purifies.

疾病自然安痊. 
Diseases are naturally improved with ease.
 
能如是, 則藥未到口 
If this is the case, then before taking any medicine

病已忘矣. 
Illness will have already been eliminated.
 
此眞人, 
This, according to the enlightened being,

以道治心
Is the fundamental law of Dao:  
 
療病之大法也.
Curing the heart to treat the illness. 

We get a glimpse of how Daoists took care of their health: by cultivating their spirituality for a long period of time.

Part of that comes with the comprehension of all things in this physical world as void and imaginary.

Nothing really ‘matters.’

We’re in a (insert your adjective here) dream!

Can we innerstand this reality and be content?

Some powerful emotional releases will accompany us as we wade through to get to the “clearing” of our hearts.

With pure intentions, having let go of everything, we also let go of our delusional state of being sick.

We return to the order; the way universe intended.


Questions to top doctors:

Have you ever experienced an emotional “awakening” to your surroundings?

If so, who guided you?

Would you consider him/her/them a doctor? healer? philosopher?

If you did it yourself, would you consider yourself a doctor? healer? philosopher?

Thank you for reading!

~energidoctor~

eternal student of life

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart