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Chinese Fable — Qui Fu Treatment of Ghost

Written by Dr. Shouchun Ma

Translated by Lenna Xie

 

秋夫治鬼
一一故事新编 (闲云)
古有名医,名秋夫,医术高超,远近闻名。
一日半夜,听门外有哭泣之声。诉腰痛难忍,请秋夫为之治疗。秋夫开门,不见人影。正在奇怪,只听见一个声音说道,我是鬼,无形无影。秋夫正色道,我是人医,不能治鬼,请勿打扰!良久,一个声音凄楚啜泣而去。
一连三日,秋夫动了恻隐之心,问,你无形无影我怎么治疗?鬼说,你是名医,一定能夠想出常人想不到的办法。
秋夫苦思,终得一法,鬼再至时,问其名,遂将其名写在纸条上,贴在扎好的稻草人身上,祭奠后照腰痛法为其扎银针治疗。
次日,一翩翩公子登门道谢,谓腰痛已愈,感激不尽。秋夫正欲询问,公子忽然不见。此后秋夫治病如有神助!
此故事根据《太平广记》秋夫治鬼新编。
闲云谓,为中医者,不仅要博,而且要思,要悟,悟是最高层次。有谓“博极则心灵自啟,思极则神鬼皆通”(马寿椿)

Chinese Fable — Qui Fu Treatment Ghost

 

A long time ago, there was a famous Chinese doctor, named Qui Fu. His healing ability was so widely known that patients travelled from around the world to seek his treatment.

 

One night, Qui Fu heard a sobbing sound and voice crying for his help to alleviate severe back pain. However, when Qui Fu opened his door, he saw no one.

 

To his surprised, he heard a voice utter: “I am a ghost. You can’t see me but please help me.” Qui Fu replied: “I treat human beings – not ghosts. Please leave me alone” and went inside his house. The sobbing sound continued for quite a while, but then subsided.

 

Three days later, he again heard the sad moaning of the ghost and asked:” I am a human being and you are a ghost. I even cannot see you. How then can I treat you?” The ghost said that you are an ingenious doctor and surely haves some extraordinary power to heal me. After mulling over the ghost’s predicament for several days, Qui Fu contrived a method for treating the ghost.

 

When the ghost returned, he obtained his name and then constructed a straw man bearing the ghost’s name.  After a ceremonial ritual, he used his needles to perform acupuncture on the straw man’s body as though he were treating a human. The following day, a man appeared at his door. He told him that his back pain was gone and expressed deep gratitude for the treatment. Before Qui Fu could ask for his identity, the man disappeared before his eyes.

 

From then, Qui Fu became even better doctor, healing patient as though he had been endowed with magical powers.

 

The moral of the story:  A traditional Chinese doctor not only needs to have conventional knowledge, he must also profoundly comprehend his knowledge and most important, apply his knowledge wisely. Then, he can even cure a ghost.

 

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