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Chinese Fable — Qui Fu Treatment of Ghost

Written by Dr. Shouchun Ma

Translated by Lenna Xie


一一故事新编 (闲云)

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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