Fear hurts the vital energy (kidney qi)

恐惧伤肾
Written by Shouchun Ma
Translated by MG Li

文革中,造反派在大田湾广场招开10万人的誓师大会。

One day during the Cultural Revolution, the Rebels faction held a one hundred thousand person mobilization rally in the Datian Bay Square.

保皇派的几个头目被押上了主席台,进行大批判。

Several leaders of the Royalists were forced onto stage to be criticized.

台下红旗翻滾,口号声震天。台的两侧,站立着几十位手持大刀的工人造反军。场面甚是壮观。

Rolling red flags and thundering chants, along with several dozen Rebel workers armed with broadswords, surrounded the stage, making it a spectacular assembly.

保守派的一个队长,吓得双腿发软,轮到他时,有人问台下,该不该杀?台下一片吼声,该杀!该杀!该杀!
此时,不知是谁用手在他后颈部拍了一巴掌,他应声倒地,小便失禁,觉得自己的头被砍下来了。从此站不起来,不能走路。
中西医都看过,西医无明确诊断,中医诊为痿证。
A team leader of the Royalists was so shaken.  When the Rebels turned to him, someone asked, “should he be killed?”  There was the overwhelming chant “Kill him! Kill him!” At that moment, a hand slapped on the back of his neck, and he fell to the ground, incontinent,  thinking that his head was chopped off.  He became unable to stand or walk.

Afterwards, he sought treatment from Western and Chinese medicine.  Whereas Western medicine could not offer a definite diagnosis, Chinese medicine determined the symptoms to be some form of flaccid paralysis.

他讲起这段往事时绘声绘色。我们听了哈哈大笑,给他起了个绰号“砍脑壳的”。

He told the details of the story to us, and we could not stop laughing.  He was thus given the nickname “one with a chopped off head”.

施老一听完病情,马上对我们几个学生说,这就是恐伤肾,情志造成的。

After Teacher Shi heard the symptoms, he immediately told us students that it was a result of emotional injury, the vital essence (kidney qi) damaged by fear.

施老给他开了处方,肾气丸加减。学生作针灸,针后加灸,常用百会、肾俞、命门,关元,委中等穴。

Teacher Shi prescribed a treatment, with varying doses of Shen Qi Wan.  His students would perform acupuncture, followed by moxibustion, with the most common applications at the baihui, shenyu, mingmen, guanyuan, and weizhong points.

一个月后,可以走路了,但人多的地方不敢去。断断续续治疗半年后烣正常。

He could walk after  a month, but continued to be afraid of going to crowded places.  It took another six months of intermittent treatment for him to return to normal.

情志导致的疾病,不可谓不厉害吧?!所以中医说,六淫伤其外,七情伤其内。

The seriousness of illnesses caused by emotions is well illustrated here.  Thus there is the saying in Chinese medicine: “The six evil elements hurt from without, whereas the seven emotions hurt from within.”

闲云认为,中医植根于民间,民间是中医生存的土壤。因此中医不仅是医学,也是文化。

熟悉中医文化的人,更容易了解中医。因此民间有谚语,“秀才学医,笼内捉鸡”。
In my opinion, Chinese medicine is rooted among the populace, who support it’s growth.  Thus Chinese medicine is a medical discipline, as well as a cultural study.
Those familiar with the cultural backgrounds of Chinese medicine will be easier to understand this field.  A folk proverb says “a cultured person studying medicine is like catching a rooster from the cage”.
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