Ancient Taoist Medicine Teachings
Daoist Medicine is based on the following guiding principles: Its foundations are the “ Three Origins” representing Jing (essence), Qi and Shen (spirit) as well as the prevention and dissolution of the “Three Causes,” standing for root cause, internal cause and external cause. As they influence the human body they are regarded as an important diagnostic method for treatment in order to achieve the combined healing of form and spirit (body and mind), and equal treatment of yin and yang aspects. Furthermore Taoist medicine is rooted in the principal purpose of unification of Heaven and Human and the reversal of the cycle of life:
“In the Centre of Three, the Two exist,
At the source of Two, One is enclosed,
One is created from the Dao represented by 0.
Know this Whiteness, guard this Blackness.”
The Eternal Dao’s medicine is difficult to keep up with in terms of discerning the root causes and the identification of qi as it constantly evolves.
Taoist medicine reaches upwards to the Daoist (Taoist) Philosophies and downwards to the virtuous Daoist priest toiling in a temple, accumulating knowledge and virtuous conduct in everyday life. Therefore it envelops the entirety of the spectrum.
Besides, Taoist Medicine gives birth to the love of benevolence – the love for your neighbor, the love of compassion and kind-heartedness; the heart of vast and far-reaching love – universal love.
Hence Taoist medicine has specific requirements concerning morality and virtue:
“It is required of a Taoist healer the heart of a father and of a mother gazing at their children.
If one cannot regard the sick person as one’s relative,
one cannot become a Daoist healer.
Curing the body is low, healing the heart-mind is high.
Salvation is granted in accordance with one’s destiny;
Seek healing faithfully.”
The study of Taoist Medicine must have its original root in this heart-mind, otherwise it cannot be mastered and one’s study will not yield high accomplishments. If one applies this rule, there will inevitably be an effect and response. Moreover one should display an unadorned lifestyle and embrace simplicity. One should have few thoughts and little desires, and return to the root and re-live life. One should teach people to cultivate the body and cultivate realization, refine life-destiny, rectify the character-nature. The art of cultivating the physical body and cultivating realization is the road to awakening to the Dao and attaining wisdom.
Therefore Taoist Medicine is closely interlinked with Daoist sects. In ancient times nine out of ten Daoists were healers. Only the people who thoroughly grasped the laws of heaven and earth and understood the movement and transformation of the mysterious principles of yin yang, could become healers.
“The Great Doctor dissolves karmic afflictions;
The High Doctor cures diseases of the future;
The Intermediate Doctor heals already manifested illnesses;
The Low Doctor only has one static method;
The Charlatan Doctor causes people to die.”
Taoist Medicine comprises a collection of special contents, medical skills and techniques. Owing to the highly virtuous Daoist temple priests, a particular Taoist Medicine sect outside of religious Daoism was formed made up of students of Daoist philosophies.
The circle of people in China who cultivate realization adhere to the transmissions along lineages inside sects. All sects and all schools simultaneously cultivate the Dao and the arts; making use of the arts to supports the Dao, making use of the Dao to creates the arts.
• Daoist Longevity Theories
Comprehensive Course of Study
Compulsory content that every Daoist healer must comprehend before healing
• Yin Yang Five Elemental-Phase Theories
The relationship between the natural world and the body’s Five Zang Organs via the Supporting, Controlling, Overacting and Transforming Cycle;
The effects of nature on the human body as well as methods for regulation and adjustment.
• Differentiation: Perception, Inspection, Listening, Questioning, Touch
Drawing on the 5 observations of perception, inspection, listening, questioning and touch, and the principles of the five methods for diagnosing the human body’s diseases.
Decoction, Pill, Pellets, Ointment, Powder, Alcohol, Tea, Oils
Utilization of natural plants to heal and cure
“What you know is a herb, what you do not know is a grass.”
Medicine is divided into six major types:
Animal products, minerals, plants, time-numerals, qi and spirits.
No need for ingesting any type of medicines; only through the stimulation of acupuncture points people’s qi and blood can be regulated in their meridians and their biological fields in order to cure diseases.
A method that adds heat through burning medicines. Heat is applied on particular places of the human body in order to remove wind, disperse cold, warm the channels and dredge the collaterals, support the yang, fight off evil qi to achieve the result of getting rid of illnesses and improving health.
Application of the cupping method to effectively cure internal disease via external treatment. Supports the upright, dispels evil qi, removes illnesses, and prolongs life.
Implementing the method of prick-bleeding to achieve the result of removing stasis, reducing excess and curing internal diseases from external causes.
Employing a special tool and method for rubbing and scrubbing the skin, supplemented by medicines, in order to reduce damp-cold, dredge the meridians and remove illness.
• Daoist Massage:
Using point-pressing, rubbing, friction, scrubbing, slapping, hitting, and other hand techniques on the body in order to dredge the meridians, free the Luo-collaterals, course qi and stop pain.
• Fire Healing:
A method that uses fire to facilitate the absorption of medicines to effectively warm the channels, disperse cold, supplement yang, tonify deficiency, cure cold-damp and stop pain from any kind of traumatic injuries.
Transmissions inside the sect:
“Without a teacher and without transmission it cannot be genuine and authentic.”
• Talismans, Incantations (a.k.a. mantras) & Hand Seals (a.k.a. mudras):
A Taoist Medicine healing method mandatory for the high level Daoist healer. The communication with the universe’s spiritual bodies and high-dimensional existences and long-term practices of hand seals, rituals, talismans and incantation arts result in the removal of illness.
• Yi Jing & Image-Numerals:
Putting into practice the “Book of Changes” – its Unification of heaven, earth and man and its theories of images and numerals in order to adjust and regulate peoples’ diseases.
• Daoist Mass (Rituals, Prayers, Repentance & Prohibitions):
A high Daoist priest communicates with the universe’s high dimensions via specific Daoist ceremonies, praying and blessings to avert disaster and dissolve karmic transgressions of the suffering, to remedy illnesses, to achieve a healthy body and to guard and prolong life.
• Music and Sounds:
Utilizing a special Five Zang-Organs music to conduct auditory sessions for patients. Tones are specifically selected and chosen according to the disease for holistic recovery and to successfully cure disease, improve health, remove illness and prolong life.
Exercise Healing Methods:
• QiGong Healing:
Medical Qigong is a method where people undergo a certain training. This training entails practicing their gong (skill) for a long time in order to generate distinct internal qi, a distinct bio-energetic field, a distinct bio-electricity and magnetic field as well as other strengths.
• Longevity Taijiquan:
A famous longevity adage goes:
“Flowing water never becomes stale, the door hinge never gets worm-eaten.”
A Chinese medicine proverb states that:
“Where there is pain, there is no flow, where there is flow there is no pain.”
Through Longevity Taijiquan exercises, internal qi can be increased, qi and blood circulated, the body strengthened and disease fought off.
Specific movements, using methods of unifying intent, qi and power in order to dredge the meridians, remove disease, prolong life, replenish original qi and increase the intrinsic power of resistance.
• Dao Yin – “Daoist Yoga”:
Guiding and leading of qi and blood through a series of exercises which are coordinated with breathing, intent and bodily movements.
Requirements for teachers and students:
“Heal people who beg for cure;
Save people who have virtue;
Deliver people, who have this destiny.”
It is inevitable and absolutely necessary that the teacher of the classical texts imparts teachings according to the source material (i.e. the students’ level), and that the teacher is proficient in the Dao of Medicine – the art of healing.
Complete mastery of the medical arts is a feat and partial mastery is already praise-worthy. One should swim along the tide, conceal one’s cultivation. One should cure illness, save people, accumulate merit and practice asceticism for the service of all sentient beings. The numerous contents of the tradition of Chinese medicine all originate from the study of the Dao. In China’s history there has been a multitude of medicine sages, for the most part they all excelled in the study of the Dao.
Generally Daoist disciples of the mysterious spirit reach a sufficient basis only after having gone through the cultivation and accumulation of internal gong (skill) for several years up to more than a decade. This includes the refinement of one’s “self” with specific accomplishments and the experiencing of the heart’s nature and Dao’s qi initial and most basic tool. They also ought to have replenished their internal essence, qi and spirit to satisfactory levels. Studying and practicing Taoist medicine based on this foundation is not hard.
Provided one has mastered the secret formulae, the following saying is not just simply empty talk:
“In the mysterious gate studying medicine is like catching chickens inside a cage”