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  • Writer's picturePhilip Niño Tan-Gatue

Three More Questions to Ask Your Acupuncturist

Just about a month ago, I had written a blog entry entitled “Five Questions to Ask Your ‘Acupuncturist'”.  (link)  The purpose of formulating those questions was to try to probe the minds of practitioners to see how deep is their acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine knowledge.  Here are some more.

6) What are the Four Classics of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Chinese Medicine is not the product of one or two folks recording their observations.  It is the fruit of thousands of years of recorded clinical practice from the experiences of a myriad of famous Chinese healers through the ages.  Ultimately, all of Oriental Medicine (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc) can be traced to principles outlined in the Huangdi Neijing or Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.

Since then, there have been troves of treasured TCM classical texts that expound on the theories of the Huangdi Neijing. Yet there are three more other than it that are considered fundamental in TCM.  The cookbook acupuncturist with no sense of history or deep theory will probably not even know what the Huangdi Neijing is, much less name other classics.

7) Who is your favorite “Mingyi” or famous doctor?

In the Catholic Church, we have a plethora of different religious orders with different charisms or “specialties” along with patron saints (usually founders).  The original Franciscan (St. Francis of Assisi) monks emphasized social work and poverty while the Dominicans (St. Dominic de Guzman) emphasized theological knowledge while the Jesuits (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) emphasized mission work.

In the same way, while much of oriental medicine can be traced to one classic, many famous doctors throughout the years have refined and adapted the basic concepts of the Huangdi Neijing and applied them to their current situations.  This gave birth to various “schools” of TCM.

I daresay then, that any serious practitioner of TCM should be able to name some famous ancient physicians who have contributed much to a particular tradition of oriental medicine.

8) Can you cure everything and anything? (Applies to any healthcare practitioner)

One of my favorite famous physicians, in the introduction to his magnum opus (which I won’t name here) was asserted to have said that anyone who studies his books will be able to treat half of all diseases.  Not all.  Not most.  Half.

In other words, he knew his limitations.  He knew the strengths and limitations of the medicine he practiced.

These days, there are healers who claim that they can cure ANYTHING.

Even Jesus Christ was recorded in the Gospels as being unable to effect miraculous cures in towns where the people had no faith in Him.

What does it say then, about someone who says that they are better than Jesus?

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