Saturday, October 26, 2013

Searching for the lost spirit of Chinese medicine

Searching for the Lost Original Spirit of Chinese Medicine 《寻回中医失落的元神》 by Pan Yi  潘毅 is a new book, which I found during my recent visit in Beijing.

The book is in Chinese and has two parts: the first one is on Yi Jing 易经 and Dao 道, and the second part - on symbols and phenomena 象 related to the concepts in Chinese medicine.

Pan Yi is a professor at the University of Chinese Medicine in Guangzhou. When in the 1990s he started teaching Chinese medicine classes to his students, he wanted to add more content beyond the textbooks, so he started reading Yi Jing (the Book of Changes) and other classics, and then found that the standardized content in the textbooks is very shallow and have lost the original way (Dao 道) and spirit of Chinese medicine.  The current textbooks are serving to accomodate the technical approach to modern science and make it easy for the students to pass the exams, however they don't reach the level of effective depth that is inherent to the classical Chinese medicine.

In this book Pan Yi has made a thorough study of  how the Yi Jing hexagrams and the principles of the five elements integrate with Chinese medicine, i.e. the characteristics of the inner organs, the properties of herbs, the making of herbal formulas and many other related topics, using examples and quotations from different classics.

I highly recommend Searching for the Lost Original Spirit of Chinese Medicine to all who are interested in the topics of Chinese medicine and Yi Jing.

Here is a link to the author's blog with the table of contents of the book in Chinese:


  1. This is very interesting he came to those conclusions, Just this morning I watched a video on Western medicine given by a professor at a graduation ceremony. In relative terms he said almost the exact same thing regarding Western Medicine explaining the Hippocratic oath by the Ancient Greek, Hippocrates and reminded the students that medicine is not about technology, and in today's world we have all lost the true value and meaning of what it means to be a doctor. So here we have a Chinese man understanding that concept from ancient Eastern texts and on the other hand, a Western man saying the same thing using the ancient Western classics. to me the message is clear.

    1. Nice correlation Rand, could you point to where you whatched the vídeo?

  2. I hope this blog allows links, but here is the you tube link. "What Hippocrates Knew and We Have Forgotten" If the link doesn't work try lookinh up yhe title as a You tube search.If you still have prblem ask me and I'll see what we can arrange.. Enjoy, -Rand

  3. Thank you, Rand!
    Although the link doesn't connect through this blog, we still can copy and paste it on youtube.