Sun Simiao and His Cultivation Theory on Health (Part 1)
Sun Simiao, who is also called “King of Medicine” and “Heavenly Doctor Sun,” was a famous doctor in Chinese history. He was also a qigong practitioner who achieved the preservation of health. Sun was born during the Western Wei Dynasty. Legend has it that he lived for 141 years. Sun decided to learn medicine because when he was young, he often got sick. He was versed in the Chinese classics and history, as well as the thoughts of a hundred schools. He could "memorize thousands of sentences each day" at age seven. For his skill of memorizing a daily article of over one thousand words, he was praised as a "sacred child." At age 20 he could expertly discuss the theories of Laozi and Zhuangzi, and was also good at the Buddhist classics. Sun refused to become a government official during the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Emperor Tang Taizong even personally traveled up a mountain to greet him.
Sun Simiao made a name for himself for having summarized the clinical experiences and medical theories prior to the Tang Dynasty and compiled them into two renowned medical books, Qian Jin Yao Fang
(Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Liang of Gold) and Qian Jin Yi Fang
(Supplement to Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Liang of Gold).
1. Sun Simiao's books passed onto future generations
Sun Simiao authored over 80 books in his lifetime. Besides Qian Jin Yao Fang
and Qian Jin Yi Fang
mentioned above, he also wrote Lao Zi Zhu
(Notes to Laozi), Zhuangzi Zhu
(Notes to Zhuangzi), one volume of Zhen Zhong Su Shu
(Book on the Bed), one volume of Hui San Jiao Lun
(On the Three Religions Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism), three volumes of Fu Lu Lun
(On Fortunes and Happiness), one volume of She Sheng Zhen Lun
(Advice on Health Cultivation), one volume of Gui Jing
(Canon of the Tortoise), and others.
Qian Jin Yao Fang
consists of 30 volumes and covers 232 medical subjects. Sun Simiao believed: "A human life is extremely precious; more valuable than one thousand liang [an ancient Chinese unit of weight] of gold. A life cured provides more virtue than one thousand liang of gold." Because of this belief, he titled his book with the two characters "Qian Jin," which means one thousand liang of gold. The entire book collected 5,300 prescriptions, covering a wide range that is rich in content. It is a colossal work, representative of medical science during the Tang Dynasty. It had a great impact on and made significant contributions to medical developments, especially prescriptions for later generations. The scholarly text also made contributions to medical advancements in Japan and Korea.
Qian Jin Yi Fang
also consists of 30 volumes. Sun Simiao wrote it in the later stages of his life. It is a comprehensive supplement to Qian Jin Yao Fang
. He divided the entire book of Qian Jin Yi Fang
into 189 subjects, covering over 2,900 prescriptions. It describes over 800 medicinal drugs and provides effective ways for treating especially febrile diseases, strokes, miscellaneous diseases, acne, and carbuncles.