As a rule, in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, doctor always treats the whole person, soul and body. It is, of utmost importance harmonization of internal balances of a body’s energy and personality traits, person’s eating habits, and what experiences gets during daily life.
In old China it is believed that medical ethics are directly related to supernatural capabilities such as clairvoyance. TCM doctor who obtained supernatural capabilities, will definitely lose abilities in case if his moral and ethics decline or got compromised.
In ancient China, supernatural capabilities were common to virtually all Chinese medical doctors, as great medical scientists, and were all documented in medical texts. What Chinese medicine has inherited are only those prescriptions or experiences from research. Ancient Chinese medicine was very advanced, and the extent of its progress was beyond present medical science.
Just as Modern Medicine traces its foundations to Greek and Roman doctors such as Hippocrates and Galen, Traditional Chinese Medicine also has its significant early doctors. Bian Que is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the history and development of Chinese Medicine and the earliest known Chinese physician. Bian Que lived in about the same period as Confucius during the Spring and Autumn Period (around 552–479 BC).
His existence and extraordinary knowledge would probably remain in the realm of myths if it had not been for a remarkable discovery archaeologist made several years ago. The bamboo strips were found, along with many other precious relics, within four Western Han Dynasty 西汉 (206 BC–24 AD) tombs located in Tianhui town in China's Sichuan province. Among the finds were four models of looms, nine medical books, 50 inscribed wooden tablets, 240 lacquer wares, jewellery, and tomb figures. Out of the nine medical books, some have been verified to be the long lost medical treatises written by the physician Bian Que.
He was born as Qin Yueren (秦越人), and incredible skills in medicine earned him the name Bian Que, the name of a legendary doctor from the era of Huang Di.
Bian Que is traditionally credited with the founding of the four methods of diagnosis in Chinese medicine—looking, listening/smelling, asking, and pulse-taking—as well as with the authorship of Nanjing (难经 Classics of Difficult Issues), an important classical text of Chinese medicine, from which information on diagnostic methods was later incorporated into the Huangdi neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine). He also included the measurements and weights of various organs taken from cadavers. One of Bian Qiao’s major struggles was against superstition. One of his most frequently quoted aphorisms was: “A case is incurable if one believes in sorcerers instead of in doctors.”
He is famous and attributed with writing the book Bian Que Neijing (扁鵲内經), the Internal Classic of Bian Que. It is a basic work in Chinese medicine, and it has had an important impact on the development of Chinese medical science.
He was engaged in internal diseases, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, ENT, in clinical practice he used stones and needles for pricking, massage, herbal decoction, hot water bottles, and other methods for treatment. Traveling across the country, he helped the suffering ordinary people. He also founded the first medical school in the history of TCM – “Bian Que” school.
At present time, Chinese medicine doctors who study the school of energy channels follow Bian Que’s method. Due to his extraordinary knowledge and healing he could perform, Bian Que was referred to as the Doctor of Miracles. Even today, the four methods remain a foundation for diagnoses in traditional Chinese medicine.
Bian Que was gifted with clairvoyance and was well known as a doctor who could perform miracles.
According to Chinese legend recorded in the Records of the Grand Historian, Bian Que was gifted with remarkable abilities from a deity. He was initiated into the healing arts by immortal who gave him a packet of medicine and books of unknown herbal recipes which gave him the ability to see through the human body and subsequently enabled him to see objects on the other side of a wall. Thus, when examining his patients, Bian Que could see clearly the obstructions and nodes in their internal organs and vessels.
Many miraculous cures and predictions were credited to Bian Que. For example, he is said to have performed the first heart transplant, a legendary procedure described as the “exchange of hearts.” According to the tale, Bian Que administered a narcotic-based anesthetic to two men, opened their chests, and exchanged their hearts. The procedure was alleged to have been a success and to have established equilibrium in the men’s energies.
Whether there is factual basis to the legends or not, Bian Que is known to have been a remarkable physician who was centuries ahead of his time.
He has famous statement: “When a disease is only skin deep, it may be reached by concoctions and applications. When a disease is in the blood system, can be reach by puncturing. When is in the stomach and intestines, can be reach by alcoholic extracts. But, when it had penetrated the bone-marrow, what could a doctor do? In 310 BC, Bian Que was assassinated by Li Mi, a royal medical officer in the State of Qin out of professional jealousy.
Today, Bian Que remains a household name in China and temples. Even some popular Chinese idioms, such as 起死回生 "Bringing the dying back to life" and 讳疾忌医 or "Concealing one's ailment and shying away from doctors," are attributed to this legendary doctor.
In the 1970s a stone relief was discovered in the hills of Weishan County, Shandong Province, dated to the Han dynasty (206 BC –220 AD), depicting a figure with human’s head and bird’s body holding a stone needle to perform an acupuncture. Some scholars see this relief as a confirmation of the totemic origin of Bian Que, and the relics has since been called “Bian Que performing acupuncture”. Some other scholars, however, suggest that “Bian Que” may have been a sinicized version of the mythical gandharvas, the human-headed birds known in India since Vedic times that were traditionally regarded as skilled physicians. In this interpretation both the bird-man disguise and some of the healing techniques of Bian Que may have resulted from maritime cultural contact between the East China coast and India that had occurred in high antiquity.
Despite the mystery surrounding the historicity of Bian Que as an individual, there is no doubt that, as the stuff of legend, he enjoyed an eminence in the history of Chinese Medicine unparalleled by any other physician.