The two old men came to Ding Ning’s ward with notebooks on time every day in the morning. They sat there as scrupulously as primary school students and piously recorded every sentence Ding Ning said. Then they expressed their opinions and had a discussion during which they sought common ground while reserved differences.
Despite their difference in age, the three became good friends in no time. However, when it came to academic matters, they would argue heatedly with red faces and thick necks. In their fiercest quarrel, Mr. Zhang and Mr. Hu rolled up their sleeves and almost started a fight with their eyes glaring and beards blowing. Under Ding Ning’s earnest persuasion, they ended the war and had peace. Not for a while, they were talking and laughing with dancing eyebrows and radiant faces.
Ding Ning shook his head with a bitter smile. With pure hearts excluded any distractions, the two old men were like old urchins. They had noble medical ethics, their own beliefs, and persistence.
These two old selfless men were also benevolent doctors. That was the reason why Ding Ning was willing to teach them everything.
Traditional Chinese physicians always kept everything to themselves, which must have something to do with the decline of traditional Chinese medicine. Every single branch believed that knowledge should be passed on to students directly by their teachers. Those qualified practitioners thus firmly held their medical experiences and refused to spread anything out.
This old teaching way had already become a deeply rooted rule. Plus environment pollution and the disappearance of many rare Chinese herbal medicines, doctors simply could not find substitutes for herbs being used as medicines in some great prescriptions.
As a result, some dabblers of traditional Chinese medicine began to swindle people. They colored traditional Chinese medicine, boasted it up to the sky and then defrauded people of their money and belongings by making use of it.
Moreover, traditional Chinese medicine was mainly based on nourishing people which made its effect much slower than western medicine’s. During the treatment, people should pay attention to their living habits such as diets, work, and rest schedule etc. They should also give up their bad habits like smoking and drinking.
This kind of treatment was obviously inappropriate for people who lived and worked in a modern society that valued quick rhythm and high efficiencies.
Over time, the real traditional Chinese medicine lost patients’ trust and was branded as pseudoscience. Patients prefer western medicine to traditional Chinese medicine. That was why traditional Chinese medicine had declined.
“Those medical treasures have not been carried forward in our hands and been used to save lives and benefit mankind. Traditional Chinese medicine is even labeled as pseudoscience. This is the sin of us descendants.”
“When it comes to this, I feel very sad. Mr. Hu and I have organized exchange meetings on traditional Chinese medicine. We originally intended to exchange information, discuss and learn from each other. In this way, we can make great progress and change the current situation of traditional Chinese medicine. But many of the participants see only the interests. Those good academic exchange meetings turned into commercial cocktail parties. In these meetings, people exploited contacts with bigwigs, developed their social network and even signed herbs sale contracts. What’s wrong with these people nowadays? If it goes on like this, treasures left by our ancestors will slowly disappear in the long river of history. Even Koreans who do not have any cultural background know they should develop Chinese medicine vigorously. Fusang’s research on Chinese traditional medicine also ranks high in the world. China, the divine country, is the birthplace of Chinese medicine. However, it has been left far behind by Korean and Fusang. If this continues, will there be any medical culture belongs to China?”
“I started to learn traditional Chinese medicine when I was a child. At that time, people’s characters and medical ethics must be tested at first if they wanted to become apprentices of my master. But what about people nowadays? Everyone seeks nothing but interests and they take profits as their top priority. If we go on like this, how can we face our ancestors after we die?”
Speaking of the current situation of traditional Chinese medicine, the two old men beat their chests and stamped their feet with deep grievances. Sometimes, they were too depressed to calm down.
Those words shook Ding Ning greatly. To be honest, he enjoyed saving people’s lives and curing diseases. He also liked seeing dying patients get their new life in his hands.
He did not care about his patients’ gratitude. What he enjoyed was the pleasure in winning patients’ lives from Death which would fill his heart with accomplishments. Whether traditional Chinese medicine would decline or not had nothing to do with him.
However, he was deeply touched by the two man’s selflessness and noble characters, which made him realize his narrowness.
Right, if the whole traditional Chinese medicine industry was banned and locked, it would even lose its breeding ground on the homeland. Then even if he had strong medical skills, how could he use it to cure diseases and save people?
People would not believe him and go to see him who was an authentic traditional Chinese physician if the whole Chinese medicine industry had been suppressed like a rat crossing the street.
On the other hand, western medicine had entered China and won the trust of the Chinese people. Could this be an unusual kind of cultural invasion?
Ding Ning fell into deep thoughts and was terrified. His heart gave birth to a strong sense of mission. He firmly believed that the stone man triggered his unusual power was a sign itself and was a sign that god gave him this great responsibility.
“God gave me this unusual power to make me the savior of traditional Chinese medicine”, a narcissistic idea came to Ding Ning.
“By the way, senior brother, do you have a Chinese medicine practitioner certificate?” Mr. Hu asked suddenly.
Ding Ning felt very helpless to be called “senior brother” by them. The two old men in their seventies and eighties insisted that he deserved that name because there was a saying that “It doesn’t matter when one starts learning, the one who discovers the truth should be the teacher.”
They insisted on calling him big brother after they were refused to be taken as his apprentices, which made him feel unease all over the body and aged rapidly.
Ding Ning shook his head wryly and said, “Although I inherited traditional Chinese medicine skill from my ancestor, I, in fact, have been practicing medicine illegally. Moreover, in my medical college, I studied western clinical medicine. Where could I get a Chinese medicine practicing qualification certificate?”
It seemed that Mr. Hu and Mr. Zhang were not surprised. Mr. Zhang nodded and said, “That is the trouble, no matter whether you are a western physician or a traditional Chinese physician, you did everything without just causes if you do not have a practicing qualification certificate for that. It will be OK if patients are cured. If there is a mistake by any chance, you will have to bear the legal consequences, my old brother.”
Ding Ning scratched his head and said helplessly, “When I applied for western clinical medicine, I just would like to figure out the differences between western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Western medicine is not totally worthless, despite the fact that it treats symptoms instead of underlying problems in most cases. At least in terms of surgery, it really has advantages over Chinese medicine.”
“Advantages?” Mr. Hu frowned, “It’s more than advantages. Traditional Chinese medicine traces everything back to the source. It mainly focuses on recuperation and cannot carry out any surgery at all.”
“You are wrong. If traditional Chinese medicine cannot carry out surgery, how dare Hua Tuo say that he could do craniotomy to remove the tumor in Cao Cao’s head.”
“Do you mean that traditional Chinese physician can also perform surgery?” Mr. Zhang exclaimed subconsciously, and he could not conceal his expressions of surprise.
“Right, why it doesn’t occur to me that Hua Tuo who invented anesthetic must have mastered the technique of performing surgery if he dared to do craniotomy for Cao Cao. However, the idea that traditional Chinese physician can’t perform surgery has been deeply rooted in people’s minds, that is why it has been ignored. If traditional Chinese medicine can perform surgery, it is definitely more advanced than that of western medicine.”
Mr. Hu rubbed his hands back and forth excitedly, and his eyes flashed with keen light. “Big brother, please tell us all about it!”
Ding Ning said with an enigmatic smile, “Traditional Chinese physician can indeed perform operations, but it has high requirements on practitioners. I am afraid that I am the only person in the world who can perform this kind of operation.”
“What makes you say that?” They were somewhat disappointed, but they still asked tirelessly.
Ding Ning smiled and spread his hands, “What you hear about may be false but what you see is true. I let you two old men feel it on the spot.”
Ding Ning used the Meridian Severing Hand and pointed on the two old men suddenly.
“Oh my god, I have lost my consciousness. It feels like I am under anesthesia. It is amazing.”
“Me too. My whole upper body has lost consciousness. This is incredible. Is this acupuncture technique?”
Mr. Hu and Mr. Zhang exclaimed loudly with excitement.
Ding Ning reached out his hand to untie the points and he shook his head, saying, “This is Meridian Severing Hand, which is different from acupuncture. It uses the True Qi to cut off the central nerve of the human body’s meridians, thus replacing the role anesthesia.”
“What a magical means! Can this Meridian Severing Hand be used by ordinary people? Are there any side effects or sequelae after the operation?”
Both of them were very strict people. Upon witnessing the magic of Meridian Severing Hand, the first thing they were thinking about was not to learn it but to consider what hidden troubles Meridian Severing Hand might bring to patients.
Ding Ning shook his head and said, “Meridian Severing Hand has a time limit. The effect of cutting the central nerve can only last for one ancient time unit, that is, two hours. During the two hours, it will not bring any harm to patients and it can also keep the patients in a clear state of consciousness. Compared to the anesthetic, it has even no side effects like stimulating the brain nerve. What’s more, as to the sequelae, it will not slow brain responses or damage leg nerves, etc. It can be said that it is far better than the effect of anesthetic. But if the surgery lasts more than two hours, the patient’s blood will coagulate, his Qi and blood not flow smoothly and his brain and heart not be able to supply enough blood which may lead to the patient’s death.”
“That’s good enough. It can be used in a simple surgery. As long as the surgery lasts less than two hours, this is the best anesthesia method.”
Mr. Zhang said excitedly, and they looked at Ding Ning eagerly.
Ding Ning gave a bitter smile, “It’s not that I don’t want to teach you. I would like to teach you to flourish traditional Chinese medicine. But meridian Severing Hand is different from the acupuncture in novels. It is not just to stimulate the fixed points. Its points should be determined according to the meridian places where Qi flows through in twelve ancient time units. What’s more, the strength of the Meridian Severing Hand is strictly controlled and there is no room for any mistakes. If the strength is lighter, the time to cut off the central nerve will be cut short. While, if the strength is heavier, it can bring irreversible damages to the meridians of the patient, which may trigger a series of sequelae and endanger the patient’s life easily.”
Seeing Ding Ning’s serious look, they no longer bothered him. They knew what Ding Ning said must be true. They felt pity but excited at the same time, Mr. Hu stroked his beard and said proudly,
“Anyway, this is still a big progress of our traditional Chinese medicine. Even if you are the only one who has mastered this method, it is also good news for patients.”
Ding Ning pondered for a moment and solemnly said, “In fact, it is not a dead end, but it has high requirements on doctors and there must be no any deviation.”
“What is the method?” Mr. Zhang and Mr. Hu’s eyes were brightened, and they asked eagerly.
“The prevalence of western medicine cannot be separated from its large-scale manufacture. Even if the same cold medication can only cure 70% of the patients who get cold, this will make the majority of patients approve its the curative effect. However, our traditional Chinese physician is more meticulous. We prescribe medicine for each symptom. The symptoms of two cold patients cannot be exactly the same, and there should be something different in their prescription. This is also one of the reasons why our traditional Chinese medicine cannot occupy the mainstream in the medical field.”
Ding Ning pondered and said, “Meridian Severing Hand is to anesthetics what traditional Chinese medicine to western medicine. The cutting points change in different hours, which keeps pulse-cutting anesthesia from being widely used. According to my observation, everyone’s pulse cutting points are actually the same at certain periods of time. I suppose it can be done in the following steps. At first, I will mark the pulse cutting points in each fixed time. Then, by referring to those marks, other surgeons can apply pulse-cutting anesthesia in the operation.”
“If this is the case, the surgeons should find those cutting points accurately. This is indeed very demanding for doctors. Only traditional Chinese physicians who are familiar with the human meridian map can find this point accurately.”
Mr. Hu said thoughtfully. He was considering the feasibility of this method.
“Even so, what about the strength? How to control it?” Mr. Zhang frowned tightly and asked doubtfully.