WE ADORE DONG FENG AND TRY TO ADOPT HIS SPIRIT IN OUR PRACTICE. 杏林春滿
The Chinese calligraphy hanging in our clinic is a piece of artwork that was custom made in 1982 by a famous Shanghai, China calligrapher. The meaning of the four Chinese words on the wooden board have been a ethical model for many Chinese medical doctors to place service as top priority in medical practice. What was pursued by Dong Feng to place service as top priority in his practice and not the material gain thereof made him a super doctor most can only adore and admire but not possible to follow his ways in medical practice. Since the beginning of our practice, we have inherited his idea and also made attempt to become a follower though only a distant one. We strive to render the best medical services to all has always been our No. one priority not the pursue of material wealth. Dr. Dong Feng provided first class medical services to thousands but he earned little in return, and he never failed to render services even to those who could not afford. This is the idea of 杏林春滿., the ethical model for practicing medicine.
In the era of the Three Kingdoms in China, some 1,800 years ago, a general, Shi Xie, became mortally sick and was in a coma that lasted for three days. Finally, a herbal doctor by the name of Dong Feng of the Wu Dynasty was requested to give the unconscious general treatment. Within hours after administering the first herbal treatment, General Shi Xie opened his eyes and moved his arms. Five hours later he was able to sit upright in his bed and four days passed before the previously comatose man regained his speech. If Shi Xie was an unknown farmer, this surprisingly miraculous treatment by herbalist Dong Feng would not have garnered much publicity, however, Shi Xie was no unknown farmer, he was a very well known and respected general and Dong Feng's seemingly magical healing made the good doctor renowned both far and wide across the land practically overnight.
Then something unexpected happened. Dr. Dong Feng shunned his newfound celebrity status and removed himself from society to a remote place in Lushan Jiangxi. Here he acquired himself a sizeable piece of land far away from society to live by himself as a hermit, but his solitude was not long lasting as the news of his successful treatment of the general spread, people continued to seek out his services. When his number of patients increased, he began to refuse payment which was unheard of at that time. In lieu of a fee, he began requesting that patients pay him by planting apricot trees. Depending on the severity of the illness being treated would determine how many trees you were requested to plant as payment. Those patients suffering from more serious illnesses were told to plant five trees and those with less life threatening illnesses were requested to plant just one apricot tree on the grounds of his property, better known today as a ranch.It did not take long until his apricot orchard began to grow in size. So, even though Dr. Dong Feng tried to isolated himself from the crowd to live in an isolated area to become a hermit, the crowd still went to him for medical treatments and for help the combination of which made him a special and renown doctor unheard of and un-pre-cedented in his time.
Having always had a love for animals, Dong Feng used his apricot ranch as a safe haven for all of the beasts of the ground and the birds of the sky, and in return, they took care of all of the weeds which grew in the orchard. In just a few years, the number of apricot trees surpassed 100,000 and Dong Feng had the idea to build a warehouse to house apricot which he exchanged for rice (much cheaper in value). With the huge amount of rice he collected, he welcomed the poor to pick up for free. This unparalleled commitment to take care of the poor and the sicks was a never heard of practice anywhere in China. That is why Dong Feng is so highly revered by the Chinese medical community. To help and to heal is paramount to Dr. Dong Feng's commitment to the practice of medicine. He was preoccupied with helping people especially the poor and sick than to engage in a practice with which to make money. This is why Dr. Dong Feng has left behind a legacy of practicing medicine which many Chinese admire and deem it worthy of adoption and is still promoted in modern times.
Today, there are too many people who are being attracted to go to medical schools after which huge and easy money reward can re rewarded life long. We are very surprised to have encountered three three patients who came to us after they left alternative practitioners who demand 20 to 30 treatment sessions just to be start treatment. They left because they could not afford t the fees. Two possibilities may be true with such outrageous number of treatments. First, an inexperienced beginners may take many treatments to accomplish what takes just a few for those who have accumulated years of practice and thousands same treatment sessions on files.
The Chinese say, 熟能生巧. Anyone can become an expert if "you have done it a thousand times."
The second possibility may be what heretofore cited, greed. As acupuncture services are still pretty new to most Americans, most who seek such service are not knowledgeable enough to know what ailments or medical problems are treatable by acupuncture let alone the numbers of treatments needed thereof. The lack of knowledge will sometimes lead to taking whatever demand being offered.
In our 36 years of practice, and with the ancient Dr. Dong Feng's spirit of practice medicine in mind, we have done well in rendering acupuncture services with minimal numbers of treatment sessions. This can be verified by just reading and watching the written and video testimonials on our web pages. We also like to promise that all the written and video testimonials are real cases and from patients who have been to our clinic.
We live in a very different era from that of Dr. Dong Feng. Under no circumstance, can modern medical health providers adopt Dr. Dong Feng's medical practice spirit in its entirety. But have kept up with Dr. Dong Feng's spirit in some small ways, with our fee: among the lowest by comparison (Acupuncture fee as with some other trades, can be affected by seniority). We have always provided free services to those who have no job and no income to pay for our services. Just two weeks ago, a disabled veteran was very surprised to hear from us that he did not have to pay. So, even though Dr. Dong Feng tried to isolated himself from the crowd to a live as a hermit in a remote area, the crowd found him and came to him for treatments and help from afar: which made him a renown doctor. This kind of situation was unprecedented in his time.
Secondly, when we started our clinic business in 1982, we had no idea that one day we not only draw patients from all over the U.S.A., plus 40+ foreign countries in four continents. The fact that we can attract patients from all over the U.S.A. lies heavily on those former patients who are fully aware of and perhaps also impressed by our warmhearted commitment to help which they shared with their relatives or friends that generates sufficient incentive to come to our clinic from afar (out of state). And of course, the strength to draw patients from afar cannot work if we do not produce good treatment results with the least numbers of treatments which we have been blessed and lucky enough to do it again and again in our 36 years of practice.
We adore Dr. Dong Feng and in many ways, we have tried to copy his idea and concept of helping people in our practice, which unknowingly may have been the important underlying factors that builds up the strength for us to draw patients from afar like Dr. Dong Feng did.
Some 12 years ago, a phone call from a lady asking if she could plant a tree around our house. I said
"No, and why you want to do that?" The answer was, "I have been a patient of yours. I had back pain for a long time seeking help to no avail. You helped me did away with the pain:so wonderful I could never dream of. To show you that I am grateful for your help, I like to plant a tree around your house." I quickly change my mine to say yes for her offer and ask what kind of tree could she plant, She said, "any tree you want." When I said, " I am more practical and like to have a fruit tree, and what kind of fruit tree she would recommend. She said a pear tree, to which I said yes and gave her my house address. Just a few days later, when we came back from work and saw a three-foot
pear tree in front of my house. The 40 foot pear tree is about 13 year old now and has been producing over thousand pears a year. This year, (2018) the genial weather will help to produce a bumper crop with about three thousand pears.
The plate in our clinic 杏林舂滿 describe what moral and ethical standards for those who are engaged in medical practices and for two thousand years, it has become a model for all who are in medical practices to learn and to follow. With the pear tree planted to express gratitude a Chinese poem was written: