Xujiang Basin, a magical land endowed with the fine spirits of the universe, a land of attractive resources and magical power and a birth place of creative minds and gifted talents, has boasted numerous celebrities such as politicians, ideologists, litterateurs and artists since the ancient times. Countless well-known doctors have emerged in an endless stream. Xujiang has been honored as “the hometown of famous doctors”. According to the medical and local history, there are 963 medical figures with biographical sketches in the 16 counties of Xujiang basin, forming a dazzling local medical group in the territory of Jiangxi.
Among the 10 famous doctors in Jiangxi’s history, Chen Ziming, Wei Yilin, Gong Tingxian, Gong Juzhong, Li Chan, Yu Jiayan, Huang Gongxiu, Xie Xinghuan were all Xujiang physicians, respectively in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, typhoid, health and medical education. They pioneered and led the way, making outstanding contributions to the development of traditional Chinese medicine. Chen Ziming, from Linchuan in the Southern Song Dynasty, wrote a book named “Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women”, which was a foundation work for TCM gynecology and he was also recognized as a major founder of obstetrics and gynecology in China. Wei Yilin, from Nan Feng in the Yuan Dynasty, had been deeply nurtured in TCM and was proficient in internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics and laryngology, especially excelled in osteology. He initiated THE suspension reduction and anesthesia in orthopedics operation, making him a famous orthopedical expert in the history of traditional Chinese medicine. Gong Yanting, from Jinxi in the Ming Dynasty, had nearly 20 works and was proficient in both internal medicine and surgery. He had rich learning experience and won the praise of “Champion in Medical Field”. Gong Juzhong, from Jin Xi in the Ming Dynasty, had the unique academic thinking and rich clinical experiences, and was an expert in the treatment of “consumptive”. Li Chan, from Nan Feng in the Ming Dynasty, had profound medical theory. His works “Introduction to Medicine” was straightforward and developed the theory of viscera. Yu Jiayan, from Xinjian in the Qing Dynasty, first started his career as a governor official, but finally became a famous doctor after years of study of Zen. He had superior intellect and his 3 medical works were all rich in content and unique in insight. Moreover, he was one of the three well-known doctors in the early Qing Dynasty. Huang Gongxiu, from Yihuang in Qing Dynasty, had based himself upon writing “Seeking Truth from Stringer” from the clinical practice and writing “Seeking Truth from Materia Medica” from abundant reading to limited research, both of which were concise and pertinent, easy to understand and practice. Xie Xinghuan, from Nanchen in the Qing Dynasty, rich in clinical experience, was good at treating difficult and critical diseases. He had made countless persons alive, thus endowing profound reputation.
Among 62 representative figures of different schools of acupuncture and moxibustion in all the dynasties, 8 are from the Xujiang River basin.
Ge Hong, a famous Taoist priest and medical scientist in the Jin Dynasty, once lived in Magu Mountain of Nancheng County, Gezao Mountain of Qingjiang county and the West Hill of Nanchang, where he preached Taoism and practiced medicine. He was very good at making pills and using acupuncture and moxibustion. His masterpiece Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies has 99 prescriptions for moxibustion, was a relatively early and comprehensive medical book covering ancient therapies of moxibustion.
Xi Hong in the Southern Song Dynasty was the founder of Jiangxi Acupuncture School. His family practiced acupuncture and moxibustion for twelve generations and cultivated many famous doctors. His disciples like Chen Hui, Liu Yu and Liu Jin were proficient in the use of acupuncture. They also had numerous students, helping spread their skills to several provinces.
Li Chan, the author of An Introduction to Medicine, was also skillful at acupuncture and moxibustion. In the book, he had a unique insight of acupuncture and moxibustion therapies. His Ode of Moxibustion Therapies for Miscellaneous Diseases and Nanfeng Li’s Manipulation of Supplementation and Drainage, a monograph on needling techniques for supplementation and drainage, have been handed down to the later generations with a profound impact.
Wan Quan, a great pediatrician in the Ming Dynasty, inherited and developed the medical knowledge and skill of his grandfather Wan Xingpo and his father Wan Juxuan: both were famous physicians in Yuzhang(today’s Nanchang). He was good at applying acupuncture and moxibustion to the treatment of pediatric diseases. His academic experience was widespread.
Gong Tingxian, a medical scientist in the Ming Dynasty, was very fond of moxibustion. He discussed acupuncture and moxibustion in many of his books, among which the content of moxibustion takes up eighty to ninety percent. He used moxibustion to treat more than 60 types of diseases and came up with many inventions and innovations in the treatment methods like the Fuming Umbilicus, Steaming Umbilicus and Warming Umbilicus.
Gong Juzhong, also a medical scientist in the Ming Dynasty, was good at treating tuberculosis Zhai with moxibustion，which has actively promoted the application of moxibustion in the treatment of heat syndromes and broadened the scope of treatment.
Huang Shiping, born in Qingjiang County, was a master in acupuncture and moxibustion in the Republic of China. It was said that whatever patients sought help from him will be cured. He had cured the chronic illnesses of many upper-class figures and foreigners. With a widespread good reputation at home and abroad, he was also known as “Huang with the Magical Needle ".
Lu Zhijun, born in Lichuan county, was a contemporary famous acupuncturist. He paved the way for the development of acupuncture and moxibustion therapy with the combination of Chinese and western medicine in China. He was also the former chairman of Chinese Association of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and the honorary president of World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies. As a worldwide leader in the acupuncture and moxibustion circle, Lu Zhijun had made outstanding contributions to the introduction of acupuncture and moxibustion to the world and the well-being of mankind.
There are even more famous TCM doctors in the Xujiang River basin in the modern times, such as the famous doctors Yao Guomei, Zhang Peiyi, Jiang Jingqing, Xie Shuanghu; TCM educators Jiang Gongtie, Xie Peiyu, Xu Shouren, Yang Zhiyi, Yao Hesheng, Fu Zaixi; experts of typhoid Wan Yousheng and Chen Ruichun; experts of spleen and stomach Zhang Haifeng and Yao Qiwei; medical historian Yang Zhuoyin; famous doctors in east Jiangxi province Li Pusun and Li Yuanxin; orthopedic expert Li Ruli and acupuncture expert Xu Shaoting etc. All of their academic thoughts and clinical experiences are precious wealth of traditional Chinese medicine.
Physicians from Xujiang River basin shared the same origin and inherited their medicine thoughts and techniques from generation to generation, so lots of famous doctors came from the same big family. There were famous doctors from five generations in Wei Yilin’ family. His great-great-grandfather Yunshen was proficient in the department of TCM for adults (Department of internal medicine). His grandfather’s elder brother Yunmei was famous for gynecology and orthopedics. Wei Yilin’s grandfather Biya was proficient in pediatric department of TCM (Pediatrics), and his father’s elder brother Xizai was good at treating eye diseases and tuberculosis. Gong Tingxian’s family was well-known in medicine for generations, and his father Gong Xin worked in the imperial hospital with proficient medical skills. Medical officials in his family include his younger brother Tingqi, his son Maoshen and his nephew Maoguan. There were doctors in three generations in Chen Ziming’ family. Six generations in the big family of Xie Xinghuan were engaged in medicine. His son Xie Ganshu, his grandson Xie Peiyu and his great grandson Xie Yonggeng were all famous throughout the east area of Jiangxi province. Xi Hong’s family inherited acupuncture technique for twelve generations, from the Song dynasty to the Ming dynasty, long lasting. Xi Hongda (1st generation), Xi Lingyang (2nd generation), Xi Xuanxu(3rd generation), Xi Dongxuan (4th generation), Xi Songyin(5th generation), Xi Yungu (6th generation), Xi Suxuan (7th generation), Xi Xuexuan (8th generation), Xi Qiuxuan (9th generation), Xi Shunxuan (10th generation), Xi Xiao Xuan (10th generation), Xi Tianzhang (11th generation), and Xi Bozhen (12th generation), were all well-known in the acupuncture field, forming the biggest China's largest acupuncture doctor family. The contemporary famous doctors also inherit the medical techniques handed down from generations before them. In Nanchang city, there was the school of Yao’s medicine with the representative of Yao Guomei, and the saying Wu Yao Bu Cheng Yi means you are not a good doctor if you don’t learn from Yao”. In Fuzhou city, there was Li’s medical school with Li Pusun as the representative. The medical techniques have been inherited from generation to generation and the school is very famous in the east Jiangxi province. The famous doctors from Xujiang River basin are like glowing stars, and Xujiang Medicine is bound to be handed down for hundreds of years. (He Xiaohui from Xujiang Medical Research Council).