Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Li Furen

Li Furen is the instructor of the succession of academic experience of old Chinese medicine experts and the “Capital National Medical Master”.

Li Furen
Li Furen

Li Furen, male, Han nationality, born in June 1919, is the chief physician of Beijing Hospital of the Ministry of Health and has been practicing Chinese medicine since 1941.

He has long been responsible for the medical care of the leaders of the Party and the State, and has summarized the unique rules for the diagnosis and treatment of old-age illnesses, and has been praised for his “ability to clear the mind with the right medicine”.

His students are full of flowers and plums, and in his old age, he still teaches by example, training a large number of excellent talents for the cause of Chinese medicine.

In the spirit of “the pain of others is the pain of oneself”, he has used his rich life experience to guide his patients so that they can be comforted spiritually.

As the only TCM expert in the health care expert group of the Central Health Care Commission, Professor Li Furen, the master of Chinese medicine and the TCM department of Beijing Hospital, has accumulated more than 60 years of experience and summed up a set of unique diagnosis and treatment methods and rules for the treatment of persistent diseases of the elderly.

Li has been awarded the title of “Outstanding Expert of Central Health Care” for many times because of his outstanding achievements in the long-term medical care and major medical rescue work of the Party and State leaders.

Family Education: Teacher from the great master

Li Furen lived and ate in the home of his mentor Shi Jinmo and “shared a dormitory” with his eldest son Shi Zhimo for several years, becoming one of the few disciples of his teacher and gaining his insight.

Li Furen was born into a family of Chinese medicine practitioners, and his family had a clinic, and his father and older brother both practiced medicine for a living. As a teenager, he often helped in the clinic after schoolwork, copying prescriptions and medicines, and at the same time began to study Chinese medical texts systematically under the guidance of his father and brother, such as the “Three Character Classic of Medicine”, the “Fugue of Medicinal Properties”, and the “Tangtou Ge Zhi”, etc. His long-term exposure to Chinese medicine not only made him feel good about it, but also strengthened his determination to study and practice medicine.

When Li Furen was studying medicine, his father and brother had warned that Chinese medicine is valuable in practice, and that the obscure and abstract theories of Chinese medicine would only become exceptionally dynamic and intuitive in patients and in clinical practice. If you leave the clinic, you can’t learn Chinese medicine just by studying and reading from dead books. Therefore, Li Furen insisted on clinical practice from the time he studied medicine, and his family’s clinic provided him with good opportunities for apprenticeship and internship. The theoretical reserves and medical skills he accumulated during this period laid a solid foundation for his future attainments in Chinese medicine.

In 1939, Li Furen studied under the famous doctor Shi Jinmo. Shi Jinmo was a famous Chinese medicine clinician, educator and reformer in modern China, and one of the four famous doctors in Beijing, who was consulted by Sun Yat-sen, He Xiangning, Pu Yi, Zaitao and Li Zongren. His prescriptions were well formulated, with a wide variety of drugs that matched each other, earning him the reputation of “grace and elegance”.

Shi Jinmo was strict and modest, and taught his disciples strictly and seriously. Li Furen lived and ate in the home of his mentor Shi Jinmo, and lived in the same dormitory with his teacher’s eldest son Shi Zhimo for several years, from learning to living without the teacher’s guidance and help, becoming one of the few disciples of his teacher.

During his medical studies, Li Furen continued to follow his teacher’s style in all aspects of medical art, theory and ethics, followed him in his clinical practice, and often went to the clinic on his teacher’s behalf, gaining the trust of his teacher and patients. After completing his studies at the North China Academy of Medicine, Li Fu-ren practiced medicine in Beijing and Tianjin, and was known for his expertise in treating gynecological and juvenile diseases in his early years.

In 1944, at the age of 25, Li Furen established the Furen Clinic in Beijing, where he practiced in the morning and in the afternoon, and formally began his independent medical career of helping people with what he had learned.

Protecting the righteousness and attacking geriatric diseases

His years of clinical practice have formed his unique style of medical treatment, which is to grasp the main symptoms and prescribe categorically. He uses medication in a neutral manner and is not disorderly. He solved difficult and serious illnesses, and repeatedly raised sicknesses and survived countless people.

In 1954, Li began to work in the Chinese medicine department of the Beijing Hospital of the Ministry of Health to engage in health care and Chinese medicine prevention and treatment of geriatric diseases, while serving as a full-time Chinese medicine health practitioner for the Party and State leaders.

Li Furen believes that the aging of the human body is an inevitable process, and the natural law that the prime of life begins to decline is irresistible. Therefore, the physiology of the elderly is characterized by the gradual decline of positive energy, the overall decline of all substances and functions that sustain life activities, the increasingly low function of the five organs, and the low and unstable balance of the vital state.

The pathology of geriatric diseases is characterized by a mixture of deficiency and reality, cold and heat, and an intricate and tangled condition. On the basis of positive deficiency, the pathological state of the elderly is often more complex, not pure cold, pure heat or pure deficiency, pure reality of the organism, nor does it involve only one organ and one internal organ, but a mixture of deficiency and reality, cold and heat each other, the condition is intricate and complex, and difficult to heal. Therefore, many discomforts and diseases caused by aging are inevitable in the later stages of life, and the long-term coexistence of human and disease is the survival norm of the elderly.

In view of the characteristics of geriatric diseases, Li Furen advocates that medicine should be used in a mixed but not chaotic manner, distinguishing the main and secondary contradictions, and clearly legislating the rules of treatment. Even though the condition is complex and contradictory, the prescriptions must still follow the principles of ruler, minister, adjuvant and ambassador, which are complicated but orderly, miscellaneous but not chaotic, and the principles and methods of prescriptions and medicines are coherent.

Li Fu-ren’s diagnosis and treatment of diseases is another characteristic of Li Fu-ren that he takes care of the righteousness and treats the disease after keeping the person. He emphasized that in treating diseases of the elderly, medicine should not be too biased, not too aggressive, and should be used in a calm manner. The elderly are deficient in vital energy and their organs are weak, so they should always pay attention to protecting their vital energy, and even if they want to attack the evil, they should take into account both attacking and tonicizing.

Li Furen repeatedly emphasized that as long as the positive energy still exists, the vitality will be there, so the protection of positive energy is the fundamental method of health care for the elderly, especially when the condition is critical, should be the first priority to support the positive energy, in order to restore the positive energy, stay in the treatment of disease. If the evil is lingering and does not heal after a long time, we can turn to support the positive energy to enhance the body’s ability to resist evil and get rid of evil.

Li Furen seldom uses gentian herb, Huang Lian, gardenia, rhubarb, eucommia, Chuan Wu, Cao Wu, pine, frankincense, myrrh, dragon, scorpion, etc., which are too bitter, cold, pungent and hot, or fishy and obstruct the stomach, damage the liver and hurt the kidney. For big bitter, big cold, big pungent, big hot, harsh attack and toxic products, such as ephedra, aloe vera, mannitol, mouton, two ugly, halberd, Gansui and worm medicine, it is not used at all, fearing that the elderly can not withstand and a variety of serious toxic side effects.

Li Furen, in rescuing critical illnesses, pays particular attention to supporting the righteousness and strengthening the essence. In his clinical practice, Doshen Tang, Shengvei Drink, and Ten Perfect Tonic Soup were the prescriptions Li Furen often chose.

Li Furen also paid special attention to consolidating the kidney and harmonizing the spleen and stomach in his clinical practice. He often asked patients about their appetite, whether their bowel movements were normal, whether they had back and leg pains, and whether they could sit and lie down easily, in order to understand the condition of the kidneys and the spleen and stomach. In his treatment, he often added products that harmonize the stomach and strengthen the spleen, and tonify the kidneys and fill the essence.

Li Furen made good use of sweet and cold medicines. He did not use a lot of bitter and cold products in his treatment, but replaced them with sweet and cold products. He warned his students: First, most of the patients were elderly people, whose tolerance to drugs was very poor, so it was not advisable to use excessively bitter and cold products; second, most of the patients were Beijing residents, and the climate in Beijing was dry, so there were many people suffering from dry heat. The sweet-cold medicine can clear heat and moisten dryness, nourish yin and produce body fluid, which is most suitable, while the bitter-cold medicine has the disadvantage of cutting off yin, which may aggravate the symptoms.

Good use of medicine pairs is another distinctive feature of Li Furen’s medicine. Li Furen inherited the experience of Shi Jinmo’s famous doctors who were good at using medicine pairs. When prescribing, he often cut several ancient and modern formulas, sometimes using the original formula, sometimes taking its meaning, and often appearing in pairs, either one cold and one heat, or one ascending and one descending, or one qi and one blood, or one dispersing and one collecting, many but not chaotic, with clear priorities, with clever, integrated, to achieve the purpose of complementing each other or the opposite.

His years of clinical practice have formed his unique style of medical treatment, grasping the main symptoms and prescribing categorically. He has been able to solve difficult and serious diseases, and has repeatedly treated many people. For more than 60 years, he has saved countless patients in critical condition, and countless patients have come to him with their names.

He is an eclectic mix of Chinese and Western medicine

He opposes the idea of “gateway” and advocates the unity of Chinese and Western medicine to make use of their strengths and weaknesses in medical practice. He advocated the combination of evidence and disease identification.

The practice of Chinese medicine cannot be separated from the classical medical texts such as Nei Jing and Shen Nong Ben Cao, but in the history of the development of Chinese medicine, schools of thought have emerged from the practice of medical practitioners in clinical practice, combining the actual practice to develop the meaning of the basic theories in the classics.

Based on this, Li Furen developed the doctrine of “form energy” in the Nei Jing, pointing out that “form energy” is divided into two aspects: physiological form energy and pathological form energy. With his rich clinical practice, he has scientifically and dialectically revealed the complex correspondence between the two types of “form energy”, making the ancient doctrine of “form energy” a surprisingly effective tool to overcome modern age-related illnesses.

As a Chinese medicine practitioner, Li Furen advocates that in medical practice, he should give full play to the strengths of Chinese medicine, learn from the strengths of Western medicine, shorten the course of treatment, improve the efficacy of treatment, and combine the identification of evidence and disease. This will truly benefit the patient.

He explained that TCM emphasizes the identification of evidence, and “evidence” is the core and starting point of the diagnosis and treatment, which is the comprehensive pathological changes in the body as a whole at a certain stage of the disease development process. “Identification” is the process of identifying and understanding “evidence” through the four diagnoses (look, smell, ask, and cut). The advantage of “evidence” and “diagnosis and treatment” is to directly grasp the patient’s body response state, focus on improving the body’s inherent homeostatic adjustment mechanism, and mobilize the body’s comprehensive anti-disease ability. However, the “evidence” can only be guessed from the external symptoms of the disease, with a greater subjectivity and ambiguity.

Western medicine focuses on disease identification, which uses basic theories based on modern technology and experimental research to explain the details and details of anatomical sites, pathological changes of tissues, functional abnormalities of organs, and even molecular biological changes, and summarizes them into the concept of “disease”. The “disease” forms the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and differential diagnosis, and is described in concrete terms because of structural and functional changes, images and laboratory tests, and treatment is also directed at the cause of the disease, so that it is clear at a glance.

He believes that the key to the integration of Chinese and Western medicine lies in the combination of evidence and disease identification, rather than in the dispute over theoretical systems. The key to doctors’ treatment and identification of diseases is not in common but in small differences. He advocated that the main evidence should be grasped and prescribed categorically in clinical practice. For difficult and serious evidence, we should have the courage of “medicine to the disease”, the “prescriptions and prescriptions of the time” should be flexible and tailor-made, in the use of prescriptions to do not seek to be strange and different, but the efficacy of the treatment must be surprising.

Li Furen is firmly opposed to the use of schools to delineate sects, to be biased and comprehensive, and advocates that today’s doctors should not stick to one end or adhere to the views of the portal, but should be in clinical practice in a holistic, dialectical, developmental understanding of the human body and disease, and constantly study and absorb the academic views and treatment experience of various doctors, and learn from the strengths of all schools, according to the person, the place, and the time to treat the appropriate, discriminatory treatment, treatment of the disease to seek the root, in order to always be invincible.

In addition, sincere unity, cooperation, and complementary strengths and weaknesses, in order to establish a good image of Chinese medicine, to ensure the prosperous development of the cause of Chinese medicine.

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