Daoyi | Daoist Medicine

IMG_0251 copy.jpg
Yao Wang 药王 (Sun Simiao), the Medicine King.

Yao Wang 药王 (Sun Simiao), the Medicine King.

 

The foundations of Chinese Medicine derives its roots from, and remains deeply embedded in, Daoism (Taoism).  One of the world’s great religious traditions, Daoism has a rich history, spanning well over 2,000 years, that has significantly influenced Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as we know it today comes out of the practice of Daoist Medicine, or Daoyi (道医). TCM currently taught in schools, however, has largely been denuded of its spiritual and profound energetic foundation. In the practice of Daoyi, or Daoist Medicine, all levels of being are equally considered: Jing 精 (physical), Qi 气  (emotional), and Shen 神 (spiritual/ mental). Which could be simplified as working within the spectrum of tangible form through concepts of formless nature. Special emphasis is placed on the formless body, particularly when the Daoyi practitioner is treating patients.

Daoist Medicine places significance on what can be understood in Western thought as the psycho-somatic causes of disease. This perspective emphasizes that changing one’s thoughts, and thus one’s behavioral patterns, will have a meaningful impact on their relative state of health or illness.  Or more simply, by changing the patterns that initially led to the creation of a disease state, the illness can be resolved.

To practice Daoist Medicine, a great deal of attention is placed on the Daoist doctor’s personal training and cultivation (Qigong and Neidan). It is through the practitioner’s deep personal cultivation that they are able to grasp the root of disease and truly assist the patient.

The Daoyi physician must be highly skilled in Neidan, or internal cultivation, to be proficient in practice of the medicine.

The Daoyi physician must be highly skilled in Neidan, or internal cultivation, to be proficient in practice of the medicine.