Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/257

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Chinese Doctors and Their Ways

��Bv Franz Olio Kocl


���A Chinese street doctor examining hair from several youthful callers. The physician diagnoses a disease from a patient's hair and then proceeds to drive his needles

��THE native Chinese doctor is a curiosity. He passes no examina- tion; he requires no qualifications; he may have failed in business and set up as a physician. In his new profession he requires little stock in trade, medical instruments being almost unknown.

Acupuncture, as it is called, is one of the nine branches recognized in medical science among the Chinese; it is of most ancient origin, having been in use from time immemorial. There are three hundred and thirty-seven bod>' markings to be learned; every square inch on the human surface has its own name, and some relationship to the internal parts, purely imaginary, is assigned to it. The user is cautioned against wounding the arteries; hence he must know the position of the blood \essels. By close study of a manikin pierced with holes,

��the Chinese physician learns where to drive his needles. Parts of the body are selected, which may be pierced without fatal results. Sometimes heat is applied to the outer end of the needle and this is called hot acupuncture, but the needle is never heated before insertion. In some cases the needle has been known to break in the bod\- of the patient and has had to remain there until extracted by some skillful Western practitioner.

The needle used looks very much like a sewing-machine needle, but it is longer and coarser. Some of the Chinese doctors have needles two feet long, and are supposed, by ardent admirers, to be able to drive these instruments entirel>- through the patient's body. The great size of the needles is in realitv' intended to represent the greatness of the owner's skill and reputation. The needles used


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