Since he was a child, Bian Que worked as a hotel manager for more than ten years. During this time, an old man named Chang Sang Jun often stayed at the hotel. While everyone ignored him, Bian Que knew that he was not an ordinary guest and took care of him respectfully for more than ten years. The old man was moved by Bian Que who eventually taught him all his secret medicine recipes.
During the Warring States period, there was a miracle doctor in China named Bian Que. He found out that the Marquis of Qi Huan was sick and offered to treat him. However, the Marquis of Qi Huan concealed his illness and was unwilling to seek medical treatment. He refused to admit his illness, resulting in its worsening, and he eventually died from it. This story is familiar to anyone who has attended Chinese junior high school. But what did Bian Que do before he practiced medicine? Where did he learn his medical skills? These are usually aspects that people normally don’t know about. This is because the textbook of “Bian Que” only contains the last part of the biography, while the activities of his youth are at the beginning of the biography:
Bian Que was a native of Bohai County, with the surname Qin and the name Yueren. When he was young, he was the head of a hotel. A guest of the house, Chang-Sang-Jun, passed by, and Bian Que was the only one who treated him seriously and often greeted him respectfully. Chang-Sang-Jun also knew that Bian Que was not an ordinary person. After he lived in the hotel for more than ten years, he called Bian Que to sit in private and said: “I have a forbidden prescription. Because I am old, I want to pass it on to you. You shall not leak it.” Bian Que said: “I promise you with respect.” He gave the medicine in his arms to Bian Que: “Drink this medicine with good water, after thirty days, you shall know things.” He gave all his forbidden prescriptions to Bian Que, and suddenly disappeared afterward, almost as if he wasn’t human. To his word, Bian Que drank the medicine for thirty days and became able to see people on the other side of the wall. He used this ability to treat illness and was able to see the disease people have. He became a doctor either in Qi or in Zhao, and his name was Bian Que in Zhao.
According to this biography, Bian Que worked as a hotel manager for more than a decade when he was young. During this time, an old man named Chang Sang Jun often stayed at the hotel. He was not taken seriously by anyone else, but Bian Que saw that he was not an ordinary guest, and for more than ten years, he received him respectfully and served him with great care. At last, the old man taught him all his secret medicine prescriptions. After that, Bian Que left the hotel to practice medicine and traveled around the land of Qi and Zhao, treating people with their pulses.
Bian Que’s medical technique was very advanced. As early as the fifth century B.C., Bian Que had already been using the “look, listen, ask, and cut” method to diagnose diseases. He was especially good at pulse cutting, which pioneered the theory of pulse in Chinese medicine. In clinical practice, he often used a combination of medical techniques to treat people, and the results were quite good. The most famous example is the case of the Prince of Guo who died of a violent illness, Bian Que concluded that he was suffering from corpse prostration (fake death disease), so he used a combination of acupuncture, fire moxibustion, fire cupping, tonics, massage, restoration of sanity, and movement of the body. From then on, his reputation as a “miracle doctor” became more popular in the world. In addition to his excellent medical skills, he consistently adhered to the medical principle of “six no-treatments”, which demonstrated his noble medical ethics and materialistic thoughts against superstitious witchcraft. All these made him a leader in China and the world at that time and formed the school of Bian Que, which had a significant influence on future generations of medicine.