Eight Strands of the Brocade

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The health arts that the 'Sons of Reflected Light' (Fankuang Tzu) brought to China eventually came to be known as the 'Eight Strands of the Brocade' (Pa Chin Hsien), and even to this day, after thousands of years have passed, they are still known to the Chinese by that name. In the West these same arts are being used for the benefit of all those who wish to avail themselves of them, and in London there is a health clinic where these arts are used to help sufferers of all types of disease and infirmity, and it is completely free of charge. Today, many young Chinese think that the 'Eight Strands of the Brocade' are merely a number of specialized breathing exercises, whereas the name properly refers to the complete Chinese Taoist health arts. The vast majority of people are completely unaware of the wide range that these arts cover, and even just how many of them there are. One of the more specialized sections, and one of the most well-known is acupuncture (Hsia Chen Pien), which along with all the other arts is still being carried on by many dedicated Chinese, both inside and outside of China. Since the Revolution, China has come to enjoy the best of two worlds, the very old and the new, and the ancient inheritance has been studied with greater enthusiasm than ever before. Together with modern Western medical science, which has since been introduced, the Chinese now have the best of three worlds.
The 'Eight Strands of the Brocade' (Pa Chin Hsien) actually comprise eight distinct health arts, and these are:

1. Ch'ang Ming (natural health dietary therapy).
2. Ts'ao Yao (herbal therapy).
3. Wen Chiech'u (thermology, or thermogenesis).
4. T'ui-Na or Anmo (Taoist massage).
5. Hsia Chen Pien (acupuncture).
6. Tien Chen (acupressure/spot pressing).
7. T'i Yu (physical calisthenics).
8. Ch'ili Nung (the Way of Occlusion).

In addition to the above there is also the utilization of the five senses, which are used for accurate diagnosis, but because it is not a specific healing art, it was never included in the list. However, everyone who studies our arts automatically learns to diagnose, both internally and externally, right from the very start, for it is the one sure way of finding out the true cause of an illness — rather than letting the symptom affect the judgement.
Many people wonder what kind of impact the Chinese health arts will have upon the medical profession in the West, and this we will have to see, but if they are willing to keep an entirely open mind in all they see and hear, and are willing to adapt their trends of thought to the Chinese ways of thinking, then they will encounter no problems at all.
In China, the patient and his welfare will always come first, for we are all of the same race (simply, the human race), and are therefore brothers and sisters, and if you should happen to lose one or the other, then it is completely natural for the whole family to be affected. Therefore in the Chinese medical profession, if it is considered that natural health therapy (Ch'ang Ming) or acupuncture (Hsia Chen Pien) can give quick and lasting results, then these will naturally be given first preference. Modern surgery will only be used as a very last resort, and not just as another means to an end, for practitioners of the Chinese health arts know that once you cut through nerves, blood vessels, skin tissue and bone, whilst these may recover in time, they are never completely the same as nature made them. Any form of surgery is therefore always considered to be the very last resort.

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Taoist Ways of Healing - The Chinese Art of Pa Chin Hsien

by Chee Soo

Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2012 reproduced with permission

(page 14)