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‘Divine Doctors’ of Ancient Chinese Medicine

Fantastic healers of history and legend

March 17, China’s National Medicine Day, was a festival that emerged in 1920s, aiming to preserve traditional Chinese medical practices while the government was trying to modernize other aspects of society. Though it used to be widely celebrated by practitioners, disputes and controversies have diminished the popularity of TCM among young people today.

In ancient history, though, many TCM physicians enjoyed high respect, and those with superb medical skills and respectable virtue earned the honorable title “Divine Doctors (神医).” They were even said to have real divine powers, as in many of these examples below:

Bian Que’s X-ray eyes

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author Sun Jiahui (孙佳慧)

Sun Jiahui is a freelance writer and former editor at The World of Chinese. She writes about Chinese language, society and culture, and is especially passionate about sharing stories of China's ancient past with a wider audience. She has been writing for TWOC for over six years, and pens the Choice Chengyu column.

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