Chinese Medicine and Culture

REVIEW ARTICLE
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 155--158

The li lineage of traditional chinese medicine


Heng Li 
 International Education College, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Heng Li
International Education Center, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai
China

Abstract

Professor Li Ding (李鼎) is the founder and tenured professor, doctoral supervisor at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a Representative Inheritor for China Intangible Cultural Heritage – Acupuncture and Moxibustion. It is well known that Chinese medicine is rooted in Chinese culture and history. The inheritance of Chinese medicine cannot be separated from the inheritance of Chinese culture and history. Professor Li Ding's path of Chinese medicine inheritance perfectly reflects the above-mentioned laws and is worthy of further exploration and research. The full text of this article is divided into three parts and will be published one after another. The first part “The Lineage of Gu Yi Tang” brings us Li's family historical stories; the second part “The Lineage of Chinese Studies” introduces professor Li's Chinese culture studies; and the third part “The Lineage of Dao Sheng Tang” discusses professor Li's inheritance of Chinese medicine. This article will bring our readers a rich and colorful Chinese scroll painting, which not only focuses on Chinese Medicine, acupuncture but also touches ancient Chinese history, culture, Daoism, and even more.



How to cite this article:
Li H. The li lineage of traditional chinese medicine.Chin Med Cult 2019;2:155-158


How to cite this URL:
Li H. The li lineage of traditional chinese medicine. Chin Med Cult [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Dec 5 ];2:155-158
Available from: https://www.cmaconweb.org/text.asp?2019/2/4/155/273892


Full Text



[INLINE:1]

 Brief Introduction to Prof. Li Ding



Li Ding [Figure 1] (李鼎) was born on December 18, 1909 in Gu Yi Tang, Hou Ren village, Yongkang County, Zhejiang Province. Prof. Li's style name (also known as courtesy name (字) is Yang Yuan (养元 literally means to nourish the Yuan-primordial qi) and his pseudonym (号 Hao) is Yang Yuan (养园–literally to cultivate a garden). He is the founder and tenured professor, doctoral supervisor at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a Representative Inheritor for China Intangible Cultural Heritage – Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Prof. Li also serves the Expert Committee of Shanghai Academy of Chinese Medicine. In addition, he is a Distinct Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician in Shanghai and also in China, a Consultant of the World Federation of Acupuncture - Moxibustion Societies, a well-known TCM and acupuncture educator across the country and a State Council Expert for Special Allowance since 1992.{Figure 1}

 Part 1: The Lineage of Gu Yi Tang



Prof. Li Ding was originally from Gu Yi Tang, Hou Ren village, Yongkang County, Zhejiang Province. According to Li's genealogy records [Figure 2] and [Figure 3], his ancestors can be traced as far back 1400 years ago to Li Shimin, the Emperor of Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

The genealogy recorded the dates of birth and death of ancestors of each generation as well as life stories of men/women of achievement.[1]

Li's history in the tang dynasty (618 ~ 907)

The Emperor Taizong (599-649) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) Li Shimin (唐太宗李世民598-649)'s great-grandson, the King Ning Li Xian (唐玄宗李隆基679-741) [Figure 4], for the consideration of the national interest, took the initiative to pass his own throne, to his younger brother Li Longji (唐玄宗李隆基685-762), which was later called Tang Xuanzong. Later generations praised Li Xian's humility and virtue and called him “the emperor of modesty.”{Figure 4}

Li's history in the southern song dynasty (1127~ 1279)

In 1240, during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), mass famine took the lives of people across Zhejiang province. The government called on local wealthy families to deliver food for starvation relief; however, most of these families did not respond at all. The Li family, however, opened the granary to distribute food to famine victims in seven counties. As a result, a memorial archway called “Le Shan Fang (Benevolence Building) [Figure 5]” was built by the government for particular commendation.{Figure 5}

The ancestor Li Duanlü (October 11, 1202-December 3, 1267) received a commendation in recognition of his selfless deed during the famine. Even after the Li family moved from Choumen to Houren village, Yongkang County, the “Le Shan Fang Li family” was still written on the Red Lantern hanging during the Spring Festival.[2]

According to the Li family's genealogy, during the 400 years from 880 to 1294, the Li clan people went all the way east across a-1000 mile distance and experienced three major migrations. Mr. Li Zongguo (854-924) moved to Hangzhou, Zhejiang in 880; Mr. Li Fen (907-985) moved to Choumen, Jinyun; and Mr. Li Hui (1274-1364) finally arrived in Houren, Yongkang from the capital Changan (Xi'an), the residence of the royal family of the Tang Dynasty.

Li's history in the ming dynasty (1368-1644)

The professor Li's ancestral mansion Hou Zhai Ting [Figure 6] was built by scholar Li Jiong in 1533 during the Emperor of Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is now listed as protected cultural relics. Scholar Li Jiong donated and participated in the establishment of the famous “Five Peaks College(五峰书院)” in Fangyan, Yongkang county.{Figure 6}

The Lineage of Gu Yi Tang

Li Juping – The founder of Gu Yi Tang and Dao Sheng Tang

Gu Yi Tang [Figure 7] was built by Li Juping [Figure 8] (1853-1930) and his three sons in 1908. During the late years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Li Juping and his eldest son Li Zhenming and second son Li Zhenfan opened a pharmacy named Dao Sheng Tang, which symbolized official practice of Chinese medicine in Li family.{Figure 7}{Figure 8}

They treated patients, prescribed formulae, and dispersed medicine. From this family pharmacy, professor Li Ding and his father Li Chengzhi learned their Chinese medical knowledge and later established their medical career.[3]

Scholar Wang Liangxi, the magistrate of Xuanping (now Wuyi) County wrote the plaque of Gu Yi Tang in 1922 [Figure 9].{Figure 9}

Li Chengzhi – The Taoist traditional Chinese medicine doctor

According to the Li lineage, Li Chengzhi [Figure 10] is the 49th-generation descendant of the Emperor Taizong (598-649)of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), personal name Li Shimin (the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649), and the 89th-generation descendant of Li Er (aka, Lao Zi) (a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of Dao De Jing (《道德经》 Tao Te Ching). His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to being conventionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism. He was honored as an ancestor of the Tang imperial family).{Figure 10}

Li Chengzhi started to teach in a primary school after graduation from Yongkang Middle School. At the same time, he started to read books on medicine, Confucianism, and Daoism and became a student of Mr. Xu Lifu, who was a famous scholar in the ancient Chinese culture. In addition, he also organized workshop for young students to study the Chinese language, literature, philosophy, and history (known as Guo Xue in Chinese pinyin).

In addition to Taoism, Li Chengzhi also worshipped Confucianism and Buddhism. He proposed adopting the “formalities in Confucianism and practice in Taoism” and “achieving the goal of Buddhism.” Specifically, he believed that it is important to practice qigong to cultivate body and mind and be ready to help others.

In November 1985, thanks to Mr. Li Chengzhi's fund-raising, the Houren Bridge was completed. This large stone arch bridge has brought convenience to the local people to travel across the Nanxi River. The completion of the bridge has been memorized as a great event in the history of Houren village. Therefore, he was honored as philanthropist.

When he passed away in 1987, villagers and students in a 100-mile radius came to attend his funeral, which became the headlines in local Yongkang News and Zhejiang Daily.[4]

The Li's percepts of Gu Yi Tang

In addition to philanthropic history, the Li family has its own tradition. Each generation has been following the family motto: diligence, prudence, purity, and serenity [Figure 11].{Figure 11}

Diligence, both physical and mental, is the key to success. Our ancestors were extremely diligent in their life, work, and study.

Prudence refers to the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others or in pursuit of academic knowledge. Prof. Li Ding often spent years on studying an academic issue.

Purity refers to being and water-like clean. Another name of my grandfather Chengzhi is Chun, literally meaning purity.

Serenity refers to having a peaceful mind and being self-restraint from excessive vanity. During the decades of clinical practice, Prof. Li Ding only charged the minimal diagnosis and treatment fee from his patients.

Purity and serenity symbolize the Daoist philosophy of “effortless action.” For example, Li Xian took the initiative to pass his own throne, to his younger brother Li Longji. My grandfather Chengzhi returned from Shanghai to our hometown and called himself an “old Yongkang farmer.” As the chief reviewer of “Acupuncture Bible” Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Prof. Li Ding remains exceptionally calm when he learned that the English version of this book even got his name wrong for the past decades. When he got to know that he and his colleagues' book “Shanghai Text” Acupuncture A Comprehensive Text was translated without the authorization of the authors, his only reaction was “I'm happy that these textbooks can help more people in the world to understand acupuncture.”[5]

The author is grateful to Mr. Justin Maher for reviewing the translation.

Translator: Chouping Han(韩丑萍)

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Li H, Li D, Han CP. The Li Lineage of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. USA: Scientific Research Publishing; 2016. p. 5.
2Li H, Li D, Han CP. The Li Lineage of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. USA: Scientific Research Publishing; 2016. p. 7.
3Li H, Li D, Han CP. The Li Lineage of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. USA: Scientific Research Publishing; 2016. p. 8.
4Li H, Li D, Han CP. The Li Lineage of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. USA: Scientific Research Publishing; 2016. p.12.
5Li H, Li D. Lineage of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Beijing: China Traditional Chinese Medicine Publishing House; 2018. p. 248.