Li Shi Zhen’s stick and carrot diplomacy to chase out a ghost

Recently I talked about Li Shi Zhen and his treatment of a case of gui qi, literally ghost qi, or demonic influence. A ghost or demon invaded an acupuncture hole (an acupuncture point is actually a hole: it’s three dimensional) and made himself at home there. Li Shi Zhen’s treatment was moxibustion and offerings of food and wine and the case was resolved. Now this was an elegant two prong treatment: a stick and a carrot no less. Moxibustion boosted the yang righteous qi so it became most inhospitable for the demon. You can say he literally smoked him out of there. Then he also had food and wine waiting ouside for him. The demon could not refuse this offer: he had to leave. A couple things are remarkable about Li’s treatment. First, it was compassionate and gentle. There was no attempt to kill or destroy the ghost. It was more strong diplomacy than anything else. Second, Li psychologically prepared his patient for the healing. He allowed him an understanding of the sickness; that it was a bad, uninvited, guest. If nobody knew what was going on it would be hard to treat. Now the patient had a narrative. There would be a way to pursuade the ghost to leave.

(This is part 3 of a series on gui qi.)

About Lok-Kwan

Lok-Kwan is a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of Illinois. He is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist. He sees patients and teaches qigong in Chicago and Wilmette. Visit his website
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