bian stone gua sha ( guasha ) tool
Item Number: TB001
Material: bian stone
Length: About 3.6 inch
1,What is bian healing?
According to " Huangdi Neijing " (Note #1), Bian healing, acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbal medical treatment constitute four medical skills coexisting separately in the traditional Chinese medical science. Then what is Bian healing (including its skill and related instruments)? The interpretation of this in his great works " Shuowenjiezi" written by Xu Shen ( 58 - 147 A.D. )(Note #2) is that by Bian healing it means using stone to CI ( to prick or stab ) diseases. How to explain the word CI, therefore, becomes extremely important, for it is closely related to showing its true colours, why it has been lost for long and how we are to re-explore it in future. There is a sentence read as " CI CAO ZHI GU " ( in English, meaning " to uproot weeds to plant sereal crops " ) in his famous paper called " Fuguopian " written by Master Xun ( approximately 313 - 238 B.C. ), a great thinker and educator in the Warring States Period ( 475 - 221 B.C. ). The two CIs cited above should evidently be deciphered as " getting rid of " or " removing, " which is in agreement with one of the definitions concerning the word " CI " whose meaning is " rooting out ," " wiping out " or " eradicating " as given in " The Chinese Lexicological Encyclopedia. " And later on the concept of " using stone to CI diseases " was gradually evolved into the definition of " probing with stone needle to get cured of a disease. " This kind of definition has had a worldwide impact on a lot of countries such as that in Britain, where the locally-compiled Chinese-English Dictionary has Bian interpreted as " stone needle, " and that in Japan, whose national language dictionary has the Chinese character " Bian "deciphered in Japanese as " IST BARI ," also meaning " stone needle ." The needle must have been thick if made out of stone, as lithoidal artifact is normally brittle. Now that thick stone needles were indeed employed to penetrate into the skin of any patient to get cured of his ( or her )disease in ancient China, people, however, still feel it a little bit difficult to comprehend this particular way of medical treatment, considering it as being almost pricelessly ridiculous. In our study of and textual research into historical relics and hosts of Bian-healing instruments collected from the country folk people, it has been borne out that in ancient times of China there were various Bian-healing instruments such as Bian awl, spade-shaped Bian tool, Bian slate, Bian ball, Bian anvil, ceramic ( or porcelain-made ) box for Bian healing in which hot water was filled, etc., with all of which the ancient Chinese ancestors practised their Bian-healing skill in the form of sensing, pressing, rolling, rubbing, pricking, striking, knocking, scraping, etc. Consequently, Bian-healing skill should be interpreted into " the ways that the ancient Chinese used to adopt for the purposes of medical treatment and health protection, using lithoidal artifacts."
#1, An oldest and earliest book dealing with the traditional Chinese medical science in the Chinese history
#2, A famous scholar in the study of Confucian classics and also a philologist in the Easten Han Dynasty ( 25 - 220 A.D.)
2, How bian-healing skill was lost?
In the book of " Records of the Historian", there is a vividely-depicted story in which a famous practitioner of Chinese medicine in ancient China called Bian Que of the Warring States Period succeeded in curing the crown prince of the State Guo of his fatal illness with Bian-healing skill, in conjunction with other art of healing. However, according to " The Books of the Later Han Dynasty ( 940 - 950 A.D. ) Collected Biographies of Hua Tuo ( 141 - 203 A.D.) (Note # 1 ), three medical skills, that is, acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbal medical treatment in the traditional Chinese medical science still kept flourishing to the times when Huo Tuo was alive, leaving Bian-healing skill gradually lost and finally unknown. Fu Qian (Note # 2 ) said: " As in the last phase of an age or in the times of upheaval, no desirable stone of fine quality is available any longer and, it is a matter of course that it should be substituted by iron." Then what is the desirable stone of fine quality ? The book of the traditional Chinese medical science " Nan Jing " says: " If attacked by pathogen, cattle would fall into swelling and go down with chills and fever. Then Bian-healing skill is hired to serve as an efficient way of medical treatment. " What is described here by Bian- healing skill is patient with medical treatment using the Bian-healing stone which functions both as permeating and dispersing like " invisible needle " having a great effect on the deeper part of human body. As this kind of stone material, by which medical instruments for Bian healing were made, ran short later on, the ancient Chinese Bian-healing skill for medical treatment and health protection, therefore, was gradually not heard about and gradually unknown in the medical community. A well-known scholar of the Tang Dynasty, Yan Shigu ( 581 - 645 A.D. ), who was an expert in interpretation of words in ancient books, said: " In ancient times of China we had Bian-healing skill to cure diseases and nowadays this kind of skill has died out."
Noe #1 A legendary surgeon at the end of the Han Dynasty
Note # 2 A scholar in the study of Confucian classics in the Eastern Han Dynasty
3, Sacred stone, one of the important tributes in the XIA DYNASTY ( 21st - 16th Century B.C. )
At the end of 1970s, a set of chime bells made of Si Bin QING stone was unearthed in Shandong Province (Fig.1) and subsequently in 1980s outcropped Si Bin stone material, which has been rarely seen for long and out of which Si Bin QING stone bells were made, was once again found on the ancient Si River banks in Shandong Province. The outcropped Si Bin stone has boasted of a long standing and been well established in the history of China, its reputation respectable and sacred. There is a clear and definite record in "Shang Shu " (Note #1 ),describing that " among Hai Zhou ( Zhou is an administrative unit in the division of the territory of ancient China ), Dai Zhou, Huai Zhou. it is only in Xu Zhou where QING stone material outcropped on the top mountain surface along both banks of the Si River was carefully picked out to be presented as article of tribute."(Fig.2) There is an account in" Shang Shu "to the effect that it would appeal to all animals to come out dancing together if the stone were struck or hammered, a fact verifying to the full that outcropped Si Bin QING stone originating from Xu Zhou served as one of the important tributes in the reign of Emperor Yu some 4100 years ago. Furthermore, in the period of totem culture, representatives of various tribes acting as animals they worshipped, carried out their religious activities, dancing around the outcropped Si Bin QING which had, at that time, symbolized their belief and power. After the emergence of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, the outcropped Si Bin QING was once more invited into temple and taoist abbey, being enshrined and worshipped as the oldest percussion instrument in a Buddhist or Taoist mass and as one of the important ritual instruments for Confucianists to cultivate their moral character and nourish their inborn nature, as well. (Fig.3, a set of musical QING stone bells) The 2nd emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Li Shimin ( 599 - 649 A.D.) once even had the political situation and power of the Tang Dynasty divined simply by striking QING stone. The ancient Chinese people would attach much importance to such a degree the event when Si Bin QING stone had been excavated in the country that the whole nation would celebrate jubilantly, for the excavation of the stone would be viewed as a good omen of flourishing and prosperity of the country.
Note # 1,One of Confucianists' classics dealing with historical documents and papers of remote ages
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