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In the winter of 1950, a Korean peasant was brought into an Army battalion aid station near Uijongbu. He was a dignified village elder who suffered raging fever and rigors. In the process of determining that he had lobar pneumonia, his thorax was observed to contain burn blisters; they were neatly symmetrical, small discrete areas. Closer scrutiny revealed small brand marks over neck, arms, legs, and trunk. Inquiry through an interpreter disclosed that these were moxibustion sites (induced by burning cones of powdered leaves of the Artemisia vulgaris). It was my first confrontation with the mysterious orbit of traditional oriental medicine.
The Yellow Emperor's Classic begins with a portentous comment, "In most Asiatic countries modern scientific medicine has not penetrated very deeply." And from here one is led into a strange world of philosophical-metaphysical-historical-medical thought. It is as unreal to the western clinician as though it all happened on