Professor Liu Du-Zhou was born in 1917 and studied Chinese medicine from the age of 16. He was the student of two famous physicians, Dr. Wang Zhi-Yuang and Dr. Xie Si-Quan. His passing in 2001 was a loss to the world of Chinese medicine though he does live on, both through his prolific writings and through his disciples. At an early age Professor Liu was smitten with the power of studying the classics, especially the Shang Han Lun. He was thoroughly familiar with all the major classics and also involved in study, research, writing and teaching on the Shang Han Lun.
Some proponents of the use of classical Shang Han Lun formulas adhere to a rather simple lock and key way of working.
This is a matter of matching a presentation of signs and symptoms to a formula – based on the clauses of the Shang Han Lun. These practitioners have little interest in either the patho-mechanism of the illness or the way the herbs work together to address the path-mechanism. This formula goes with this set of signs a symptoms – it’s a matching game. Others, including myself, feel that, though a deep study, if not memorization, of the signs and symptoms that make up a formula presentation is essential for any serious practitioner of classic formulas, stopping at this level will ultimately bring limited and mediocre clinical results.
What I love about studying the work of Liu Du-zhou is his interest in understanding the classic formulas of the Shang Han Lun in relation to both the presentation and the physio- and patho-logical mechanisms of the body that explain the presentation. He goes further to articulate the way the formulas work to address the pathology. It is only when we study and work this way, deeply “seeing” the way the body is not finding its way and deeply understanding the formulas and the herbs within them, that we become fine tuned and more dependably effective in our work. Liu Du-zhou practiced, taught and wrote at what I consider, a high level.
This is the WHY of studying Dr. Liu’s work and studying with Dr. Liu Du-Zhou protégés.
As for the how…One of Dr. Liu’s students, Dr. Fu Yan-Ling will be coming to our institute in November to teach in the tradition of Dr. Liu. (Click here for information) In this and the next several blog entries, I will be highlighting the work of Dr. Liu Du-Zhou and of Dr. Fu Yanling. I am hoping that these entries will inspire students to attend the course with Dr. Fu Yan-ling (which will be streamed live for distant students). It is a rare and wonderful opportunity.
For this first entry in the series, I will give you all some resources to begin to understand the work of Dr. Liu Du-Zhou. The first resource is an article written by Dr. Fu Yan-ling about the work of Dr. Liu. This article on “Six Crucial Concepts from the practice of Professor Liu Du_Zhou, can be downloaded here. I want to thank the editors of The Lantern for permission to make this article available here. The Lantern is, in this author’s opinion, the best English language Chinese medicine publication available, especially for those interested in classic formulas.
Some of Dr. Liu’s cases have been published in English, especially on the blogs of Eran Evan and of Jason Blalack. The links for these cases are below:
Cases from the clinical practice of Dr. Liu Du-Zhou
from Eran Evan’s blog
From Jason Blalack’s Blog
Gui Zhi Er Yue Bi Yi Tang(Translated by me!)