三月, 2014 的封存

The Magic of Chinese Medicine

        Ancient China’s misty past has produced a wealth of stories with bearing on modern concerns. Take, for instance, the case of the curious goatherd who one day noticed that several of his billy goats were behaving in an unusually randy manner, mounting their mates repeatedly in remarkably brief spans of time. Aroused by their amorous behavior, perhaps even a bit envious of their prowess, the goatherd, in time-honored scientific tradition, kept careful watch on his horny herd for a few weeks. He soon detected a pattern. Whenever a billy goat ate from a particular patch of weeds, its promiscuous proclivities peaked. Before long Chinese herbalists had determined what goats had long known: that a plant of the aceranthus sagittatum family was one of the most potent male aphrodisiacs in their catalogue of confections. So they called the herb yin-yang-huo— “horny goat weed.”

The World’s Oldest M.D.s

        Like the martial arts, China’s medical arts have come a long way from prehistoric fable to the 20th-century fact. The goat story is trite but true. Many of China’s most efficacious herbal remedies were gradually discovered in precisely that manner. If a dog nibbled on certain weeds that induced vomiting, the curious Chinese experimented with the emetic properties of those weeds. Thousands of years of such observation and experimentation have provided Chinese medicine with the world’s most comprehensive pharmacopoeia of herbal remedies. From the open-faced fronts of garishly lit emporiums in Taipei to dim, closet-sized shops in the back alleys of small Taiwan towns, herbal doctors and dealers do a brisk business providing ancient remedies to contemporary customers.

        Historians have traced the beginnings of herbal medicine to Shen Nung (神農), the legendary emperor known as the “Divine Farmer” because he taught his vassals agricultural techniques around 3,500 B.C. “Shen Nung tasted the myriad herbs, and so the art of medicine was born,” proclaimed that great Han historian Ssu Ma-chien (司馬遷).

        References to various diseases and their herbal remedies first appeared on Shang Dynasty oracle bones (商朝甲骨文), circa 1,500 B.C., that were unearthed this century in China. Their discovery proved that medicine was a formal branch of study in China as long as 3,500 years ago. Books on medicine were among the few tomes spared from destruction during the infamous “Fires of Chin” (秦始皇焚書) of 220 B.C.

        The first volume that summarized and categorized the cumulative knowledge of disease and herbal cures in China appeared during the early part of the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century B.C. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (黃帝內經) contained the world’s first scientific classification of medicinal plants and is still in use by Chinese physicians and scholars today.

        The quintessential herbal doctor Sun Ssu-mo (孫思邈)appeared on the scene 800 years later during the Tang Dynasty. He established a pattern of practice still followed by Chinese physicians today. “When people come in for treatment, one does not inquire about their station in life or their wealth. Rich and poor, old and young, high and low are all alike in the clinic,” Sun wrote.

        Three emperors, all of whom he outlived, invited Sun to be their personal physician. He declined, preferring to pursue his clinical practice among the common people. Previously only the high and mighty had access to professional medical care, but Dr. Sun applied the Confucian virtue of ren (仁), “benevolence,” to his trade. He established the great tradition of ren-hsin, ren-shu (仁心仁術)–benevolent heart, benevolent art—that has guided Chinese physicians ever since.

        Sun Ssu-mo was also medical history’s first dietary therapist. In his famous study Precious Recipes (千金方), he wrote: A truly good physician first finds out the cause of the illness, and having found that, he first tries to cure it by food. Only when food fails does he prescribe medication.

        In fact, Dr. Sun diagnosed the vitamin-deficiency disease beriberi 1,000 years before it was identified by European doctors in 1642. Sun prescribed a strict dietary remedy that sounds remarkably modern: calf and lamb liver which are rich in vitamins A and B, wheat germ, almonds, wild pepper and other vitamin-packed edibles.

        Another milestone in the history of Chinese herbal medicine was the publication of Ben Tsao Gang Mu (本草綱目) in the 16th century. Known to the West as Treasures of Chinese Medicine, this authoritative pharmacopeia was compiled over a 27-year period of intensive research and study by the physician Li Shin-chen (李時珍). He scientifically classified and analyzed 1,892 entries including drugs derived from plants, animals and minerals. The book became popular in Western medical circles during the 18th and 19th centuries and was used by Charles Darwin in the development of his famous system for classifying nature’s species. The Ben Tsao Gang Mu remains the single most important reference tool for Chinese herbalists today.


Chinese medicine: 2. East vs. West

Posted: 2014 年 03 月 26 日 in Chinese medicine

East Versus West

        The theory and practice of traditional Chinese medicine takes an approach to disease and therapy that is diametrically different from Western ways. The Chinese prefer preventive techniques; the West concentrates on quick cures. In Chinese countries, medicine is considered an integral part of a comprehensive system of health and longevity called yang-sheng (養生), which means “to nurture life.” The system includes proper diet, regular exercise, regulated sex and deep breathing, as well as medicinal therapies. Unlike Western medicine, which has become increasingly fragmented into highly specialized branches, Chinese medicine remains syncretic. The various combinations of therapies from different fields in yang-sheng must be mastered by every Chinese physician.

        In fact, prior to the 20th century, most Chinese families retained family doctors much as modern corporations retain lawyers. The doctor was paid a set monthly fee and made regular rounds to dispense herbal remedies and medical advice specifically tailored to the individual needs of each family member. When a member of the family fell seriously ill, the doctor was held fully responsible for failing to foresee and prevent the problem. Payments were stopped. Only when he cured the patient at his own expense did his normal fee resume. The system stressed the importance of preventive care. It also served as a powerful deterrent to malpractice because doctors profited by keeping their patients healthy and happy rather than sick and dependent.

        Modern families in Taiwan and in other Chinese communities can no longer afford to keep a physician on the payroll, but the precept of prevention prevails. The Chinese trace and treat root causes of weakness and disease rather than their superficial symptoms. The physician draws a medical picture that encompasses everything from the weather and season to a patient’s dietary and sexual habits. And true causes are often found far from the symptoms. For instance, Chinese medicine traditionally traces eye problems to various liver disorders. Such symptomatic connections are rarely established in the West, where the eyes and liver are treated by two specialists separated by chasms of medical and opthomalogical training.

        The Chinese method of probing everywhere for possible causes of disease sometimes raises Western eyebrows. One American women introduced to a Taipei doctor returned from his clinic rather flustered. “He asked me such embarrassing questions!” she said. Everything from diet to elimination and sexual habits is important for the Chinese physician’s diagnosis.

        The theoretical foundations of Chinese medical arts, like those of the martial arts, are rooted in the cosmic theories of yin and yang, the Five Elements (五行: metal, wood, water, fire, earth), and the concept of chi(氣), “vital energy.” Essentially, Chinese doctors manipulate a patient’s internal balance of vital energies by using herbs, acupuncture and other methods to “clear energy stagnation, suppress energy excess, tonify energy deficiency, warm up cold energy, cool down hot energy,” and so forth. By reestablishing the optimum internal balance of vital energies and restoring harmony among the body’s vital organs, a physician can keep his patient healthy.

        Traditional Chinese therapy takes many forms. Some are popular in the West, others confined to Chinese society.

Scorpion Tails & Magic Needles

        Herbal therapy encompasses more than 2,000 organic medicines listed in the Chinese pharmacopeia, but only about 100 are commonly used to treat people. The rest are reserved for only the rarest conditions. Many common ingredients of the herbal pharmacy are standard ingredients of Western kitchens: cinnamon, ginger, licorice, rhubarb, nutmeg, orange peel and other spices and condiments. Herbal prescriptions routinely contain at least a half-dozen ingredients, some added simply to counteract the side-effects of more potent additives.

        The old adage “fight poison with poison” (以毒攻毒) originated in this branch of Chinese medicine. Some of man’s most virulent ailments are fought with such potent toxins as jimsonweed (Datura stramonium曼陀羅), centipedes, scorpion tails, and mercury. Herbal prescriptions come in a variety of forms. There are pills formed by blending finely powdered herbs with honey, brews made by boiling and reducing ingredients in water, powders dissolved in juice or water, pastes for external plasters, medicinal wines distilled from herbs steeped in strong spirits for a year or flour and water, and refined concentrates extracted from raw and dried herbs using modern technology.

        Acupuncture, probably the most widely used and publicized of Chinese therapies in the West, dates back to the battlefields of ancient China. Soldiers shot by arrows reported that their wounds often eliminated chronic ailments in other parts of their bodies. Physicians refined the technique over the centuries using “needles” fashioned from stone, jade, iron, and gold. Today’s practitioners of acupuncture stick very thin steel needles into “vital points” (穴道) along the body’s “vital energy” network. More than 800 such points have been identified, but only about 50 major spots are used in common practice.

        The insertion of a needle in each point produces a specific therapeutic effect on a specific organ, gland, nerve, or other body part. The points are connected to the internal organs and glands by energy channels called “meridians.” (經脈) While many of the secrets of acupuncture still mystify physicians in the West today, they acknowledge that it can be effective in treating certain ailments.

        Acupuncture has also proven to be effective as a local and general anesthetic. In recent years, patients have undergone painless appendectomies, major operations and even open-heart surgery while remaining alert and wide awake under acupuncture anesthesia. Acupressure (點穴) utilizes the same points and principles as acupuncture, but is applied with deep finger pressure rather than needles.

        Massage, called tui-na (推拿Chinese for “push and rub”), is applied to joints, tendons, ligaments and nerve centers as well as to vital points and meridians. With regular application over a period of time, tui-na can be effective in relieving and gradually eliminating arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, slipped discs, nerve paralysis, energy stagnation and related ailments.

        Skin-scraping (刮痧) involves the use of a blunt spoon or coin, dipped in wine or salt water, and rubbed repeatedly across vital points on a patient’s skin, usually on the neck or back, until a red welt appears. In cases of heat stroke, colds, fever, colic and painful joints, the practice draws out what Chinese physicians call “heat energy” and releases it through the skin to eliminate the cause of the problem.

        Blood-letting (放血) requires a sharp, thick needle with a triangular point that is used to prick open the skin at a vital point related the diseased organ. The release of blood induces “evil chi” and heat energy to travel along the meridians and escape through the open point.

        Suction cups (拔罐) made from bamboo or glass are briefly flamed with a burning wad of alcohol-soaked cotton to create a vacuum, then pressed over a vital point, usually along the spine. They stick tightly to the flesh by suction. Skin and flesh balloon into the cup, drawing out evil energies by pressure. The method has been found very effective in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, bruises, abscesses, and any ailments related to excessive exposure to wind or dampness.

        Moxibustion (艾灸)is the term for a treatment in which a burning stick of moxa, made from wormwood and resembling a thick cigar, is held directly over the skin at particular vital points. The herbal energy radiates from the glowing tip into the vital point and transmits therapeutic benefits along the meridian network to the diseased organ.

        As bizarre as blood-letting, moxibustion and other Chinese medical treatments may sound, all are still utilized with phenomenal success in Taiwan. For many common ailments, the Chinese approach appears to be superior to Western methods. It eliminates the need for strong chemical drugs, drastic surgery, radiation and other potentially dangerous methods used in the West and puts faith in natural, organic curatives. However, Chinese medicine does not dispute the superiority of Western medicine in the treatment of acute traumatic ailments, injuries and emergency cases.

Chinese medicine: 4. New medicine

Posted: 2014 年 03 月 26 日 in Chinese medicine

New Medicine

     In fact, physicians in the Far East now blend Chinese theories and Western technology, Chinese therapy and Western diagnosis. Their combination has formed a comprehensive system of medical care called the “New Medicine.” Eastern physicians use x-rays, blood and urine analysis, electrocardiograms, biochemical labs and other technology to improve their diagnostic methods, while at the same time relying on ancient, time-tested Chinese methods of treatment for common ills.

     For the traveler who has long suffered from nagging backache, persistent rheumatism, chronic fatigue, throbbing shoulder, “trick” knee, sluggish digestion or other problems, a visit to the right physician during a trip to Taiwan may hold unexpected benefits. Bona fide stories of satisfied customers are common.

     In one instance, a Lebanese tycoon visiting Taipei on business was incapacitated by a recurring ailment in his lower spine. Unable to walk, he had to conduct his business from a suite at the Taipei Hilton. A sympathetic Chinese associate enlisted the services of a doctor who specialized in treating spinal injuries. Treated with a combinationof tui-na massage, external herbal poultices and internal herbal brews, the Lebanese businessman recovered and was back on his feet in two days.

     A year later, the condition struck the tycoon again. He called Taipei long-distance and begged the doctor to fly immediately to Beirut, but the physician declined in deference to his obligations to his daily local patients. Undaunted by the refusal, the Lebanese man flew back to Taipei for further therapy. After several long-distance medical visits, his chronic debility was entirely eliminated.

    In another case personally witnessed by the author, two petite Chinese women half-carried, half-dragged an elderly New York matron into the clinic of Dr. Tom Huang in Taipei. She was in tears and excruciating pain, but balked at approaching the doctor’s couch as if being dragged to sacrificial slaughter on the altar of a tribal witch doctor. She gasped that she suffered from a slipped disc that had plagued her for more than 20 years. “No problem,” said Dr. Huang as he rolled up his sleeves, turned the woman over on her stomach and loosened her skirt. With three masterly probes he located the slipped disc, then applied tui-na massage for a half-hour, gently but firmly pushing and rubbing the exposed ligament back between the discs. Then he applied a powerful herbal poultice and asked her to return the following day.

    By the end of her second treatment, the woman was a convert to Chinese medicine. She actually embraced Dr. Huang and cried: “It’s a miracle! For 20 years my doctors back home have given me nothing but pain pills and told me to stay in bed, but you make me feel like a new person in only two days. I can actually walk straight again!”


12年國教英文教學面面觀 (Spring, 20140315)

Posted: 2014 年 03 月 21 日 in Seminar notes

Topic: 十二年國教英文教學面面觀            Presenter: Spring of NKNU          Time: 2014.3.15 @ TCHCVS

I.          The top ten most difficult languages in the world (The United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization): Chinese (The written form has no clues as to how it is actually pronounced.), French, Danish, Norwegian, German, Finish, Japanese, Icelandic, Arabic, Greek.

 II.        The following sentence contains all of the pronunciations of “ough”:

A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed. (Slough- a town in Central London, a hole with mud, to remove an outer layer of skin)

 III.       Use mnemonics

  1. i before e, except after c (“Weird” is an exception because it is weird.)
  2. separate– There is a rat in it.
  3. cemetery– All the “e’s” are buried in the cemetery.
  4. secretary– A secretary keeps a secret.
  5. bargain– You gain if you get a bargain.
  6. necessary– one c, two s; it is good to have one coffee and two sugars.
  7. dilemma– Emma has a dilemma.
  8. rhythm– Rhythm helps your tiny hips move.
  9. crucible哭什麼, tyro太弱, coma睏, panacea怕你死呀, loathe惹死, coy古意, docile打死, pedantic屁蛋一個, tirade太累, rampant亂爬, shoddy下地

 IV.       Intonation and stress:

E.g. I lost my purse. Great! Now I don’t have money for lunch.

Of all people. (Why me!)  Get out of here! Shut up!

Japanese: oba-san (aunt), obaa-san (grandma)

 V.        Pause:

1.      Jane said, “My dog is clever.”  “Jane,” said my dog, “is clever.”

2.      Let’s eat, Grandma. Let’s eat Grandma.

 VI.       Content words and function words:

1.   The beautiful mountain appeared transfixed in the distance. (14 syllables)

2.   He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn’t have to do any homework in the evening. (22 syllables)

The two sentences take about the same time to speak, why?

 VII.     Use tongue twisters to pronounce correctly:

  1. /th/ Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks.
  2. /l/, /r/ Don’t run along the wrong isle. Let little Nellie run a little. A lump of red leather, a red leather lump. Red leather, yellow leather.
  3. /pl/, /pr/ Is there a pleasant peasant present?
  4. /cr/ Cross crossings cautiously
  5. /gr/ Greek grapes
  6. /ch/, /sh/ Which is the witch that wished the wicked wish?
  7. /s/, /sh/ We surely shall see the sun shine soon.
  8. /a/ A knapsack strap. A black-based bath brush.
  9. /i/ Thin sticks, thick bricks.
  10. /u/ Double bubble gum bubbles double.
  11. /u/, /a/ A cup of coffee in a copper coffee pot.
  12. The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.
  13. If two witches watched two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
  14. How much dew would a dewdrop drop if a dewdrop could drop dew?
  15. How many cans can a canner can if a canner can can cans? A canner can can as many cans as a canner can if a canner can can cans.
  16. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

 VIII.    Useful one word:

Absolutely! Exactly! Definitely! Absurd! Adios! Aloha! Ciao! Ta-ta! Sayonara! Bravo! Baby, darling, sweetheart, sweetie, honey, sugar! Baloney! Son of a gun! Bingo! Boy! Gee! Cheers! Bottoms up! Chicken! Darn! Fantastic! Incredible! Unbelievable! Figures! Freeze! Gosh! God! Hurrah! Hush! Indeed! Jerk! Lazybones! Pervert! Dirty old man! Lowlife! Lousy! Man! Nonsense! Forget it! Oops! Ouch! Pig! Question! Ridiculous! Roger! Say! Shoot! Weird! Wow! Yuck! Yummy!

 IX.       Grammar:

Effortless English: do not study grammar, read to acquire automatic grammar.

There is no rule but has exceptions. English grammar can be messy.

E.g. Dangling modifier: Walking into a temple, a Buddha was seen by me. (I saw a Buddha.)

 X.        Inspiring questions:

  1. If you were a vegetable/animal, what vegetable/animal would you be?
  2. What does your name mean? If you were to change your name, what would you change your name to? Why?
  3. Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Why?

 XI.       Activities:

  1. Double jeopardy: Ans: Ben  Q: What is our English teacher’s name? Ans: Jade Mountain. Q: What is the highest mountain in Taiwan?
  2. Fortunately/unfortunately: I lost my purse at the bus station, but fortunately/unfortunately…
  3. Half dictation: say the first half of the sentence and ask students to finish it.
  • As soon as I walked into the classroom, …
  • Because I went to bed late last night, …
  • Although Tina is short and skinny, …
  • Yesterday my dog ran away, …
  • After I graduate from high school, …
  • If you wish to win her heart, …
  • Nobody knows…

Using exact words: 1. Introduction

Posted: 2014 年 03 月 18 日 in Using exact words

Using Exact Words系列文章共四篇,每篇皆有25句用來解析常用單字的替換用法,如It’s a big problem.→It’s a big hurdle.,因為hurdle有跨欄的涵義,可具體展現problem的概念,像hurdle這種more graphic, powerful, persuasive的單字常見於英美各大報紙,也常用於專業商務人士的溝通,Dr. William A. Vance of Yale University將這類單字稱為“winner’s vocabulary”。

阿賓拜讀語研學院出版的偷看耶魯大師的單字講義” (William A. Vance, 2013),發現內容很適合台灣高中職程度的學生學習,若熟用則可同時增進字彙與寫作能力,故整理成簡單講義供教學之用,每篇皆有25題例句,文末附上參考解答,老師們看解答後應可大致理解為何替換用字較好,若仍有疑義,備課請參閱該書,有詳細解釋與更多例句和補充用法。

教學方法可將學生分組,將例句當翻譯練習或作業,讓學生英譯中後想出或找出更精準的用字來代替目標字,一來翻譯可督促學生去了解句意(learn from the context),二來有助於推敲目標字的同義字。如老師們有其他教法願意分享,也請不吝賜教,謝謝!

  1. Their marketing budget will be reduced next year.
  2. The manager told his goals to the team.
  3. We try to finish by December.
  4. Parents want to make a better future for their children.
  5. She said that August is the slowest month for business.
  6. She hurried to find an answer to the question.
  7. The first action toward good health is to exercise regularly.
  8. Let’s see the situation from another angle.
  9. The automobile industry has several challenges.
  10. John is the important person on the team.
  11. It is hard to discover the source of the noise.
  12. What kind of schedule do you have in mind?
  13. I want to emphasize our company’s experience in manufacturing.
  14. He will report us on the project at the meeting.
  15. He will send you an email with his comment.
  16. The due date is three p.m.
  17. Given this situation, I support David’s suggestion.
  18. The school decreased its staff by ten percent.
  19. The economic future in Australia is worsening.
  20. Our engineer led the development of the software.
  21. The research will pay attention to air pollution.
  22. You should make your presentation better with some pictures.
  23. Cancer survival depends on early treatment.
  24. The complaints suggest problems in our customer service.
  25. Let me see if I can find that information.


1. cut 2. share…with 3. aim 4. build 5. noted
6. raced 7. step 8. view 9. faces 10. key
11. pinpoint 12. timeline 13. highlight 14. update 15. feedback
16. deadline 17. background 18. downsized 19. outlook 20. spearheaded
21. focus on 22. jazz…up 23. hinges on 24. point to 25. track down

Using exact words: 2

Posted: 2014 年 03 月 18 日 in Using exact words
  1. Their success comes from solid planning.
  2. We looked over your plan and have some questions.
  3. The staff will solve the technical problems.
  4. The town tried hard to find a location for the mall.
  5. Workers are preparing for a fight over pensions.
  6. Our decision is given power by governmental regulations.
  7. Commuters begin to rush into the station around seven a.m.
  8. The government started a website for consumer complaints.
  9. She quickly understood the importance of the results.
  10. How can we connect the gap between our plans and budget?
  11. Housing prices will rise in the next three years.
  12. The stock market fell on Tuesday.
  13. We need to evaluate the benefits of advertising against its costs.
  14. Our customers vary from students to retired people.
  15. He tried to move the conversation away from politics.
  16. Our department has been busy with job applications.
  17. They understand the limit of the project.
  18. The recession may help new economic policies.
  19. It’s difficult to judge their level of interest.
  20. The trade surplus has been helping economic growth.
  21. We have no certain/definite information at this time.
  22. How could we change the magazine’s content to increase sales?
  23. The government began a big rescue operation.
  24. Thank you for your fast/quick reply to my email.
  25. The business condition will improve next year.


1. stems from 2. examined 3. iron out 4. wrestled with 5. gearing up
6. driven 7. flood 8. launched 9. grasped 10. bridge
11. soar 12. plunged 13. weigh 14. range 15. steer
16. swamped 17. scope 18. spur 19. gauge 20. fueling
21. concrete 22. tweak 23. mammoth 24. speedy 25. climate