Shanghan Lun Master Dr. Tian Heming

Dr. Tian Heming was born in late Qing dynasty and studied medicine with his older brother. His brother was a Shanghan Lun expert who had written a book called Shallow Understanding of the Shanghan [shanghan qianshi] but the book has since been lost. Dr. Tian worked in West Chengdu outside the old city limits, west of the Qingyang temple. He lived in a traditional house and practiced medicine every morning. In one morning he would see up to 200 patients, while he had up to 8 disciples writing and filling his prescriptions continuously. Dr. Tian was able to see this large number of patients because he was an expert in the most classical practice of the medicine, i.e. he would take the pulse and immediately prescribe the classical formula. He never used non-Shanghan Lun and Jingui Yaolue formulas, and often presrcibed less than 8 ingredients per formula, thus earning him the studio name Tian Bawei or 'Eight Ingredient Tian'. Another story is that his 'Eight Ingredient' name originated from his brother's unrivalled use of Shenqi Wan, aka Bawei Dihuang Wan. Dr. Tian was heavily ridiculed during the revolution claiming he belonged to the feudal caste system. The red guards went as far as to break his spine, but he never spoke badly of his assailants and always urged compassion and acceptance. Dr. Tian died in the late seventies having lived way over nine decades. He was the last true master of the Shanghan Lun tradition.

Dr. Tian Heming is the sole inspiration in Dr. Versluys' clinical practice and Dr. Versluys has sworn to in this lifetime revive the Dr. Tian lineage of classical clinical practice.

The poem on the picture, taken in the mid-seventies, says:

Peacefully and bland, void and empty sticking to the middle path,

Servicing mankind to utmost skill,

The name of the Eight Ingredient doctor spreads through the universe,

And is known by man as the inheritence of the Zhongjing style.


Shanghan Lun Master Dr. Tian Heming