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Audible | Chinese Medical Technique:Liu's Bloodletting and Fire-ironing Acupuncture Therapy

By YAN DENG|May 15,2024

Editor's Note: This article is produced in collaboration with the Chongqing Institute of Foreign Studies as part of a series of ongoing reports exploring the city's abundant resources in intangible cultural heritages.

Chinese Medical Technique:Liu's Bloodletting and Fire-ironing Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture, as one of the traditional Chinese medical treatments, is gradually fading out of public view due to the impact of Western medicine. Among them, Liu's bloodletting and fire-ironing acupuncture therapy, though more distinctive, is not widely inherited and even risks being lost at any time because of its single way of passing down—by oral and mind teaching within the family. Nonetheless, some people always commit themselves to this technique and seek a better inheritance.

Of these, Mr. Liu Guangrui, the therapy's inheritor, had devoted himself to spreading it throughout the world since the 1990s. Finally, thanks to Mr. Liu's tireless efforts, it received overwhelmingly positive responses in academic exchanges on traditional Chinese medicine in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and the Republic of Benin. But the road to successful promotion was not that smooth. Back in 2013, he took the technique to Mexico for an academic exchange of traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese Embassy, based in Mexico, and two local universities there had planned to arrange a Chinese lecture for Mr. Liu, but this was unsuccessful. As a result, the Embassy had to arrange for him to deliver a speech in museums, communities, and other locations. Surprisingly, his speech amazed those coming to him, and the universities that had previously refused his lecture rushed to invite Liu to give a speech.

Will this truly work? Some may wonder. 

Undoubtedly, it is because it has a theoretical basis and a notable effect on clinical treatment as a specialist therapy. This therapy is divided into two categories: bloodletting puncture and fire-ironing therapy, which are highly effective. The bloodletting puncture works miracles for psoriasis, shingles, and skin coma induced by dampness-heat syndrome and toxic gases; fire-ironing therapy is a powerful remedy for rheumatism aches and pain. Also, the therapy involves our well-noted Gua Sha (Chinese: 刮痧), a TCM practice in which a tool is used to scrape people's skin to light petechiae and moxibustion therapy.

Since the year of the Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, or around 1640 AD, this therapy has been passed down for nearly 350 years and 15 generations.

For us, Liu's bloodletting and fire-ironing acupuncture therapy is more than just an ordinary medical treatment; it is also a highly effective folk medical technique and a cultural treasure we must never forget.


Chinese script: Wan Yue

Tutored by:  Yang Xiao

Translation: Wan Fengsha

Tutored by: Zhou Yingzhi  Jiang Jun

Voice-over: Wang Xue

Tutored by: Zhang Yidan


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