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Wang Bing

Wang Bing,self-named "Qixuanzi", a famous doctor in the mid Tang Dynasty (618-907), lived roughly in the time from the Jingyun Period to the Zhenyuan Period (710-804) of the Tang Dynasty. His native place is unknown. He worked as a Taipu Ling (official title in the court, in charge of the emperor's carriages and horses) during the reign of Yingzhong (762-763) of the Tang Dynasty,hence, he was also called "Wang Taipu".

From his childhood, Wang Bing upheld Taoism,which had something to do with the tradition of believing in Taoism in the Tang Dynasty. Wang Bing was fond of regimen,hoping to live forever. Besides, his notion of simple life and few desires conformed to the Taoist propositions of "letting things take their own ways", "no desire", "being indifferent to fame or benefit", "internally preserving your health, and externally renouncing the world". Hence, upholding Taoism and deliberating on alchemy were Wang Bing's lifetime pursuits. That was part of the reason that he called himself "Qixuanzi"(person who uncoverd the world of myth).

Wang Bing had a teacher called "Xuanzhu", who did intensive research on Su Wen (Questions of Fundamental Nature), and enlightened Wang Bing greatly. Wang Bing's another teacher Zhang Gong was the main person who imparted academic ideas and medical experience to him. From his teacher Zhang Gong, Wang Bing got the secret copy of Su Wen. Then, he made a cross-reference with the Neijing Xunjie (Explanations of the Internal Canon). With many research efforts and his own academic ideas and experiences, he re-compiled Su Wen through combining similar articles, re-categorizing contents and supplement. After 12 years of hard work, he finished his new book in 762, Cizhu Su Wen (Secondary Explanations to Su Wen), which contained 24 volumes and 81 chapters. Thus, the previous incomplete medicine work with many mistakes and repetitions was improved into a fixed copy and was able to be spread and handed down.

Wang Bing also wrote some other books, but it is a pity that all of them have been lost. The only extant one is Cizhu Su Wen, and his academic thinking is mainly shown in this book. He reorganized, classified and proofread all the chapters of Su Wen, and, more importantly, made detailed notes to the whole book according to his own theory and practice, contributing a lot to the development of traditional Chinese medicine.

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