A patient is called 病人 (bìng rén) or, more formally, 患者 (huànzhě). 医院 (yīyuàn) is a hopsital, and 诊所 (zhěnsuǒ) is a clinic. You may call the doctor 医师 (yīshī), 医生 (yīshēng) or 大夫 (dàifu). I believe this is the only instance where 大 (dà big) is pronounced as dài.
The doctors will treat people’s illnesses and help them enjoy longevity, or 长寿 (chángshòu). 西医 (xīyī a doctor trained in western medicine) and 中医 (zhōngyī a practitioner of Chinese medicine) take different approaches to treating an ailment. For an acute appendicitis or a broken bone, I definitely would not want to seek help from traditional Chinese medicine. On the other hand, many patients with chronic ailments have been helped by acupuncture and Chinese herb medicine administered by competent and conscientious practitioners.
The Chinese broadly classify diseases into two major groups: 热症 (rè zhèng) the warm or hot type, or excess/inflammations, corresponding to yang, and 虚症 (xū zhèng), the cold type, or deficiency/feebleness, corresponding to yin.
虚 (xū) is the formal word for 空 (kōng), which means emptiness, empty, unoccupied, in vain, or false (as in empty talk). 空虚 (kōngxū) is often used to described a feeling of emptiness. It’s interesting to note that 虚心 (xūxīn) means being modest and open-minded, while 心虚 (xīnxū) describes an uneasy feeling due to a guilty conscience or lack of self-confidence.
So, if you have a 虚症 (xū zhèng), you would be administered 补药 (bǔyào tonic), medication that tend to warm you up or boost your energy. A number of herb medicines and foods are believed to be capable of enriching the blood, ie. 补血 (bǔxuè). A tasty example is a soup made with 薏米 (yìmǐ Job’s tears). 人参 (rénshēn ginsen), 姜 (jiāng ginger) and 酒 (jiǔ alcoholic drinks) are considered tonics. I’d go for familiar foods that have warming properties rather than taking any dubious herb medicine. The fact is that the herbal tablets are not regulated by the FDA and often contain harmful elements such as mercury and traces of other heavy metals.
Tāmen xǐhuān hē yìmǐ tāng.
They like to drink Job’s tears soup.
If one has an inflammation or a mania, then the aim would be to release the excess of bad energy. 泻 (xiè to expel, to discharge, diarrhea) is the opposite of 补 (bǔ boost). 苦瓜 (kǔguā bitter gourd) and 西瓜 (xīgua watermelon) have a cooling effect. With a few exceptions, fruits and vegetables containing large amounts of Vitamin C are believed to be anti-inflammatory.
Then there is such a thing as 虚热 (xū rè), a excess condition that arose from a deficiency. In this case, you would need to take the appropriate measure to address the “yin” root cause and not just deal with the “yang” symptoms.
良 (liáng) is the formal word for 好 (hǎo good, nice, kind). 药 (yào) is herb medicine. Did you notice the “grass” radical at the top? A popular Chinese adage goes like this:
Liángyàokǔkǒu lìyú bìng.
Good medicine tastes bitter, but it’s beneficial for fighting the disease.
And the matching line, which delivers the main point, is:
Zhōngyánnìěr lìyú xíng.
Earnest advice grates on the ear, but it’s beneficial for your conduct.
As mentioned in my 1/18/12 post, 行 (xíng) has several different meanings. Here, it refers to 行为 (xíngwéi behavior, conduct). As many Chinese adages have been passed down through the ages, they are in the form of classical Chinese. You’d simply memorize them as they are written. 良药苦口 (Liángyàokǔkǒu) and 忠言逆耳 (Zhōngyánnìěr) can also be used separately as idoms. You can utter one of these expressions when someone refuses to listen to your sincere advice.
针灸 (zhēnjiǔ acupuncture and moxibustion) can be helpful in relieving certain symptoms. However, it involves poking needles into the body, and it’s important that the needles be properly sterilized. The practitioner must insert the needle at the correct point, in the correct direction and to the correct depth. If you choose to receive acupuncture treatment, make sure it is provided by a certified physician at an accredited clinic. .
指压 (zhǐ yā acupressure) involves applying pressure to the acupuncture points. It’s similar to massaging and is generally safe to administer to yourself if you are not a child, not pregnant and don’t have a severe health problem, such as a heart condition. The Internet is filled with information about such Asian bodywork therapies. What interests us here is that 指 (zhǐ) means fingers, or to point to, or to indicate, and 压 (yā) means pressure, or to press.
Ěrmíng yào yā nǎli?
For tinnitus, where should one press?
My own experience is that gently pressing on the depression located a little above the tragus makes the ringing go away. However, if the ringing is intense, frequent or prolonged, you’d better get checked out by a physician for possible problems with the ears, the head or the heart.