Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Famous Dr Ho of Jade Dragon Mountain

While in Lijiang I had the fortune of meeting Dr Ho, a Naxi Doctor made famous by several books and documentaries, including Michael Palins Himalayas. As you walk along the otherwise typical street of the Naxi village of Baisha, just outside Lijiang, you will see a big sign saying "most admired man" and clippings of newspaper articles about this friendly, but slightly eccentric doctor.
So me and my friends walked into his clinic, and he greeted us in perfect English, then led us outside to sit in the sun, drink his home made herbal tea, and read articles about his fame. He lived a hard life and was poor and sick, during the political instability of 1950s and 60s China. So he taught himself herbal medicine, healed himself, and then began healing other villagers for free. He had learnt English from Dr Joseph Rock, a famous botanist, who lived in the area in the 1930s. Dr Ho is in his mid 80s and is in excellent health, and very happy (he says the best medicine is happiness). Despite his fame, he is humble and welcoming, and will give you a check up and prescribe some herbal medicine (which he collects from the mountains himself) for free, although for tourists, he asks a donation of what you think its worth or you can afford.
He told us about how several westerners suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses had come tohim for treatment, and years later are still alive and stable. He showed us their medical reports, showing they refused kimotherapy to prove it.

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