针灸表演 / My First Acupuncture Demonstration



1977年的上海外滩 / Shanghai’s Bund, 1977

针灸表演

上世纪70年代,前往中国的游客寥寥无几,而且多是组团访问。直到70年代末,大众旅游团才开始出现。在那之前,只有屈指可数的几个专业代表团能够获得正式邀请来华访问,对游客开放的场所也十分有限。

参观团的行程都经过有关部门的精心安排,显然是想对外人展示中国可能的最好的方面。每当参观人民公社、学校和工厂,总有负责人做介绍,通常充满了让人吃惊的增长数字和进步报告。

在这些行程中经常展示的中国社会侧面是医疗。在人民公社层面,主要介绍赤脚医生的作用以及重大疾病的惊人减少。而在城市,经常有针灸表演。

70年代访华的西方人常被带去观看针灸表演。在开场的介绍中,通常会包括在西方闻所未闻、令人屏息的重大医疗成果,例如针灸神奇的止痛效果,可以让病人能够在接受大手术的时候保持清醒,和医生交谈。

结果,针灸以其半神话般的快速疗效而名噪一时。

1977年,我第一次跟随旅游团访问中国,行程中就包括前往市医院领略针灸治疗的奇效。

我和旅游团成员们既好奇,也有点儿担心。因为此前我们听说这种表演会是何等的戏剧性和生动,而且游客可以近距离地站在手术台旁。

我们参观的是上海的一家诊所。旅游团共有十二名游客,全是居住在香港的外国人,而且都是第一次参加旅行团到中国旅游。当时是夏天,天气又热又湿。我们马不停蹄地参观工厂、学校、人民公社、革命京剧表演和历史古迹。

My First Acupuncture Demonstration

During the 1970s, tourist visitors to China were very few in number, and almost invariably they were in groups. General tour groups began in the late 70s. Prior to that, there were only a handful of officially invited tourist delegations of professional or special interest groups. The number of locations open to tourists was very small.

These groups had itineraries carefully planned by the relevant authorities, and clearly were intended to show the best possible aspects of China to outsiders. Visits to Peoples’ Communes, schools, and factories always included briefings by the people in charge, invariably full of impressive growth statistics and progress reports.

One aspect of Chinese society frequently showcased in these tour itineraries was medical care. At the People’s Commune level, this mainly revolved around the role of the barefoot doctors and the impressive curtailment of major diseases. In cities, this very often included acupuncture demonstrations.

Western visitors to China in the 1970s frequently were shown acupuncture demonstrations. Those early accounts often included breathless descriptions of medical achievements unheard of in the West, such as major surgery performed while the patient was still conscious and able to converse with the doctors, enabled by the amazing effectiveness of acupuncture as a pain killer.

As a result, acupuncture developed something of a reputation for offering quasi-miraculous, rapid results.

My first visit to China as a member of a tour group, in 1977, included a visit to an urban hospital and a demonstration of acupuncture’s effectiveness.

Members of my tour group and I were curious and a bit apprehensive, because we’d heard stories about how dramatic and graphic these demonstrations could be, with visitors standing close by the operating table.

The hospital was in Shanghai. There were twelve of us in the tour group, all foreigners living in Hong Kong, and all first-time members of a tour group to China. It was summer, and the weather was hot and humid. Our tour had been a non-stop progression of factories, schools, Peoples’ Communes, performance of a revolutionary opera, and sites of historical interest.

 

白衬衫非常流行,而2000年看起来还遥远得很 / White shirts were in fashion , and 2000 seemed a long way away

我们进入诊所的小治疗室,大夫、护士、还有一位中年女患者已经在等我们,室内的悬疑气氛和湿气一样的浓厚。由于事先没有介绍患者的病情,这更增加了悬念。

我们只知道,我们将在近距离亲眼看到一次开胸心脏手术。天气真热。十二个好奇的老外,加上大夫、护士、病人,还有导游, 统统挤在一间狭小的治疗室里。

针灸治疗开始了,还是没人介绍治的是什么病,预期的疗效是什么,或是其他任何相关细节。

我们站着,房间实在太小,我们的脸颊几乎和大夫、护士、患者的脸颊贴在了一起。针灸针扎了进去,还时时转动。治疗进行得很慢,屋里越来越闷热。

我开始感到,假如治疗拖得时间过长,连我自己都需要接受针灸治疗了。

随着脑门上的汗水不断滴下,我们的疑虑也在增加。接下来会怎么样呢?眼前的针灸会产生什么戏剧性效果?这位病人到底得的是什么病?

疑虑太大了,终于有位旅行团成员提问,这个针灸疗法要治什么病。

一个闷声闷气的回答透过护士的医用口罩传了出来:“便秘。”

不知怎的,旅行团没有经过任何讨论,全体团员立刻达成了一致:我们完全相信对此次治疗的功效,不需要再见证下去了。

我们向大夫、护士、患者表示了感谢,然后就毫不迟疑地离开了诊室。

The air of suspense was almost as thick as the humidity as we entered the small treatment room in the clinic, where the doctor, nurse and middle-aged female patient awaited us. The suspense was intensified by the lack of a briefing in advance as to what the patient’s ailment was.

For all we knew, we were about to witness open heart surgery, up close and personal. And hot. We were jammed into a small room, twelve curious foreigners plus doctors, nurse, patient, and our tour guide.

The acupuncture treatment began, still without a briefing on what the ailment was, what the expected outcome might be, or any other relevant details.

We were standing, cheek by jowl with the doctor, nurse and patient. Acupuncture needles were inserted and spun.

The treatment proceeded slowly. The room was getting hotter and stuffier.

I began to feel that if this dragged on much longer, I would be in need of acupuncture myself.

The suspense grew, along with the beads of sweat forming on our foreheads. What would be next? Would the treatment yield dramatic results right before our eyes? What, after all, was the patient’s ailment?

Finally, the suspense was too much, and one of our group asked what illness the acupuncture treatment was aiming to treat.

The answer came back, muffled by the nurse’s surgical face mask: “Constipation.”

Somehow our group quickly reached a group concensus without any discussion whatsoever, that we would place our full trust in the efficacy of the treatment on this occasion, and needed witness no more.

We thanked doctor, nurse and patient, and departed the room without delay.


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