According to an old story, a lord of ancient China once asked his physician, a member of a family of healers, which of them was the most skilled in the art.

The physician, whose reputation was such that his name became synonymous with medical science in China, replied:

“My eldest brother sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so his name does not get out of the house.

My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minute, so his name does not get out of the neighbourhood.

As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe potions, and massage skin, so from time to time my name gets out and is heard among the lords.”

[From Thomas Cleary’s introduction to Chinese classic “The Art of War” (Sunzi Bingfa)]

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