News of the Hai Thuong School
The success of the Hai-Thuong method
Do Trong Le has been practicing Acupuncture since 1969. He was then living in Saigon, but eventually he had to leave his war-torn country. As one of the boat People, he came to France in 1979 and settled in the Rhône-Alpes region, where he has been practicing traditional medicine with very astounding therapeutic results. Let us have a look at his method.
The therapeutic practice of Do Trong Le is very much inspired by that of the eighteenth century Vietnamese doctor Hâi Thuong Lê Hû’u Trac. Known for treating the poor free of cost or giving them food, his reputation was such that, in 1782, he was summoned to the royal court in Hanoi to treat the crown prince, then suffering from a deadly fever. Hâi Thuong was a simple man who favoured contemplating mountains, staying in his modest home in the company of his books over being honoured by the royal court. When we met Do Trong Le, we realised this simplicity was undoubtedly also a feature of his and, in him, we found a worthy heir and transmitter of the Hâi Thuong method.
An excellent diagnosis, with the taking of the pulse
To fully understand this method, and before looking at what makes it so particular, let us start by identifying its roots. As any Oriental medicine, the Hai-Thuong method is based on the restoration of the balance between the patient’s Yin and Yang. One of the things that makes this method so special is its intimate link with the Buddhist practise. A long time Buddhist practitioner, Doctor Trong Le enters a deep meditative state before and during his pulse taking diagnosis. This enables him to establish a special connection with the patient and, very rapidly, to know precisely which treatment to apply. This may seem quite a ridiculous way of proceeding to many physicians, yet it is this diagnosis, as subtle as it is disconcerting, which enables him to obtain quite astounding results.
Through this diagnosis, Do Trong Le knows how to work with the key points of the marvellous vessels (the eight meridians functioning as energy reservoirs for the twelve main meridians) so as to restore the energy balance. He then focuses on the affected organ or function by releasing the energy blocking through tonification or dispersion. This can vary according to the season, he explains, “so as to be in harmony with the energies in the universe”. Here again, nothing exceptional in terms of acupuncture except that, as Doctor Do says regretfully “few acupuncturists actually do it”. At the end of the session, the patients feel immediate relief and often also the need to go to sleep. As a complement to the treatment, Doctor Do often prescribes the therapeutic use of herbal teas, with the purpose of consolidating the Yin/Yang balance over the following weeks.
An alternative treatment
Over the course of his career and practise of this particular method (extending over nearly half a century), Do Trong Le has refined the method so as to treat more efficiently various types of diseases. In the case of cancer for instance (he wrote a long article on this subject in the Chinese Medical Journal / www.cmj.org), he unleashes the energy which had remained blocked on the location of the tumour. The patient is thus able to enjoy a better quality of life, bear the effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy and greatly increase his chance of recovery. For rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, he reinforces both Yin and Yang energies by working on the kidneys. For Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, vertigo and loss of balance, he activates the Jenn Mo and Tou Mo meridians so as to support vitality in the spinal cord and the brain.
This method can also prove very effective in the treatment of the flu, of pneumopathy, as well as of pulmonary infections. In this case, the global restoration of the Yin/Yang balance allows the heart to come back to its normal beat rhythm and the body temperature to drop. The stimulation of the Yin meridians brings strength back in the heart and lungs, the releasing of the energy blocking in the lungs enables the oedema and the infection in the lungs to be reduced. As the humidity is evacuated, the flu germs no longer find the suitable conditions to develop and are thus easily eliminated.
With the support of his teacher, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (pioneer in the teaching of mindfulness meditation in the West), and the aim of transmitting this method, Do Trong Le has now started a school open to medical professionals (see box). As he confides with emotion: “France welcomed me, and offered me a new home when I had to flee my country as one of the boat people. The time has come for me thank France and offer the only wealth I have, and that is, by passing on what I know.”
The Hai-Thuong School
Treating patients with the Heart of the Buddha
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine course in EIAB