When I opened my clinic years
ago, my calligraphy teacher, Mr. Ma, gave me a gift of calligraphy
that a friend of his had done for me. They had thought about my practice,
and came up with the name "Hui Chun Tang" for the clinic.
"Return Springtime Hall"
"Hui Chun" is a classical
phrase in Chinese that says, in essence, that what a doctor should
do is return or restore (Hui) Springtime (Chun) to their patients.
In attempting to translate it effectively into English, the word "wellspring"
came to mind, and the more I thought about it, the more appropriate
it started to become:
1. It is a pun on the meaning
of "hui chun",
well = healthy
spring = springtime
meaning "Healthy Springtime".
2. In classical Chinese/Daoist
cosmology, which provides the theoretical basis for Chinese medicine,
the source of all existence is sometimes discussed using a Chinese
word that is written as a picture of a spring of water emerging from
a cliff (yuan). The name WellSpring, in this sense, is evoking this
image of the mysterious source of all existence.
3. In one sense, all of the
major acupuncture meridians start at the tips of the fingers and toes
and flow towards the head and center of the body. The image of how
Qi flows through the channels is that of water bubbling up from a
well, gradually turning into a spring, then a stream, river, and finally
collecting at the elbows and knees in a deep pool or ocean. The first
two points on every channel are therefore called the "Well"
and "Spring" points.
After telling my calligraphy
teacher about translating "Hui Chun Tang" as "WellSpring",
he decided to come up with an even more appropriate name in Chinese
Jian Quan Tang
"Healthy (Jian) Wellspring
(quan) Hall (tang)", or, "Well Spring Hall", which
still retains the pun on "well". It is this name that is
hanging inside the entrance to WellSpring Acupuncture.