Visually Impaired Mental Specialist Heals Roughly 2,000 People

July 13, 2015
Editor: Kiki Liu

Li Fangzhou (M) appears at an opening ceremony to publish her new essays. [blog.sina.com]

Li Fangzhou, 65, a specialist on mental-health counseling, has dedicated herself to solving people's psychosocial problems — particularly those of the Chinese youth — while promoting her self-made traditional Chinese medical (TMC) care across China.

Dark World vs. Bright Inner Heart

When she was as young as just 3 years old, Li came down with a fever of life-changing severity and has been visually impaired ever since. Since then, Li has spent each of her days in darkness.

However, the tribulations that Li has gone through have not brought her bitterness but rather have aroused in her great ambition and curiosity to read more.

Even though her fever on that fateful day has indeed brought her its fair share of difficult experiences, Li has still lived life to its fullest with books, music and traditional Chinese medicine.

"Reading enriches my mind, while knowledge makes my dreams come true," says Li.

In 1978, Li, together with two peers, founded a Chinese herbal-therapy clinic, where Li has achieved fame from her flawless medical techniques.

Two years later, Li set up four new outpatient centers and one in-patient department, as her ever-increasing patients have called for more services. Li's pioneering career has also helped to improve the employment rate of the local physically impaired.

The year of 1985 saw Li embark on another start-up venture, opening the first plastic-surgery hospital available to the public in China's southwestern region. What sets the hospital apart is Li's application of integrated therapy with traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine.

Literature: Mental Wellbeing

In Li's opinion, medicine can cure patients' physical pain but not their mental disorders.

Li indicated that books could purify people's hearts as well as ease patients' mental suffering. Even when keeping busy providing patients with timely treatment, Li still spares a few moments from work to read books.

She has demonstrated her great appetite for classic Chinese literature and poetry, and she has even written and published online numerous prose poetry pieces and essays, some of which drew widespread attention and were reposted by millions of netizens. Li has also publicized a collection of literature books, which include The Fragrance of Soul, Glass and Crystal.

After her retirement in 2002, Li continued to explore the possible ways of promoting reading among the physically impaired. She also participated in many international seminars focused on mental health and delved further into the complex world of psychological treatment.

Lending a Helping Hand to Those in Need

The 2008, the Wenchuan Earthquake — one of the largest earthquakes in human history in terms of aftermath and socio-economic loss — left many locals homeless. To make matters worse, many youth suffered the distressing trauma of having their family broken up or of acquiring mental disorders as a result of the horrific event.

What left perhaps the deepest impression on Li was meeting a 4-year-old boy who could not recover from the pain and trauma he experienced from the earthquake: Every time the boy felt a light breeze or shaky table, he would cry out with a trembling voice.

Li pointed out that the earthquake rendered the boy hyper-sensitive to his surroundings, and so she made out her own personal prescription for him: "being insensitive." Combining playing with teaching, Li led the boy to feel the natural beauties of life, such as kicking a ball against the table or playing on a swing, to redress his mental problems.

In addition, Li also helped others as a mental therapist, aiding unqualified participants in Gaokao who were regarded as losers as for the low scores they achieved for the National College Entrance Examination (famously known in Chinese as the gaokao), held annually in middle of June.

So far, Li has helped about 2,000 people nationwide with their mental barriers or psychological disorder. She hopes that she can contribute more to those in need while spreading her infectious love for life to each and every one of them.

(Source: paper.people.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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