Bian Que was a great physician during the Chun Qiu era of China. He came to visit the Qi齊 king. After looking at the king for a while, he told the king that he had a skin condition that should be treated quickly before it became worse.
The Qi king replied that he was disease free. So, BQ walked out. The Qi king laughed and said, “What a slick snake oil salesman! He was trying to cure a healthy person to make a name for himself.”
Ten days later, BQ came again and then said, “Your Highness has a liver problem. You’d better treat quickly.”
The King’s face turned very dissatisfied. So, BQ walked out.
Ten days later BQ came to see the Qi king. He took one look at the king and immediately walked out. The Qi king sent people to ask BQ about his sudden exit. HC said: “Skin conditioned can be cured by acupuncture, liver illness can be cured with herbs but once the illness gets to the bone marrow, it’s too late for treatment!”
Five days later, the Qi king did become ill and no doctor could save him. He died as a result.