Hua Tuo the Medicine Man
Hua Tuo was born in Qiao of the State of Pei (today's Boxian County,Anhui Province). He was very learned, and especially conversant in medicine. The govemment wanted to appoint him for his expertise, but he refused since he harbored a dislike for bureaucracy.
Instead, he chose to be an itinerant medicine man, and helped people with ailments. When he treated diseases, he identified what caused the body to malfunction and administered medicine accordingly, rather than just fighting the symptoms. He was also the first to perform incisions on the stomach, for which he was called the "Father of Surgery." He developed an anesthetic to go with major surgeries, 1,600 years before Europeans learned of anesthesia. When orally taken, it rendered the patient temporarily unconscious, considerably reducing the pain. He was also credited with inventing "Five-animal Boxing" exercises, what today would be considered aerobatic dances or yoga, which involved moving the patient's limbs, waist and the other joints in a manner that drew from habitual movements of tigers, bears, deer, monkeys and birds.
After hearing of Hua Tuo and how miraculously he performed his healing, Cao Cao sent for him to treat his chronic headaches. Hua Tuo made his diagnosis and performed acupuncture. It worked wonders. Cao Cao was so pleased that he asked Hua Tuo to stay as his personal medical advisor. Hua Tuo did not want to accept the offer and tried to walk away. Cao Cao was so furious that he imprisoned Hua Tuo and eventually put him to death.