Shouchun Ma (馬壽椿 Ma Shou-Chun) was born in Chengdu in 1944. He became interested in medicine as a young boy—his mother was often ill and he would look things up in Essentials of the Materia Medica to help her. After his own illness prevented him from applying to college, Ma studied Chinese medicine on his own, and in 1969 had the opportunity to learn from a highly respected doctor in Chongqing, Shi Ji-Min 施濟民, who was an expert in both acupuncture and Discussion of Cold Damage. There soon developed a small group of Shi’s devoted students. After Dr. Shi’s passing in 1973, Ma and three of his other students formed a study group that met every week until 1980. During this time, he also continued to see patients when he wasn’t teaching.
In 1980, Ma was admitted to the Chengdu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of only a few apprentice-trained students to do so, and received the only place that year in their master’s program in Discussion of Cold Damage studies. There he had the opportunity to work under three famous experts in Discussion of Cold Damage: Peng Lü-Xiang 彭履祥, Dai Fo-Yan 戴佛延, and Chen Zhi-Heng 陳治恆. After graduating, he worked at the Chongqing Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which was primarily a clinical site with both inpatient and outpatient departments. He then moved to Seattle in 1988 where he has been teaching and seeing patients ever since. In 2006 he earned a Ph.D. from the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences under the tutelage of one of the top contemporary scholars and practitioners in China on the Discussion of Cold Damage, Nie Hui-Min 聶惠敏.