During his reign, the Yellow Emperor discoursed on medicine, health, lifestyle, nutrition, and Taoist cosmology with his ministers Qi Bo, Lei Gong, and others. Their first discussion began with the Yellow Emperor inquiring, "I have heard that in the days of old everyone lived one hundred years without showing the usual signs of aging. In our time, however, people age prematurely, living only fifty years. Is this due to a change in the environment, or is it because people have lost the correct way of life?" Qi Bo replied, "... These days, people have changed their way of life. They drink wine as though it were water, indulge excessively in destructive activities, drain their jing (the body's essence that is stored in the kidneys) and deplete their qi (energy). They do not know the secret of conserving their energy and vitality. Seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasures, people disregard the natural rhythm and order of the universe. They fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet, and sleep improperly. So it is not surprising that they look old at fifty and die soon after..."
5. 阴阳应象大论The manifestation of yin and yang from the macrocosm to the microcosm
In the universe, the pure yang qi ascends to converge and form heaven, while the turbid yin qi descends and condenses to form the earth. Yin is passive and quiet, while the nature of yang is active and noisy. Yang is responsible for expanding and yin is responsible for contracting, becoming astringent, and consolidating. Yang is the energy, the vital force, the potential, while yin is the substance, the foundation, the mother that gives rise to all this potential. Extreme heat or extreme cold will transform into its opposite. For example, on a hot day the heat will rise, causing condensation and eventually rain and therefore cold. Coldness produces turbid yin, heat produces the clear yang. If the clear yang qi descends instead of rising, problems such as diarrhea occur in the body. If the turbid yin qi becomes stuck at the top and fails to descend, there will be fullness and distension in the head. These conditions are imbalances of yin and yang... Taste is a yin quality and has a descending nature, while qi is yang and rises to the upper orifices. Heavy tastes are pure yin, light tastes are considered yang within yin. The heavier qi is pure yang in nature while the lighter qi is yin within yang.
The vessels correspond with the heart, which manifests its essence in the facial complexion. However, the heart is controlled by the kidneys. The skin corresponds with the lungs, which manifest their essence in the body hair. However, the lungs are controlled by the heart. The tendons correspond with the liver, which manifests its essence in the nails and is controlled by the lungs. The flesh and muscles correspond with the spleen, which manifests its essence on the lips and is controlled by the liver. The bones and marrow correspond with the kindeys, which manifest in the head hair and are controlled by the spleen.
Overindulgence in salty food will coagulate the blood circulation and will change the color of the blood. Overindulgence in bitter food will cause the skin to become shriveled and dry and the body hair to fall out. Overindulgence in pungent food can cause spasms, tremors, and poor nails. Overly excessive consumption of sour foods can make the skin rough, thick, and wrinkled, and cause the lips to become shriveled. Overindulgence in sweets will cause pain in the bones and hair loss. All these symptoms and conditions are a result of overindulgence of the five flavors.
The east is the direction of the birth of heaven and earth. The weather is mild, and it is close the the water. Many varieties of fish and salts can be found, so the local people eat many kinds of fish and like the salty flavour. But because they eat so much fish, which is considered a hot food, heat accumulates and stagnates in the body. They also eat too much salt, which dries, exhausts, and drains the blood. This is why people of the east often have dark skin. The commonly suffered illnesses are boils and carbuncles. The treatment of this disease often utilizes needles made of stone, which are thicker, and bleeding, which releases the heat.
26. 八正神明论Acupuncture in accordance with cosmic cycles
All methods of acupuncture must be in accordance with the movements of the four seasons, the moon, the sun, and the stars. These factors will impact the functions of the human body. During warm weather and bright, cloudless days, blod flow is smooth. The wei qi (defensive energy) floats to the surface... During the new moon, the blood and qi also begin to flow more easily... One must follow these changes of nature to properly regulate qi and blood.
When the wind pathogen attacks, it causes chills, sweating, headaches, heaviness, and aversion to wind. One must harmonize the yin and yang by acupuncturing fengfu (DU16), located above the first cervicle vertebra and below the external occipital protuberance. If the antipathogenic qi is weak, one should use the tonification method. If the pathogen is of an excess nature, one should sedate. After a more severe exposures to wind, one will manifest severe neck pain and stiffness. Acupuncture fengfu (DU16) again. If the patient is exposed to a big wind and experiences sweating, the physician should moxa yixi (B45), which is located at the level of the sixth thoracic vertebra, three cun (inch) laterally. Palpate the point to elicit an "yixi" (painful exclamation) expression from the patient.
In the human being there are jing (essence), qi (energy), jin ye (body fluids), four extremities, nine orifices, five zang organs, sixteen channels, and three hundred and sixty-five joints. All are capable of becoming disordered and diseased. In each disorder there are distinctions of deficiency and excess... The five types of excess and deficiency are borne from the five zang organs. For example, the heart houses the shen (spirit); the lungs house the qi, the liver accomodates the blood, the spleen houses the form and flesh, and the kidneys house the zhi (will). They must all function together as the zhi and the shen are functioning in concert psychically, connecting with the bones and marrow withing and forming the shape of the body without. This creates an entire functional being and is the makeup of the human body. Within the five zang, communication occurs via pathways or channels, which transport the qi and blood. When the qi and blood are not regulated, illness occurs. Diagnosis and treatment are thus dependent on the channels and pathways.
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