The Symbolism of Tao in Acupuncture Liu Hongbin etymological research of acupuncture points art of its naming the Tao of Needling. Why? I argue why practitioners should go beyond memorising the acupuncture points as numbers, using rather their original names, which are encoded with the philosophy of Tao.“The Tao finds its law in the affirmation of nature”. Returning to the Tao and the archetype of the River Map and Luo Shu whole of Chinese civilisation based on Taoism most influential physicians of Chinese medicine have been Taoists formed and shaped Chinese medicine Taoist philosophy is the cornerstone of Chinese medicine Taoist perspective about the cosmos shares much in common with modern science In my opinion, Chinese Medicine is arguably the science of science. The Beginning Of The World Is Void, Emptiness And Nothingness. Huang Lao Philosophy (黄老哲学） Three Classics： I Ching （Book of Changes） Lao Zi Huangdi Neijing Reading in Classical Text in original Chinese- Tao, Way, Reading Classical Text in English translation, Word. Logos,( Greek philosophy, absolute idea) Archetype of Chinese thought Cornerstone of Chinese medicine Nine Palace Taiji Tu did not appear until Song Dynasty , Chen Tuan 陈抟/ 邵康节 What is Tao? Yin and Yang makes the Tao 一阴一阳谓之道。(易经系辞上传第五章) (They are opposite to each other, but yield to each other). This is the basis of the existence of the universe. Reaching for balance such movement never stops. What does Tao Look Like? “There was something formless yet complete, That existed before heaven and earth; It is calm, it is formless, It stands alone and changes not! Reaching everywhere and inexhaustible, It may be regarded as Mother of the Universe. I do not know its name. For a title we call it the Tao. If I forced to give it a name we call it the great. Now Tao also means passing on, And passing on means going Far Away, And going far away means returning. Man finds his law in the Earth. 人法地， The earth finds its law in Heaven, 地法天 Heaven finds its law in the Tao, 天法道， The Tao finds its law in the affirmation of Nature,” 道法自然。 有物混成，先天地生。寂兮寥兮，独立而不改 行而不殆，可以为天下母。 吾不知其名，字之曰大。大曰逝，逝曰远。 人法地，地法天，天法道，道法自然。 Single Yin will not grow, lone Yang will not survive. 孤阴不生，寡阳不长 In Tao is Unity of life, In Unity is Duality of Life, In Duality is Trinity of Life, In Trinity all beings have life. ( Lao Zi, Chapter 42) 老子“道生一、一生二、二生三、三生万物” The energy-points for affecting the channels are all located in specific positions and all have their definite names. ( Lao Zi, Chapter 5) What is Tao and one? interpreted as the ontology of Emptiness and Nothingness Taoism is a natural philosophy Emptiness and Nothingness are the ultimate source of being (有) lays emphasis on Heaven’s relationship to Man Heaven and Man are in harmony. Heaven and Man are one. For Example: twelve rivers then in China, it followed the twelve meridians were named after them 365 days a year, so there 361 acupuncture points in the human body to correspond with that Understood simply, our attempt as practitioners of acupuncture to readjust the flux of Qi within the body can be seen as realigning the natural harmony between Heaven and Man. Acupuncture points are first named in the Neijing. The Neijing is heavily influenced by Taoism. It is later on collected in the Taoist Cannon. （道藏） There are over fifty names of acupuncture points are from the Taoist classic Yellow Palace Scripture. Such as: Huágài REN-20 (Magnificent Canopy) 华盖 Xuánjï REN-21 (Jade Pivot) 璇玑 Tiänshü ST-25 (Heaven’s Pivot) 天枢 Nèitíng ST-44 (Inner Courtyard) 内庭 Jíquán HE-1 (Summit Spring) 极泉 Qïnglíng HE-2 (Green Spirit) 青灵 Tàibái SP-3 (Supreme White) 太白 Tàiyî ST-23 (Supreme Unity) 太亿 Língdào HE-4 (Spirit Path)灵道 Shénmén HE-7 (Spirit Gate) 神门 Acupuncture points are the sites into which Qi and blood are fused. Each has its own location and name. 《素问 阴阳应象大论》“气穴所发 ，各有处名”。 Sun Simiao pinpoints that as, ‘for the acupuncture points , they are not randomly named, every name bears a significant meaning.’ (Sun Simao, Thousand Golden Ducats Prescriptions AD 652) “凡诸孔穴，名不虚设，皆有深意”。- 孙思邈《千金 翼方》 Often each given name of the acupuncture point indicates its diagnostic and therapeutic significance On the other hand, when the acupuncture points are reduced to numbers and letters, the change can result in Derivation while there may be clarity of logic, yet the meaning remains linear. It is somehow deficient. Science and Taoism Science and Taoism have something in common. The advancement of science is based on hypothesis, while Taoism by way of the unreal attains the real. Jie jia huan zhen （借假还真） To make something out of nothing. （无中生有）Wu zheng sheng you. It is not Chinese medicine which has been left behind, it is that Western science is still not sophisticated enough to interpret Chinese medicine. …. For example Da Dao zhi dian. The great Tao is simple in the extreme.（大道至简） 1. Names referring to anatomical landmarks: Wàngû SI-4 (Wrist Bone) 腕骨， on the lunar border of the hand, in the depression between the base of the fifth metacarpal bone and the triquetral bone. Rûgën ST-18 (Root of the Breast) 乳根, directly below the nipple, in the fifth intercostal space. Quánliáo SI-18 (Cheek Bone Crevice) 颧髎directly below the outer canthus, in the depression of the lower border of the Zygomatic Bone. Dàzhuï DU-14 (Great Vertebra) 大椎（百劳） in a depression below the spinous process of the 7th cervical vertebra, Hempen and Chow translated this point to Great Hammer, Deadman’s Great Vertebra is obviously better. 2. Named according to its particular clinical indications: Jing ming and Guangming for eye problems: Jïngmíng BL-1 (Bright Eyes) 睛明 a depression in the middle and slightly above the inner canthus of the eye Guängmíng GB-37 (Bright Light) 光明，5 cun superior to the prominence of the lateral malleolus, at the anterior border of the fibula. Shuifeng and Shuidao for edema: Shuîfën REN-9 (Water Separation or Water Divide), 水分 is one cun above the umbilicus, regulates fluids and stabilizes water metabolism. Shuîdào ST-28 (Water Passage or Waterway), 水, is 3 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to the middleline, clears damp-heat in the lower burner and benefits the bladder. Qianzhen is for: Qian zhen, EX-HN-20,(Pull Aright) 牵正，, is 0.5-1 cun in front of the ear lobe, at a point that is tender or where a tubercle can be palpated. Expels wind, pareses of the facial muscles. 3. The name of Acupunctures points are analogous to astrophysical stars, landform, rivers and seas Rìyuè GB-24 (Sun and Moon) 日月 Shàngxïng DU-23 (Upper Star) 上星 Tàiyî ST-23 (Supreme Unity) 太亿 Chéngshän BL-57 (Support the Mountain) 承山 Dàlíng P-7 (Great Mound) 大陵 Shängqiü SP-5 (Shang Mound) 商丘 Tàixï KID-3 (Supreme Stream) 太溪 Hégû L.I.-4 (Joining Valley) 合谷 Qüzé P-3 (Marsh at the Crook) 曲泽 Yôngquân KID-1 (Gushing Spring) 涌泉 Xiâohâi SI-8 (Small Sea) 小海 Sìdú SJ-9 (Four Rivers) 四渎 4. Naming as and relating to animals and plants: Using animal and plant names to illustrate the position and the image, for example: Crouching Rabit伏兔 fu tu,ST-32 Fish Border鱼际 yu ji( LU-10) Calf’s Nose 犊鼻 du bi(ST-35) Crane’s Summit鹤顶 (N-LE-27 Gathered Bamboo攒竹 (BL-2) Mouth Grain Crevice口禾髎 (L.I.19) 5. Names inspired by architecture: Celestial well天井tian jing (TB-10) Hall of Impression印堂 ying tang (EX-HN-5) Great Tower Gate巨阙 ju que(CV-14) Brain’s Door脑户 nao hu(D-17) Room Screen 屋翳 wu yi (ST-15) Breast Window膺窗 Yïngchuäng (ST-16) Kùfáng ST-14 (Storehouse)库房 Dìcäng ST-4 (Earth Granary) 地仓 Qìhù ST-13 (Qi Door) 气户 Liángmén ST-21 (Beam Gate) 梁门 6. Naming based on the theory of Chinese medicine: Naming according to the location of the transport point, its indication, Ying Yang, Zangfu, meridians, such as: Yïnlíngquán SP-9 (Yin Mound Spring) 阴陵 泉 Yánglíngquán GB-34 (Yang Mound Spring) 阳陵泉 Xïnshü BL-15 (Heart Shu) 心俞 Taoism has definitive influence on Chinese medicine The source for this research is Taoism I Ching ( the Book of Changes, the major Taoist text) Chinese medicine share the same fountain source The I Ching is the primary classic of all classics Some say the principle of Chinese medicine originates from the I Ching they wind up being deeply connected in thought, language and practice Other important points of reference are the Taiji Tu (Taichi diagram) He Tu (River Map) As the archetype of Chinese civilization, they can be seen as the collective subconscious of the Chinese people and Chinese thought It is not an exaggeration to say that the whole of Chinese civilization comes from the River Map, and therefore by inference so does Chinese medicine Lao Zi Taoist Philosophy and Yellow Emperor Internal Classics are the cornerstone of Chinese Medicine LaoZi: Everything bears Yin in the back and embrace Yin in the front. ( 万物负阴而抱阳) Zhuang Zi：’’There is law governing heaven and earth, and it is hidden latent in Yin and Yang”. He goes on to elaborate “Stillness is the virtue of Yin, while movement and yang both manifest change”. Therefore Yin and Yang are the cornerstone concepts of Taoist metaphysics. Taoist Doctors made decisive contribution to the formation and development of Chinese medicine Bian Que扁鹊 Zhang Daoling张道陵 Hua Tuo华佗 Wei Boyang魏伯阳 Huang Fumi (214-282 CE)皇甫谧 Ge Hong(281-341 CE) 葛洪 Tao Hongjing(456-536 CE) 陶弘景 Sun Simiao(581-682CE)孙思邈 Wang Bing(710-805CE) 王冰 Chen Tun(871-989CE)陈抟 Zhang Bo-duan(984-1082CE)张伯端 Qiu Chu-ji(1148-1227CE)丘处机 Ma Dan-yang (1123-1183CE)马丹阳 Liu Wan-Su(1110-1200CE)刘完素 Zhang San-feng,(1247-张三丰 Tao of Needling and spiritual physiology Tao never does; yet through it all things are done. 道常无为而无不为。 (Lao Zi chapter 37) Chinese medicine recognizes there is a spiritual physiology, as it sees mental and physical health as intertwined. Therefore when treating a patient, the practitioner tries to achieve harmony between the Tao and nature, body and mind, himself and his patient. Each interaction tries to reach the universal breath of life. The following extract about De Qi from the Yellow Emperor’s classic canon presents the highest goal and ultimate state of mind of a practitioner. Part I Your body is confident with your hands 身不疑乎手 Your hands are not doubtful of you mind 手不疑乎心 Your mind is not apprehensive of Qi 心不疑乎气 And Qi doesn’t mistrust chance 气不疑乎机 The movement of chance 机之动 Only exists with emptiness 不离其空 Part II 针法不在针，the Tao of needling doesn’t rely on your needle, 而在于手； but your hand; 手法不在手，the Tao of your hand doesn’t depend on your hands 而在于心； but your mind; 心法不在心，the Tao of your mind doesn't put in trust in your mind. 而在于空；but emptiness. 空中之机，chances amid emptiness 清静而微，is tranquil and dim 其来不可逢，its arrival cannot be anticipated 其往不可追。And its departure cannot be chased.