Acting Principles of Tuina
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Tuina attains the purpose of preventing and treating diseases by means of applying therapeutic manipulations to certain points or superficial parts of the human body to regulate the physiological and pathological conditions. So its curative action depends upon the property and quantity of the applied manipulations, the special nature of the locations being treated and the selected points. The acting principles of tuina include balancing yin and yang, regulating the zang-fu organs, dredging the meridians and promoting circulation of qi to activate blood.
Balancing Yin and Yang
Yin-yang is a concept of ancient Chinese philosophy.The initial meaning of yin and yang was very simple, just referring to side facing or opposing the sunlight, i.e. the side facing it being yang while the side opposing it yin.Later on, this meaning was extended to mean warmth and cold in climate, up and down, left and right, internal and external in location, excitement and inhibition of motion state, etc. The ancient thinkers observed that everything in the universe comprised two opposing aspects. Yin and yang were the summarization of the two opposing aspects of related things and phenomena in the nature. The occurrence,development and change of everything in the universe were the outcome of motion of yin and yang in opposition and unity of two aspects in one contradiction. It is said in Ptain Questions, the Treatise on the Correspondence between Man and the Universe that yin and yang are the law of the universe, the great outlines of everything, the parents of all changes, the origin of birth and death and the source of mental activities. Over two thousand years ago, the yin-yang theory had been introduced into TCM and became an important component of its basic theory, used to explain the organic structure, the physiological functions and the pathological changes of the human body as well as guide clinical diagnosis and treatment.
The yin-yang theory holds that the human body is composed of two opposite but unified aspects: materials and functions, i.e. yin and yang. In terms of the parts of the human body, the exterior is yang and the interior is yin;the upper part is yang and the lower part is yin; the back is yang and the abdomen is yin. As for the zang-fu organs, the six fu-nrguns are yang and the five zang-organs are yin. As for qi and blood, qi is yang and blood is yin. In terms of function and material, function is yang and material is yin. As far as functional state is concerned, excitement is yang and inhibition is yin;activity is yang and static condition is yin; growth is yang and decline is yin. When it comes to functional activity of qi, upward is yang while downward is yin; outward is yang and inward is yin and so on. When yin and yang are in dynamic equilibrium, life activity of the body will remain in a healthy state known as "yin and yang in equilibrium". But if the relative balance between yin and yang is upset by the six pathogenic factors, seven emotions and traumatic injuries,there may appear a series of pathological changes due to imbalance between yin and yang. For example,excess of yang causes heat, while excess of yin leads to cold; excess of yin results in disorders of yang, excess of.aug results in disorders of yin; deficiency of yang produces exterior cold, deficiency of yin brings about interior beat. etc.
Clinically syndromes of different degrees and properties such as yin, yang, exterior, interior, cold, heat, deficiency and excess may be present. It is clear that all physiological and pathological changes in the human body can be summarized with yin and yang, which correspond to asthenia or sthenia of zang-fu organs, disharmony between qi and blood, obstruction of the meridians, irregulation of the ying and wei systems. They are all due to predominance or decline of yin and yang or imbalance between yin and yang, which is tile root cause of the occurrence of diseases and presents in the whole process of the occurrence and development of diseases. It is said in tile book dingyue Quanshu Chuanzhonglu that though they are complex, medical tenets can still be summed up in one word: yin and yang.
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