Growth and Decline of Energy from the Yellow Emperorís Classic


Lei GONG inquired, "The energy of a person can be excessive or deficient. Can you elaborate on the normal and the abnormal flow of this energy?"

††††††††††††††† Huang Di answered, "Normally, the yang qi flows upward on the left and the yin qi flows downward on the right. In the elderly, the qi flows upward because of the deficiency in the lower body. In the youthful, the qi flows downward because of the abundance in the lower body. Seasonally, the spring and summer are characterized by an abundance of yang while the autumn and winter are characterized by yin. These are natural and normal conditions. If on the contrary the natural orders are reversed, where during the spring and summer yin predominates while during the autumn and winter yang dominates, these phenomena are abnormal and can lead to destruction."

††††††††††††††† Lei Gong asked, "Will destruction still occur even in situations of abundance instead of deficiency?"

††††††††††††††† Huang Di replied, "Yes. For example, when excess qi is impeded in the upper body and unable to descend, it will cause vertex headache and severe cold blockage with icy-cold legs. If this occurs in the youthful during the autumn or winter, death is certain. If it occurs in the elderly during the same seasons the prognosis is favorable.

††††††††††††††† "If a blockage is caused by insufficiency of qi the patient will suffer from nightmares and, in some instances, delirium. The pulses of the three yang and the three yin channels will display suspended and floating as well as thin and faint qualities, respectively.

††††††††††††††† "People's dreams will often reflect their state of energy. When the lung qi is deficient one will dream of white objects and murderous events, while if it is in an excessive state one dreams of battles in action. When the kidney qi is deficient one will dream of drowning, while if it is in an excessive state one dreams of hiding underwater with extreme terror. When the liver qi is deficient one will dream of fragrance of flowers, while if it is in an excessive state one dreams of hiding behind a large tree. When the heart qi is deficient one will dream of putting out fire, while if it is in an excessive state one dreams of a large barn fire. When the spleen qi is deficient one will dream of starvation, while if it is in an excessive state one dreams of construction of a wall or building. These dreams usually come from either a deficiency of yin qi or an excess of yang qi of each individual zany organ and can be useful as diagnostic clues.

††††††††††††††† "In diagnosis there are five areas that deserve close examination. They are the pulses, the channels that correspond to the organs, the muscles, the tendons, and the acupoints. In general, close scrutiny of these five areas will provide sufficient information to make a proper diagnosis; however, there are cases that display inconsistent pulse patterns, making accurate diagnosis difficult. In this situation, one must inquire and investigate in depth about the patient's social and material existence, immediate environment, emotional tendencies, past history, and anything else that may contribute to a correct diagnosis of the patient's condition.

††††††††††††††† "When a physician encounters an excess condition, that physician must also look for what is deficient as well. Specifically, poor prognosis is given when a patient displays degeneration in outward signs and symptoms and pulses, or degeneration in only the pulses and not the signs and symptoms. However, as long as the pulses of the patient remain strong, even if the signs and symptoms are grave, the prognosis is favorable.

††††††††††††††† "A physician needs to possess a moral conscience, ethical conduct, and a compassionate attitude toward those in need of attention. In all interactions with patients the physician is always composed, takes the necessary time, remains objective, and performs every procedure with the utmost care and precision. In diagnosis, all the available facts and probes are gathered for the hidden facts through keen observation, olfaction and listening inquiry and palpation. When the facts are collected, that knowledge and experience are combined with logical deduction and penetrating insights to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Treatments are then administered with equal effectiveness. At all times the physician is concentrated and does not allow distractions. In violation of these maxims a physician cannot expect to last long in the medical profession and continue to help others and thus defeat the original virtuous purpose of entering that profession."