7: What is the holographic standpoint of the five transport points? How to apply the concept to clinic practice?

In Ling Shu, Jiu Zhen Shi Er Yuan (The Nine Types of Needle and the Twelve Yuan-source Points) says “The twenty seven qi flow and pour into the five transport points…” That means the twelve channels and the fifteen collaterals flow, pour into, exit from and enter to the five transport points. This indicates that the five transport points are related to the whole body. In Ling Shu, Guan Neng (According to the Official Ability) says “Understanding the functions of the five transport points, one is able to apply the swift and slow needling techniques according to the excess or deficient conditions of the diseases. One also is able to recognize how the channel qi flows, and where does it bend, extend, enter and exit. It follows certain rules.” This paragraph indicates that mastering the five transport points is the prerequisite of successful clinical practice. Both quotes reflect the importance of the five transport points.

The connections of the five transport points and the body parts, and the five-element assignments of the five transport points complete the five transport points to a five-element sub-system. This sub-system is connected to the five-element sub-system of the Zang Fu organs and together they constitute the holographic standpoint of the five transport points. The five transport points of each channel are the holographic points of that channel. Each channel may communicate and act on the respectively related organs through the five elements of the five transport points.

The holographic concept of the five transport points includes the holism, naturalism, and image-numberism. The naturalism of the five transport points refers to the connections between space-time and the five transport points. The flowing from shallow to the deep levels and the distribution locations of the five transport points decide the space nature of the five transport points. For example, the Jing-well points correspond to the head region; Ying-spring points to the facial region; Shu-stream points to the neck or lumbar region (depends on the first or second level correspondence); Jing-river points belong to fire or metal which correspond to lung or heart; He-sea points belong to earth and water which correspond to spleen and kidney. In addition, those points belong to wood correspond to liver and gallbladder. Hence, when the diseases are related to the liver or gallbladder, points belong to wood may be chosen. The rest five-element may be deduced by analogy. The correspondence includes the five body tissue (skin, vessel, flesh, sinew, and bone) correspondence. Those points belong to wood are able to treat sinew problems; points belong to fire to treat blood vessels…etc. I have discussed this part in the previous rounds of the discussion questions. Here I would omit the details.

The time nature of the five transport points nurtures the ideology of the “oneness of heaven and humanity”. The example applications of this concept are such as point selections according to acute (ex. Jing-well points), chronic (ex. Jing-river and He-sea points), or intermittent (Shu-stream points) conditions; and the point selections according to the four seasons a year or four timings a day; Midnight-Noon Ebb-Flow; and the Eight Methods of Magic Turtle.

Besides, the image-numberism of the five-elements includes Tong Qi Xiang Qio (similar energy attracts one another), and Jiao Ji (mutually supplementing)…etc. The points belong to wood treat liver, gallbladder and sinew diseases; points belong to fire treat small intestine and blood vessel diseases. Those are the applications of image-numberism of the five transport points. More examples are such as when diseases manifested with tremor, cramp pains and sudden-onset like winds are categorized into “wind” diseases. Those diseases may be treated with wood points. The chances to apply the concept are extensive and that will be the major content of the five transport points. To put forth effort on this aspect will enhance the flexibility in treating diseases and increase the effect of the treatment. Numerous applications of the Master Tung acupuncture are based on the image-numberism.

6: Some people said “none of the Tung’s extraordinary points is same as any of the fourteen-channel point. Is this statement true?

That is not true. The person saying so was not fully familiar with both the Tung’s extraordinary points and fourteen-channel points. And he does not grasp the essence of the Tung’s acupuncture. Take Quling (33.16) and Chize (LU5) as example. Although both points are at the same location, due to different methods in locating and needling the points, they have different functions. Quling (curved mound) is located at the prominence of the crooked elbow. That is why the point is named “curved mound”. Although it is located at the same location as Chize (LU5), because of the different methods to locate and insert the points, the functions of the points are different. According to “Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion” and “Golden Mirror”, the method to locate Chize (LU5) is “in the transverse cubital crease, while bending the elbow, follow the transverse crease, next to the tendons, the point is in the burial ground.” The emphasis here is the “burial ground”. He-sea points are mostly located at the sites with abundant flesh or hollow or cave places that collect lots of qi. Puncture the point from the palmer side toward the dorsal side. The indications include reversed lung qi, such as asthma and cough. Because Chize is the son (water) point of the lung (metal) channel, it treats excess syndrome and fire syndrome of the lung channel, such as tonsillitis. As for Qulin (33.16), the description of its location is “in the crease of the cubital fossa and on the radial side of the tendon…” When needling this point, insert the needle attached to the tendon to treat various tendon disorders, such as frozen shoulder, elbow-wrist pain, which is the so-called “treat sinews with sinews.”

Another example, the location of Huochun (33.04) in the original book “Tung’s Acupuncture: Extraordinary Points of the Regular Channels” is “3 cun proximal to the wrist crease on the dorsal side, in the depression in the middle of the tendons between the radius and ulna”. The location of Zhigou (SJ6) according to the Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion is “3 cun proximal to the dorsal crease of the wrist, in the depression between the radius and ulna bones”. “Golden Mirror” says: “one cun superior to Waiguan (SJ5), in the depression of the radius and ulna”. May I ask the difference of the locations between Zhigou (SJ6) and Huochun (33.04)? “Chun” in Huochun means “to collaborate” or “to thread or string together”. In Master Tung’s English version of book, the point was translated to “string together”. The name of Zhigou (SJ6) (Branch Ditch) is named by the topography of the location, while Huochun (33.04) is named by its functions.

5: Would you please teach me the quick method to calculate the Gan Zhi (heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches) of the day and shichen?

Both Zi Wu Liu Zhu (Midnight Noon Flow Ebb) and Ling Gui Ba Fa (Eight Methods of Miraculous Turtle) need Gan Zhi of the day and shichen (2-hour time period)” to decide the point. Would you please teach me the quick method to calculate the Gan Zhi (heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches) of the day and shichen?

Reviewing the journals of the Chinese medicine in various regions in the past decades, one can find several dozens of articles on the topic “Quick Calculating Methods on Gan Zhi (Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches”. Those methods usually need to refer to certain tables or charts, or convert between several formulas, or memorize songs of the Gan Zhi of the January firsts. Not only the memorizations are difficult, the calculations are not fast anyhow. Besides, if the person does not bring the pamphlet of the ten thousand year calendar with him, then he will not be able to calculate. In calculating the Gan Zhi of shichen, one needs to know the Gan Zhi of the day first. Once the Gan Zhi of the day is calculated, the Gan Zhi of the shichen is quite simple. I taught the theory of Yi Jing and Ba Zi (Eight Characters) before, and apply them to predict the constitutions and general health weakness of a person. I have been using the following formulas to calculate the Gan Zhi of a day and shichen. I believe it is a quick method.

Formula A: 〔5(x-1)+((x-1)/4)r+15+y〕/10=....the remainder is the Gan of the day
Formula B: 〔5(x-1)+((x-1)/4)r+15+y〕/12=.....the remainder is the Zhi of the day

Explanation: “Y” is the total of days from January first of the year. “X” is the last two digits of the year. If the year is after year 2000, then use the last three digits instead (ex. 100, 101….). “r” is the integer (leave the remainder out). Although I list two formulas above, in fact, there is only one to remember; because one divisor is 10 and the other 12.

The 10 possible remainder from formula A:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Jia Yi Bing Ding Wu Ji Gen Xin Ren Gui

The 12 possible remainder from formula B:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 0
Zi Chou Yin Mou Chen Si Wu Wei Shen You Xu Hai


1). Gan and Zhi of March 1st, 2005

Gan of the day:
[5(105-1)+((105-1)/4)r+15+(31+28+1)]/10= (520+26+15+60=621)/10=62…1
(the remainder is 1, refers to Jia)

Zhi of the day:
[5(105-1)+((105-1)/4)r+15+(31+28+1)]/12=520+26+15+60=621/12=51…. 9
(the remainder is 9, refers to Shen)Hence, the Gan and Zhi of March 1st, 2005 is Jia and Shen.

2). Gan and Zhi of May 1st, 2010

Gan of the day:
5×(110-1)+(110/4)r+15+(31+28+31+30+1)=545+27+15+121=708/10=70….. 8
(the remainder is 8, equals to Xin)

Zhi of the day:
(the remainder is 0, equals to Hai) The Gan and Zhi of May 1st, 2005 is Xin and Hai.

As how to calculate the Gan and Zhi of the time (shichen), once the Gan and Zhi of the day are known, they are simple to calculate. There are twelve shichen in a day. There will be sixty shichen in five days, which equals to the sixty Jia Zhi. Hence, the sixty shichen restart and circulate in every five days. If the Zi shi (11:00pm-1:00am) of the Jia day is Jia Zi, then the Hai shi of the Wu day is Qui Hai and the Zi shi of the Ji day will be Jia Zi again. As long as one knows the Heavenly Stem (Tien Gan) of the day, it is not difficult to calculate the Gan Zhi of the shichen on that day. The below is the two songs of the starting Shichen of the day. They help memorization. One song takes Zi shi as the starting and is called “Wu Zi Jien Yuan Fa” (Five Zi establishing the start). The other takes Yin shi as starting and is called “Wu Hu Jien Yuan Fa” (Five Tiger establishing the start). The first method is more popular. It is as follow.

The song of Wu Zi Jien Yuan Fa
Jia Ji start from Jia Zi
Yi Gen start from Bing Zi
Bing Xin start from Wu Zi
Ding Ren start from Gen Zi
Wu Gui start from Ren Zi

That means:

On the days of Jia and Ji: the heavenly stem (Gan) of the Zi shi is Jia
On the days of Yi and Gen: the heavenly stem (Gan) of the Zi shi is Bing
On the days of Bing and Xin: the heavenly stem (Gan) of the Zi shi is Wu
On the days of Ding and Ren: the heavenly stem (Gan) of the Zi shi is Gen
On the days of Wu and Gui,: the heavenly stem (Gan) of the Zhi shi is Ren

The Gan Zhi of the rest shichen can be determined by following the sequence. For example, the Gan Zhi of the Zi shi on Yi day is Bing Zi, so the Gan Zhi of Chou shi is Ding Chou, and the Gan Zhi of Yin shi is Wu Yin…… Another example, the Gan Zhi of Zi shi on Xin day is Wu zi, and so the Gan Zhi of Chou shi is Ji Chou, and Gan Zhi of Yin shi is Gen Yin, Gan Zhi of Mao shi is Xin Mao; Gan Zhi of Chen shi is Ren Chen….. The rest follows the pattern.

4: Why Linggu (22.05) is able to tonify qi and warm yang?

1. Linggu (22.05) and Dabai (22.04) are the primary points in regulating and tonifying qi: Dabai communicates with the lung and corresponds to the metal. It is located on the large intestine channel which also belongs to the metal. Linggu is located attached to the bone that communicates with the kidney. It treats both metal and water and have strong function in regulating qi. There is a saying that tonifying the qi to the extreme will tonify the yang. Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang (Great Yang Restoration Pills) is an example. The formula does not contain any warming and tonifying yang fire herbs such as Fu Zi and Gui Zhi, but when the tonifying qi herb Huang Qi is used up to four liang (about 120g), the formula is able to tonify yang. Linggu and Dabai sandwich Hegu (LI4) point, the Yuan-primary point and is located where the flesh is plenty. The location of the Hegu (LI4) has the thick flesh which corresponds to earth (spleen) and hence also has strong earth attribute. That makes the combination of Linggu and Dabai points able to regulate earth, metal, and water. Points that treat earth, metal, and water simultaneously are most capable of tonifying qi. Linggu and Dabai points tonify qi and also warm yang.

2. Linggu and Dabai are essential points in warming yang: There is a saying that yin deficiency is blood deficiency plus water fluid insufficiency; yang deficiency is qi deficiency plus fire insufficiency. Tonifying qi until fire being generated will warm yang. Dabai is close to Sanjien (LI3) which belongs to wood. Linggu is close to Yangxi (LI5) which belongs to fire. Needling both points will generate wood and flourish fire. That is to say to generate fire and warm yang. Linggu and Dabai points cleft the Hegu (LI4) point which is the qi-source point and is strong in regulating qi. Huoying (66.03) and Huozhu (66.04) points cleft the Taichong (LV3) point which is strong in regulating blood. Linggu and Dabai points tonify qi and warm yang (wood generating fire). As different approaches contribute to same end, Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang is the most often selected formula to treat hemiplegia, and Linggu and Dabai are the most often and essential points in treating hemiplegia too.

3: Some said that Linggu (22.05) point is the number one major point in Tung’s acupuncture. What do you think?

Debating over which point is the very first or most primary point in Tung’s acupuncture has no practical meanings. It is not meaningful either to debate over either ST36 or PC6 is the number one point in the fourteen channels. “Linggu (22.05) is the most primary point in Tung’s acupuncture” was Lai Jin-Xiong’s (the senior fellow apprentice) personal comments. After Master Tung successfully treated Cambodian President Long Nuo who suffered from the hemiplegia due to stroke, he passed the treatment records to his disciples. Among the treatment records, the Linggu point was used 11 times, the highest frequency than other points (9 of them were Daoma with Dabai point). The second rank was Zhongjiaoli (88.25) Daoma which was used for 10 times. Shenguan (77.18) and Xiasanhuang (lower three emperors) were used 9 times. From this record, Linggu was used most often. However, in the Master Tung’ original book, the indications of Simashang, Simazhong, and Simaxia (88.17, 88.18, 88.19) points are up to 19 items which is more than that of Linggu point. Then could it be said that Sima points are the primary points because they have the most indications?

We certainly can not make that statement by one single disease (for example hemiplegia due to stroke), nor the number of the indications listed in the book. The statistics shall come from the Master Tung’s clinical cases. I have compiled the statistics from 500 clinical cases by Master Tung.

  • Shenguan (single point) in 38 cases for 32 diseases; Shenguan combining with other point/s (in general Daoma with Xiasanhuang) in 16 cases (for 14 diseases). Shenguan was used in 54 cases in total.
  • Linggu (single point) in 14 cases (for 10 diseases); Daoma of Linggu and Dabai was in 21 cases (for 17 diseases). Linggu was used in 35 cases in total
  • Zhongjiaoli (single point) in 12 cases (for 9 diseases). Daoma of Zhongjiaoli and Xiajioli (88.27) in 23 cases (for 20 diseases). Zhongjioli was used in 35 cases in total.

The statistics showed that Linggu, Zhongjioli, and Shenguan are the three primary points. And Shenguan is the number one major point. Zhongjiaoli and Xiajioli Daom is the number one point pair. Linggu is neither the number one major single point nor the pair point from the statistics. But Linggu is definitely one of the three major points and it is very important point.