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Anyone ever heard of the 6 level concept in TCM


#1

my acupuncturist has been trying to explain to me a concept called the "6 levels" which i find extremely confusing. this concept seems to be based on 6 meridian couples which together form the 24 hour cycle of the day, i. e. the periods of maximum activity of each meridian / organ. to each of these couples she then assigned either the action of opening or closing or what she called "hinge" (she is chinese and we communicate in spanish). i conclude from the context that she is referring to yin or yang being on the upward or downward curve, however, i don´s see a possible meaning for what she calls "hinge".

the whole concepts then kind of culminates in a concept of energy nicely flowing in the ventral, dorsal and lateral parts of the body and that´s how we got there: she showed me an exercise to increase this circulation by hitting the gallbladder points 31 to 34 and on my question what this is good for she laid out the 6 level concept to me.

i can hardly find any information on this theory. anyone of you can give any hint? highly appreciated ...

miguelĂ­n


#2


The 6 meridian theory refers to the 3 yang and 3 yin patterns known as Tai Yang, Yang Ming, Shao Yang, Tai Yin, Shao Yin and Jue Yin. This is also known as differentiation according to the 6 stages (or the 6 meridians) and could be translated as the 6 "levels" due to the progression of conditions from Tai Yang (most external) to Jue Yin (most internal). Using the theory of the 6 stages you can see a progression of conditions from external to internal. By treating the correct "stage" you can avoid, for example, either driving the condition in deeper or blocking it&#39s way "out" of the body (i.e. tonifying when you need to disperse an external pathogen such as a cold).



The times, etc. are not entirely part of this theory per se but of Chinese Medicine generally. All of these relationships are described on my acupuncture points diagram (shown below, taken from the acupuncture points database). Many people miss the information on the graphic because they are not aware of all of these theories. The graphic shows not only the obvious meridian names but also these 6 stage meridian pairings (tai yang, shao yang, etc.), the meridian activity times based on the Chinese Clock (when the meridians are most active and conversely when they are least active), and the entry exit points (note - not always the first and last points on the meridians, see the entry exit points theory section for more information).





In the above graphic you see that the heart and kidney meridians form the shao yin and the small intestine and bladder meridians form the tai yang. As an example of meridian flow you see that the qi exists at KD 22 and enters the pericardium meridian at PC 1 and then exist PC 8 and enters the Triple heater meridian at TH 1, etc. You also see that the pericardium is the most active between 7-9pm and the liver is most active between 1-3am (see my article on circadian rhythms for more information).



The 6 stages or levels then are as follows:

  • 3 Yang Stages or “Levels”

  • Tai Yang - posterior of the body (example, posterior neck/head pain)

  • Yang Ming - anterior of the body (example, flushed face, bloated abdomen)

  • Shao Yang - lateral aspects of the body (example, abdominal distension in the liver area)

  • 3 Yin Stages or “Levels”

  • Tai Yin - issues where the lung and spleen traverse, abdominal pain, diarrhea

  • Shao Yin - issues where the heart and kidney traverse, pain in the heart

  • Jue Yin - issues where the liver and pericardium traverse, liver area pain

  • More symptomatic details, for reference sake:

  • Tai Yang - fever, aversion to cold, stiff neck, superficial pulse (use GV and Tai Yang meridians for treatment)

  • Shao Yang - alternating chills and fever, fullness in the costal and hypochondriac regions, mental restlessness, bitter taste, dry throat, blurry vision, taut pulse (use Shao Yang and Jue Yin meridians for treatment)

  • Yang Ming - high fever, sweating, thirst, flushed face, restlessness, yellow tongue/dry, superficial and forceful pulse (use GV and Yang Ming meridians for treatment)

  • Tai Yin - abdominal fullness, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain (that is better with warmth and/or pressure), no thirst, pale tongue w/white coat, slow pulse (use back shu, front mu, he sea of the spleen and stomach meridians as well as CV points, moxibustion is appropriate)

  • Shao Yin - (cold shaoyin) - aversion to cold, listlessness, desire to sleep, cold limbs, diarrhea, clear urine, pale tongue w/white coat, thread pulse (use CV, KD and SP points, moxibustion is appropriate) – (hot shaoyin) mental restlessness, insomnia, dry mouth/throat, deep yellow uring, red tongue, rapid, thready pulse (use HT and KD meridian points)

  • Jue Yin - hot/painful sensation in the chest, hunger but no desire to eat, cold limbs, diarrhea, vomiting (use LV, GB, CV and SP points for treatment)


Hope that helps to explain a little.


#3






<font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Verdana, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4">yes it does. thanks a lot. it seems to me that she was referring to the 3 yang "levels" which would make the exercise she demonstrated to me a means to improve the circulation in this outer layer of the body. very interesting.</font></font>





<font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Verdana, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4">would it be an overinterpretation of what you said to conclude that the qi "surfaces" on the human body from 5 to 9 am, 1 to 5 pm and 9 am to 1 pm that it is more present in the inner body in the remaining 12 hours? this might correspond to the three characterizations "opening", "hinge" and "closing" that she assigned to the respective levels.</font></font>





<font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Verdana, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4">i think you helped me understand the yin/yang concept better. i tend not to see it in a broad enough concept. for instance, it confuses me that within the 24 hour rythm there is NOT one "12 hour yin block" followed by one "12 hour yang block" like in a proper sinus curve. now i realize that since yin is also "inside" and yang is also "outside", there is, in fact, a continuous oscillation of yin and yang.</font></font>





<font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Verdana, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4">well, at least i think i understand it all a little better now ;-)</font></font>





<font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Verdana, Helvetica, Verdana, 'Bitstream Vera Sans', sans-serif" size="4">miguelĂ­n</font></font>


#4






chad,





you are a great help.





reading your advice again i found the link i had been missing: you cite "yellow tongue" as a Yang Ming indication and that´s exactly the condition that my teacher / acupuncturist has been treating me for (humidity / spleen). in this context, i asked her about GB 34 and she mentioned said exercise. the way i see it now is that this was her self-therapeutical suggestion for me to cure a stagnation in the body´s outer layers, because that´s what she said: that this exercise would improve the circulation among the three areas of the body that you mention (anterior, lateral, posterior) which will assist in the elimination of excessive humidity.





does that make sense to you?





many thanks again.





miguelĂ­n


#5


Yellow is of course the color of the spleen and earth element. But in the case of Yang Ming level, this is not the case. The yellow tone can in spleen/stomach related illness/persons be seen mostly as a tone in the skin.



The fact that chad mentions a yellow tongue in Yang Ming stage is that it is a sign of heat. That is the other signs of Yang Ming stage is signs of heat like fever, sweating, thirst etcetera, and a yellow tongue is a heat sign as well.





/Peter


#6


that´s interesting. gonna discuss it with my therapist. thanks.


#7

The six meridians however align with six climates viz., 'Heat, Cold, Dryness, Dampness, Wind and Humidity (also known as hotness)'.
The Hand Yangming awakens the system to the approach of Dawn and energy (Qi) flows from the Large Intestine meridian from 5 am to 7 am. Qi further continues through Foot Yang Ming (Stomach) Meridian until 9 am. This explains the natural stool evacuation by 6 am and the natural appetite at about 8 am.
The Foot Taiyin follows receiving the Damp Qi (Juices from the food) from 9 to 11.

From 11 am till 1 pm, Hot meridian Hand Shao Yin (Heart) receives the heat required for the constant cardiac conduction system while the Sun is at its Zenith (Noon time).
The Taiyang of Hand (Small Intestine) receives the Qi and further transfers to the Foot Taiyang (Bladder) meridian from 1 pm till 5 pm.

The Hot (but warm) shaoyin of foot (Kidney) receives from 5 pm till 7 pm and allows the soluble breakdown products in Blood to get eliminated.

The course continues through the other meridians too in such a way that the Internal Climates are balanced and every Physical Property is helpful for the Metabolism and the Activity of the Living body.

Any change in the Emotions, External Climate and Life style will have an impact on the smooth functioning of the six meridian system and start accumulating wastes and congested blood under the skin and along the Cold Meridians (Back).

This should be understood by the whole world as a supreme concept in Physiology before any Biological scientist discovered the systems. Ancients in china as well as south east Asia had been enlightened to this system millenia before the so called (Lame) scientific systems of treatments started.


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