『Dongui Bogam-Internal Bodily Elements(동의보감-내경편』) ③

image(c)Acupuncture Times.

Ⅰ. Body(신형 身形) 4. Rise and Fall of Human Qi 人氣盛衰 기의 성쇠

By Jun Heo(許浚, 1539~1615), Translated by Namil Kim, Wung Seok Cha et al., Published by Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korea)

① It is said in the Divine Pivot (靈樞), “When Huangdi asked about the rise and drop of qi, Qibo answered, ‘The five viscera are settled in their places and the blood and qi finally flow smoothly by the age of 10; this is why a 10-year-old, when genuine qi stays in the legs, likes to run.

The blood and qi flourish and skin and flesh grow at its peak until the age of 20; this is why a 20-year-old likes to walk fast. The five viscera are settled to their most comfortable extent, the skin and flesh are sturdy, the blood vessels flourish, and blood become abundant at the age of 30; this is why a 30-year-old likes to walk.

The viscera, bowels, and the twelve vessels all flourish and even the interstices start to decrease, the sheen of the skin decreases, and the hair starts to grey at the age of 40; qi and blood all flourish throughout the body that they are not easily shaken by the environment.

This is why a 40- year-old likes to sit. Liver qi starts to decline at the age of 50 and that causes the lobe of the liver to become thin and the bile juice to decrease.

This is why persons over 50 start to have weakened eyesight. Heart qi starts to decline at the age of 60, which causes one to grieve often, and blood and qi decrease and scatter so one tends to lie down. The skin becomes dry at the age of 70 because spleen qi becomes deficient.

Lung qi declines and the corporeal soul start to weaken which causes an 80 year-old to talk with mistakes. Kidney qi dries out at the age of 90 which makes the meridians empty.

All the viscera become empty at the age of 100 so one’s mind and spirit leave the body and only the body is left which leads to death.”

② It says in the Basic Questions (素問) “yin qi gradually decreases to half of its original amount at the age of 40, which makes the person’s energy of daily life decline.

The body feels sluggish, eyesight becomes weakened, and hearing becomes poor at age 50. The penis becomes feeble, qi declines greatly, and the nine orifices do not function well at age 60; as a result, the condition becomes what is called upper excess and lower deficiency.

This means the lower part is deficient and the upper part is excessive, and it causes the increase in secretion of tears and nasal discharge.

  1. An Old Person Is Infertile 年老無子 늙으면 자식을 가질 수 없는 이유 ①

There is a saying in the Basic Questions (素問): “Huangdi asked, ‘Is the reason for being infertile in old age because stamina runs out, or is it the way of the universe?’ Qibo answered, ‘A female’s life can be summarized as the following: at age 7, kidney qi flourishes which leads to the growth of hair and replacement of teeth. (→ To be continued)