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J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. 2010, 8 (1): 1-4 DOI: 10.

1007/s11726-010-0001-3

Famous Acupuncturist

Professor LI Dings Way of Examining Points and Regulating Qi by Acupuncture


LI Dings Work Room Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, P. R. China

Key WordsAcupuncture Sensation; Research on Acupuncture-moxibustion; Education, Acupuncture-moxibustion; Famous Doctors Experience CLC NumberR245.2 Document CodeA
Professor LI Ding, also named Yang- yuan, male, Han nationality, was born in Yongkang County, Zhejiang Province. He started to learn medicine from LIU Min-shu in Shanghai after the anti-Japanese war. In 1954, he began to work in the clinic of Shanghai Health Bureau (known as the No 5 Clinic later). In 1956, he started to teach basic theory and acupuncture in Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). After that, he worked as an acupuncturist in the No 5 Clinic and Longhua Hospital. His positions included head of the Acupuncture Teaching & Research Room, head of the Acupuncture Literature Room, member of China Association of Acupuncture & Moxibustion and vice director of Research Society of Acupuncture Literature. In 1982, he was appointed by the Ministry of Health as the chief editor of Science of Meridians. In 1991, he was appointed by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine to be a member of China International Acupuncture Examination Committee and chief editor of the acupuncture reference book Acupuncture Science. Since Oct. 1992, Prof. LI Ding has deserved the Special Allowance by the State Council. Currently, he is a member of the Expertise Commission of the University.

Born in a village in Zhejiang Province, LI Ding was asked to read ancient books by his father who was a teacher. Since his uncle practiced Chinese medicine, he was deeply interested in medicine as a child. During study in Hua Yang School of Chinese Medicine, he learned a lot from two distinguished physicians, LIU Min-shu and YANG Shao-yin. He helped his teachers with the books including Hua Yang Yi Shuo (Hua Yang Medical Theory), Lu Lou Yi An (Lu Lou Case Studies) and Yi Yin Tang Ye Jing (Classics of Yi Yin Decoction). Then by the recommendation of ZHANG Ci-gong and ZHANG Zan-chen, he joined the Branch of Medical History, China Medical Association and began writing articles for the China Journal of Medical History.
Fund Item: Master-apprentice Inheritance Project of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Also at that time, he got to know renowned masters, such as FAN Xing-zhun.

1 Transition from "Overview of Meridians" to Science of Meridians


In June 1956, LI Ding was appointed to work in the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by the Shanghai Health Bureau. He helped GU Kun-yi with the teaching material about meridians, which was summarized as "Overview of Meridians" and published in the New Journal of TCM[1] edited by QIAN Jin-yang and ZHANG Ci-gong. This article covered a profound analysis on the distribution laws of the twelve regular meridians, such as identifying locations of the Zang-fu organs by the diaphragm and the classification of the three yin and yang by the cross

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section. In 1958, he went along with XI Yong-jiang to Nanjing for advanced training. Soon after, his "Discussion on Connotations of Meridians" in a supplementary acupuncture edition in Shanghai Journal of TCM[2]. This article analyzed and elaborated the narrow and broad meanings of "meridians", "meridians and collaterals" and the "meridian system". In 1959, he published another article, "Discussion on Disease Arising When This Is Stirred and Disease Produced by This" [3]. This article analyzed the original sentences about the twelve regular meridians, clarified various explanations since the Nan Jing (Classic of Difficult Issues) and elaborated the original paradigm and characteristics recorded in the Ling Shu Jing Mai (Meridians of Spiritual Pivot) for the first time. His idea was also approved by distinguished scholars including LU Shou-yan and QIU Pei-ran. In 1961, LI Ding published the article "Cutaneous Regions of Six Meridians, Gen-Root, Jie-Knot and Guan-He-Shu" (Bolt-Door-Axis) in Harbin Journal of TCM[4]. This article associated the name of cutaneous regions of the six meridians with "Guan-He-Shu (Bolt-Door-Axis)" of the three yin and yang and corrected various misinterpretations of the Nei Jing (Inner Canon) since the time of WANG Bin. In 1973, a great number of silk books were unearthed in Mawangdui Han tomb No 3, Changsha, including medical books. LI Ding published "Early Meridian Theory Seen from the Medical Books Unearthed in Mawangdui Han Tomb" in the Journal of Zhejiang College of TCM [5], along with the "New Proof of Su Wen Mai Jie (Basic Questions on Pulse Explanations): Reading Notes from the Chapter on Meridians on the Silk Book" in the resume publication edition of Shanghai Journal of TCM in 1979[6], which was a re-written article about meridians after the 10-year Cultural Revolution. In the same year, he published another article, "Application and Development of Meridian Theory by YE Tian-shi"[7]. This article analyzed the theory of "chronic disease may eventually enter collaterals", "Association of Eight Extraordinary Meridians with the Liver and Kidney and Yang of Jueyin", thus expanding the meridian study to internal formulas. In 1982, Prof. LI Ding was appointed to be the chief editor of All-China Textbook Science of

Meridians[8]. In 1992, he was invited again to revise and supplement the above textbook. Also in the same year, he revised the Annals of Chinese Acupuncture Meridians for China Academy of TCM, which was published by Qingdao Publishing House in 1993.

2 Transition from Point Examination along the Meridians to Point Anatomy


Acupuncture study in Nanjing and Shanghai actually initiated after the publication of the photocopied manuscript of Point Examination along the Meridians from the Ming Dynasty by Mr. FAN Xing-zhun. After 1956, Jiangsu Provincial School of TCM started to demonstrate point location on the human body and Shanghai College of TCM started to work with medical equipment manufacturer on plaster models of acupuncture points. In 1957, the first textbook Acupuncture Science was published in Nanjing, which highlighted the combined meridians and points, including "examining points along the meridians", "locating points along the meridians" or "selecting points along the meridians". In the spring of 1958, LI Ding went to Nanjing to learn from Prof. LI Chun-xi. In March 1958, he published the article "On Back-Shu Points: Investigation on Points on the Back" was published in the Journal of TCM[9]. This article elaborated the similarities and differences of different scholars on Back-Shu points from longitudinal and transverse aspects, and concurrently, classified the 21 vertebrae into upper, middle and lower seven vertebrae to correspond with the distribution of the three energizers. In 1959, LI Ding started to work on anatomy of points on the twelve regular meridians with the Teaching and Research Room of Anatomy in the College. Furthermore, he continued to work on over-all point anatomy with Shanghai No 1 Medical College. In 1960, he published the article "the Pathway of the Twelve Regular Meridians and Anatomical Observation on Points and Human Structure"[10] in the newly founded Journal of Shanghai College of TCM (now known as Acta Universitatis Traditions Medicalis Sinensis Pharmacologiaeque Shanghai). After that, the 3-D model of Point Anatomy as well as the Anatomical

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Wall Chart of Points on 14 Meridians were drawn and published. This chart was later revised into the Map of Acupuncture Points, which became popular at both home and abroad. Prof. LI also focused the close association between meridians and points in his later articles, including "Classification of Points and Their Association with Meridians"[11] (1963) and "Alignment of Points and Their Association with the Pathways of Meridians"[12] (1964). In addition, he also analyzed the original classics by LI Shi-zhen, HUA Bo-ren and The Bronze Figure in his other articles, including "Annotations on Consideration of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians" and "Commentaries on Comprehensive Consideration of the 14 Meridians". Thanks to his effort in examining points by referring to the classic literature such as the Ming Tang Kong Xue, numerous misunderstandings have been corrected. Since 1958, one model of "Glass Figure for Meridians and Acupoints" manufactured by Shanghai Medical Model Factory was kept in the Acupuncture Demonstration Room and the other model was displayed in Shanghai Municipal Industrial Exhibition. In 1963, this model won the second prize of All-China Industrial Products. After that, the "Electro-luminance Glass Figure for Meridians and Acupoints" was developed, which won the third prize by the Ministry of Light Industry of China. In 1989, Prof. LI Ding, together with GAO Xin-zhu from Anhui Province and CHEN Ke-qin from Shaanxi Province, was invited by the State Administration of TCM to work on Standardization of Point Locations at the Acupuncture Research Institute, China Academy of TCM. In Sept. 1990, the Locations of Acupoints was published by Standards Press of China. Furthermore, the Examinations on Point Locations and Anatomy was published by China Press of TCM. The Locations of Acupoints won the first Prize of Science & Technology Progress by the State Administration of TCM.

3 Blood-Qi, Ying-Wei and Qi Regulation by Manipulating Needles


The blood-qi has always been the underlying study focus of Prof. LI Dings meridian theory. The

development layer of "blood-qi-vessel-meridian" was mentioned in both the Meridian Science and Annals of Chinese Acupuncture Meridians. The united term "blood-qi" can be traced as early as the time of Confucius. The other united term of "Ying-Wei" was originated from the medical classics. In 1959, LI Ding published "Investigation on Ying-Nutritive and Wei-Defensive Qi Theory in the Nei Jing"[13]. This article explained the physiology, pathology and clinical significance of Ying-Nutritive and Wei-Defensive, stating that Ying-Nutritive and Wei-Defensive are derivations of blood-qi or derivations of qi. In addition, this article illustrated the qi transformation and circulation using charts and further developed the theory of Mr. LIAO Ji-ping. For example, the three-layer puncture recorded in Ling Shu Guan Zhen (the Spiritual Pivot on Official Needling Techniques) was elaborated with Wei-Defensive, Ying-Nutritive and Gu-Food qi, which is more profound than the previous article "Brief Explanations of the Ling Shu Guan Zhen" [14]. In this article, LI Ding put forward an overall consideration of qi regulation, since qi in needling includes Wei-Defensive qi in a shallow layer, Ying-Nutritive qi that travels along with blood, Gu-Food qi between muscles and breathing qi. In 1964, LI Ding made systemic analysis on Ying-Wei theory of reinforcing and reducing manipulations in the article of "Reinforcingreducing Manipulation, Ying-Wei Theory and Reinforcing-reducing Methods"[15]. He further discussed the amplitude and stimulation of reinforcing-reducing method in his "Reinforcingreducing Manipulation and Mild or Heavy Following this, he did Stimulation"[16]. comprehensive investigation on distinguished acupuncturists in the past generations in a special column called "In-depth Exploration of Acupuncture Masters" (1993-1995). These acupuncturists included XI Hong, HE Ruo-yu, DOU Han-qing, LING Han-zhang, XU Feng and YANG Ji-zhou. Its worth noting that he summarized the idea of YANG Ji-zhou into five aspects in his article "Needling Theory & Application of YANG Ji-zhou"[17]. These five aspects are as follows: 1) Ying-Nutritive and Wei-Defensive govern the exterior, interior and in-between; 2) apply reinforcing or reducing manipulation according to

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the direction of circulation of the meridian qi and blood; 3) apply reinforcing or reducing manipulation according to slow or fast insertion; 4) apply reinforcing or reducing manipulation using mild or strong stimulation; and 5) regulate Ying-Nutritive and Wei-Defensive by combining breathing. The qi or needling sensation can be shallow or deep, along with a local or distant effect. The breathing qi induces or conducts qi ascending and descending in the thoracic or abdominal cavity, guaranteeing the flexion and extension of the spine and affects the movement of the limbs. Wei Sheng Zhen Jiu Xuan Ji Mi Yao (Mysterious Truth on Health Acupuncture), the book prior to the Zhen Jiu Da Cheng (Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion) also recorded this method for healthcare and treatment. Prof. LI Ding explained that man communicates with nature directly through breathing, and the ascending and descending of breathing could move the diaphragm, circulate the qi activity of the Zang-fu organs and extended the spine. Consequently, reinforcing and reducing manipulation coupled with breathing can benefit both the local qi and systemic function, especially when regulating the qi disorder of the torso and Zang-fu organs. Clinically, for lumbar sprain and stagnation of qi in three jiao, breathing is always combined in needling. This is known as regulating both qi and mind (1994). The academic achievements of Prof. LI Ding were recorded in the books including "On Essentials of Chinese Acupuncture"[18]. This article is just an overview of his way to examine points and regulate qi by needling.

References
[1] LI Ding. Overview of Meridians. New Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1957, 8(2): 41-48. [2] LI Ding. Discussion on Connotations of Meridian. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1958, 4(12): 6. [3] LI Ding. Discussion on Disease Arising When This Is

Stirred and Disease Produced by This. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1959, 5 (5): 4. [4] LI Ding. Cutaneous Regions of Six Meridians, Gen-Root, Jie-Knot and Guan-He-Shu (Bolt-Door-Axis). Harbin Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1961, (6): 59. [5] LI Ding. Early Meridian Theory Seen from the Medical Books Unearthed in Mawangdui Han Tomb. Journal of Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1978, (2): 47. [6] LI Ding. New Proof of Su Wen Mai Jie (Basic Questions on Pulse Explanations): Reading Notes from the Chapter on Meridians on the Silk Book. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1979, (1): 37. [7] LI Ding. Application and Development of Meridian Theory by YE Tian-shi. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1979, (5): 52 [8] LI Ding. Science of Meridians. Shanghai: Shanghai Science and Technical Publisher, 1984. [9] LI Ding. On Back-Shu Points: Investigation on Points on the Back. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1958, (3): 197. [10] LI Ding. The Pathway of the Twelve Regular Meridians and Anatomical Observation on Points and Human Structure. Journal of Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1960, (1): 57-85. [11] LI Ding. Classification of Points and Their Association with Meridians. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1963, (9): 36. [12] LI Ding. Alignment of Points and Their Association with the Pathways of Meridians. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1964, (10): 46. [13] LI Ding. Investigation on Ying-Nutritive and WeiDefensive Qi Theory in the Nei Jing. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1959, (1-2): 3. [14] LI Ding. Brief Explanations of the Ling Shu Guan Zhen. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1958, (5): 4. [15] LI Ding. Reinforcing-reducing Manipulation, Ying-Wei Theory and Reinforcing-reducing Methods. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1964, (6): 30. [16] LI Ding. Reinforcing-reducing Manipulation and Mild or Heavy Stimulation. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1964, (6): 36. [17] LI Ding. Needling Theory & Application of Yang Ji-zhou. Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1994, (4): 37. [18] LI Ding. On Essentials of Chinese Acupuncture. Beijing: Peoples Medical Publishing House, 2009. (Collected by XU Ping and ZHANG Chao) Translator: HAN Chou-ping () Received Date: December 2, 2009

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