Nei Jing on the Vital Importance of the Acupuncture Needle

The acupuncture point is where the disease is treated by the doctor using acupuncture needles. This is the most vital aspect of eastern medicine. It has lost its place from the forefront of treatment. Many doctors have shifted the main treatment method to herbal medicine. The reason that acupuncture is not the first choice is that it is much more profound and complicated than other treatment methods. In Ling Shu, chapter sixty, Qi Bo explains the vast importance of the needle to Huang Di.

黄帝曰:余以小针为细物也,夫子乃言上合之于天,下合之于地,中合之于人,余以为过针之意矣,愿闻其故。岐伯日:何物大于天乎?夫大于针者,惟五兵者焉。五兵者,死之备也,非生之具。且夫人者,天地之镇也,其不可不参乎?夫治民者,亦惟针焉。夫针之与五兵,其孰小乎?

Huang Di inquires, “All needles are small and slender objects, some say that above, [the needle] is in accord with heaven, below, [the needle] is in accord with the earth, in the center, [the needle] is in accord with humans, I think that making needles this important is hyperbole, I would like an explanation.” Qi Bo replies, “What object is as big as heaven? Humans and the ‘Five Weapons’* are larger than the needle. The ‘Five Weapons’ oppose life and are instruments of death. Humans are heaven and earth’s sentinels, can they not act in or intervene in [matters regarding heaven and earth]? Yet, a human can cure all people using only the needle. Of humans, needles, and the ‘Five Weapons’ which one is small?”

* The “Five Weapons” are, the Bow, Spear, Lance, Sword, and Halberd. The five would be considered a whole arsenal of myriad weapons. Reducing many weapons to five types and calling the entire arsenal “Five Weapons” is a sort of understatement common in Chinese Literature (Spiritual Pivot, Wu, page 198).

Published by Raul Ramirez, L.Ac., Ph.D.

Physician, Catch Wrestler, Kickboxer, Vegan, Progressive

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