NAN-JING (The Classic of Difficulties, 難經)
Nan-Jing, The Classic of Difficulties, is composed of 81 chapters, which is the same as Su Wen (simple questions) and Ling shu (spritual axis) from the Nei-Jing. The book talks about 81 difficult subjects from the Su Wen and Ling Shu, including diagnosis, meridians, points, organ physiology and pathology, and needling techniques etc.
HWA-CHIM (Five Element Harmonzing Theory)
Hwa-Chim is a Korean style of acupuncture derived from the Nan Jing. In order to apply Hwa-Chim, one must identify patterns by using a special comparison of the left and right pulse positions. The five patterns used in this system are Wood excess Metal deficiency, Fire excess Water deficiency, Earth excess Wood deficiency, Metal excess Fire deficiency, and Water excess Earth deficiency. This technique is very useful for complex cases when the patient has multiple western diseases or TCM patterns. The Hwa-Chim system harmonizes the current pattern or constitution and moves onto the specific treatment for the particular problem.
Chapter 75 and 69 are the classical sources for Hwa-Chim. Zang treatment is understood by Chapter 75, while Fu treatment is understood by Chapter 69 of the Nan-Jing. In this article, Chapter 75 was chosen to be explained below in detail because Zang treatment is more fundamental.
Historically there are 28 qualities in the pulse that are used for herbal practice. However, in acupuncture different methods of "Pulse Comparison" have been developed. Hwa-Chim pulse comparison was developed in Korea to find a pattern according to the information in Chapter 75 of the Nan-Jing. There are three steps of comparison to find a pattern, and only amplitude and volume are compared at different depths, rather than identification of the 28 qualities. To be able to understand the steps, one must look at the Hwa-Chim chart. Please refer to the Hwa-Chim chart and Comparison pulse technique steps on p.363 <Minibook of Oriental Medicine>.
Chapter 75 says, "If East is excess and West is deficient, sedate the South and tonify the North". It's hard to apply this sentence to acupuncture treatment without solving the encryption. First of all, directions must be changed to the elements according to the Five element correspondences. If we rewrite this phrase with the five element correspondences it becomes: "If Wood is excess and Metal is deficient, sedate Fire and tonify Water."
It sounds better, but it is not yet completely clear. To understand further, the sentence must be divided into two parts, where the first part is the diagnosis and the second part is the treatment.
Diagnosis: If Wood (organ) is excess and Metal (organ) is deficient.
Treatment: sedate the Fire (point) and tonify the Water (point).
For example, if a pattern found by pulse diagnosis was "Wood (LV) excess, Metal (LU) deficiency", one should tonify KD10 (water horary) and sedate HT8 (fire horary) as a primary treatment. A secondary treatment would be tonify LU8 (metal horary) and sedate LV1 (wood horary).
Primary Tx: +KD10, -HT8
Secondary Tx: +LU8, -LV1
According to the point prescription, the secondary treatment sounds better for "Wood excess, Metal deficiency". However, Nan-Jing Chapter 75 said to tonify the Water point and sedate the fire point like the primary treatment. Why is that? "Wood excess, Metal deficiency" is actually a manifestation. The root of this pattern started from "Water deficiency." Water deficiency leads to Fire excess, Fire excess leads to Metal deficiency, and Metal deficiency leads to Wood excess in the Controlling cycle. That's why tonifing the Water point and sedating the Fire point is the primary treatment for this pattern even though it says "Wood excess, Metal deficiency."
The Nan-Jing was the original source for Hwa-Chim. However, the Nan-Jing is written as an encrypted sentence with a vague explanation. Hwa-Chim pulse comparison and treatments are considered a branch of SaAm-Chim (Four needle technique), which was developed by different scholars over many years. This summary is only a fraction of what Hwa-Chim can offer. If one can understand each aspect of Hwa-Chim and the sequences of both "Pattern Tx" and "Disease Tx", one can achieve amazing clinical results for various complex modern disorders. It is marvelous when we can see the astonishing information that can be derived in just one classical line.