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The Five Landscapes in TCM Acupuncture

Dr RK (Raju Krishna)

Purusha Sukta verses from the Rigveda describe the "Cosmic Being" and a description of the Spiritual unity of the Universe and the projection of the universe in space and time. Soham (so 'ham सो हम) is the Sanskrit for "I am That". When it applies to a person's name, according to Vedic philosophy it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. When used for meditation, "Soham" acts as a natural mantra to control one's breathing pattern, to help achieve deep breath, and to gain concentration.

Monism is a point of view within metaphysics which argues that the variety of existing things in the universe are reducible to one substance or reality and therefore that the fundamental character of the universe is unity. Taoism is Holistic and also believes that all of reality is one substance and contains all those components, climates and Landscapes of Nature.

Tholkappiyam explains the nature of division of land according to the psychological needs of the human beings. Thus, the five natural regions hills and surrounded areas (Kurinchi); the wooded land between the highlands and lowlands (Mullai), the lower courses of rivers (Marudham), the littoral tracts near sea (neydhal) and arid waterless areas (Palai) is in accordance with the changing world and the man who lives there.

Five-fold division of land into Yung Spring ( Kurinchi ), Shu Stream ( Mullai ), Jing River ( Marudham ), He Sea ( Neydhal ) and Jing Well ( Palai ) in TCM, coincides with Tolkappiyam , consistent with the origin of Universe. A closer study of these land divisions proves the fact of the Viswaroopa thathva (concept of the Universal person within every organism).

Each Landscape represents a season, a geographical feature, and interaction between the Yin and Yang among the natural elements, where the subtle philosophy of the Five Natural Elements is exposed.

According to the Philosophies based on Analogies, the Physiological modulation is carried out using a visual insight into the 60 command points. It is interesting to note that there is a sequence established with a Beneficiary element that utilizes the interaction of the Yin Element and Yang Element of that Landscape.

The respective union, staying, feigning, longing and separation described in the 'Tholkappiyam' also coincides with the different Yin-Yang interactions at these levels and the corresponding Ailments treated by the Command Points at those levels.

Union - Effusories at the Yung Spring level, treat acute and febrile conditions by bringing a fusion within Yin Heat and Yang Coldness. During these conditions a blanketing (embracing) is involved.

Pot Analogy: While making a Clay pot, Brick or an Icon, the ratio of water to be added to mould the shape and the annealing process (heating and slow cooling) are vital to protect the shape and strength of the pot. Similarly the Effusories protect the Joints through Thermoregulation to avoid distortion.

Staying - Inductories at the Shu Stream level, treat the Biochemical disturbances through the Yin Earth (Yuan Source) and Yang Wood. These points are mostly Homeostatic and treat Chronic conditions that stay longer.

Windmill Analogy: Windmills remind us of Convertion of Wind energy into Electricity that is used for a multitude of applications. The Inductories absorb the Original Qi and keep the Blood and Body fluids in their Homeostatic conditions. The Earth and Wood represent the Metabolites and the Lipids and other substances that obstruct Qi and Blood, in chronic diseases.

Feigning - Transitories at the Jing River level, treat the Pretence or the Threat posed by pathological blocks and mental blocks through the Yin Metal and Yang Fire points to Shift the obstructive energies outward, downward and away from the vital Qi. This landscape involves much Noise and Quarrels of River Water sharing by diverse cultures and regions that end up with a healthy intervention.

Cloud Analogy: Sea water is evaporated by the heat of Sun and clouds formed are transported inland by the monsoon winds. The rainfall in the catchment areas helps the Rivers and Dams to collect more water for Irrigation resulting in cultivation and productivity. Similarly the Transitories act on Obstructive Pathology as well as Mental Blocks as they involve mass and energy transfer.

Longing - Conjunctories at the He Sea level, treat the Social Health and the Social and Inter-personal qualities in people. They treat Learning, Decision matters, Personality issues, Behavior issues, Growth and Reproduction ailments, through the Yin Water and Yang Earth points that help as Tonification and Immune Enhancing points. They open into the Divergent Meridians of the respective Cutaneous meridian and remind us of the Submerged Treasures of the Sea and Longing for the result until the Diver Emerges.

Tree Analogy: Saplings grow into Trees and further into Taller perennial species and some of them are identified for their medicinal value. Fertile Earth and Uninterrupted water supply should ensure this elevation and recognition. Similarly the Conjunctories treat to Tonify or elevate the Person in Society, apart from treating Growth, Fertility and Learning difficulties.

Separation - Puteals at the Jing Well level, are used to awaken a person from unconsciousness, while the Qi (Vital Life Force) that had diminished resides within. The points at this level are associated with change of Polarity from Yin to Yang and vice versa, representing a powerful separation.

Spark Analogy: The Life Force is diminished into a Spark during Unconsciousness. This spark can be ignited using Yin Wood (Fuel) and Yang Air to restore the flame and activity thereafter. These points can treat fainting attacks, coma, fits and those conditions dragging a person into a separation of Body and Spirit.

An intention to help the suffering person, with an extraordinary capacity to visualize the composition of the Life Force within him, and a strategic manipulation of the inner potential, is healing; TCM Acupuncture is a sure way of comprehensive healing in all conditions as we integrate the knowledge of the Five Landscapes and the Sixty Command Points.

Acupuncture is the only healing science endowed with engineering concepts and logic. By forming strategies using common sense and basic Physical Sciences, Acupuncture can be applied as a wonderful healing therapy in a cost effective and faster manner.

Dr Raju Krishna
Sruthti Hospital – Ramavaram, Chennai