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Monumenta Serica

Journal of Oriental Studies

ISSN: 0254-9948 (Print) 2057-1690 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ymon20

Longevity Technique and Medical Theory The


Legacy of the Tang Daoist Priestess-Physician Hu
Yin

Jia Jinhua

To cite this article: Jia Jinhua (2015) Longevity Technique and Medical Theory The
Legacy of the Tang Daoist Priestess-Physician Hu Yin, Monumenta Serica, 63:1, 1-31, DOI:
10.1179/0254994815Z.0000000001

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Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, 63. 1, 131, June 2015

LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE
AND MEDICAL THEORY
THE LEGACY OF THE TANG DAOIST PRIESTESS-
PHYSICIAN HU YIN

JIA JINHUA

Hu Yin (fl. 848), a Daoist priestess, physician, and medical theorist active in the
first half of the ninth century China, composed one work on Daoist longevity technique
and medical theory titled Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu
(Chart of the Tonification and Purgation of the Five Viscera and Six Receptacles
according to the Inner Landscape of Yellow Court Scripture). By elaborating the Daoist
classic Huangting neijing jing, Hu Yins work describes the spirits, physiological func-
tion, pathological mechanism, and therapeutic methods of six viscera, namely heart,
lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, and gallbladder, and offers detailed instructions on long-
evity techniques and medical treatments for nurturing the viscera, such as breathing
exercise, gymnastics, and dietetics. These descriptions and instructions had exerted pro-
found influence on the later development of Daoist inner-cultivation and inner-alchemy
theories, as well as traditional Chinese medical and nurturing-life theories.
KEYWORDS: Hu Yin, Daoism, Longevity technique, Medical theory, Huangting
neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu

ABBREVIATIONS
DZ Daozang . Beijing Shanghai Tianjin: Wenwu chubanshe Shanghai
shudian Tianjin guji chubanshe, 1988.
HTJ Taishang huangting neijing yujing , in: DZ, no. 331, 5:
908c-912c.
HTNJT Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu , in
DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b.1
HTNJTX Huangting neijing wuzang liufu tu , in Xiuzhen
shishu , DZ, no. 263, 4: 835c-843c.
Yuzhou jing Shangqing huangting wuzang liufu zhenren yuzhou jing, DZ, no.
1402, 34: 289-292.

INTRODUCTION
Hu Yin (fl. 848), sobriquet Jiansun (Woman of Knowing the Plain),
was an outstanding Daoist priestess, physician, and medicine theorist who was

1
Serial numbers of DZ according to Kristofer Schipper Franciscus Verellen (eds.), The Taoist
Canon: A Historical Companion to the Daozang (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Monumenta Serica Institute 2015 DOI 10.1179/0254994815Z.0000000001


2 JIA JINHUA

active in the first half of ninth century China. She composed one work on Daoist
longevity technique and medicine theory titled Huangting neijing wuzang liufu
buxie tu (Chart of the Tonification and Purgation of
the Five Viscera and Six Receptacles according to the Inner Landscape of Yellow
Court Scripture; hereafter: HTNJT). This work is an illustrated treatise, which, by
elaborating the Daoist classic Huangting neijing jing (Inner Landscape
of Yellow Court Scripture; hereafter: HTJ),2 describes the spirits, physiological func-
tion, pathological mechanism, and therapeutic methods of the five viscera and one of
the six receptables, namely the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, and gallbladder,3
and offers detailed instructions on longevity techniques and medical treatments for
nurturing the viscera, such as breathing exercises, gymnastics, and dietetics. These
descriptions and instructions had exerted profound influence on the later develop-
ment of Daoist inner-cultivation and inner-alchemy theories, as well as traditional
Chinese medical and nurturing-life (yangsheng ) theories.
However, Hu Yin has seldom been noticed, if not completely ignored, by modern
scholars. More than half a century ago, Wang Ming (19111992) was the first
to note Hu Yins work and offered high evaluation on it:

The Tang woman Hu Yin was a great scholar in the learning of the HTJ. Her work
analyzes the physiological function and pathological mechanism of the five viscera and
six receptacles. It uses medicine to cure the symptoms and breathing practice and gym-
nastic exercise to strengthen the root. It talks little about the mysterious aspect of reli-
gion and is a practical medicine classic of nurturing life. The HTJ mixes medicine
theory with religious ideas. Now this work discards the religious color and returns
to medicine. It greatly develops the implications of the HTJ. Therefore, the HTNJT
represents a great change in the learning of this scripture.4

Wang Ming, himself an excellent scholar of the HTJ and Daoism, acknowledged
Hu Yins great achievement on the study and development of this significant Daoist
classic and appreciated her contribution to traditional Chinese medicine. Later, Yan
Yiping (19121987) studied Hu Yins identity as a Daoist priestess and the
cataloging and preservation of her work.5 Joseph Needham, Isabelle Robinet, Wang
Jiayou and Hao Qin , Ge Jianmin , and Jean Lvi each offered a

2
The complete title in DZ is Taishang huangting neijing yujing .
3
The five viscera refer to the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys. There have been different
sets of the six receptacles, one including gallbladder, stomach, large intestine, small intestine,
urinary bladder, triple burner (sanjiao ), and another replaces the triple burner with the
navel (mingmen ). Together the five viscera and six receptables are called zangfu ,
which can be translated as viscera as well. Since Hu Yins work only discusses the five viscera
and one of the six receptacles, for the convenience of narration this article will also call the six
organs as viscera or the six viscera.
4
, , ,
, ,
, , ,
. Wang Ming, Huangtingjing kao , in Daojia he Daojiao
sixiang yanjiu (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1984), p. 351.
5
Yan Yiping, Daojiao yanjiu ziliao diyiji (Taibei: Yiwen chubanshe,
1974), Dongxian zhuan , pp. 1-2.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 3

brief analysis on the content of the HTNJT.6 Some recent works concerning the
history of Daoist medicine or Chinese medicine also give certain descriptions of
Hu Yins work. Generally speaking, however, studies on Hu Yin and her work
have not been sufficient or in depth, and many issues still wait for a more sophisti-
cated investigation. Based on previous scholarship, this article is intended to work
on a comprehensive and in-depth study of Hu Yin and her work in order to
reveal her contribution to the development of both Daoist and Chinese medical
theories.

HU YINS LIFE AND THE COMPOSITION OF THE HUANGTING NEIJING


WUZANG LIUFU BUXIE TU

The Chongwen zongmu (Catalog of the Collections in the Chongwen


Academy, 1041) records in the category of medical books a Huangting neijing
wuzang liufu tu (Chart of the Five Viscera and Six Receptacles
according to the Inner Landscape of Yellow Court Scripture) in one juan by the
woman Hu Yin (nzi Hu Yin ) and in the category of Daoist books a
Huangting neijing tu (Chart of the Inner Landscape of the Yellow
Court Scripture) in one juan and a Huangting waijing tu (Chart of
the Outer Landscape of the Yellow Court Scripture) in one juan, which were anno-
tated by the woman Hu Yin (nzi Hu Yin zhuan ).7 The bibliography of
the Xin Tangshu (New Tang History) records Huangting neijing tu in one
juan by the woman Hu Yin.8 The bibliography of the Tongzhi (General
Annals) records a Huangting wuzang neijing tu (Chart of the
Five Viscera according to the Inner Landscape of the Yellow Court Scripture) in
one juan by the Tang woman Hu Yin and a Hu Yin fang (Prescriptions
by Hu Yin) in two juan.9 The bibliography of the Songshi (Song History)
records the three titles recorded in the Chongwen zongmu and adds one more
text Buxie neijing fang (Prescriptions of the Tonification and Purgation
according to the Inner Landscape Scripture), and attributed to Hu Yin the Woman
of Knowing the Plain on Mount Taibai (Taibaishan Jiansunzi Hu Yin

6
Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. 5, Chemistry and Chemical Tech-
nology, pt. 5, Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1983), p. 82; Isabelle Robinet, Taoist Meditation: The Mao-shan Tradition of
Great Purity, trans. Julian F. Pas and Norman J. Girardot (Albany: State University of
New York, 1993), pp. 67-73, 94-96; Wang Jiayou Hao Qin, Huangting bijian, langhuan
qishu: Hu Yin jiqi Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu ,
, Zhongguo Daojiao 1993/1, pp. 28-34; Ge Jianmin,
Tangdai ndaoyi Hu Yin jiqi Daojiao yixue sixiang , Zhong-
guo Daojiao 1999/1, pp. 22-24; see also his Daojiao yixue (Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua
chubanshe, 2001), pp. 124-130; Jean Lvi, Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, in: Schipper
Verellen, The Taoist Canon, pp. 348-349.
7
Wang Yaochen (10031058) et al., Chongwen zongmu (Yueya tang
congshu ed.), 3.89a, 4.46b.
8
Ouyang Xiu (10071072) et al., Xin Tangshu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
2011), 59.1522.
9
Zheng Qiao (11041162), Tongzhi ershi le (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
1995), 67.1611, 69.1722.
4 JIA JINHUA

).10 The Daozang includes the HTNJT in one juan with a preface signed
Hu Yin the Master of Knowing the Plain on Mount Taibai (Taibaishan Jiansuzi
Hu Yin ) and dated the second year of the Dazhong reign-
period of Emperor Xuanzong (848).11 In addition, the Xiuzhen shishu
(Ten Books on the Cultivation of Perfection) included in the Daozang also con-
tains a Huangting neijing wuzang liufu tu in one juan attributed to Hu Yin the
Women of Knowing the Plain in Mount Taibai (Taibaishan Jiansun Hu Yin
zhuan ). The contents of both texts are about the same with
some variants, but the former includes images of the spirits of the six viscera
which are omitted in the latter. These two texts should be different editions of the
same text, which is an elaboration of the HTJ.12
Contrasting these two editions with the records of Song-Yuan catalogs, we can
assume that Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu is the complete title, and
Huangting neijing wuzang liufu tu and Huangting neijing tu are likely abridged
titles, while Buxie neijing fang and Hu Yin fang are possibly prescriptions extracted
from the complete text for circulating individually. The Huangting waijing tu is not
seen in transmitted texts. It may have been lost, or simply a wrong title for Huang-
ting neijing tu, as Huangting waijing should refer to the Huangting waijing jing
(Outer Landscape of the Yellow Court Scripture), which is quite
similar to the inner scripture, and scholars have assumed the outer scripture to be a
brief summary of the inner scripture or the latter to be an elaboration of the former.13
Hu Yins life is not seen in any other records, so we have to rely on her own preface
to the HTNJT and the Song-Yuan catalogs. Of the two editions of her work pre-
served in the DZ, the independent edition names her as Master of Knowing the
Plain (Jiansuzi), while the Xiuzhen shishu edition names the author as Woman
of Knowing the Plain (Jiansun). All Song catalogs name her the woman Hu
Yin, and the Songshi names her the Woman of Knowing the Plain. Since no
other source mentions her, the fact that the Song-Yuan people knew she was a
woman should have come from her own text. Therefore, the Songshi and

10
Tuotuo (13141355) et al., Songshi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1977), 205.5179,
205.5193, 207.5316.
11
This preface is also included in Dong Gao (1740818) et al. (eds.), Quan Tangwen
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2009), 945.9817a-9818a.
12
For a detailed comparison of the two editions, see Jean Lvi, Huangting neijing wuzang
liufu buxie tu, pp. 348-349.
13
The complete title of the outer scripture is Taishang huangting waijing yujing
(DZ, no. 332, 5: 913a-914c). Wang Ming asserted that the inner scripture appeared first, and
there was likely a secret draft version during the Wei-Jin period; then Wei Huacun (251
334) obtained it in the Taikang reign-period of the Western Jin (280289), and after her
death, the outer scripture came out as a summary of the inner scripture; see his Huangtingjing
kao, pp. 324-371. Isabelle Robinet basically agreed that the outer scripture came out later; see
her Taoist Meditation, p. 56. Kristofer Schipper believed the opposite, that the outer scripture
came out first, and the inner scripture was an elaboration of the outer one; see his Concordance
du Houang-ting ching (Paris: cole Franaise dExtrme-Orient, 1975), Preface. The same
opinion is also seen in Michel Strickmann, Le taosme du Mao Chan: Chronique dune rvlation
(Paris: Collge de France, 1981), p. 68. Later, this point of view was elaborated upon by Yu Wanli
, Huangtingjing xinzheng , Wenshi 29 (1988), pp. 385-408, Yang
Fucheng , Huangting neiwai erijing kao , Shijie zongjiao yanjiu
3 (1995), pp. 68-76 and Gong Pengcheng , Huangtingjing lunyao (yi)
(), Zhongguo shumu jikan 31 (1997) 1, pp. 66-81.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 5

Xiuzhen shishu seem to keep the correct record, and Hu Yins Daoist sobriquet
should be Woman of Knowing the Plain.
The term Knowing the Plain may have been taken from the Huangdi neijing
suwen (Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor, Plain Questions). Both
the HTJ and HTNJT are greatly influenced by the Suwen .14 The HTNJT fre-
quently cites from the Suwen. The central themes of the HTNJT are the tonification
and purgation of the viscera and breathing exercises in harmony with the four
seasons. These themes developed from the Suwen, which is based on the concept
of qi and emphasizes tonification and purgation without failing, becoming
oneness with Heaven and Earth (buxie wushi, yu tiandi ruyi , ).
Wang Bing (710805) annotated: To purge those with more than enough
and to tonify those who are insufficient, this is in harmony with the constant Dao
of Heaven and Earth. The propriety of purgation and tonification should be
exactly examined, so is breathing therapy.15 Tonification is mainly used to cure
asthenic patients, while purgation is mainly used to cure strong patients; both are
also applied in breathing therapy, with inhaling as tonification and exhaling as pur-
gation. The naming of Suwen possibly came from the Han-dynasty cosmology of the
grand plain (taisu ) as the beginning of substance (taisuzhe zhi zhi shi ye
), as Wang Bing cited a Han apocrypha to explain: When qi, form, and
substance come into being, diseases are sprouting. Therefore the Yellow Emperor
inquired about the grand plain of the beginning of substance.16 This may have
been the reason why Hu Yin named herself Woman of Knowing the Plain.
Concerning Mount Taibai where Hu Yin lived, Ge Jianmin believed that it was
located in Wuzhou (present-day Jinhua city in Zhejiang), according to
Ge Hongs (283343) record of ideal places for alchemy in his Baopuzi
(Book of the Master Who Keeps to Simplicity).17 However, Ge Hong actually
first mentioned Mount Taibai in Qizhou (present-day Mei county in
Shaanxi) as one of the national famous mountains, and then said that if these
were unavailable one could replace them with the famous mountains east of the
Yangzi river, including Mount Taibai in Zhejiang.18 Therefore, when a Daoist text
only mentions Mount Taibai, it usually refers to the famous one in Shaanxi. More-
over, the HTNJT was greatly influenced by Sun Simiaos (ca. 581682)

14
The Huangdi neijing includes both Suwen and Lingshu and was roughly formed
during the period from the Warring States to the Han dynasty. For discussions and translations
of this medical classic, see mainly Ren Yingqiu , Huangdi neijing yanjiu shijiang
(Wuhan: Hubei renmin chubanshe, 1980); Cheng Shide (ed.), Neijing
(Beijing: Renmin weisheng chubanshe, 1985); Paul U. Unschuld, Huang di nei jing su wen:
Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text (Berkeley: University of Califor-
nia Press, 2003); Zhang Canjia , Huangdi neijing wenxian yanjiu
(Shanghai: Shanghai Zhongyiyao daxue chubanshe, 2005); Y.C. Kong, Huangdi neijing: A Synop-
sis with Commentaries (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2010).
15
, , , . Wang Bing
and Lin Yi (eds.), Huangdi neijing suwen buzhu shiwen ,
Maiyao jingweilun pian , DZ, no. 1018, 21: 13.71c.
16
, . Qianzaodu , cited in Wang
and Lin, Huangdi neijing suwen buzhu shiwen, 1.3b.
17
Ge Jianmin, Tangdai ndaoyi Hu Yin, p. 22.
18
Wang Ming (ed.), Baopuzi neipian jiaoshi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
2010), p. 85.
6 JIA JINHUA

works (see discussions in section 5), and Sun secluded himself on Mount Taibai of
Shaanxi for many years.19 Thus, it is highly likely that the Mount Taibai where
Hu Yin lived was the one located in Shaanxi.
In her preface, Hu Yin talks about herself: I, Hu Yin, am not quick by nature, and
loved the mysterious gate at a young age. I have cultivated my mind in non-
intervention and settled my heart in simplicity.20 From non-intervention, simpli-
city, and mysterious gate, we may assume Hu was referring to Daoism. Therefore,
she likely entered a Daoist convent at a young age and then was ordained as a priest-
ess.21 In addition, according to her profound knowledge in medical theory and prac-
tice, we may assume that she was likely an experienced physician.22 The preface is
signed with the year 848, and before that year Hu had already passed many, many
years (lgeng suiyue ) in her life. Therefore, she should have been at least
middle-aged when she finished the book, so her active period was about the first half
of the ninth century.
In her preface, Hu Yin indicates her purpose for composing such an illustrated
treatise:

I have read the marvelous theory of the HTJ and investigated the extant writings on
cyan bamboo slips. I have studied the subtleties diligently over many, many years. I
humbly found that the old charts are profound and secret, and the paths are dark
and deep. The words and theories are mysterious, so that few people could delve
into them. They pointed to the forms and images, or merely summarized the names
of the spirits. Many authors composed works and different arguments emerged.
This situation caused later learners to be unable to find the gate. When a slight
error occurred, the mistake could become a huge one. Now with my narrow knowl-
edge I dare to search through all opinions and discourses, and draw different images
based on all the scriptures. I first illumine the viscera, and then discuss cultivation
and practice. I trace the origin of diseases and apply breathing exercises to eliminate
them. I also list medicinal principles, gymnastic exercises, the observation of symp-
toms, and seasonal food taboos. I hope later learners will be able to see the six circum-
stances when they look at the images and know clearly the myriad things when they
read the scripture.23

19
Sun Simiaos biography in Liu Xu (888947) et al., Jiu Tangshu (Beijing:
Zhonghua shuju, 1975), 191.5094-5097; and Ouyang Xiu, Xin Tangshu, 196.5596-5598.
20
, , , . HTNJT, DZ, 6:687a.
21
See Yan Yiping, Daojiao yanjiu ziliao, pp. 1-2.
22
In the early Tang, the government forbade Buddhist monks and Daoist priests to practice
medicine. For example, the Tang Huiyao records: Imperial order issued in the fourth
month of the fourth year of Yonghui reign-period: Daoist priests and priestesses and Buddhist
monks and nuns are forbidden to heal illness and make divination for others
, ; see Wang Pu (922982), Tang Huiyao
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1955), 50.876. However, according to many records of Daoist phy-
sicians in Tang histories, inscriptions, and other texts, this ban was probably discarded soon. See
Jiang Sheng Tang Weixia (eds.), Zhongguo Daojiao kexue jishu shi: Nan-Bei
Chao Sui Tang Wu Dai juan (Beijing: Kexue chu-
banshe, 2010), pp. 443-446.
23
, , , , , ,
, , , , , ,
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 7

Hu Yin was determined to elaborate the theory concerning the viscera in the HTJ.
This scripture is comprised of heptasyllabic verses and is one of the representative
scriptures of early Daoism. By absorbing traditional Chinese medical knowledge
from the classics such as Suwen, discussions on the five viscera and the wuxing
(Five-Phase) scheme of the Warring States period to the Han dynasty, and the
theory and visualization of visceral spirits in the Taiping jing (Scripture of
the Great Peace) and Laozi Heshanggong zhu (Heshanggongs Com-
mentary to the Laozi), the HTJ describes major body organs and their spirits and
discusses how to attain immortality by visualizing those spirits, as well as by
other longevity techniques such as breathing exercises. It especially emphasizes the
five viscera and six receptacles. The five viscera refer to the lungs, heart, liver,
spleen, and kidneys. As for the six receptacles, the text only lists the gallbladder
as a representative. Regarding the date of the HTJ, there have been different
views among scholars, but in general it is set in the Jin dynasty. From Jin to Tang,
Daoist scholars had annotated and interpreted this scripture,24 but in the view of
Hu Yin many of them presented minor or serious mistakes.
In order to provide a good text for beginners, Hu Yin summarized all previous
works and elaborated her own opinions, developing a new scheme of narration
on both the religious and medical dimensions of the viscera. Applying the correlative
relation between the five viscera and the Five-Phase system as a narrative structure,
she discussed the six viscera one by one, each including a chart (tu ) of the visceral
spirit, a section Tushuo (Explanation of the Chart), a section Xiuyang fa
(Method for Caring and Nurturing), a section Xiangbing fa
(Method for Observing Illnesses), a section Liuqi fa (Method of the
Six Breaths), a section Yuejin shiji fa (Method of Monthly Food
Taboos), and a section Daoyin fa (Method for Guiding and Pulling).

CORRELATIVE STRUCTURE BETWEEN THE FIVE VISCERA AND THE


FIVE-PHASE SCHEME
One of the most important features of Hu Yins HTNJT is that its structure and nar-
ration are built on the basis of the correlative relation between the five viscera and
the Five-Phase scheme. In the cosmology of Yin-Yang and Five-Phase scheme devel-
oped from the late Warring-States to the Han dynasty, the five viscera were signifi-
cant constructive elements. In the Guanzi , Lshi chunqiu , Huainanzi
, and Taixuan , the five viscera were already connected to the Five-Phase

, , , , , ,
, , , , , ,
. HTNJT, DZ, 6:687a.
24
Song-dynasty catalogs record many texts related to the HTJ. Those extant today include Bai
Lzhong (sobriquet Liangqiuzi , fl. 722729), Huangting neijing yujing zhu
, DZ, no. 402, 6: 516-540; Huangting waijing yujing zhu , in: Xiuzhen
shishu , DZ, no. 263, 4: 58-60.869b-878c; Wuchengzi , Taishang huangting wai-
jingjing zhu , in: Zhang Junfang (fl. 1006) (ed.), Yunji qiqian
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2003), 12.282-317; Jiang Shenxiu (Tang dynasty), Huangting
neiwai yujingjing jie , DZ, no. 403, 6: 541a-544b; Shangqing huangting yang-
shen jing , DZ, no. 1400, 34: 281b-284b. See Schipper Verellen, The Taoist
Canon, pp. 347-350, 360-361.
8 JIA JINHUA

scheme.25 The Suwen discusses in great detail the relationship of mutual destruction
and generation between the external five series (five agents, five directions, five
seasons, five qi, five colors, five sounds, five flavors, etc.) and the internal
five series (five viscera, five/six receptacles, five sensory organs, five senses, five
emotions, five body parts, five body fluids, etc.).26 Other Han-dynasty works
further developed the concept of the five visceras spirits. The Taiping jing reads:
The essence and spirits of the four seasons and five phases enter a man to
become the spirits of the five viscera.27 The Laozi Heshanggong zhu states: If
one can nurture the spirits he will not die. The spirits refer to the spirits of the
five viscera. The liver contains the hun (yang ) soul, the lungs contain the po
(yin ) soul, the heart contains the spirit, the spleen contains the consciousness,
and the kidneys contain the essence and will. If all the viscera are injured, then
the spirits leave.28
The HTJ follows these concepts and further deifies and personalizes the five
viscera, describing each of the viscera in terms of name, color, and clothing, and cor-
relating them with the wuxing scheme more closely. For example, the heart spirits
name is Danyuan (Cinnabar Prime) and its zi is Shouling (Guarding the
Numina), symbolizing red, fire, and the south; the lung spirits name is Haohua
(White Flower) and its zi is Xucheng (Void and Completion), symbolizing
white, metal, and the west; the liver spirits name is Longyan (Dragon Mist) and
its zi is Hanming (Embodying Light), symbolizing green, wood, and the east;
the kidney spirits name is Xuanming (Black and Gloom) and its zi is Yuying
(Nursing Infant), symbolizing black, water, and the north; the spleen spirits
name is Changzai (Constant Existence) and its zi is Hunting (Soul
Residence), symbolizing yellow, earth, and the central.29 Liangqiuzi commented:
Each of the five viscera and six receptacles has its office, and all have their laws
and images, which resemble Heaven and Earth and harmonize with yin and yang.
This is the Dao of natural resonance and response.30 Through visualizing the
viscera spirits, one resonates and correlates with Heaven, Earth, yin, and yang to

25
Li Xiangfeng Liang Yunhua (eds.), Guanzi jiaozhu (Beijing:
Zhonghua shuju, 2004), 14.815-816; Xu Weiyu Liang Yunhua (eds.), Lshi
chunqiu jishi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2009), juan 1-12, 5-275; He Ning
(ed.), Huainanzi jishi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1998), 4.311-378, 5.379-442; Sima
Guang (10191086) (ed.), Taixuan jizhu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1998),
8.195-201. See Jiang Sheng Tang Weixia (eds.), Zhongguo Daojiao kexue jishu shi: Han Wei
liang Jin juan (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 2002), pp. 507-508.
26
Cheng Shide, Neijing, pp. 14-18, 35-84. See Paul U. Unschuld, Medicine in China: A History
of Ideas (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), pp. 51-91; Y.C. Kong, The Cultural Fabric
of Chinese Medicine (Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, 2005), pp. 24-32; Li Jingwei
Zhang Zhibin (eds.), Zhongyixue sixiang shi (Changsha: Hunan jiaoyu chu-
banshe, 2006), pp. 78-83.
27
, . Wang Ming (ed.), Taiping jing hejiao
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1960), 72.292. See Robinet, Taoist Meditation, pp. 61-66.
28
, , , ,
, . Wang Ka (ed.), Laozi Daodejing Heshanggong zhangju
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), chaps. 6 and 21. See Robinet, Taoist Meditation, pp. 61-75.
29
HTJ, 909b-10a.
30
, , , , . Liangqiuzi, Huangting
neijing yujing zhu, 1.521a.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 9

attain longevity and immortality.31 The Wuzang lun (Treatise on the Five
Viscera) composed in the late Southern and Northern Dynasties also connects the
five viscera with the five phases, five stars, five sacred peaks, and so forth.32
Hu Yin elaborates the correlation between the five viscera and the Five-Phase
scheme at the very beginning of her preface:

Heaven presides over yang and nurtures humans with five qi; Earth presides over yin
and nurtures humans with five flavors. The interaction of qi and flavors condenses to
the five viscera. By spreading, the qi of the five viscera forms the four members, the
sixteen sections, and the three hundred and sixty articulations; by stretching, it
makes the tendons, veins, humors, blood, and marrow; by condensing, it forms the
six receptacles, triple burner, and twelve meridians; by circulating, it makes the nine
orifices. This is why the five viscera are the governors of the body. If one of the
viscera weakens, an illness appears; when the five viscera weaken, the spirits disappear.
This is why the five viscera are the dwelling places of the luminous spirits, the hun
[yang] and po [yin] souls, the will, and the essence. Each of the viscera has its respon-
sibility. The heart is in charge of the spirit, the lungs the po soul, the liver the hun soul,
the spleen the consciousness, and the kidneys the will. Externally extended, they cor-
respond to the five stars above and to the five sacred peaks below, all of which are
modeled on Heaven and Earth and imaged on the sun and moon.33

The five qi and five flavors of Heaven and Earth enter the human body and form
the five viscera. The qi of the viscera spreads internally to form all the organs and
externally to correspond to the stars and mountains, and together all of these are
modeled on the movement of Heaven, Earth, the sun, and the moon. Hu Yin
absorbed all previous discussions about the five visceras important status in the cos-
mological scheme of the Five Phases, and further developed them. She indicated

31
About the studies of the contents of the HTJ, see, for example, Wang Ming, Huangtingjing
kao, pp. 338-351; Chen Yingning (18801969), Huangtingjing jiangyi ,
Daoxie huikan 1 (1980), pp. 24-38; Qing Xitai (ed.), Zhongguo Daojiao shi
(Chengdu: Sichuan renmin chubanshe, 1988), pp. 351-377; Robinet, Taoist Medita-
tion, pp. 55-96; Livia Kohn, The Taoist Experience: An Anthology (Albany: State University of
New York Press, 1993), pp. 181-188; Paul W. Kroll, Body Gods and Inner Vision: The Scripture
of the Yellow Court, in: Donald S. Lopez Jr. (ed.), Religions of China in Practice (Princeton: Prince-
ton University Press, 1996), pp. 149-155; Gong Pengcheng, Huangtingjing lunyao, pp. 66-81;
Xiao Dengfu , Shilun Daojiao nei shen minghui yuanqi, jianlun Dongjin Shangqing
jingpai cunsi xiulian famen , Zong-
jiaoxue yanjiu 3 (2004), pp. 1-9, 82.
32
Song-dynasty catalogs record under Zhang Zhongjings (150219) name a Wuzang
lun, but it was lost. Four fragmental manuscripts of the same title have been discovered from Dun-
huang (P. 2115v, S. 5614, P. 2755, P. 2378v), which cite texts of Han to Southern and Northern
Dynasties. Therefore, it possibly came out by the end of the Southern and Northern Dynasties.
See Ma Jixing et al. (eds.), Dunhuang yiyao wenxian jijiao (Nanjing:
Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 1998), pp. 54-150.
33
, , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,
, , ,
, , , , , ,
, . HTNJT, DZ, 6:686c. Translation adapted from Robinet, Taoist Meditation,
p. 63.
10 JIA JINHUA

more clearly the two-directional function of the five viscera between the microcosm
of the human body and the macrocosm of the universe. Internally, they are the spiri-
tual core and constitutive force of the body, which integrate all other bodily parts
together as an organic totality and a micro universe. Externally, they are the sym-
bolic channels through which the natural power and structure are absorbed into
and modeled by the body.
By elaborating and developing the correlative relations between the five viscera
and the Five-Phase scheme, Hu Yin provided a theoretical framework for her depic-
tion of the visceral spirits and her scheme of seasonal life nurturing, which are her
most influential contributions to Daoist theory and Chinese medicine and will be
discussed in the following two sections respectively.

HU YINS DEPICTION OF THE IMAGES OF THE SIX VISCERAL SPIRITS AND


HER INFLUENCE ON DAOIST INNER CULTIVATION AND INNER ALCHEMY
THEORIES
In her HTNJT, Hu Yin provides an image for each indwelling spirit of the six viscera.
These images are zoomorphic in appearance: the lung spirit resembles a white tiger,
the heart spirit a vermilion bird / red sparrow, the liver spirit a green dragon, the
spleen spirit a jade phoenix, the kidney spirit a two-headed deer, and the gallbladder
spirit a turtle-snake couple (see fig. 1: Images of the Six Visceral Spirits).
These zoomorphic images are based on the traditional spirits of the four cardinal
directions. They symbolize the correspondences between the five viscera and the
Five-Phase scheme: white tiger correlates with the west and metal, green dragon
with the east and wood, red sparrow with the south and fire, turtle/snake with
the north and water, and phoenix/deer with the central and earth.
Among all extant texts, it should be noted that these images of visceral spirits are
first seen in Hu Yins work, and this is in accordance with her preface that she drew
different images based on all the scriptures. In the HTJ, the visceral spirits are all
described in the form of a young boy. In the Huangting zhongjing jing
(Central Landscape of Yellow Court Scripture), which came out later, the lung
spirit is described as riding a white tiger, the liver spirit riding a green dragon, and
the kidney spirit riding a turtle, but all the spirits are still in the form of a young
boy.34 In his commentary to the Huangting waijing jing, Wuchengzi men-
tions that liver is green dragon and lung is white tiger.35 Based on these previous
texts, Hu Yin transformed the traditional spirits of the four cardinal directions into
the six visceral spirits and drew these spirits images. This innovation presented sig-
nificant symbolic meanings for the cosmic human body. Because of the identification
of visceral spirits with directional spirits, the human microcosm becomes more
seamlessly identical with the macrocosm of the universe. Just as the spirits of the
four cardinal directions guard the central kingdom, the visceral spirits guard the
major organs of the human body and operate in the microcosm with their natural
power, guaranteeing the harmony and health of the body. The visceral spirits also
further symbolize the holiness of the human body, which provides a rational for

34
Li Qiansheng (fl. late Tang; ed.), Taishang huangting zhongjing jing
, DZ, no. 1401, 34: 285c-287b.
35
Wuchengzi, Taishang huangting waijing jing zhu, in Yunji qiqian, 12.305, 309.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 11

the Daoist goal of longevity and immortality and the eventual emergence and matur-
ity of Daoist inner alchemy in the Song dynasty.
The two editions of Hu Yins HTNJT are somewhat different in the images and the
explanations of the images. The DZ edition preserves the six images but, except for
mentioning visualization of the spirits and nurturing [the viscera] (cunshen
xiuyang ), the explanatory sections do not mention the spirits again.
They focus on descriptions of the physiological structure and function of each of
the viscera and their relationship with the Five-Phase scheme. In the Xiuzhen
shishu edition (HTNJTX), the six images are missing, but the explanatory sections
seem to be more complete. These sections describe the six spirits names, appear-
ances, incarnations, personalities, attendants, and so forth. These descriptions are
based on the HTJ and other Daoist and medical texts.36 For example, the expla-
nation for the liver spirit is as follows:

The liver spirits name is Longyan (Dragon Mist) and its zi is Hanming (Embodying
Light). The liver is the qi of zhen (thunder) and the essence of wood. Its color is
green, its shape is like a hanging gourd, and its spirit looks like a green dragon. The
liver is in charge of the hun soul. It transforms into two jade boys, one in green
clothes, and another in yellow clothes. Each is nine cun tall and holds jade liquids
from the liver. There is another saying that the liver is guarded by three boys and
six jade maids. Its spirit loves humaneness, so humaneness and kindness generate
from the liver.37

Since Hu Yin depicted the six images of visceral spirits, she should have matched
the images with the explanations in her sections on Explanation of the Chart. Both
editions seem to have lost something: one without the images and another without
some parts of the explanations to them. Reading them together, we have a more
complete picture of the original text. Some scholars did not collate the two editions,
and therefore drew the incomplete conclusion that Hu Yins work thoroughly dis-
cards the mysterious and religious elements of the HTJ.38
The HTJ emphasizes the visualization of body spirits. This theory was further
developed by the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) Daoism and was also venerated
as the origin of inner alchemy by Daoist traditions from the Song dynasty onward.
During the late Tang period in which Hu Yin lived, outer/laboratory alchemy had
begun to be questioned. In her HTNJT, she not only developed the inner cultivation
theory of the HTJ, but also openly criticized outer alchemy:

36
Those Daoist and medicine texts include Taishang lingbao wufu xu (DZ,
no. 388, 6: 315a-343a), Yuanshi wulao chishu yupian zhenwen tianshujing
(DZ, no. 22, 1: 774b-799b), Sun Simiaos Beiji qianjin yaofang , annotated
by Gao Wenzhu Shen Shunong (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 2008), and other
works.
37
, , , , , ,
, , , , ,
, . HTNJTX, Xiuzhen shishu, 54:838c-839a.
38
For example, see Wang Ming, Huangtingjing kao, p. 351; Wang Jiayou Hao Qin, Hu
Yin jiqi Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, p. 33.
12 JIA JINHUA

If I am able to visualize the spirits, care and nurture [the viscera], restrain myself, and
make vigorous efforts, I will complete the Dao. Then, the viscera become strong. All
poisons cannot encroach even though rotten materials enter my body; all qi cannot
be weakened even though my body catches diseases externally. I become bright and
pure, preventing old age and prolonging life. My determination is high on immortality,
and my appearance shows no fatigue. The essences and lights of the sun and moon
come to attach to my body-self, and the four seasons and six qi come to integrate
with my body-structure. I enter the Dao of changes, understand the principle of divi-
nity, take control of yin and yang, and breathe the subtle spirit. Then the Creator in
turn is controlled by me. When reaching this stage, I do not need golden elixirs, jade
liquids, and the elixirs of Langya and Dahuan, but naturally transform my spirit
and rush to the void. My qi integrates with the Grand Harmony and ascends to the
clouds. The qi of the five viscera twists itself into five clouds to ascend to Heaven.39

Hu Yin proudly announced that, through visualization of the spirits and nurturing
the viscera, the viscera become strong enough to prevent old age and prolong life;
then, without relying on golden elixirs, one can ascend to become immortal in
daytime, and control his/her own destiny of life and death. Hu Yin compared
inner cultivation with outer alchemy and clearly privileged the former over the latter.
Hu Yins work is an important development of the inner cultivation theory of the
HTJ, and it is also one of the pioneers in the formation of inner alchemy theory and
practice during the late Tang and Five Dynasties. Her viscera images and expla-
nations of them exerted a significant influence on these theories. The Daozang
includes a text titled Shangqing huangting wuzang liufu zhenren yuzhou jing
(Precious Scroll of the Perfected Man on the Five
Viscera and Six Receptacles of the Yellow Court of Highest Clarity; hereafter
Yuzhou jing) in one juan with no author attribution.40 The beginning and ending
parts of the text are fictitious conversations between the Celestial Venerable of Pri-
mordial Commencement (Yuanshi tianzun ) and the Yellow Emperor, but
the middle part is an Illustrated Essay on the Five Viscera and Six Receptacles
(Wuzang liufu tuwen ). The images and explanations are roughly
the same as Hu Yins, with the exception that each chart has an additional image
of the correspondent organ. Wang Ming asserted that this text is likely an abridged
version of Hu Yins book with some alterations.41 This assertion is quite reasonable
as the anonymous work bears an obvious appearance of alteration and hotchpotch.
In addition, an abridged version of the Yuzhou jing is contained in the Huangting
dunjia yuanshen jing (Book of the Hidden Period and the Causal
Body of the Yellow Court) included in the Yunji qiqian, and also contains similar
images of the six visceral spirits.42 The Siqi shesheng tu (Illustrated

39
, , , , , ,
, , , ,
, , , , ,
, , , , , . HTNJT, DZ,
6.686c.
40
Shangqing huangting wuzang liufu zhenren yuzhou jing, DZ, no. 1402, 34: 289-292.
41
Wang Ming, Huangtingjing kao, p. 351, note 1.
42
Yunji qiqian, 14.363-371; but not seen in DZ edition Huangting dunjia yuanshen jing (DZ,
no. 873, 18: 707-709). See Schipper Verellen, The Taoist Canon, pp. 350-351, 360-361.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 13

[Method] of the Four Seasonal Qi for Conserving Ones Health) attributed to Liu
Ding (Late Tang) contains similar images of the six visceral spirits, but those
are placed inside the correspondent images of the viscera; the images are also fol-
lowed by seasonal nurturing methods of the viscera,43 which are very close to
those discussed in Hu Yins work. The Chongwen zongmu and other Song-
dynasty catalogs record this text, so it likely appeared during the period from
the late Tang to the Five Dynasties.44 The Baiwen (One Hundred Ques-
tions) chapter in the Daoshu (Pivot of the Dao) records a fictitious conver-
sation between the legendary L Dongbin and Zhongli Quan
concerning the inner alchemy theory. The conversation cites Hu Yins transform-
ation of the four directional spirits into the five visceral spirits, and lists the liver
as green dragon, the lungs as white tiger, the heart as vermilion bird, the kidney as
turtle, and the spleen as qilin .45 The Zhongmiao (All Subtleties)
chapter in the same book records another theory of inner alchemy in the Song,
which assumes the liver as green dragon and mercury, and the lungs as white
tiger and lead; when the dragon and tiger interact, the inner elixir is complete.46
The Taiqing (Grand Clarity) chapter in the same book again records one
more theory of inner alchemy, which assumes the qi of the liver as green dragon,
the qi of the lungs as white tiger, the qi of the heart as vermilion bird, the qi of the
kidneys as turtle, and the qi of the spleen as snake; the five qi of viscera fuse in the
furnace of the human body and then condense into the inner elixir.47
In addition, the various versions of Xiuzhen tu (Chart for the Cultiva-
tion of Perfection) popular since the Qing dynasty, such as the Xiuzhen tu
preserved in the Sanyuan gong of Guangzhou (in present day Guang-
dong), the Lianxing xiuzhen quantu (Complete Chart for the Cul-
tivation of Nature and Perfection) preserved on Mount Wudang , the
Xiuzhen tu preserved in the Baiyun guan of Beijing, and the Xiuchi
zhenyuan tulu (Chart and Register for the Cultivation of
Perfect Primordiality) preserved in Longhu tang and reproduced by Li
Zhaosheng , are charts for cultivation of the human body created by the
Longmen branch of Quanzhen Daoism, which summarize the theories and
practices of inner alchemy. All of these charts contain images of the six visceral
spirits and explanations of them, both of which are basically the same as those
in Hu Yins work (see fig. 2: Xiuzhen tu).48 All of these demonstrate Hu Yins
profound influence on the formation and evolution of Daoist inner alchemy
theory.

43
Liu Ding, Siqi shesheng tu, DZ, no. 766, 17: 224c-233c. See Schipper Verellen, The Taoist
Canon, pp. 352-353.
44
See Piet van der Loon, Taoist Books in the Libraries of the Sung Period: A Critical Study and
Index (London: Ithaca Press, 1984), p. 96.
45
Zeng Zao (d. 1155 or 1164), Daoshu, DZ, no. 1017, 20: 5.633c-634a.
46
Daoshu, 35.792c; also in the Jiuxian pian of the same book, 31.767b.
47
Daoshu, 10.662b.
48
For a detailed study of the various versions of Xiuzhen tu, see Catherine Despeux, Taosme
et corps humain: Le Xiuzhentu (Paris: Guy Trdaniel Editeur, 1994).
14 JIA JINHUA

HU YINS SCHEME OF SEASONAL NURTURING VISCERA AND HER


CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHINESE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF NURTURING LIFE
Although Hu Yins HTNJT does not discard the mysterious, religious aspects of the
HTJ, this work actually goes beyond the scriptures central theme of describing body
spirits and emphasizing the visualization of those spirits, and transfers its focus to
medicine, nurturing life, and longevity techniques. In her sections of Tushuo, in
addition to describing each spirit of the six viscera, Hu Yin discusses in detail
each organs color, weight, shape, position, and function, as well as its traditional
relations with the Five-Phase scheme, which are treated as the theoretical foundation
of healing disease and nurturing life. In the sections of Xiangbing fa, she lists a
series of symptoms that reveal the weaknesses of each organ, offers methods to
tone up or purge the organ, and provides an empirical prescription of combined
herbs to cure its most serious illness. These sections demonstrate profound
medical knowledge in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and therapeutics, most of
which have been summarized from traditional medical works such as the Suwen;
Tao Hongjings (456536) Yangxing yanming lu (Records
Concerning Cultivating Nature and Prolonging Life);49 the Fuxingjue zangfu
yongyao fayao (Supplementary Formulas for Essential Medi-
cation of the Viscera), which is attributed to Tao Hongjing and possibly compiled by
his descendants;50 the Wuzang lun, possibly compiled during the late Southern and
Northern Dynasties;51 Chao Yuanfangs (fl. 610) Zhubing yuanhou lun
(Treatise on the Origins and Symptoms of All Diseases); Sun Simiaos Beiji
qianjin yaofang (Essential Priceless Prescriptions for All Urgent Ills;
hereafter: Qianjin yaofang); and so forth. However, some of Hu Yins discussions
are untraceable to earlier sources and therefore possibly came from her own
medical experience as a physician.
The most important contribution of Hu Yins book, however, is not in therapeutic
theory but in methods of nurturing life and longevity techniques. The sections
Xiuyang fa, Liuqi fa, Yuejin shiji fa, and Daoyin fa not only discuss
various techniques for nurturing the viscera, but also incorporate the correlations
between the five viscera and the Five-Phase scheme into the practice of seasonal
caring and cultivation. Hu Yin combined the traditional Five Phase scheme
techniques with methods of medicinal caring and Daoist cultivation, including med-
itation, breathing exercise, clapping the teeth, swallowing saliva, gymnastic exercise,

49
Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, DZ, no. 838, 18: 474c-485b. This book is also attrib-
uted to Sun Simiao. Tang Yongtong and Zhu Yueli analyzed the texts cited and
terms used in this book and concluded that the authorship should be attributed to Tao Hongjing;
see Tang Yongtong, Du Daozang zhaji , in: Tang Yongtong xueshu lunwenji
, ed. Zhonghua shuju (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983), pp. 404-406; Zhu Yueli,
Yangxing yanming lu kao , Shijie zongjiao yanjiu 1986/1,
pp. 101-115.
50
This book was not recorded in any catalogs or cited in any texts. One roughly complete
manuscript has been discovered in Dunhuang. It is attributed to Tao Hongjing, but many citations
are noted with Tao said (Tao yun ) or Hermit Tao said (Tao yinju yun ). There-
fore, it was more likely compiled by his descendants. See Ma Jixing et al., Dunhuang yiyao wenxian
jijiao, pp. 170-206.
51
Ma Jixing et al., Dunhuang yiyao wenxian jijiao, pp. 54-150.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 15

massage, medicated diet, and food taboos. Together all of these formed an innova-
tive scheme for seasonal viscera nurturing.

Method for Caring and Nurturing the Viscera


Hu Yins Xiuyang fa combines various Daoist techniques for nurturing and
prolonging life, including swallowing saliva, clapping the teeth, absorbing qi,
holding the breath, and meditation/visualization (see Table 1). While emphasizing
the visualization of body spirits, the HTJ also advocates swallowing saliva, absorb-
ing qi, and so forth. The inner scripture reads

Closing my mouth and rolling my tongue to swallow the embryonic fluid,


It nurtures me and makes me ascend to immortality.52

The outer scripture reads:

The pure water of the jade lake irrigates the spiritual root,
If one knows and cultures this, he will lead a long life.53

Both embryonic fluid (taijin ) and pure water of the jade lake (yuchi qing-
shui ) refer to saliva, which is called the water of life and is supposed to
prolong life. The Han people already practiced the method of swallowing saliva
to improve the physique and nurture life. The Hou Hanshu (Later Han
History) records that Wang Zhen practiced saliva swallowing and looked
under fifty when he was about a hundred years old.54 The Suwen also mentions
the method of swallowing saliva to heal kidney disease.55 The method of clapping
the teeth to care for them and nurture life also likely started in the Han dynasty.
In his Qianjin yaofang, Sun Simiao records that in Huangfu Longs (fl.
249254) petition to Cao Cao (155220), the method of swallowing saliva
and clapping the teeth practiced by the Daoist Kuai Jing is mentioned.56 Ge
Hongs Shenxian zhuan (Biographies of Immortals) also has a similar
record.57 Since the Wei-Jin period, swallowing saliva and clapping the teeth were
generally practiced by Daoists, as seen in many Daoist and medical texts.58
The HTJ also reads: Accumulate your essence and collect your qi to become
a realized man; Inhaling and exhaling the primordial qi to attain immor-

52
, . HTJ, 911b.
53
, . Taishang Huangting waijing yujing, 1.913a.
54
Fan Ye (398445), Hou Hanshu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1973), 82.2750-2751. Tao
Hongjings Yangxing yanming lu (1.476a-b) cites the Han-dynasty apocrypha Luoshu baoyuming
, and also mentions the technique of swallowing saliva.
55
Guo Aichun (ed.), Huangdi neijing suwen jiaozhu (Beijing:
Renmin weisheng chubanshe, 1992), p. 1200.
56
Qianjin yaofang, 27.480.
57
Hu Shouwei (ed.), Shenxian zhuan jiaoshi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
2011), 7.245.
58
For example, see Wang Ming, Baopuzi neipian jiaoshi, pp. 111, 274; Shangqing dadong
zhenjing (True Scripture of the Great Cavern of Highest Clarity), DZ, no. 6, 1:
1.515b; Lingbao wuliang duren shangpin miaojing (Most Excellent and
Mysterious Book of Marvelous Jewel That Saves Innumerable Human Beings), DZ, no. 1, 1:
1.3a; Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, DZ, no. 838, 18: 475a-485b; Qianjin yaofang, 27.480.
16
JIA JINHUA
TABLE 1
HU YINS SCHEME OF SEASONAL NURTURING THE VISCERA AS THE METHOD FOR CARING AND NURTURING THE VISCERA

Viscera Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney Gallbladder

Five Phases Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Earth


Seasons Spring (1st, 2nd, Summer (4th and 5th Late Summer (6th Autumn (7th, 8th, and 9th Winter (10th, 11th, Late Summer (6th
and 3rd months) months) month) months) and 12th months) month)
Method for On the 1st day of In early morning of the In early morning of the In the early morning of the During the 3 months During the 3 months of
Caring and each month, clap 1st, 7th, 8th, 22nd, and 1st day of the month 1st and 15th days of each often sit smoothly winter, live regularly,
Nurturing the teeth 3 times, 23rd days of each and the last 18 days of month, sit smoothly facing facing the north, clap practice meditation/
hold breath 9 month, sit straight each season, sit straight, the west, clap the teeth 7 the teeth 7 times, visualization, and
times, and inhale facing the south, clap hold breath 5 times, times, swallow saliva 3 swallow saliva 3 inhale 3 breaths from
9 breaths from the teeth 9 times, clap the teeth 12 times, times, practice meditation / times, and inhale 5 the north.
the east. swallow saliva 3 times, and inhale 12 breaths visualization, inhale 7 breaths from the
inhale 3 breaths from from the earth. breaths from the west, and north.
the south, and hold hold breath 70 times.
breath 30 times.
(a) This and the following three tables are based on the HTNJT edition included in DZ as an individual text and they have been collated and complemented with the HTNJTX edition included in
Xiuzhen shishu. In the text, Hu Yin also lists the five visceras correlation with the five cardinal directions, five sacred peaks, five stars, five colors, five flavors, five sounds, five sensory organs, five
emotions, etc. Since those are about the same as the traditional Five Phase scheme, I have omitted them from the tables.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 17

tality.59 The pre-Qin philosophers already regarded qi as the root of the human
body and life, assuming that when there is qi one lives; when there is no qi one
dies;60 Human life is the coalescence of qi. When it coalesces there is life; when
it dissipates there is death;61 therefore, those who absorb qi become spiritual
and immortal.62 Before the HTJ, the method of absorbing the qi of Heaven and
Earth to cultivate ones mind and body was already seen in many transmitted and
unearthed texts, such as the Guanzi, Zhuangzi , Xingqi ming (Inscrip-
tion of Breathing Exercise), the Mawangdui manuscripts Quegu shiqi
(Abstention from Grain and Absorbing Qi) and Shiwen (Ten Questions), the
Shuanggudui bamboo manuscript Xingqi (Breathing Exercise), Huai-
nanzi, Taiping jing, and Suwen.63 Since the Wei-Jin period, breathing exercise was
generally applied as a Daoist longevity technique. For example, Tao Hongjings
Yangxing yanming lu cites the Yuanyang jing (Scripture of Primordial
Yang) and Fuqi jing (Scripture on Absorbing Qi),64 the Shenxian shiqi
jingui miaolu (Wondrous Record of the Golden Casket on the
Spirit Immortals Practice of Absorbing Qi) attributed to Master Jingli ,65
and the Fuqi jingyi lun (Treatise on the Quintessence Absorbing Qi)
attributed to Sima Chengzhen (647735),66 all of which discuss the
method of absorbing qi, holding qi, and visualizing the circulation of qi in the
human body.67
Hu Yin integrated all of these traditional methods and techniques inhaling qi,
holding qi, meditation and visualization, clapping the teeth, and swallowing
saliva into a program of six sets for nurturing the viscera. She designed specific
times of exercise for each set, and matched them with the six viscera, four
seasons, and twelve months. As a result, she provided a unique, pragmatic
program for nurturing the viscera, which was simple and feasible for common
people to practice.

59
. HTJ, 911b, 910c.
60
, . Guanzi jiaozhu, 4.241.
61
, . , . Wang Xianqian (18421917) (ed.),
Zhuangzi jijie (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), 6.186.
62
. Baopuzi neipian jiaoshi, Zaying , 15.266. Numerous works have
discussed qi and its nature. For a detailed outline of the Chinese energy and body scheme, see
Livia Kohn Stephen Jackowicz, Health and Long Life: The Chinese Way (Cambridge, MA:
Three Pines Press, 2005).
63
See Donald Harper, Early Chinese Medical Manuscripts: The Mawangdui Medical Manu-
scripts (London: Kegan Paul International, 1998); Li Ling , Zhongguo fangshu zhengkao
(Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2006), pp. 269-281.
64
Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, DZ, no. 838, 18: 2.481b-482b.
65
Jingli (also written as Jinghei ) xiansheng, Shenxian shiqi jinkui miaolu, DZ, no. 836,
18: 459c-465b.
66
Sima Chengzhen, Fuqi jingyi lun, in Yunji qiqian, 57.12431278.
67
For discussions and translations of these texts, see for example, Ute Engelhardt, Die klas-
sische Tradition der Qi-bungen. Eine Darstellung anhand des Tang-zeitlichen Textes Fuqi
jingyi lun von Sima Chengzhen (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1987); id., Qi for Life: Longevity in
the Tang, in: Livia Kohn (ed.), Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques (Ann Arbor:
Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1989), pp. 263-296; Livia Kohn, Chinese
Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008),
pp. 84-90, 150-158.
18 JIA JINHUA

Method of Six Breaths for Healing the Viscera


The Method of the Six Breaths is a method for healing diseases, not just for caring
and nurturing. This method evolves out of breathing exercise. In the Zhuangzi, we
already see to pant, to puff, to exhale, to inhale, to spit out the old breath and draw
in the new (chui xu hu xi, tugu naxin , ).68 The Mawangdui
manuscript Quegu shiqi mentions two exhaling methods, chui and xu .69
The Zhangjiashan manuscript Yinshu (Stretch Book) mentions three exhaling
methods, xu , hu , and chui that were used for healing diseases.70 The
Shangqing dadong zhenjing discusses the exhaling methods, xi and hu .71
The Fuqi jing lists six exhaling methods, chui , hu , xi , he , xu , and
xi , for healing chills and fever.72 The Mingyi lun (Treatise on Illumining
Medicine) talks about using six breaths to heal diseases of the five viscera: hu and
chui for heart disease, xu for lung disease, xi for spleen disease, and he
for liver disease. The method uses the nose for inhaling and the mouth for exhaling;
when exhaling, the patient reads the characters soundlessly and slowly exhales
according to the pronunciation of the six characters.73
Thus, the method of six breaths gradually formed and transformed from a method
of breathing exercise to a method of disease healing during the Six Dynasties. From
the Sui to the early Tang, several medical, Buddhist, and Daoist texts, such as
Zhubing yuanhou lun, Mohe zhiguan (Grand Cessation and Obser-
vation), and Qianjin yaofang, followed Mingyi luns discussion and added a sixth
breath xi for healing kidney disease.74
Hu Yin followed this tradition but changed the way of matching the six breaths
with the five viscera and added the gallbladder, as seen in Table 2.75 More impor-
tantly, she further introduced the principle of tonification and purgation in
Chinese medicine theory, and defined the six exhaling breaths for purgation and
inhaling breaths for tonification as a major principle of healing visceral diseases.
These might have been based on her own medical experience. Her method of six

68
Wang Xianqian, Zhuangzi jijie, 4.132.
69
Wei Qipeng Hu Xianghua , Mawangdui Hanmu yishu jiaoshi
(Chengdu: Chengdu chubanshe, 1992), 2: 1-9.
70
Li Ling, Zhongguo fangshu zhengkao, pp. 283-290.
71
Shangqing dadong zhenjing, DZ, no. 6, 1: 1.518c-519a.
72
Cited by Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, DZ, no. 88, 18: 481c-482b.
73
Ibid., 481c-482b.
74
Ding Guangdi (ed.), Zhubing yuanhou lun jiaozhu (Beijing:
Renmin weisheng chubanshe, 1991), 15.459-497; Zhiyi (531597) Guanding (561
632), Mohe zhiguan (Xuxiu Siku quanshu ed.), pp. 565-566; Sun Simiao, Qianjin
yaofang, 27.486. Taishang laojun yangsheng jue also records a similar method
of six breaths for healing the viscera, see DZ, no. 821, 18: 412a.
75
The Yanqi jue in the Taiqing daoyin yangsheng jing mentions a
method of six breaths for healing the viscera, about the same as Hu Yins; see Taiqing daoyin yang-
sheng jing, DZ, no. 818, 18: 399a-400a. This text discusses techniques of nurturing life such as
gymnastic and breathing exercises and cites from various sources. It was first recorded in the Song-
dynasty catalogs, so it is possible that it came out after Hu Yins book. See Wu Zhichao ,
Daoyin yangsheng shi lungao (Beijing: Beijing tiyu daxue chubanshe, 1996),
p. 292; Catherine Despeux, Gymnastics: The Ancient Tradition, in: Kohn (ed.), Taoist Meditation
and Longevity Techniques, pp. 230-231; Schipper Verellen, The Taoist Canon, pp. 95-96.
TABLE 2
HU YINS SCHEME FOR SEASONAL NURTURING THE VISCERA AS THE METHOD OF SIX BREATHS FOR HEALING THE VISCERA

Viscera Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney Gallbladder

LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY


Five Phases Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Earth
Seasons Spring (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Summer (4th and 5th Late Summer (6th Autumn (7th, 8th, and Winter (10th, 11th, and Late Summer (6th
months) months) month) 9th months) 12th months) month)
Method of Inhale faintly and slowly Inhale faintly and slowly Inhale faintly and slowly Inhale faintly and slowly Inhale faintly and slowly Inhale faintly and
Six Breaths with the nose for with the nose for with the nose for with the nose for with the nose for slowly with the nose
for Healing tonification, and exhale tonification, and exhale tonification, and exhale tonification, and exhale tonification, and exhale for tonification, and
the Viscera with the mouth on the with the mouth on the with the mouth on the with the mouth on the with the mouth on the exhale with the
sound for xu sound for he sound for hu sound for xi sound for chui mouth on the sound
purgation, with strong purgation, with strong purgation, with strong purgation, with strong purgation, with strong for xi purgation.
30 times xu, and weak 30 times he, and weak 30 hu times, and weak 30 times xi, and weak xi 30 times chui, and weak
10 times xu. 10 times he. 10 hu times. times 30. chui 10 times.

19
20 JIA JINHUA

breaths soon became a standard and was cited numerous times by later books of
medicine and nurturing life (see discussions later in this section).

Method of Guiding and Pulling Exercises for the Viscera


Daoyin (literally guiding and pulling) or gymnastic exercise is an integration
of body and breath. It was already popular during the Warring States to the
Qin-Han period. The Zhuangzi records an exercise of bear-hanging and bird-
stretching (xiongjing niaoshen ).76 The Han-dynasty Mawangdui manu-
script Daoyin tu (Chart for Guiding and Pulling) and the Zhangjiashan
manuscript Yinshu vividly depict or narrate many movements.77 By the end of the
Han, Hua Tuo (ca. 145208) is said to have invented the Wuqin xi
(Five Animals Pattern),78 and many others.79 Daoist longevity techniques had
always been integrated with gymnastic exercise, as seen in Tao Hongjings
Daoyin anmo (Guiding-Pulling and Massage) chapter in the Yangxing
yanming lu,80 Taiqing daoyin yangsheng jing (Great Clarity Scrip-
ture of Guiding-Pulling and Nurturing Life),81 Sima Chengzhens Daoyin lun
(Treatise on Guiding and Pulling) section in Fuqi jingyi lun,82 and others.83
Sun Simiao records two sets of exercises in his Qianjin yaofang. One is named
Tianzhuguo anmo fa (Method of Indian Massage), with a note
saying this is the Brahman method (Poluomen fa ), and another is

76
Wang Xianqian, Zhuangzi jijie, 4.132.
77
Mawangdui Hanmu boshu Daoyin tu (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe,
1979); Jiangling Zhangjiashan Hanjian gaishu , Wenwu 1985/1,
pp. 9-15.
78
Fan Ye, Hou Hanshu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1965), 82.2739; Tao Hongjing, Yangxing
yanming lu, p. 483.
79
See Li Ling, Zhongguo fangshu zhengkao, pp. 281-299; Gao Dalun , Zhangjiashan
Hanjian Yinshu yanjiu (Chengdu: Bashu shushe, 1995); Harper, Early
Chinese Medical Manuscripts, pp. 310-327; Ute Engelhardt, Daoyin tu und Yinshu: Neue
Erkenntnisse ber die bungen zur Lebenspflege in der frhen Han-Zeit, Monumenta Serica 49
(2001), pp. 213-226; Ikai Yoshio , Cho kasan kanbo kanken Insho ni miru do to in ni
tsuite , Itan 79 (2003), pp. 33-35; Kohn,
Chinese Healing Exercises, pp. 36-61.
80
Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, 482b-483c.
81
Taiqing daoyin yangsheng jing, DZ, no. 818, 18: 394c-400c. Abridged versions are
included in the Yunji qiqian, 34.752-273; and Zeng Zao, Daoshu, 28.745a-752c. Ding Guangdi
collated the various editions in the Taiqing daoyin yangshengjing. Yangxing yanming lu
(Beijing: Zhongguo Zhongyiyao chubanshe, 1993).
82
Sima Chengzhen, Fuqi jingyi lun, in Yunji qiqian, 57.1257-1259.
83
Those texts, as well as the Qianjin yaofang, cite the Yangsheng yaoji compiled in
the fourth century, which was possibly lost after the An Lushan (703757) rebellion. See T.
H. Barrett, On the Transmission of the Shen tzu and of the Yang-sheng yao-chi, JRAS 2 (1980),
pp. 168-176, especially 172; Sakade Yoshinobu , Cho Chin no Yojo yo shu itsubun to
sono shiso , To ho shu kyo 68 (1986), pp. 1-24;
Despeux, Gymnastics: The Ancient Tradition, pp. 228-237; Stephan Stein, Zwischen Heil und
Heilung: Zur frhen Tradition des Yangsheng in China (Uelzen: Medizinisch-Literarische Verlags-
gesellschaft, 1999). About the gymnastic exercises recorded in these texts, see Kohn, Chinese
Healing Exercises, pp. 62-161; Jiang Sheng Tang Weixia, Zhongguo Daojiao kexue jishu shi:
Nan-Bei Chao Sui Tang Wu Dai juan, pp. 687-720.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 21

named Laozi anmo fa (Laozis Method of Massage).84 In the Sui-Tang


period, the term anmo meant both daoyin and anmo.85 The Brahman method
likely refers to the Hindu yoga technique that was transmitted to China. In his
work, Sun Simiao lists eighteen movements of this method, among which the move-
ments of contract the body and bend the spine (suoshen quji ), stand
upright and bend the body back (lidi fanao ), and use the hand on the
same side to hook the extended foot and put it on the opposite knee (shou gou
suo shen jiao zhuo xizhong ) are typical yoga movements,
which are still practiced today.86
Hu Yins Daoyin fa (see Table 3) is obviously based on the Indian method rec-
ommended by Sun Simiao. The movements she adopted from Suns sets include the
second movement of interlace the fingers, reverse the palms, place them over the
chest, the sixth movement of curl the hands into fists and punch both sides, the
seventh movement of lift up a hand as if lifting a boulder, the eleventh movement
of place both hands firmly on the ground and contract the body and bend the spine,
and lift up the body, the twelfth movement of reverse the fists, pound the back on
both sides, and the fourteenth movement of interlace the fingers tightly and step
one foot on the joined palms.
However, Hu Yin did not just copy the Indian method but also made considerable
amendments. She offered more specific descriptions for each movement, designed
more details, set up repeating times for each motion, and added relaxing formulas
such as holding breath, swallowing saliva, and clapping the teeth to end the exercise.
She also matched her movement sets with the seasons, months, and the viscera,
and indicated each sets healing function for each visceral organ. Hu Yins Daoyin
fa was an integration of Indian Yoga technique and traditional Chinese gymnastic
exercise, medicine theory, and Daoist longevity technique. She refined the imported
and traditional movements to formulate a new scheme of healing exercise, which
involved all body parts: hands, arms, feet, knees, head, chest, belly, and back.
Through various kinds of gymnastic movement and massage, including turning,
bending, stretching, lifting, punching, shaking, and twisting, the scheme warmed up
the body, released tension, and moved the muscles. It was an especially suitable exer-
cise for old people. As a result, the scheme soon became a standard and was cited and
copied repeatedly in later books about medicine and nurturing life.
In addition, as indicated by Wang Jiayou and Hao Qin, early gymnastic exercises
such as the Mawangdui Daoyin tu and Hua Tuos Wuqin xi basically applied the
standing position, while the descriptions in Tao Hongjings Yangxing yanming lu
and Sun Simiaos Qianjin yaofang applied mixed positions of sitting, kneeling,

84
Sun Simiao, Qianjin yaofang, 27.484-485; see also Taiqing daolin shesheng lun
, DZ, no. 1427, 34: 471c-472b; Zhengyi fawen xiuzhen zhiyao , DZ, no.
1270, 32: 572-579.
85
For example, the Imperial Medical Office (Taiyi shu ) in the Tang included Erudites
for Massage (Anmo boshi ) and Massage Master (Anmo shi ) who were respon-
sible for teaching the techniques of guiding and pulling for removing disease (zhangjiao daoyin
zhi fa yi chuji ). See Xin Tangshu, 48.1245.
86
See Swami Vishnudevananda, Yujia daquan , trans. Li Xiaoqing (Shang-
hai: Shanghai Zhongyi xueyuan chubanshe, 1990), pp. 92-93; Kohn, Chinese Healing Exercises,
pp. 136-39; Ma Boying , Zhongguo yixue wenhua shi (Shanghai: Shanghai
renmin chubanshe, 2012), 2: 183-186.
22
JIA JINHUA
TABLE 3
HU YINS SCHEME OF SEASONAL NURTURING THE VISCERA AS THE METHOD OF GUIDING AND PULLING EXERCISES FOR THE VISCERA

Viscera Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney Gallbladder

Five Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Earth


Phases
Seasons Spring (1st, 2nd, and Summer (4th and 5th Late Summer (6th Autumn (7th, 8th, Winter (10th, 11th, and Late Summer (6th
3rd months) months) month) and 9th months) 12th months) month)
Method Sit straight, cross and Sit straight, curl the Sit straight with the legs Sit straight, place Sit straight, lift up both Sit straight, join both
of place the hands on the hands into fists, punch crossed, extend one leg both hands firmly hands as if lifting a rock, feet, lift head, use both
Guiding arms, turn the body both sides alternatively, and bend the other, on the ground, and stretch the waist 3 hands to pull and shake
and slowly to both sides, and and repeat 5 to 6 times reverse the hands, and contract the body to 5 times; or place the the feet, repeat 3 to 5
Pulling repeat 3 to 5 times respectively; or sit punch backward 3 to 5 and bend the spine, hands on the knees, pull times; or sit straight
respectively; or sit straight, and lift up a times respectively; or and lift up the body elbows on both sides, with the legs crossed,
straight, interlace the hand as if lifting a kneel and place both 3 times; or reverse and turn the body 3 to 5 place both hands on
fingers, reverse the boulder; or interlace the hands firmly on the the fists, pound your times respectively; or the ground, lift the
palms, place them over fingers tightly, step one ground, turn the head to back on both sides, step each foot forward body and stretch the
the chest, and repeat 3 foot on the joined palms, look back like a tiger and repeat 3 to 5 and backward, and waist, and repeat 3 to 5
to 5 times. and repeat 5 to 6 times. from both sides, and times. repeat tens of times. times.
repeat 3 to 5 times
respectively.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 23

standing, and reclining. Hu Yins scheme was basically practiced in the sitting po-
sition, which was possibly influenced by Buddhist sitting meditation and Daoist
sitting in oblivion (zuowang ), which was popular in the Tang dynasty and
was a forerunner of later sitting exercises such as the Zuoshi baduanjin
(Eight Brocades in Sitting Pattern) and Ershisi zuogong daoyin zhibing tu
(Chart of Twenty-Four Seated Exercises for Healing Dis-
eases).87

Method of Monthly Food Taboos


The catalog of the Hanshu records a text titled Shennong Huangdi shijin
(Dietary Prohibitions of Shennong and Huangdi), which was long lost. The
unearthed Shuanggudui manuscript Wanwu (Myriad Things) describes the
practice of taking drugs to become immortal.88 In his Lunheng (Balanced
Inquiries), Wang Chong (27 ca. 97) criticizes contemporary people for
their intention of taking drugs to prolong life.89 About half of the immortals
recorded in the Liexian zhuan took natural herbs.90 The Shennong bencao jing
(Pharmaceutical Canon of Shennong), which possibly appeared in the
Han, lists many herbs and drugs for nurturing life.91
In Daoist dietary therapy, in addition to some metal and mineral drugs, most of
the drugs are herbs, such as those recorded in Ge Hongs Xianyao (Elixirs)
chapter in the Baopuzi and in the Taishang lingbao wufu xu.92 Sun Simiao also
has a Shizhi (Dietary Therapy) chapter in his Qianjin yaofang, in which
for the first time he lists a lot of everyday foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals,
and meats.93 His disciple Meng Shen (621713) composed a Buyang fang
(Prescriptions of Tonification and Nurturing Life), which later was sup-
plemented by Zhang Ding (jinshi 893) in the Shiliao bencao
(Materia Dietetica),94 in which most of the formulas are everyday foods. Possibly

87
Wang Jiayou Hao Qin, Hu Yin jiqi Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, p. 32. For
discussions on the Eight Brocades and Twenty-Four Illustrated Seated Exercises for Healing Dis-
eases, see Kohn, Chinese Healing Exercises, pp. 169-183.
88
Fuyang Hanjian Wanwu , Wenwu 1988/4, pp. 36-47, 54, 99. See Li Ling,
Zhongguo fangshu zhengkao, pp. 255-260.
89
Huang Hui (ed.), Lunheng jiaoshi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1990),
7.317-318.
90
Wang Shumin (ed.), Liexian zhuan jiaojian (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
2007).
91
Shang Zhijun (ed.), Shennong bencao jing jiaozhu (Beijing:
Xueyuan chubanshe, 2008).
92
Wang Ming, Baopuzi neipian jiaoshi, 11.196-223; Taishang lingbao wufu xu, 2.322c-335b.
See Akira Akahori, Drug Taking and Immortality, in: Kohn, Taoist Meditation and Longevity
Techniques, pp. 73-95, especially pp. 75-83; Li Ling, Zhongguo fangshu zhengkao,
pp. 238-242; Jiang Sheng Tang Weixia, Zhongguo daojiao kexue jishu shi: Han Wei Liang Jin
juan, pp. 528-533.
93
Qianjin yaofang, 26.463-476.
94
The Shiliao bencao was long lost, but fragments of it can be seen in Tanba Yasuyoris
(912995) Ishinpo and Tang Shenweis (10561136) Zhenglei bencao ,
and other works. A fragment of that text was rediscovered among the Dunhuang manuscripts (S.
0076); see Ma Jixing, Dunhuang yiyao wenxian jijiao, pp. 673-686; and Xie Haizhou et al.
(eds.), Shiliao bencao (Beijing: Renmin weisheng chubanshe, 1984).
24 JIA JINHUA

influenced by Sun Simiao and his followers, Hu Yin also included everyday food in
her dietary therapy scheme, including flaxseed, beans, plums, barley, wheat, apri-
cots, leaves of pulse plants, rice, dates, sunflower seeds, millet, peaches, soybean,
and yellow leaves. This scheme shows the tendency of Daoist dietary therapy
toward general medicine and daily life (Table 4).
Influenced by the Five-Phase scheme, the Han-dynasty Yinshu already discusses
proper daily activities in accordance with the four seasons,95 and the Suwen also
offers methods for nurturing the viscera according to the seasonal changes,96 but
those are all brief descriptions.
Hu Yin integrated medical therapy and Daoist cultivation into the Five Phase
scheme and used the viscera as a framework to accommodate all the methods of
meditation and visualization, breathing exercise, clapping the teeth, swallowing
saliva, gymnastic exercise, massage, dietary therapy, and food taboos, in order to
establish a unique scheme for seasonal nurturing life. This scheme operates along
with the seasonal movement of the universe, and as a result changes the human
body from an object limited to life and death to a subject within the natural
process of ceaseless life. Following the rhythm of this natural process one cultivates
himself/herself to establish a harmonious relation with the cosmic forces, so that the
essences and lights of the sun and moon come to attach to my body, and the four
seasons and six qi come to integrate with my body.97 Then he/she can realize the
goal of longevity and immortality and the Creator in turn is controlled by me,98
eventually mastering his/her destiny of life and death.
More importantly, in its earlier stage, Daoist soteriology was not universal but
basically targeted elite Daoists. Hu Yin transformed Daoist longevity techniques
into a therapeutic, simple, and secular scheme, and as a result opened the gate of self-
cultivation to ordinary people. Indeed, she was among the first to push forward the
popular trend of seasonal nurturing life.99 From the Song dynasty onward, numer-
ous books on seasonal nurturing life appeared, such as Yao Chengs (fl. 10th c.)
Shesheng yueling (Monthly Commands for Conserving Life), Zhou
Shouzhongs (fl. 12081220) Yangsheng yuelan (Monthly Hand-
book for Nurturing Life), Jiang Tuis (fl. 1276) Yangsheng yuelu
(Monthly Records for Nurturing Life), Wu Qius (fl. 15th16th c.) Sishi
tiaoshe lun (Treatise on Harmonization and Conserving Health in the
Four Seasons), and Gao Lians (15731620) Zunsheng bajiao
(Eight Folios on Honoring Life).
Moreover, many books on medicine and health care cited and copied Hu Yins
work. For example, in the Shouqin yanglao xinshu (New Book on

95
Zhangjiashan Hanjian zhengli zu , Zhangjiashan Hanjian Yinshu
shiwen , Wenwu 1990/10, pp. 82-86. See Li Xueqin , Yinshu yu
Daoyin tu , Wenwu tiandi 1991/2, pp. 7-9; Li Ling, Zhongguo
fangshu zhengkao, pp. 283-284.
96
Huangdi neijing suwen buzhushiwen, Siqi tiaoshen dalun , 1.8c-12c. See
also Zhubing yuanhou lun, Wuzang liufu bing , 15.459-497; and Qianjin yaofang,
Yangxing , 27.478-479.
97
, . HTNJT, DZ, 6.686c.
98
. HTNJT, DZ, 6.686c.
99
Wang Jiayou and Hao Qin have already indicated this point; see id., Hu Yin jiqi Huangting
neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu, pp. 30-31.
TABLE 4
HU YINS SCHEME OF SEASONAL NURTURING VISCERA AS THE METHOD OF MONTHLY FOOD TABOOS

Viscera Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney Gallbladder

Five Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Earth

LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY


Phases
Seasons Spring (1st, 2nd, and Summer (4th and 5th Late Summer (6th month) Autumn (7th, 8th, and Winter (10th, 11th, and Late
3rd months) months) 9th months) 12th months) Summer (6th
month)
Method of Appropriation: Appropriation: barley, Appropriation: rice, date, Appropriation: millet, Appropriation: soybean,
Monthly flaxseed, bean, plum; wheat, apricot, leaves of sunflower seeds; peach; prohibition: bitter yellow leaves, leaves of
Food prohibition: hot flavor; pulse plants; prohibition: prohibition: sour flavor; flavor; abstention: cornel pulse plants; prohibition:
Taboos abstention: onion in the salty flavor; abstention: abstention: cornel in the in the 7th month, ginger, sweet flavor; abstention:
1st month, knotweed, large garlic in the 4th 6th month, animal spleen, animal liver, heart, and pepper in the 10th month,
small garlic, central part month, chives and animal liver, and sheep blood in lung in the 8th and 9th fish, animals with scales
of all herbs, and animal heart and kidney in the all the four seasons. months. and shells, animal kidney
liver and lung in the 2nd 5th month. and spleen in 11th and
and 3rd months. 12th months.

25
26 JIA JINHUA

Prolonging Parents Life and Caring for the Aged), which was composed by Chen Zhi
(fl. 10781085) and supplemented by Zou Xuan (fl. 1307), the part on
Sishi yanglao (Caring for the Aged in the Four Seasons) cites Hu Yins
Liuqi fa.100 The Dongzhen (Cavern of Perfection) chapter in the Daoshu
also copies Hus Liuqi fa.101 The Xiuzhen shishu includes a text titled Qubing
yanshou liuzifa (Method of Six Characters for Dispelling Disease
and Prolonging Life), which is about the same as Hus Liuqi fa.102 In his Quxian
huoren fang (Prescriptions for Saving the Living by Quxian), Zhu Quan
(13781448) cites both Liuqi fa and Daoyin fa from Hu Yins book.103
Zhou Ljings (fl. 1597) Chifeng sui (Red Phoenix Marrow) contains
the Taishang yuzhou liuzi qijue (Jade Scroll of Breathing
Method of Six Characters by the Most High), Taixi biyao gejue (For-
mulas and Songs on the Secret Essentials of Embryonic Breathing), Qubing yannian
liuzi fa (Method of Six Characters for Dispelling Disease and
Prolonging Life), all of which include Hus Liuqi fa, indicating the fact that this
method was transformed to songs and formulas and was widely circulated.104
In the famous Zunsheng bajian by Gao Lian, there are two parts titled Sishi
tiaoshe jian (Folios on Harmonization and Conserving Health in the
Four Seasons) and Yannian quebing jian (Folios on Prolonging Life
and Dispelling Disease), in which he copied almost every part of Hu Yins work
respectively, including the images of the six viscera spirits, explanations for those
images, methods for caring and nurturing the viscera, the six breaths, and gymnastic
exercise.105 Shen Jinao (17171776) also cites Hu Yins gymnastic scheme
in his Shenshi zunsheng shu (Book on Honoring Life by Shen).106 All of
these works demonstrate Hu Yins profound influence on later physicians, experts of
nurturing life, scholar-officials, and ordinary people.

CONCLUDING REMARKS
The Daoist life philosophy is valuing humanity and cherishing life (guiren zhong-
sheng ), so both nurturing life and cultivating Dao are the same, as Tao
Hongjing indicate: Those who are nurturing life must be cautious in not losing
Dao, and those who are practicing Dao must be cautious in not losing life.107 As
a result, both Chinese Daoism and medicine have shared a common preoccupation

100
Chen Zhi Zou Xuan, Shouqin yanglao xinshu (Siku quanshu ed.), 1.18a, 22a, 27b, 32b.
101
Zeng Zao, Daoshu, DZ, nos. 1017-1040, 20: 19.700b.
102
Xiuzhen shishu, DZ, nos. 263-265, 4: 19.694c-695a.
103
Zhu Quan (signed as Hanxu zi ), Quxian huoren fang (preserved in Beijing Univer-
sity Library), 1.15a-18a.
104
Zhou Ljing, Chifeng sui (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1989), 1.23-27, 41-42,
60-62.
105
Gao Lian, Zunsheng baqian (Beijing: Renmin weisheng chubanshe, 2007), pp. 26-243,
394-398. For a study and translation of this text, see John H. Dudgeon, Diet, Dress and Dwellings
of the Chinese in Relation to Health, in: Health Exhibition Literature, vol. 19, Miscellaneous
including Papers on China (London: William Clowes and Sons, 1884), pp. 253-486.
106
Shen Jinao, Shenshi zunsheng shu, in: Xiao Tianshi (ed.), Daozang jinghua
(Taibei: Ziyou chubanshe, 1980), 6th collection, vol. 6.
107
, . Tao Hongjing, Yangxing yanming lu, p. 475.
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 27

with the prolongation of life and the maintenance of good physical health and have
presented many common characteristics in theories and practices.
Since the HTJ emerged, there had been many texts of commentaries and elabor-
ations on this scripture, which can be roughly divided into two trends. The first
focused on Daoist theory and the practice of visualization of the body spirits,
such as the commentaries by Wuchengzi and Liangqiuzi. This trend gradually devel-
oped into later inner alchemy theory and practice, and as a result the HTJ has been
regarded as the origin of inner-alchemy. The second trend is an integration of Daoist
inner cultivation with traditional Chinese medicine, which gradually developed into
secular, popular theory and practice of health care and nurturing life.108
Hu Yins HTNJT exerted significant influence on both trends. On the one hand,
her innovative images and descriptions of the visceral spirits further symbolized the
cosmic, sacred dimensions of the human body. The visceral spirits guard the major
organs of the human body and guarantee the harmony and health of the body.
Because of the identification of visceral spirits with directional spirits, the human
microcosm becomes more seamlessly identical to the natural macrocosm. The visc-
eral spirits symbolize the holiness of the human body, which provides a rational for
the Daoist goal of longevity and immortality and the eventual emergence and matur-
ity of inner alchemy.
On the other hand, more importantly, Hu Yin integrated Daoist body theory and
longevity techniques with medical theory. She applied theories of Five Phases, the
viscera, diagnosis, treatment, and health care to analyze the physiological function,
pathological mechanism, and therapeutic methods of the viscera. She used medical
techniques and herbs to cure the symptoms and breathing exercises, gymnastics, and
dietary therapy to cultivate the body-mind, establishing a comprehensive scheme of
seasonal nurturing life, which contributed considerably to the Chinese cultural tra-
dition of nurturing life.

CHINESE ABSTRACT

(fl. 848)

108
Wang Ming, Isabelle Robinet, Wang Jiayou, and Hao Qin have already noted this point;
see Wang, Huangtingjing kao, p. 351; Robinet, Taoist Meditation, pp. 67, 95; Wang Hao,
Hu Yin, pp. 33-34.
28 JIA JINHUA

FIGURE 1 Spirit of Lungs, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b

FIGURE 2 Spirit of Heart, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 29

FIGURE 3 Spirit of Liver, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b

FIGURE 4 Spirit of Spleen, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b
30 JIA JINHUA

FIGURE 5 Spirit of Kidneys, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b

FIGURE 6 Spirit of Gallbladder, from: Huangting neijing wuzang liufu buxie tu


, in DZ, no. 432, 6: 686c-93b
LONGEVITY TECHNIQUE AND MEDICAL THEORY 31

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTOR
Jia Jinhua is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of
Macau. She works in Chinese philosophy and religion, Buddhist studies, women
and gender studies, and traditional Chinese literature. Her recent publications
include Gendering Chinese Religion (SUNY 2014), and Study of Classical Chan
Buddhism (Oxford 2010).
Correspondence to: Flat 5C Staff Quarters S30, University of Macau S30,
Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, China. Email: jhjia@umac.mo