Donguibogam Village Reference Board

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Title Donguibogam : consists

2014-12-30 14:22:25
Donguibogam consists of five chapters: Naegyeong (Overview of the Inner Body), Oehyeong (External Appearance), Japbyeong (Various Diseases), Tangaek (Liquid Medications), and Chimgu (Acupuncture and Moxibustion).

Naegyeong: Overview of the Inner Body

Overview of the Inner Body

This chapter discusses Donguibogam’s perspective on the world and the human body. It explains the formation of the human body in the context of the formation and operation of the universe, advancing the philosophy of Yangsaeng (life-nourishing), the principle that compliance with the order of nature is necessary to keep health and attain longevity.

In general, this chapter deals with the inner world of the human body. Elements within the human body can be understood through its outer appearance, and the role of a doctor is to comprehend the internal condition of a patient’s body by integrating what appears on the outside.

Donguibogam places particular emphasis on jeong (精, Chinese: jing), gi (氣, Chinese: qi), and sin (神, Chinese: shen) as the physiological elements of the internal human body. Jeong, gi, sin constitute the basis of the human body. Jeong refers to the essential source of life including the reproductive capacity; gi refers to bodily energy; and sin refers to spirit.

The smooth circulation of these elements ensures health, and a shortage or an excess of them precipitates illness. After introducing jeong, gi, and sin, the book discusses various external windows into the state of vital energy within, including blood, phlegm, saliva, dreams, the sound of the patient’s voice, and the manner in which it is delivered.

Then the chapter turns to the five major governing organs (liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys) and the six supportive organs (gallbladder, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, and triple burner).

At the center of the organs that compose the human body are the five major governing organs and the six supportive organs. They are the main organs controlling the human body and interconnected with each part of it; no part of the human body is not connected with any of these main organs.

Lastly, the book discusses urine and excrement, etc. The reason that this concludes the overview of the inner body is that urine and excrement are the waste material that is the end product of what has been processed inside the inner body.

Oehyeong: External Appearance

This chapter addresses the medical functions of visible parts in the human body and the related indicators of diseases. It explains each part from the head to the feet. While the overall arrangement of Donguibogam is very distinctive, systematically explaining each part of the human body in a separate chapter of external appearance is a wholly unique mode of presentation, unprecedented in any previous medical books.

Head: the abode of wonsin (original spirit), corresponding to heaven Face: the place where the conditions of the five major governing organs are seen; a disease can be detected from a facial color.Eyes: the spot where the essential energies of the five major governing organs
converge; the harmonious state of liver’s energy ensures the ability to differentiate colors.Torso: back, chest, breast, abdomen, and side, and various related illnesses. Five entities of the body: skin, muscles, blood vessels, tendons, and bones that maintains the body form and enables its movement, excluding internal organs such as the five major governing organs and the six supportive organs.Extremities of the body: those parts that belong to the furthest points of the body; explanations on hands, arms, legs, hair, genitals, and anus, and related diseases.

Japbyeong: Human, Environment and Disease

Whereas the chapters of Naegyeong and Oehyeong deal with diseases related to each of internal organs or parts of the human body, this chapter explains the causes and symptoms of various human diseases inclusively. In other words, it discusses the symptoms and diseases themselves. This does not mean that an explanation of each disease is arranged in random order without any organizing principles.

On the contrary, diseases are explained in separate categories divided under various standards, such as the causes or symptoms of diseases, age- or gender-specific diseases, or diseases occurring under special circumstances. And before turning to the explanation of specific diseases, the chapter starts with the outlines of the principles and methodologies of diagnosis and treatment for all diseases.

This chapter shows another characteristic of Donguibogam. In this chapter, diseases caused by the five phases (interactive shifts among the five elements, i.e., wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and six conditions (wind, cold, hotness, dampness, dryness, and fire) are classified as various diseases. Normally, these types of diseases had previously been considered important, especially in connection with diseases caused by external influences, such as cold. Therefore, they are discussed right from the beginning of a medical book in conventional arrangement. However, Donguibogam breaks away from this convention. Some view this as a sign of departure from the Chinese medical tradition.

Tangaek: Liquid Medications

The fourth chapter deals with medicinal substances. In its introduction, the general theories of medicinal substances are discussed, including methods for creating remedies and potions such as the collection of medicinal herbs and plants, creating and handling of medication, correct prescription and administration of medicine, as well as pharmaceutical theories and medications that correspond to each of the five major governing organs and the six supportive organs and to each of meridian pathways.

Chimgu: Acupuncture and Moxibustion

In comparison to other parts, this final chapter appears very brief. However, when taking into account ‘acupuncture and moxibustion treatment’ attached to nearly all items throughout Donguibogam, the total length devoted to acupuncture and moxibustion amounts to quite a bit.

Donguibogam does not disregard acupuncture and moxibustion. It just does not introduce various theories on acupuncture and moxibustion but instead selectively presents the most essential and practical information on when and how to use acupuncture and moxibustion. In its essay on ‘acupuncture and moxibustion,’ this chapter discusses meridian pathways and regions/acupuncture points through which gi (energy) flows; different types of medical needles and their applications; the theory and practice of acupuncture and moxibustion; and guidelines for maximizing the efficacy of treatment and contraindication.