dòng (動)

literally means “to move, start, shake, to excite or rouse into action;” dòng (動) is composed of 重 (zhòng) phonetic and 力 (lì) ‘strength.’ According to Karlgren, the weight of ‘重 (zhòng)’ also suggests the idea of momentum. Within the specific language of medicine, 重 (zhòng) is also the phonetic of chòng (衝), as in Chòngmài — the Penetrating Vessel; in that case, 重 (zhòng) is inserted between the two portions of (xíng), meaning to move freely and automatically. In the case of chòng (衝), the ‘weight’ of 重 (zhòng) appears to refer to the heavy and dense nature of jīng (精), as compared to other qì in humans. Elsewhere in Chinese medicine, 動 (dòng) can refer to the pulsation of the heart or arteries, or to the ‘moving qì of the kidneys,’ which arouses and expresses jīng (精) as yuánqì (原) to support the vital movements of life. So, dòng (動) refers to the primal movement of shǎoyīn (少), which is both one of the liùhé (六合) of classical Chinese medicine, and specifically the pulsating movement of kidneys and heart, which express jīng (精).

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