Zhu Danxi School
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Zhu Danxi was born in 1281 AD. His original name was Zhu Zhenhen. Danxi means Red Stream, is a stream in his birth place, Chi An (Red Bank). Late scholars and people respected him as Master Danxi and Mr. Danxi. Danxi died at his age 78 in 1358.
1. Danxi School of Thoughts in Chinese Medicine — Zhu Danxi, one of four great masters in Jin/Yuan Dynasty
History:Yuan Dynasty was founded in 1271 and China was re-united after Song Dynasty was turned over. Medicine people tended to use formulas from “Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fan” to treat symptoms and ignored study of classics and theories. Danxi said, “people use previous formulas to treat present various diseases. it is to look for the sword by marking the boat” and raised his new theories of Excessive Yang over Deficient Yin and Ministry Fire in order to correct the wrong use of He Ji Ju Fan.
Philosophy: He was a scholar of Confucianism, a 5th generation student of Neo-Confucianism (Founded by another Zhu family member, Zhi Xi, in Song Dynasty). He believed in Li Theory – Law of Nature and society and promoted “Follow the Heavenly Law and reduce Human Desire”, “Human Heart needs to listen to Dao Heart”.
Medicine: Danxi began to study Neijing at 30 because his mother was sick and no doctor could treat her. He officially started studying Chinese medicine at his age of 44. He was youngest one among the four great masters in Jin/Yuan Dynasty and so he had opportunity to study all other three schools of thoughts, Liu Hejian(Cooling), Zhang Zihe(Attacking) and Li Dongyuan(Earth). He insisted that “studying medicine must read Neijing and Nanjing”. Thus, his thoughts are respected as School of Nourishing Yin or Danxi School. His representative books include Ge Zhi Yu Lun (Additional Discussion on Knowing by Research) and Ju Fan Fa Hui.
2. Historic position of Danxi School in Chinese Medicine — Based on National Textbook of TCM University, China, “Major Schools of Chinese Medicine”
3. Danxi is an unique and creative master and expert in Chinese medicine:
1) In theory: Excessive Yang over Deficient Yin, Ministry Fire
2) In clinic: Nourishing Yin/reducing Fire, treatment of 6 Yu.
3) In wellnessiology: to preserve and nourish Yin, see chapters in Nourishing Elders, Nurturing Children, Notes of Food, Notes of Sex, Notes of Living Well, tonification in Bedroom.
2. Danxi School has a deep and broad impact in later generations:
1)He had countless apprentices, students and followers.
2)Since Ming Dynasty, Japanese founded Association of Danxi School.
3. Danxi School is a comprehensive school accumulated great things from all others. Although it was said, “Danxi School is Nourishing Yin School”, Danxi’s students always follow Danxi’s thoughts of seeing all views and drawing big picture. Therefore, it was said, “complicated diseases follows Danxi”.
3. Application of Danxi School in our Life and Practice
4. Danxi school is a brilliant example of practicing wellness. Empty Fire is well-known theory we have used in our teaching and practice of health and wellness. Nourishing Yin is a beautiful strategy to treat people who keep going and going.
5. Danxi school emphasizes both practitioner help and personal efforts. The theories and techniques are not difficult to learn and use in our life and practice.
6. Danxi School is Five Element tradition too. He was very good at using Five Elements in treatment. He created a new relationship between five elements, Yi Qing Sheng Qing (control one emotion using another one) and Yi Qing Jie Qing (untie one emotion using another one).
4. A lovely story of Five Element: Danxi treated measles using Nu (anger)
One day when Danxi and his nephew were on their way home from a patient visit, they passed by a pond and saw a girl washing clothing. Danxi had a glimpse at the girl and said on his own, "saving life is difficult, it is difficult" His nephew asked, "Uncle, who do you want to rescue?" Danxi said, " if you are bold enough, you go to the waterside lightly, don't let the girl know your movement, hold her from her back very tightly and quickly, move her to the road. You will know why after a while."
The nephew knew his uncle very well and there was must a reason. So he quietly walked to the waterside, suddenly hold the girl and dragged her to the road. But the girl screamed very much, "help! help!" The villagers came out to see what happened.
Danxi said to the people, "Wait! It is none of his business. I asked him to do so. Who is the girl's father?"
The father answer, "I am"
Daixi explained, "Brother, we did so, because I just saw your daughter, found she has disease inside her body. If don't get it out as soon as possible, she is at risk of her life. Can you ask your daughter if there are discomforts and fever recently?" That girl nodded.
"This is measles" Danxi explained more, "it is already 3 days closed inside the body. If don't get it out of the body. It cannot save her life. So I asked my nephew to scare her. She must be angry. Then the measles would come out tonight."
The father requested Danxi to stay overnight to entertain him with a dinner. Actually, they also want to see if the measles will come out. Danxi and his nephew stayed there. After the midnight, the girl had a fever and all rashes came out. Then the girl was healed after days.
The girl was very grateful to Danxi and his nephew. She married Danxi's nephew next year and started practicing Danxin School.
This is why Danxi school can be passed on from generation to generation.
Heming Zhu, Professor, PhD, CMD, LAc
Address: 6445 Allview Drive, Columbia MD 21046