The second difficult issue: The vessels have a [section called] "foot and inch." What does that mean?
It is like this. The foot and inch [section] is the great important meeting-point of the [movements in the] vessels. [The distance] from the "gate" to the "foot -marsh" hole in the elbow represents the "foot-interior" [section]; it is ruled by the yin [influences of the organism. The distance from the gate to the fish-line represents the inch-interior [section]; it is ruled by the yang [influences of the organism]. Hence, [one] inch is separated [from the entire distance between the gate and the elbow] to represent the foot-long section; one foot is divided to become an inch. Hence, [the condition of] the yin [influences can be] comprehended from a one-inch [section] of the foot-interior [section; the condition of] the yang [influences can be] comprehended from a nine-fen [section] of the inch-interior [section]. (6) The total length of the foot and inch [section thus] extends over one inch and nine fen. Hence, one speaks of a "foot and inch" [section].
Katδ Bankei: The first difficult issue has recommended [the examination of] one section-that is, the inch-opening一in order to determine death or survival [on the basis of the conditions] of the depots and palaces, because it assumed that the [influences moving through the] hundred vessels converge in the lung. It did not imply that [the inch-opening] is linked to the remaining eleven conduits. Thus it utilized the image of the original unity before its differentiation [into the categories of yin and yang]. In this paragraph now the doctrine of a differentiation between inch and foot is introduced, based on the principle that yin and yang [influences] appear and recede in the vessels.
Hence, within the [section of the] vessel [used for diagnosis, this second difficult issue] distinguishes [the subsections] "in front of the gate" and "behind the gate" in order to establish foot and inch locations [associated with] yin and yang. Here the image of the differentiation of the original unity into two [aspects] is reflected. Hence, "nine" refers to the inch [ -section and to] yang; "ten" refers to the foot[-section and to] yin. The gate is established as a borderline between the inch- and foot-sections. The entire length [of both subsections] amounts to one inch and nine fen. This is the location where one applies pressure with the three fingers. Sun Su-miao assumed that the three sections-inch, gate, and foot-were a doctrine of Ch'i PO, but nothing like this appears in the Nei-ching. When the terms "foot" and inch" were used there, "foot" referred to the skin of the foot [ -section], while "inch" referred to the vessel in the one section of the inch-opening. The differentiation between three (sub)-sections within the inch-opening and foot-interior [sections] is an innovation introduced by the Nan-ching.
As Always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne CBD)