Analysis of the Meaning of “Wei Tuo - Presenting the Pestle”

A Brief Analysis of the Meaning of “Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle” in HQ Yi Jin Jing

China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

Dai Jingang

Wei Tuo-A Symbol of Vigor and Resolution

The Sanskrit name of Wei Tuo is Veda. He is also known as “Wei Tuo Tian”. He plays an important role in the traditional cultures of China and India. The image of Wei Tuo Tian is mostly a majestic general in an armor. He is tall, strong, majestic, and brave, having a childlike face and holding a pestle butted against the ground or putting both palms together with the pestle placed between elbows. The Sanskrit name of the pestle is Vajra. Its Tibetan name is “Doji”. And it is also known as “Bao Chu” and “Xiang Mo Chu”. Being a weapon in ancient India, it is very hard and can be used to break all kinds of things. Therefore it is called Vajra-pestle. In traditional Chinese and Indian cultures, Wei Tuo holding the Bao Chu is a symbol of resolute and loyal characters.

Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 1: Calm Qi and concentrate spirit; clarify the mind and humble the appearance.

The movement of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 1 is to raise both arms and put both palms together in front of the chest on the basis of the preparatory routine. The movement is relatively simple but contains profound meaning. By lifting both arms forward, we can promote the movements of both flanks where the Gall Bladder Channel of Foot Shaoyang goes through. This movement can naturally activate the Qi channel in the Gall Bladder Channel of Foot Shaoyang. The Shaoyang Channel is a half-Yin and half-Yang channel which can be dominated by either Yang or Yin. For example, spring is a season where Shaoyang sprouts. It has both the vigorous vitality and the remaining coldness. Several warm days will be often followed by reduced temperatures. And after the cold days, the weather will turn good again. But on the whole, the temperature is rising and everything is thawing. From the changes of season, we can understand the characteristics of Shaoyang Qi. Flattening the Qi channel of Shaoyang will fully open Sanyang and make water and fire counteract each other, laying a good foundation for the subsequent movements.

Before the movement of this routine, the fingers should be stretched forward and the thumb should take the lead. The hands should drive the arms forward. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that the thumbs belong to the lungs. By erecting thumbs we will facilitate the operation of the lung channel. By putting both palms together in front of the chest opposite to Tanzhong, we can achieve a “proper position” of the lungs and adjust the ascending, descending, opening, and closing of Qi channels and respiration to the standard. In this way we will meet the requirement of “calmed Qi” and respiration will be even. This will naturally clarify the mind and concentrate the spirit. This routine is favorable for the regulation of pulmonary Qi and gall bladder Qi and exerts the Shaoyang effect of the gall bladder and the Qi-controlling effect of the lungs.

The forward-lifting movement of arms can be used for massage. It is called Shaoyang Zu Qi Jin. This manipulation is mainly used for the massage and Daoyin of the chest and flank regions of the human body. Below are the abstracted instructions:

Shaoyang Qi channel originates from Sanyang; level the fingers and let it run along both flanks

The flanks, the head, the waist, and the legs will become strong and powerful

Put Yin and Yang palms together; parallel the index fingers and place them at Shuaigu

Move upward to the hair on the temple; spread them like wings at Longjiao

The flying dragon comes from the field; once getting out of the ground it moves up to the sky

Acupoints of Shaoyang are placed like a Z; after three turns it completes its course

The clear meridian goes by important organs of the body; moving along it will provide double efficacy

Take the index fingers upward towards the sky; and concentrate the mind and never let it loose

Alternate between the odds and evens to balance offense and defense; imitate the leopard and spread arms like wings

Turn back the head like a cicada getting uncoated; run through all 108 acupoints as if following a dragon

Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 2: Open both hands along horizontal directions and level the arms as if presenting the pestle

The movement of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 2 is to lift both elbows, level and extend forward both palms, and lift both arms sideways. While doing this movement, the exerciser is required to concentrate the mind and calm Qi, keep a dumbfounded look, focus the thought on both palms and tips of toes, and then seat the wrists and erect the palms. When you are doing it correctly, you will naturally feel heavy shoulders as if carrying a heavy burden. But when you get familiar with the movement, you will feel comfortable all over. This movement can help you enter a calm and serene state. A dumbfounded look is the external reflection of the calm and serene state. Eyes are windows of the mind. When they look up, spirit and Qi will ascend. When they look down, the mind will descend. Winkling eyes indicate an uneasy mind. A moving mouth means the breath is not even. One will not be able to stand firmly if this happens. The wrist-seating and palm-erecting movements are meant to enhance the stretching effect of the hand-opening movement. Movements of this routine plays a transitional role between Routine 1 and Routine 3 of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle. It can sort out the three Yin channels and three Yang channels of hands, especially the three Yin channels. And it regulates the cardiac and pulmonary Qi and improves the respiratory functions.

Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 3: Prop up Tianmen with palms and apply strength to the hips and flanks

The third routine of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle is to relax wrists, levelly lift both arms forward, pull them back to the front of the chest, rotate both palms inward, flip the palms upward, and prop up both palms above the head. When both palms reach the highest position, slightly open both feet and guide the attention to both palms through “Tianmen” on the top of the head. Tianmen is 2 Cun into the hair boundary on the forehead. This movement can regulate the Qi in the upper, middle, and lower warmers and activate Qi in the five Zang viscera. And it also promotes the blood circulation of the whole body, improves the moving functions of the shoulder joints, and increases the strength of muscles of the upper and lower limbs.

By slightly moving both heels sideways, we can close the Yin Ji Qiao Ku (Huiyin acupoints), close the ports to the earth, and make the three Yin Qi channels move reversely along the three Yang channels. And this will loose “Huiyang” acupoints so that the Du Channel meets the three Yin Qi channels to exert the balancing effect of Du Channel and naturally clear the “Three Gates” on the back. And the body will naturally stand firmly. Some believe that the palms should be face-up and some hold them should be face-down during this movement. By analysis of the movements of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 1, 2, and 3, both arms are first lifted to the front of the chest, stretched to both sides, and then lifted to above the head in terms of external form. With regard to the internal circulation of Qi, it activates the Shaoyang Qi channel to raise the Yang Qi of the human body. If the palms are facing downward, they will be Yin palms and thus not able to raise Yang. These three movements seem simple but are actually very delicate and need to be carefully comprehended. Given the proper exercise, all Qi channels of the body will be naturally expanded. The whole body will feel strong like iron and steel and firm like a tree trunk. This feeling is most evident at the flanks, ribs, hips, and shins. Under such circumstances, the breath and spirit will be naturally incorporated into movements. The three regulations will be naturally coordinated to make full preparation for the complicated movements that follow.