I have a few holes in my understanding of basic Sa’am theory. Please help!
When you tonify a channel, are you pulling from its pair? Often, we’re diagnosing an excess of a particular channel and then tonifying its pair, as in the case of tonifying SJ for abundant LR shielding or tonifying LI for copious SP dampness. Are we simply adding to the relatively deficient channel, or are we also pulling from the relatively excess channel?
If the answer to Question #1 is that we are indeed pulling from the relatively excess channel: If BOTH channels are overall deficient (or excess, for that matter), how does toggling between the two channel help matters? Wouldn’t they just keep see-sawing back and forth, with the total amount of vitality in the paired network remaining the same?
When we tonify a channel, are we strengthening that channel’s influence over physiological terrain or pathological factors, or both? For instance, in a case of dry tissues leading to accumulation of phlegm, is the recommendation to deal with the phlegm (by tonifying LI or SI) or the dryness (by tonifying, say, SP)?
Assuming the answer to Question #3 is that Saam addresses both physiological terrain and pathological factors: Is there an order of operations? In the case of dryness leading to phlegm, which do you start with? Lubricating the tissues or drying the phlegm? It seems that making the right choice here is critical, because lubricating could worsen phlegm and drying could worsen underlying dryness. Does “addressing the grossest presentation” apply here? If the phlegm is on the mild side, you tonify SP, and if it’s on the extreme side you tonify LI? Or branch and root—dealing with the branch first before addressing the root? Or tonifying the root first so that it stops produces the branch?
“Clinic is hard,” for sure, but I’m wondering whether Saam’s theoretical framework makes things easier by answering these questions for us.