Objectives : The purpose of this paper is to examine Zhang Zihe's reinforcement method based on the theory of keeping balance(以平爲期).
Methods : Based on his arguments in the Rumenshiqin and formula compositions, Zhang Zihe's reinforcement method was examined.
Results & Conclusions :
1. Despite preconceptions that Zhang Zihe must have been critical of reinforcement methods due to his alliance to the offensive purgative group, in reality his criticism was not aimed at reinforcement methods entirely, but rather at warming and tonifying.
2. Zhang Zihe's criticism of warming and tonifying was based on his research of
the Neijing, in which he realized the pathogenic effects of fire-heat and the side effects of warming and tonifying in clinical practice. This is a common conception among the Four Great Doctors of the Jin-Yuan period.
3. Zhang Zihe focused on eliminating pathogenic qi so that the body's qi would circulate smoothly to slowly restore the source qi. The theory of keeping balance was emphasized to achieve this goal.
4. Based on the theory of keeping balance, Zhang Zihe used various medicinals with different properties and flavors to allow for the medicinals in each of the sovereign, minister, assistant and courier positions to co-operate with each other, while using food reinforcement to restore the source qi.