Glossary of Terms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Aromatic stomacic – herbs that are aromatic and promote digestion by moving dampness

Blood – is used as a broad term to describe the physical blood in the body that moistens the muscles, tissues, skin and hair, as well as nourishing the cells and organs

Blood deficiency – a lack of blood with signs of anemia, dizziness, dry skin or hair, scant or absent menstruation, fatigue, pale skin and poor memory

Calmative – has a sedative or calming effect on the mind and the nerves

Cold – is the term used to describe decreased functioning of an organ system and presents as any of the following: body aches, chills, poor circulation, fatigue, lack of appetite, loose stools or diarrhea, poor digestion, pain in the joints, slow movements and speech, aversion to cold and craving for heat. Is present in all “hypo” conditions such as hypoadrenalism, hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism

Damp, dampness – excessive fluids in the body with symptoms of abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, lack of thirst, feeling of heaviness or being sluggish, and stiff, aching or sore joints

Damp Heat – a condition of dampness and heat combined with symptoms of thick yellow secretions and phlegm such as jaundice, hepatitis, urinary problems, or eczema

Decoction – a combination of herbs which is cooked or brewed to make a soup or medicinal tea

Deficiency – any weakness or insufficiency of qi, blood, yin, yang or essence

Deficiency heat – heat due to yin deficiency. Results in weakness and emaciation because of the lack of moistening fluids (yin)

Diuretic – rids the body of excess fluid

Dry / Dryness – characterized by dry hair, lips, mouth, nose, skin and throat, extreme thirst and constipation

Eight Principles – four sets of factors used by TCM practitioners to assess a person’s health. Represented by internal/external, cold/heat, excess/deficiency, and yin/yang (they should all be in balance with their counterpart)

Empty Heat – a deficiency of yin energy resulting in symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and other changes in hormonal levels. Also known as empty fire

Essence – a fluid substance that provides the basis of reproduction, growth, sexual power, conception and pregnancy. It is the material foundation of qi and is stored in the kidney. Also referred to as Jing

Excess – generally refers to too much heat, cold, damp, yin or yang

Excess yang – similar to excess heat with symptoms of rapid pulse, hypertension, agressive actions, loud voice, high fever, red complexion or restlessness

Excess yin – an imbalance of excessive fluids in the body with symptoms of fluid retention, a plump or swollen appearance, lethargy and overall signs of dampness – although those with excess yin may still have adequate energy levels

External – the location of illnesses such as fevers and skin eruptions / on the surface of the body

Fire – results from malfunction of the internal organs or from extreme mood swings. Symptoms include fever, red or bloodshot eyes, swelling, sore throat and flushed face. May also include dry mouth, bleeding or inflammed gums, and a desire for cold drinks

Five Elements – the five energies of wood, earth, metal, water and fire which exist in nature. Each transforms and controls one another to maintain a harmonious balance

Internal – the location of illnesses such as those that affect qi, blood, and organs inside the body

Meridians – the 12 major pathways through which qi flows, supplying energy and nourishment to the body. Acupuncture needles are placed in points along these pathways to assist in correcting imbalances

Organs – a major source of confusion in understanding the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although the organ names in TCM are the same as in Western Medicine, they cover a wide range of systems and functions:

  • Heart – covers blood circulation, brain and nervous system as well as spiritual and mental health
  • Liver – includes digestion, circulation, clearing toxins from the blood, regulating the endocrine system, and creating harmony in mental and emotional states
  • Spleen – responsible for the digestive system, blood production and circulation, water metabolism and concentration
  • Lung – is in charge of respiration, water metabolism, blood circulation and some functions of the immune system
  • Kidney – includes urinary and reproductive systems, growth and development, endocrine system, hormones, brain and nervous system, metabolism, bones, hair, and respiratory functions

Phlegm – may be a visible, sticky substance such as mucus or metaphorical to indicate a disorder that causes a reduction in the flow of qi

Qi – pronounced “chee”, this is the vital energy or life force which flows through the meridians and is used to protect, transform and warm the body

Qi deficiency – a lack of qi which is seen with symptoms of lethargy, weakness, shortness of breath, slow metabolism, frequent colds and flu with slow recovery, low or soft voice, palpitations and/or frequent urination

Qigong – a set of exercises including medatative and physical movements. Used to move qi, thereby maintaining and regaining physical, emotional and spiritual health

Seven Emotions – the seven emotions are sadness, fright, fear, grief, anger, joy (extreme excitability) and pensiveness. These are all considered as potential causes of illness

Shen – the spirit and mental faculties of a person which include the zest for life, charisma, the ability to exhibit self-control, be responsible, speak coherently, think and form ideas and live a happy, spiritually fulfilled life

Six External Evils – the six external evils, like the seven emotions, are causes of illness and disease. Also known as the six climatic factors, the six excesses and the six evil qi. The six external evils are terms from nature that are used to describe the condition. These include wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire. Terms are also used metaphorically to indicate the behavior of a particular ailment or condition

Stagnation – a blockage or buildup of qi or blood that prevents it from flowing freely. Is a precursor of illness and disease and is frequently accompanied by pain or tingling

Stomach heat – too much heat in the stomach is represented by bad breath, bleeding or swollen gums, burning sensation in the stomach, extreme thirst, frontal headaches and/or mouth ulcers

Summer Heat – overactive functioning of an organ system resulting in symptoms of thirst, aversion to heat and craving for cold, infection, inflammation, dryness, red face, sweating, irritability, dark yellow urine, restlessness, constipation and “hyper” conditions such as hypertension

TCM – the abbreviation for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tai Chi – a set of smooth, flowing exercises used to improve or maintain health, create a sense of relaxation and keep qi flowing

Tao – the ancient philosophy of oneness in all creation

Tonification / Tonify – to nourish, support or strengthen the condition of qi, blood or weak organ function

Toxicity – applies to any inflammation, infection or severe heat disease

Triple Burner or Triple Warmer (San Jiao) – represents the three production centers for warm energy and water. The upper burner is the heart/lung system, the middle burner is the spleen/stomach, and the lower burner is the kidney/bladder/intestines.  Shannon also believes the SJ is essentially the lymphatic system.

Tuina – Traditional Chinese massage technique that focuses on meridians and acupoints

Wei qi – defensive energy, the TCM equivalent of the immune system

Wind – causes the sudden movement of a condition. Examples are a rash that is spreading, onset of colds, fever, chills, vertigo, spasms or twitches.  Wind may also arise from constant, relentless stress.

Yang – represents heat and the body’s ability to generate and maintain warmth and circulation

Yang deficiency – a cold condition due to lack of the heating quality of yang. Symptoms include lethargy, poor digestion, cold, lower back pain and decreased sexual drive

Yin – represents cool and the substance of the body, including blood and bodily fluids that nurture and moisten the organs and tissues

Yin deficiency – a heat condition that results in symptoms of night sweats, fever, nervous exhaustion, dry eyes and throat, dizziness, blurred vision, insomnia and a burning sensation in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the chest

Zangfu – describes the solid organs (zang) that store vital substances and the hollow organs (fu) which are responsible for transportation


Historical Bibliography of the Main Classical Texts of China – Not a complete list of works.

TCM – 3rd oldest medicine, first being Egyptian and second Babylonian.

Acupuncture, moxabustion, Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage), dietary therapy, tai chi and qi gong to help prevent health problems

TCM deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy – not religion.

The philosophy has been built on, added to and modified throughout history.  It is typical to utilize several philosophies and see no conflict between them.  Three teachings in China are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism – coexist harmoniously in China.

Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC)

  • Bronze Age – first civilization proper
  • Diety was called Shang Ti – lived in heaven imperial court and populated with dead ancestors
  • Shang believers believed illness resulted from upsetting a dead ancestor or you were cursed, or you were possessed by a devil
  • Shaman mediators spoke to ancestors, who would speak to Shang Ti. Communication through bones.
  • Based on archeological findings and writings.
  • Unknown medicine of this group because those who could read and write were left for the wealthy

Chou Dynasty (1122-403 BC)

  • A high point of Chinese civilization, but during the Eastern Chou period (722-481), centralized control declined, local aristocracy began fighting, among themselves, and social order degenerated into the Warring States Period, a time of great instability.
  • However, the unstable times produced great thinkers: (Confucius was born in 551 BC). Different philosophies dating back into antiquity were investigated for possible solutions to the present problems. This was the time of the “Hundred Schools”, referring to the many philosophical schools of thought that prevailed. Much was actually recorded during this period of time, incorporating different philosophical ideas.


Contributors to the current philosophical ideas at that time:

Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu) (551-479)

  • Born at end of Eastern Chou period and beginning of Warring States period. We know about him from the “Analects”, a series of passages written by his disciples.

Brief biography

  • He wanted to be an advisor to a monarch. He traveled around in search of a monarch, but no one wanted his ideas; he was too moral. Everyone wanted pragmatic techniques for use in winning the wars. He therefore became a teacher.
  • Not until 200 years after his death were his ideas taken seriously. Eventually his ideas became the imperial creed.
  • Confucian classics: these include the Li Ching (book or rites) and the I Ching (a more ancient text which he developed and for which he wrote commentaries).

Confucius ideas

  • Social unrest was all due to the breakdown of respect. Respect for the hierarchy (familial and imperial).
  • He believed one should behave as one is supposed to according to one’s station in life, and not to be ambitious.
  • He envisaged a harmonious society kept together by a tight hierarchical system of precisely defined social roles and mutual obligations.
  • The ruler was supposed to be a sage, who ruled by example: laws would then be unnecessary. People should be bound by respect for rituals (li) and customs.
  • He stressed honor, the importance of being a gentleman-scholar (Jun Zi), learning, (especially from history).
  • He stressed also “ren”, in other words, compassion and humane action.
  • He emphasized filial piety and the Five Relationships (a system of social mores that would establish social order). For example, ruler-subject, father-son, husband-wife, older brother-younger brother, friend-friend.
  • Finally, he stressed moderation. His disciples stated: “Confucius did not go to extremes.”

How Confucian Ideology Affected Chinese Medicine

  • Passage written by Hsun-Tzu, a famous disciple of Confucius:
  • “The true ruler begins to put his state in order while order still prevails; he does not wait until insurrections have already erupted.”
  • Passage in the Nei Ching (Chinese medical classic)
  • “The sages do not treat those who have already fallen ill, but rather those who are not yet ill. They do not put their state in order only when revolt is underway, but before an insurrection occurs.”
  • The Confucian idea of moderation shows up in the Nei Jing in several passages. In other words, health would be maintained by moderation in lifestyle.
  • The Five Relationships also influenced medicine: Example: Husband-Wife imbalance (which is where the pulses at one wrist are too strong and at the other wrist too weak): Certain techniques are also called Mother-Son and Father-Son technique.
  • The Zang Fu (Organs) are given names of “officials”. For example , Liver is the “commander” of the armed forces. The Heart is the Supreme Ruler, the Stomach is the official in charge of public granaries. The court (body) runs well when all the officials (organs) interact harmoniously. Of paramount importance is the Supreme Ruler or Emperor (Heart). If the Emperor is disturbed, the whole court (all the other organs) will suffer. This reflects the Confucian way of thinking, the Supreme Ruler has to remain in perfect balance, and to rule by example. Even today, it is considered by many that the Heart is to be treated first if it is affected (e.g. in emotional disturbance, the Heart is always affected).



Taoism is not a religion, more a philosophy based on the concept of Tao. Sometimes said to mean “the way”, or something like unknowable, unimaginable, source of all phenomena. Before Tao there was chaos, then suddenly Tao manifested as the universe (comparable to the modern “big bang” theory). Tao expresses through the duality of Yin-Yang. Tao is like the eternal primeval law of nature.

The best known ancient Taoist philosopher was Lao Tzu (Lao Tzu = “Old Master”). He wrote the Tao Te Ching: a mystical Taoist work, full of poetic allusions, riddles, etc. to expand consciousness, promote love of nature and simplicity, and rejection of worldly ambition. The Tao Te Ching is a composite text, probably dating from 3rd century BC (the same time that the major medical classic, the Nei Ching, was officially written down) but Lao Tzu has had his traditional dates fixed to make him slightly senior to Confucius (i.e., 6th century BC). It is impossible to know the exact birth date.

The best introduction to Taoism is to read some Taoist literature. The way the ancient Taoists’ would teach would be via observation of the nature, in the hopes of obtaining a direct grasp of the truth. Most mystical or inner-directed spiritual paths concur with this.

Taoists advocated simplicity, living according to the Tao, according to the laws of nature.

The Chinese medical classics speak with reverence of sages of ancient times, who knew how to live according to the Tao, hence they lived very long lives. Whereas nowadays (3rd century BC) people had lost the ability to live in harmony with nature, did not adhere to the principles of moderation, and hence were unhealthy. One wonders what they would say about the 20th century!

Taoism eventually split into two camps: alchemical Taoism, which became a search for immortality via diet, exercise, meditation and magical herbs, and popular Taoism, which developed a church and a whole pantheon of gods, and became heavily involved with popular superstitions and demonic lore, thus losing credibility with the educated class. Earlier Taoist classics, however, continued to be read.

Taoism had a strong influence on medicine: the idea of humans being part of nature and needing to remain in harmony with nature was fundamental. “As above, so below.” As an example of this, guidelines were established in the Nei Ching as to how one should conduct oneself in various seasons. In the winter time, one should go to bed early and get up late, and not waste one’s energy, for winter is the time of conservation and storage (a time where Yin is strongest). In the summertime one should rise early and go to bed late and “act as if one loved everything outdoors”, for Summer is the time of maximum Yang, and people’s naturally have more energy to expend.

Let’s return to the Warring States period, the time of great social unrest where uncertainty about personal and collective existence, increasing chaos and amorality led to the search for a lasting philosophy that might change things. The time of the “hundred schools”. The medicine that developed during this period of intense philosophical activity is the central part of what traditional Chinese medicine is today. It has been referred to as the medicine of systematic correspondences.

Medicine of Systematic Correspondences

The fundamental principles of this medicine arose from divergent influences, including Taoist and Confucian ideas. The Naturalist School was responsible for systematically elaborating the concepts and theories of Yin-Yang, which had been an ancient idea that was now fully developed and recorded.


books contributing to development of TCM

  • Nei Jing, Huangdi Nei Jing, Huangdi’s Inernal Classic, or Huang Ti Nei Ching (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) was written down at this time from earlier knowledge.
    • It had existed far earlier in one form or another, parts probably being handed down by word of mouth, and is thus a compilation of much earlier material, with added commentaries (commentary writing is very popular with the Chinese). The “Nei Ching” as it is called, is a mixture of ideas and philosophies, some more ancient (i.e. Taoist philosophy) and some from the time it was written (3rd century BC), such as the Yin-Yang, Five elements and theories of the Zang Fu (Organs). It is also likely that more was added to this classic by later dynasties.
    • Written between 300 and 100 BC, but could not be older than 320 C because the work contains the 5E theory.
    • The book describes the conversations between the Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti) and his physician (Chi Po), hence it is a historical (actually legendary) account.
    • This is the most important of the medical classics. (Shortly thereafter, China was unified again under the harsh and repressive Chin Dynasty).
    • Earliest book on Chinese theory medicine known
    • Could not be written by one author due to lack or coordination of its contents and variety of subjects. Nei Jing is divided into two a parts:  Su Wen and Ling Shu
      • Part 1: Su Wen, Simple Questions, or Plain Questions of Internal Classics
      • Many additions and notes were made to this work in the Tang Dynasty (762 AD)
      • 9 volumes with 81 chapters, after Wei Jin dynasties there were 8 volumes
      • Consists of Human AandP, causes of diseases, pathology, diagnosis, 8 principles, application of the 5E, disease prevention, treatment, health preservation, man and nature, application of yin and yang, theory on the promotion of the flow of vital energy
      • Part 2: Ling Shu, Miraculous Pivot, Spiritual Axis
      • Systematic theory, function of zangfu and pathologies, nine kinds of needles, point and contraindications, nature and types of qi, location of 160 points, names of points, needling technique and sedation and tonification
    • The book describes how to live in harmony with nature, and the results of not doing so (imbalance and disharmony). Therapies are based on restoration of harmony and balance to the body.
    • Surgery is mentioned, but only as a last resort e.g. to remove tumors.
    • Acupuncture is mainly mentioned in the Ling Shu. Commentaries were added, both in the 3rd century BC and in later dynasties.


Han Dynasty 206BC to 220AD


  • One commentary published in the same period was the NAN JING (Difficult Classic) This filled out the Nei Jing and answered some difficult questions.
    • Points for acupuncture and moxibustion are discussed, as well as physiological and pathological conditions of the eight Extra Vessels, 5 Shu points, theory of mother-son regards to tonifciation and sedation, established the practice of feeling the pulse at the un position (in previous times they were felt all over the body)
    • Many commentaries were added in the Tang dynasty. These are important, and render the work easier to read, the essential part was left intact.
  • Shang Han Lun, Discussion of Cold Induces Disorders or Treatment of Febrile diseases
    • Pertaining more to the herbal medicine
    • First clinical manual in Chinese medical literature
    • First treatise to deal systematically with the diseases caused by cold.
    • Symptomatology, diagnoses, and treatment of these diseases are so clearly outlined out that work today constitutes these concepts in treatment currently used.
    • Described for the first time the differentiation of syndromes according to the six divisions.
    • 300AD reorganized by Wang Shu-he into ten volumes and this is the version we use today.


Jin Dynasty 265 to 420AD


  • Zhen Jui Jia Yi Jing, Systematic Classic of Acupuncture, ABC of Acupuncture
    • Compliled by Huang Fu Mi 215-282 AD
    • Cornerstone of Acupuncture based soley on acupuncture
    • Compiles the knowledge of the classics, combined with is own studies and creates a book covering
      • Physiology, pathology diagnosis, treatment and prevention
      • Describes needle manipulation in detail
      • Different therapeutic methods for different diseases
      • Jing Luo theory
      • Qi and blood theory
      • Zangfu theory
      • Describes 349 points
      • Prescriptions using points for treatment


Southern and Northern Dynasties 420 to 581 AD

Sui Dynasty 581-618 AD

Tang Dynasty 618-907 AD


  • Qian Jin Yao Fang, Thousand Ducat Prescriptions – Sun Si Miao 652 AD
    • Mainly an herbal book with 232 prescriptions
    • Deals with febrile and womans diseases
    • Acupuncture introduction to
      • finger proportional measurement
      • The use of ah shi points in the treatment of soreness, distensions and numbness, as well as for pain
      • The use of moxabusion for prevention of disease
    • Wai tai Bi yao, Necessities of a Frontier Official
      • Wang Tao 752 AD
      • Collection of 1000 prescriptions
      • “Acupuncture can kill life – Moxabusion can save life”
      • His outlook was very wrong, however great contributor to the use of Moxa
    • Tong ren Shu xue Ahen jiu Tu Jing, The Illistration Classic of Acupuncture Points as found on the Bronze Model
      • Wang Wei Yi 1026 AD
      • Sponsored the castings of two life size bronze models
        • Earliest acupuncture models in history
        • Every channel and point was identified and named
        • Models were used in examination rooms
        • Covered with wax then filled with water and used as needle point practice. If correct placement, the model leaked.
      • Ahen jiu Zi sheng Jing, Classic of Nourishing Life with Acupuncture and Moxibusion
        • Wang Shu Chuan 1220 AD
        • Summary of previous work and his current experience
        • Study of acupuncture and added extra points
        • Technique of acupuncture and moxa
        • Treatment protocals in GY, PED, and surgery
        • Included his own case studies



Yuan Dynasty 1271 – 1368 AD


  • Shi si Jing Fa Hui, Elaboratoin of the Fourteen Meridians
    • Hua Bo Ren 1341 AD
    • Wrote about the 8 extra channels
    • 12 meridian according to ZangFu, while Ren and Du do not
    • Du and Ren have their own points and circle to body
    • Excess of Qi in the other JingLou, Ren and Du will absorb the excess
    • 357 acupuncture points


Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD


  • Zhen Jiu Da Cheng, The Great Compendium of AC and Moxabusion
    • Yang Ji Zhou 1601 AD
    • Greatest acupuncturist of the time and his family were all acupuncturists for many generations
    • Discussed internal medicine (pediatrics, gynecology and surgery)
    • Massage therapy for children
    • Case histories with point prescription
    • Summarized medical experience from other schools and put it into song and rhyme form.
    • Described 20 different needling manipulations
  • Ben Cao Gang Mu, The Great Pharmacopia
    • Li Shi Zhen 1578 AD – Great Herbalist
    • Written over a course of 30 years
    • 1892 herbs
    • 1000 prescriptions
    • Over 100 pages of illustrations


Traditional systems of medicine also exist in other East and South Asian countries, including Japan and Korea

USA used as a complementary health approach

Opening of China in 1972, President Nixon, brought acupuncture to US.  TCM over time has been shaped by culture, philosophy, politics, religion and science.


This is an pictorial outline of how the history of TCM was organized to create the medicine we use today:



Understand Theory of Yin/Yang and how it relates to disease

  • Shadow and light
  • 6th centry BC – Toist philosophy
  • Observation of nature
  • Balance of opposite forces

Three Concepts of Yin/Yang Theory

Yin Yang Interdepence

  • Law of Opposition
  • Supporting eachother
  • Interdependent – one cannot exist with the other
  • Transforming and Interchangeable – Summer changes to winter, life changes to death



  • Male
  • Left side of body
  • Hot
  • Dry bright
  • Active
  • Hard
  • Moving
  • Sun
  • Daytime
  • summer



  • Female
  • Right side of body
  • Cool
  • Wet
  • Dark
  • Quiet
  • Soft
  • Stillness
  • Moon
  • Night time
  • winter

Too much yang, breaks down the yin.  Too much yin, breaks down the Yang.

Example:  Nice hot day, Overworked in the heat.  You go to the bar and eat hot wings and a big beer.  That night you go to bed and cannot cool off.  You are so hot.  Sweating.  This is called yin deficiency.  You were exposed to so much hot sun, food that was spicy hot, beer that heats the liver – cooked of the yin

Example:  You take a trip to North Dakota in the middle of the winter.  You go skiing on the “mounds” and you get cold so bad, you feel it in your bones.  You take a hot shower and cannot warm up.  You jump into bed and cannot warm up.  Even the 80 degree hot room you are sleeping is not making any difference.  This is a Yang deficiency.  The Yin ate up the Yang.

In both of these conditions acupuncture would be performed, probably herbs to increase or decrease the yin and yang.  Maybe the use of moxa to tonify the body.


Describe Qi and Blood, and how it influences the body

Qi is the life energy of the universe.  It is every where.

Source of all movement

Protects the body

Source of harmonious transformation

ensures stability and governs retention

Warms the body


QI (yang): – 5 Types of QI

  • Organ Qi – Organs are functional systems, not anatomical structures
  • Meridian Qi
  • Nutritive Qi
  • Protective Qi
  • Ancesteral Qi
  • Where Qi is deficient, blood qi will become deficient.  Where blood qi is deficient, tonify qi

Blood (yin):

  • Red sticky stuff that comes out when we are leaking
  • Carrier of our life force,
  • Houses our life force (Qi)

Qi moves blood, Blood houses Qi

In Chinese medicine blood is made by Spleen through Food Qi.  Poor diet (poor food qi) creates poor blood.

Blood needs to move.  When we are cold blood stagnates.  Stagnation creates heat due to friction.  Example: You are cold, you shiver due to cold, your joints begin to ache due to the cold because heat being caused by cold.


5 element/phases and organ association

Chinese Elements



How do the 5 phases control/create each other:

Shen and Ko cycles



Example of 5 phases and Liver Qi Stagnation

Shen, Qi, Jing – Three Treasures


Being rooted (understanding) in the 5 Phases allows the interpenetration of all the Qi, all the Essences, all that is our Humanness. Being rooted in the 5 Spirits, collectively understood as The Shen, allows the interpenetration of the 3 Treasures.

  1. Shen – Spiritual Energy
  2. QI – Immediate life force.  Adequate qi allows us to
  3. Jing – Deep primortial strength of a person
  • 1st level – your constitutional force – your strength – Prenatal, you were born with this force.
  • 2nd level – Postnatal Jing – we can build with lifestyle and herbs.  This is the part we are constantly feeding to build and prevent from using up Prenatal Jing

Metaphor how this works:  A CANDLE

The Candle – Bigger candle – more Jing

Qi is the flame – big flame, cook up Jing faster, dies faster.

Radiance of Flame – Shen – your Spirit


The Five Phases – The 5 Shen

The word shen is used in two ways: ‘the whole sphere of emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a human being’ – ultimately indivisible. but the Chinese also discuss the shen in terms of the 5 different spirits which interact together: shen (Ht) zhi (Ki) hun (Liv) po (Lu) yi (Sp)

Shen – Heart – mind/spirit aligns a person’s consciousness to the world allows communication with others the most visible of the spirits allows clarity of thought allows appropriate action in social relationships allows calm and settled in order to be able to relax and sleep the state of the Heart itself is reflected in the brightness of the eyes and the ability to make eye contact

The Heart creates the blood and governs its circulation; it is the regular beat that testifies to life; but it is also emotional intellectual, mental, spiritual life; it is everything that happens in me and by which I know that I exist. My Heart is thus me. It is the unity of someone who lives, who is and who does; that which I am, how I am, how I live.  Rochat de la Vallee 2012 p. 22/23


Yang Sheng a force within all of us that knows how to live

Wood the seed that opens and

Fire reaches to the sun

Earth drawing nutrients and nourishment

Metal drawing all the vital trace minerals

Water all of which requires water


What we do as TCM Practitioners

Helping to change the energy

Helping to engender hope

Helping to open the heart

Teaching people to pay attention to

physical habits

dietary habits

thought patterns

It is the physical, mental and emotional habits that will inform and perpetuate our pathology



Physical examination – data collection

  • The four methods of diagnosis consist of observation, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, pulse taking and palpation.
  • Observation indicates that doctors directly watch the outward appearance to know a patient’s condition. As the exterior and interior corresponds immediately, when the inner organs run wrongly, it will be reflected through skin pallor, tongue, the facial sensory organs and some excrement.
  • Auscultation and olfaction is a way for doctors to collect messages through hearing the sound and smelling the odor. This is another reference for diagnosis.
  • Interrogation suggests that doctors question the patient and his relatives, so as to know the symptoms, evolution of the disease and previous treatments.
  • The taking of the pulse and palpation refer that doctors noting the pulse condition of patients on the radial artery, and then to know the inner change of symptom. Doctors believe that when the organic function is normal, the pulse, frequency, and intension of pulse will be relatively stable, and when not, variant.



Understand the 8 principles of TCM (determine type of pathology)

Yin  vs Yang

Cold vs Hot

Internal vs External

Excess vs Deficient




Circadian Clock


Tendino-Muscular Channel Symptomotology

  • Therapeutically local muscle channels symptoms can be treated by stimulating the area adjacent to the pain.
  • the main points for treatment are the ah shi points
  • possible treatment protocol would be to use the Ting Well point, then the meeting points, then press the ah shi points.  At the end treat the Main meridian (shu stream, Jing River and tonification point)
  • Pressing the points that relate to the area where TM areas bundle is also appropriate and can be used effectively to treat local areas of trauma
  • Because of the yang in nature and superficially quality to the TM channel


Bladder – February – Knowledge of the Bladder Jing Jin Pathway helps recognize the following symptoms of February:  paralysis of the little toe, swollen heel pain, popliteal fossa spasms, spinal curvature, muscular spasms in the posterior neck, unable to raise shoulders,  painful cramps in the axilla extending to the supraclavicular fossa; stiff shoulders.

Gallbladder – January – Some symptoms of January are:  spasms and paralysis of the fourth toe, spasms of the lateral side of the knee with difficulty in bending the knee; spasms of the popliteal fossa, anterolateral thigh and the sacral area in the lower back; disturbances can cause pain in the lateral abdomen and hypochondriac regions; muscular spasms in the mammillary, supraclavicular fossa and neck regions.


Stomach – March – Some symptoms of March are: spasms of the third toe, the foot can feel hard and have jumping sensations, swollen anterior upper thigh, spasms of the rectus femoris, scrotal swelling, spasms of the abdomen extending to the supraclavicular fossa and cheek; sudden misalignment of the upper and lower jaws.





Classical Meridian Treatment – Channel Therapy – 

AM Qi Gong

PM Qi Gong

Tuina Treatment – perfect example of bringing qi and blood to the service, moving musculotendenous pathways, utilizing acupressure points to release ash shi points.

Ayurvedic Abdomen Massage Sequence – relate to 5 Phases


Gua Sha Training: