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The Chinese Medicine Sampler - Foundation Concepts

Foundations Main

Definition of Qi

Definition of Health

Hierachy of Healing

Organ Functions

Yin & Yang Page 1

Yin & Yang Page 2

Wu Xiang
The 5 Elements

The 6 External Qi

Jing Qi - Essence

Shen Qi - Spirit

The 8 Principles


The predominant model of the mind and/or spirit is mostly derived from the Five Element school of thought. The five aspects of the mind are Wood - Hun, Fire - Shen, Earth - Yi, Metal - Po, Water - Zhi. Collectively these comprise the Shen. This term includes the Fire Element Shen. Below are very simplified definitions of each aspect.

That which makes humans more than an object in motion. All parts as a whole.
Shen - Mind
Waking consciousness, waking thought, the Shen resides in the Heart
Hun - Ethereal soul
Somewhat like western notion of spirit, resides in the Liver.
Po - Corporeal soulĀ 
Soul of the body, provides physiology, resides in the Lungs
Yi - Intellect
Scholarly memory, resides in the Spleen
Zhi - Will
Urge to exist, urge to do, willpower, resides in the Kidneys.

Notice that the five aspects are distributed throughout the body. There is no distinction between mind and body; they’re one entity. The ethereal affects the substantial and the substantial affects the ethereal. They’re both Qi which is manifesting as one person.

It‘s interesting to note that this is contrary to the new-age notion that everything, especially illness, stems from the mind. If everything stemmed from the mind then Moving Liver Qi or Tonifying Kidney Yang would have no effect. The temptation to understand Oriental Medicine by fitting it into western models is strong. But reconciling eastern and western medicines is a vast ocean that is almost entirely uncharted.



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