Organs and Elements

About Earth

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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It is unclear historically when the Five Element theory arose, but it does appear in the literature by about 500 BC. Initially, the Five Element theory (the term Five Agent theory is technically more correct, but Five Element has become more popular and familiar and so I use it here) was simply a grouping. Phenomena […]

Nothing to Study – The Concept of an Organ in Chinese Medicine

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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The concept of organs in Chinese medicine can sometimes be a confusing topic for patients. In a Western culture, it can be very difficult to understand that Liver depression (this is the technical term for Liver Qi stagnation) is not going to show up on a blood test. This brings up the very important topic […]

The Kidneys Store the Jing

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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“The Kidneys store the Jing” is one of the stated functions of the Kidneys in Chinese medicine. The term Jing is one which has no English language equivalent. It refers to a substance which is endowed to each person, through their parents, at the moment of conception. It has both a qualitative and a quantitative […]

Honesty – The Virtue of the Spleen

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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The Spleen is the organ whose Chinese function is most difficult to understand from a Western biomedical perspective. Unlike all of the other organs, the Chinese concept of the Spleen has very little to do with the anatomical spleen (see also Nothing to Study – The Concept of an Organ in Chinese Medicine).  Some of […]

Benevolence – The Virtue of the Liver

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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Each of the five Chinese organs, or Zang, has associated with it a corresponding emotion. This emotion is the quality of energy governed by the respective organ, experienced on a human level. In health this energy flows freely, but in imbalance it becomes stagnant, expressing itself as a recurring emotion. Because the Liver governs the […]

Wisdom – The Virtue of the Kidneys

By Robert Keller | October 15, 2017
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The basic paradigm of virtue in Chinese medicine is as follows: Virtue, “de” in Chinese, implies contact with original nature. The character symbolizes accordance between and action in accordance with one’s heart-mind (the Chinese term “xin”, or Heart, literally translates at heart-mind.  Virtue is what manifests when one acts in accordance with one’s true nature. […]