The Zang-Fu Organs (3)

Fu Organs

The Fu Organs are the “hollow” organs and are Yang in nature.

Large Intestine

The main function of the Large Intestine is to receive the waste material sent down from the Small Intestine, absorb its fluid content, and form the remainder into faeces to be excreted.

Gall Bladder

The Gall Bladder is a Yang (Fu) organ; its paired Yin (Zang) organ is the Liver. The pair is associated with the element of Wood.  On the physical plane, the Gall Bladder receives food and liquids. Then, it sends the pure components to the Spleen and the less pure to the Small Intestine. On the emotional plane, while the Liver is associated with the emotion of anger, the Gall Bladder is associated with indecision or decisiveness.

Urinary Bladder

The Bladder is a Yang (Fu) organ; its paired Yin (Zang) organ is the Kidney. Both are associated with the element of Water and the emotion of fear. As opposed to western medicine, where the bladders function is the storage and excretion of urine, the Bladder in Traditional Chinese Medicine has extended functions, including how fluids are transformed during urine production. Fluids are still sent from the Small Intestine to the Bladder for storage, but the Bladder’s capabilities are dependant on the Kidney Yang. If the Kidney Yang is deficient, the Bladder may not have the sufficient Ki and heat to transform fluids properly into urine. This could result in overly clear urine that must be excreted more frequently.

Stomach

The Stomach and its paired organ, the Spleen, are associated with the element of Earth and the emotions of anxiety and stress. The direction of Stomach Ki is downwards.

Small Intestine

The Small Intestine governs the separation of the clear from the turbid. The Small Intestine further digests food decomposed initially by the Stomach. The clear, referring to the essence of water and grain and to the large amount of fluid, is absorbed by the Spleen and distributed to the whole body. The turbid is sent downwards to the Large Intestine, while the useless water is infused to the Bladder. The disorders of the Small Intestine are attributable to failure to separate the clear from the turbid during the digesting process, manifesting stool and urinary disturbance, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, scanty urine, etc.

Triple Burner (San Jiao)

San Jiao has been translated as “triple heater,” triple warmer (or three warmers),” and “triple burner,” the latter of which is probably favored because of the involvement of the San Jiao in metabolism.

Sources: Wikipedia and http://orientalmedicine.com

Fu Organ

Related Zang Organ

Main Function

Gall Bladder

Liver

Disorders of fear and/or shyness, insomnia, hypochondriac distention or discomfort, bitter taste in the mouth.

Small Intestine

Heart

Deficiency syndromes related to deficiency syndromes of the spleen and excess syndromes are related excess syndromes of the heart.

Stomach

Spleen

Epigastric distention and/or discomfort.

Large Intestine

Lung

Bowel disturbances or changes.

Urinary Bladder

Kidney

Any abnormalities in urination.

San-Jiao

Pericardium

 

The Zang-Fu Organs (2)

The Zang Organs are the “solid” organs and are Yin in nature. Each zàng organ has a corresponding ‘’orifice‘’ it ‘’opens‘’ into. This means the functional entity of a given zàng includes the corresponding orifice’s functions (e.g. blurry vision is primarily seen as a dysfunction of the Liver zàng as the Liver ‘’opens‘’ into the eyes).

In listing the functions of the zàng organs, TCM regularly uses the term ‘’governing‘’ (主, pinyin: zhǔ) – indicating that the main responsibility of regulating something (e.g. Blood, Ki, water metabolism etc.) lies with a certain zàng.

Although the zàng are functional entities in the first place, TCM gives vague locations for them – namely, the general area where the anatomical organ of the same name would be found. One could argue that this (or any) positioning of the zàng is irrelevant for the TCM system; there is some relevance, however, in whether a certain zàng would be attributed to the upper, middle or lower jiaō.

Heart

Element: Fire. Home of the Shen (Mind, Consciousness). Paired with the Small Intestine.

  • ‘’stores‘’ (藏, pinyin: cáng)[6] the Shén (神, ‘’Aggregate Soul‘’, usually translated as mind)
  • governs xuě (Blood) and vessels/meridians
  • opens into the tongue
  • reflects in facial complexion
Pericardium

Element: Fire. Paired with the Sānjiaō (‘’Triple Burner‘’).

Since there are only five zàng organs but six yin channels, the remaining meridian is assigned to the Pericardium. Its concept is closely related to the Heart, and its stipulated main function is to protect the Heart from attacks by Exterior Pathogenic Factors. Like the Heart, the Pericardium governs Blood and stores the Shen (mind, consciousness). The Pericardium’s corresponding yang channel is assigned to the Sānjiaō (‘’Triple Burner‘’).

Spleen

Element: Earth. Home of Yi (Thought), paired with the Stomach. The Spleen transforms and transports the Ki and the Essence from food to the Lungs. Essence is transformed into Blood. Essence (Ki) from food is transformed into Human Ki. The Spleen:

  • governs ‘’transportation and absorption‘’ (运化, pinyin: yùn-huà), i.e. the extraction of jīng weī (精微, lit. ‘’essence bits‘’, usually translated with food essence, sometimes also called jīng qì [精气, essence qi])[7] – and water – from food and drink, and the successive distribution of it to the other zàng organs.
  • is the source of ‘’production and mutual transformation‘’ (生化, pinyin: shēng-huà)[8] of Ki and xuě (Blood)
  • ‘’contains‘’ (统, pinyin: tǒng)[9] the Blood inside the vessels
  • opens into the lips (and mouth)
  • governs muscles and limbs

Liver

Element: Wood. Home of the Hun (Ethereal Soul), paired with the Gall Bladder.

The Liver

  • governs “unclogging and deflation” (疏泄, pinyin: shū-xiè)[10] primarily of Ki. The free flow of Ki in turn will ensure the free flow of emotions, blood, and water.
  • ‘’stores‘’ (藏, pinyin: cáng)[11] Blood
  • opens into the eyes
  • governs the tendons
  • reflects in the nails

Lung

Element: Metal. Home of the Po (魄, Corporeal Soul), paired with the Large intestine

The function of the Lung is to descend and disperse Ki throughout the body. It receives Ki through the breath, and exhales the waste. The Lung disperses Ki on the skin for defense (Wei Ki), circulates Ki within the meridians (nutritive Ki), and sends the surplus (postnatal) Ki to the Kidneys for storage.  The Lung governs the skin and hair and also governs the exterior (one part of immunity). A properly functioning Lung organ will ensure the skin and hair are of good quality and that the immune system is strong and able to fight disease. The normal direction of the Lung Ki is downwards. When Lung Ki “rebels” it goes upwards, causing coughing and wheezing. When the Lung is weak, there can be skin conditions such as eczema, thin or brittle hair, and a propensity to catching colds and flu. The Lung is weakened by dryness and the emotion of grief or sadness.

Kidney

Element: Water. Home of the Zhi (志, Will), paired with the bladder

The Kidneys store Essence and they govern birth, growth, reproduction, and development. They also produce the Marrow which fills the brain and control the bones. The Kidneys are often referred to as the ‘Root of Life’ or the ‘Root of the Pre-Heaven Ki’. Kidneys house the Will Power (Zhi). The Kidney Ki is a mix of Pre-Heaven Ki and Postnatal Ki. The Kidneys are the source of the body’s Yin and Yang. The Kidneys send Ki to the Spleen for the transformation of food Ki and to the Lungs for the transformation of Ki and Blood.

Zang Organ

Related Fu Organ

Main Symptoms of Pathology (These symptoms would depend on which syndrome of pathology is involved with the organ)

Liver

Gallbladder

Hypochondriac discomfort and/or chest tightness, depression, anger, irritability, mood swings, visual problems, dizziness and vertigo, headaches, tendon problems, left-sided symptoms.

Heart

Small Intestine

Palpitations, chest discomfort, insomnia, anxiety issues, shyness, vascular problems.

Spleen

Stomach

Digestive problems, bleeding disorders, organ prolapse, weight problems, bowel problems, chronic fatigue.

Lungs

Large Intestine

Shortness of breath, cough, asthma, chest congestion, diseases of the skin, excessive sweating, poor immune system.

Kidney

Urinary Bladder

Reproductive and/or sexual disorders, low back pain, knee and/or leg weakness, hair loss, metabolic disorders, bone problems.

Pericardium

San Jiao

 

Sources: Wikipedia and http://orientalmedicine.com

The Zang-Fu Organs (1)

The zàng-fǔ organs are functional entities stipulated by Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The term zàng refers to the organs considered to be yin in nature – Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung, Kidney -, while fǔ refers to the yang organs – Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gall Bladder, Urinary Bladder, Stomach and Sānjiaō.

Each zàng organ is paired with a fǔ.
The zàng-fǔ organs are also connected to the twelve standard meridians – each yang meridian is attached to a fǔ organ and each yin meridian is attached to a zàng organ.
Each zàng-fǔ organ has a yin and a yang aspect, but overall, the zàng organs are considered to be yin, and the fǔ organs yang.

The zàng-fǔ organs are incorporated into a system of allocation to one of five elemental qualities (i.e., the Five Elements or Five Phases).

5elements

The correspondence between zàng-fǔ and Five Elements is stipulated as:

Fire (火) = Heart (心) and Small Intestine (小肠) (and, secondarily, Sānjiaō [三焦, ‘’Triple Burner‘’] and Pericardium [心包])
Earth (土) = Spleen (脾) and Stomach (胃)
Metal (金) = Lung (肺)and Large Intestine (大肠)
Water (水) = Kidney (肾) and Bladder (膀胱)
Wood (木) = Liver (肝) and Gall Bladder (胆)

Source: Wikipedia

The flow of Ki

Shiatsu teachers resemble Ki to water.  The natural state of Ki and water is motion (flow).  Ki flows like water within channels, meridians, that have energetic substance, not material, and resemble to rivers. Along the channels there are tsubos, points where Ki gathers and points that allow us to influence the flow of Ki. Channels and tsubos are located in body tissues that energy-wise look like the banks of a river.  Water (Ki) creates the rivers (channels), but the banks influence the flow of the water (the flow of Ki).

forest_river_wallpaper_rivers_nature_wallpaper_1280_1024_1404

Οι δάσκαλοι του Shiatsu παρομοιάζουν το Ki (ενέργεια) με το νερό.  Η φυσική κατάσταση του Ki και του νερού είναι η κίνηση (ροή).  Το Ki ρέει σαν νερό μέσα σε κανάλια, τους μεσημβρινούς, που δεν έχουν υλική υπόσταση αλλά ενεργειακή και μοιάζουν με ποτάμια.  Κατά μήκος των καναλιών υπάρχουν tsubos, σημεία όπου συγκεντρώνεται το Ki και σημεία απ’ όπου μπορούμε να επηρεάσουμε την κίνηση του Ki.  Τόσο τα κανάλια όσο και τα tsubos εντοπίζονται στα ενδομυϊκά διαστήματα και σε άλλους ιστούς του σώματος.  Αυτοί οι ιστοί μοιάζουν με τις όχθες ενός ποταμού.  Το νερό (Ki) είναι αυτό που δημιουργεί τον ποταμό (κανάλι), αλλά οι όχθες επηρεάζουν τη ροή του ποταμού (την κίνηση του Ki).

Working from the Hara

In Japan ‘Hara‘ is the area of the abdomen and the lower back. The Hara is the natural center of gravity and the Japanese consider that the vital spirit resides in the Hara.  All movements and power in Japanese martial arts and in Shiatsu originate from the Hara. In Japan, to have a ‘good Hara’ means to have good health and vitality.  Students of Shiatsu learn to keep their Hara open and their gravity center low so that their vital energy (Ki) is projected from their Hara through their hands to the receiver with practically no effort at all.  Diagnosis from the receiver’s Hara determines the structure of a Shiatsu session.

Yin & Yang

According to the oriental tradition there are two energy principles in the universe: Yin and Yang. Ki (energy) is the product of the interaction between Yin and Yang. Ki is the primordial essence of the universe. Everything is defined by its Ki. The human being embodies the union of the Ki of Heaven (Yang) and the Ki of Earth (Yin). The relationship between Yin and Yang is governed by certain laws:

1. Yin and Yang are opposites.

2. Yin and Yang depend on each other.

3. Yin and Yang consume each other or support each other.

4. Yin is transformed into Yang and vice versa.

The symbol of Ying and Yang is called ‘Tai Chi’.

yin yang

Creating energy flow

Shiatsu teachers say: “The Ki goes where the mind goes”.
In Shiatsu we use the power of the mind, the power of intention, and the power of the Hara (abdomen) to give a clear direction to the Ki (energy) of the receiver.  If we visualize Ki (energy) projected from our Hara (abdomen) while having the intention of giving a specific direction to this energy, then the receiver’s Ki will follow that direction.  In this way we can create energy flow in areas where the receiver’s Ki is blocked.

mind