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Dictionary

JING-condensed essence of congenital qi which is stored in the kidneys and circulates in the 6 Extra Channels. Related to sperm and ova production, as well as nurturing the fetus. Provides the basis for strong or weak constitutions.

LIVER FIRE-pathological fever in the liver, with symptoms rising upwards to include headache, eye burning, ear-ringing, etc.

LUO CHANNELS-secondary acupuncture channels dispersed from the primary channels.

ORIFICES-the sense organs of the head, namely, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. In pathologies where the orifices are "closed", unconsciousness ensues.

PHLEGM-congealed mucus formed by excesses of damp and heat. Often originates in the spleen and stomach, and accumulates in the lungs, sinuses, intestines, uterus, or the acupuncture channels. Includes fatty deposits in the heart and blood vessels.

PHLEGM-DAMP-chronic phlegm which is clear or white, and affects primarily the lungs, uterus or digestive tract. Distinguished from phlegm-heat.

PHLEGM-HEAT-acute phlegm, yellow and odorous, found primarily in the lungs, sinuses, stomach or uterus.

QI-(pronounced "chee"), the energy that flows through the acupuncture channels, is responsible for invigorating all organs, tissues and cells along its path. Also refers to the functional ability of individual organs, such as spleen qi, heart qi, lung qi, etc.

QI STAGNATION-qi moves under healthy circumstances. When the qi stagnates, dysfunction and pain ensue. Can refer to either impaired circulation in the channels due to trauma, or congested energy in specific organs, particularly the stomach and spleen (the center), or liver.

SHEN-often translated as "spirit", it includes the concepts of mind, consciousness, and higher spiritual connection. It is located in the heart. Disturbed shen manifests as insomnia, restlessness, muddled thinking, poor memory, uncomfortable dreaming, and manic disorders.

SPLEEN-includes the function of both spleen and pancreas, and is responsible for converting food to energy and blood, as well as regulating digestion.

SPLEEN-DAMP-in deficiencies of spleen qi, damp accumulates. This leads to water retention in the abdomen, loose or watery stools, and incomplete digestion; it is often the basis for phlegm congestion in the lungs.

SURFACE (Exterior)-the surface, rich in wei qi, is responsible for maintaining the body's internal homeostasis against a changeable environment. Exogenous invasions initially affect the surface, and the herbal approach is to dispel energetic invasions out through the skin, if the invasion has not proceeded too deeply into the body.

TOXIC HEAT-refers to exogenous toxic attacks (bacterial and viral) which can affect the body systemically with fever, attack specific organs, or affect the skin as inflamed boils.

WEI QI-the most energetic aspect of qi, which circulates from the main channels to the exterior of the body. It is responsible for repulsing exogenous wind or toxic invasions, as well as contributing to the body's immune defense system.

WIND-climatic disturbances in the air can induce pathogenic invasions if the wei qi is deficient. It attacks the surface of the body, further debilitates wei qi, and allows preponderance of toxic factors, causing the symptoms associated with flus and colds.

WIND-COLD-the body's response to a wind invasion exhibiting chills, nasal congestion, headache and body aches. Can occur as a response to over-exposure to wind and cold.

WIND-DAMP-in susceptible persons, exposure to wind in a damp environment or a preexisting internal damp excess will cause rheumatism and joint pain in the surface. Accounts for various musculo-skeletal complaints.

WIND-HEAT-in wind invasions affecting people with pre-existing heat or deficiency-heat, colds are marked by fever, sore throat, and restlessness.

WIND, INTERNAL-refers to an endogenous wind generated by liver fire. Symptoms include convulsions, muscle spasms, tics, severe headache, pressure behind eyes, or stroke. May follow a high fever.

WIND, LIVER-see Wind, Internal.

YANG-the functional aspect of kidney qi which warms the body, and invigorates digestion, excretion, and sexual function. Deficiencies of yang allow the predominance of cold and hypo-function of the organs.

YIN-the material and functional aspect of kidney qi which moistens and cools the liver, stomach, spleen, lungs, heart, throat, eyes and nose, and provides the basis for semen and vaginal fluids. Deficiencies of -produce dryness and heat.

YING QI- the qi that circulates in the acupuncture channels, and which nourishes the organs.

ZANG-FU-as a group it refers to organs (in distinction from acupuncture channels). The zang organs are considered to be more yin and solid (storing and slowly transforming) and include the heart, spleen-pancreas, lungs, kidneys and liver. The fu organs are considered more yang (functionally active) and hollow. They include the small and large intestines, gallbladder, stomach, and urinary bladder.