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GLOSSARY

  • BLOOD HEAT… A pathology where the blood heats up due to liver or heart fire, or systemic fever.  The main symptom is non-traumatic bleeding, including nosebleed, uterine bleeding, and internal hemorrhaging, including rashes.

  • BLOOD STAGNATION… A condition where the blood congeals, moves slower or forms clots.  Due to cold, heat, deficiency or trauma.

  • BURNERS … The upper burner is the area above the diaphragm and includes the lungs, heart and head; the middle burner is the area between the diaphragm and the naval, and includes the organs stomach, spleen, liver and gallbladder.  It often relates to digestion in general.  The lower burner is below the naval, and includes the kidneys, bladder, small and large intestines, uterus and genital organs. It also includes the liver and gallbladder channels. 

  • CENTER … Can refer to either the middle burner in general, or the stomach and spleen specifically.

  • DAMP … Refers to exogenous invasion affecting the musculoskeletal system (wind-damp), or endogenous weakness of the spleen leading to watery accumulations in organs or cavities.

  • DAMP-HEAT … A pathological condition combining both excess damp and excess heat.  It can affect the liver, gallbladder, intestines or uterus.

  • DEFICIENCY-HEAT … Excess heat which has its basis in deficiency of yin, it can affect the body systemically or appear isolated in the lungs, heart, stomach, spleen, liver or kidneys.

  • EXOGENOUS INVASION … Any sickness whose origin is outside the body; includes wind invasions (colds), and toxic invasions (bacterial and viral) including measles, flu, encephalitis, meningitis, etc.​

  • JING … Condensed essence of prenatal qi which is stored in the kidneys and circulates in the Eight 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, and insomnia.

  • PHLEGM … Congealed mucus formed by excesses of damp and heat.  Often originates in the spleen and stomach due to heat in the gallbladder or liver and accumulates in the lungs, sinuses, intestines, uterus, or the acupuncture channels.  Includes fatty deposits in the heart and blood vessels. 

  • SHEN … Often translated as “spirit”, shen 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 regulation 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 in 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 damp environment or a pre-existing internal damp excess will cause rheumatism and joint pain.  Accounts for various musculoskeletal complaints.

  • WIND-HEAT … In wind invasions affecting people with pre-existing heat or deficiency-heat, colds are marked by fever, sore throat and restlessness or with the introduction of toxic viruses and bacteria.

  • 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 hypofunction 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 yin produce dryness and heat. 

  • YING QI… The qi that circulates in the acupuncture channels, and which nourishes the organs.

  • ZANG-FU … Taken together, zang-fu refers to organs (in distinction to 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.