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Chinese Medicine

The Internal Organ System - Zangfu

The term Zangfu" is a collective name for the various Yin and Yang organs identified in TCM. A Yin organ is called a Zang and a Yang organ is called a Fu. Each organ is considered to have its own functions, but these functions have a far wider scope than the purely physiological function described in Western medicine. 


The Zang consists of the five Yin organs. They are:


• Spleen 
• Heart 
• Lungs 
• Liver 
• Kidneys


A sixth organ called the Xin-Bao (Pericardium), not described in Western physiology, is also considered as a Yin organ (Zang). In general, TCM considers the Zang to stay deeply in the body and to be concerned with the production, storage and regulation of the fundamental substances. For example, the Heart makes blood, the Lung governs Qi and the Kidney stores Jing or Essence. Each Zang is also correspondent to a sense organ and have an associated spiritual aspect. For example, the Liver connects to the eye and is associated with anger. 


The Fu organs consists of the six hollow (Yang) organs. They are: 


• Small Intestine 
• Large Intestine 
• Gall Bladder 
• Bladder 
• Stomach 
• San Jiao or Triple Burner (also not described in Western physiology)


In general, Fu organs have the functions of receiving, separating, distributing and excreting body substances. The body is divided into five functional systems known as Organ Networks. These Networks govern particular tissues, mental faculties, and physical activities by regulating and preserving
























Qi, Moisture, Blood, Spirit, and Essence

The Kidney Network includes yet extends beyond the job of managing fluid metabolism which people in the West ordinarily associate with the kidneys. The Kidney stores the Essence responsible for reproduction, growth, and regeneration. It controls the teeth, bones, marrow, brain, inner ear, pupil of the eye, and lumbar region, and is associated with the emotion of fear, the will, and the capacity for sharp thinking and perception. so problems such as retarded growth, ringing in the ears, infertility, low back pain, paranoia, fuzzy thinking, weak vision, apathy, or dispair are viewed as dysfunctions of the Kidney Network.


The Heart not only propels blood through the vessels, but harbors the Spirit and governs the mind. Symptoms as varied as anxiety, restless sleep, angina, and palpitations occur when the Heart is agitated.


The Spleen is in charge of the assimilation of food and fluids, as well as ideas, so when this Network is disturbed, indigestion, bloating, fatigue, over thinking, and poor concentration happen.


The Liver is responsible for the storage of Blood, flow of Qi, and evenness of temperament - so when the Liver is thwarted, tension in the neck and shoulders, high blood pressure, headaches, cramping, moodiness, and impulsive behavior may follow.

Through the breath, the Lung sets the body rhythm, defends its boundaries, and affords inspiration. A troubled Lung might trigger tightness in the chest, skin rashes, vulnerability to colds or flus, rigid thinking, or melancholy.

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