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TCM Theory and Function of the Organs (Zhang / Fu)

TCM Theory and Function of the Organs (Zhang / Fu)

Theory of the Organs

The Zhang / Fu 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the internal organs have the same names as those we know. However in TCM, the organs are more than flesh and blood. They also perform tasks with QI (energy) which are not understood by modern science. 

As Chinese medicine is largely about energy (qi), the organs also produce, circulate, and store this energy. To the Chinese doctor, the biological function of an organs is often secondary. When the qi is normal, the organ will behave normally. 

Chinese medical theory groups the organs into YIN Organs (most important), and YANG Organs (mostly digestive and less important)


The YIN organs

The Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys,  Liver, and Pericardium (surface of the heart) are called the ZANG are considered the most important. They are structurally solid, and responsible for the creation and storage of qi and Blood. 


The YANG organs

are the large intestine, small intestine, stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder, and triple-warmer (which is a functional conglomerate of all the yang organs).  They are known as the FU and are considered less important. They are hollow organs, responsible mainly for the transportation of food and for elimination. The odd sixth pair of organs, known as the Pericardium and Triple-Heater,  also have energetic functions that are not attributed to the other organs.

Functions of the Organs

 YIN Organs Yang Function Yin Function YANG Organs Function
Heart Circulates Blood Home to the Shen* Small Intestine  Transports food and fluids
Spleen / Pancreas

Rules Digestion

Transforms QI Stomach Digests Food

Circulates Air

Controls the Pores 

Directs QI Downward Large Intestine Transports Stool
Kidney Governs Urination

Rules Reproductive QI

Stores Essence (JING)

Urinary Bladder Regulates Urination
Liver Detoxifies Blood Smooths QI
Home to the Hun (spirit)
Gall Bladder Detoxifies

*(supreme being)

Shen Clinic TCM consultation



BTW, Did you know that Dr. Shen is also an artist? See his work here



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