• Yin & yang is the foundation of Chinese medicine.
• The idea behind yin & yang is contrasting yet complementary phenomena that
exist in a state of dynamic equilibrium
• The outer part of the body is considered yang, while the inner part is
• Yin & yang has been compared to a candle, where the yin is the wax while the
yang is the flame.The yin feeds the yang, and in turn the yang thrives, burning
brightly. When the wax is gone, the flame dies.This highlights the way in
which yin and yang depend upon one another.
The five phases of Chinese medicine are: earth, metal, water, wood and fire.
These elements have a dynamic relationship and can be applied to almost every
aspect of life– including the human body
The Five Phases
Qi &The Essential Substances
• Qi is a very broad concept that is difficult to understand.
• Micozzi (2015) defines Qi as: “the idea that the body is pervaded by subtle material and
mobile influences that cause most physiological functions and maintain the health and
vitality of the individual”
• Qi is frequently interchanged with the word “energy” although its true meaning is
• Many forms of Chinese medicine work to act & draw upon Qi.
• The essential substances of the body include blood, humor, and liquid.
• Qi has a very close relationship with blood because it is believed that the two flow
• Humor is thick & associated with the organs of the body. It also lubricates joints.
• Liquid is thin and has the primary role of moistening parts of the body such as the skin
& mucous membranes.
Essence & Spirit
• Essence is the physiological aspect of human health
• Spirit entails the mental aspect of human health. It is the vibrant, radiant part of the
human being and can be noted in the eyes and face of a healthy person.
• Spirit and essence are closely relatedFor example, certain feelings are related to
Viscera & Bowels
• TCM believes that the human body is made up of 12
• 6 of these organs are hollow (bowels) and 6 of these
organs are solid (viscera)
• The Chinese have never been as concerned about
anatomical structure, mainly focus upon organ
• The triple burner is an organ without a definite
structure that is believed to be responsible for
circulation and elimination of fluids.
• All organs are interconnected through channels. Qi is
believed to flow through these channels.