Terminology

When an acupuncturists talks about their medicine, they often use terms that people are unfamiliar with.

Here are a few that are commonly used terms:

  • Qi—this is the energy that acupuncture effects. It is in everything and is everywhere.
  • Yin– this is the feminine or cooling energy. It is night, darkness and earthy.
  • Yang– this is the masculine or warming, fire energy. It is the energy of movement and is day, light and more ethereal.
  • Blood– blood has both a physical presence, as when we speak of blood in the west and it has an energetic presence. It is this energetic presence that acupuncturists most commonly refer to. It is a yin energy.
  • Shen– this is the spirit. It resides in the heart. It is what governs our body and emotions.
  • Xu– Xu is a Chinese term that means deficiency. I often forget and say something is qi xu rather than qi deficient without thinking.