The Organs

The organs make up a main part of Traditional Chinese Medical Theory. There are six organs associated with yin and each has a paired organ that is associated with yang. Each of these organs also has a channel that runs through the body.

Each of these organs is also associated with an element. The elements can be very important for practitioners who practice in the five element tradition. I was trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, rather than Five Element but I appreciate the concepts and some day hope to make a complete study of this school of acupuncture thought.

Wood is the beginning element. It is about growth and movement. The liver is the yin wood organ and it’s pair is the Gallbladder.

Fire is the next element. There are two yin organs associated with fire. One is the heart. The other is the pericardium, which is the sac that surrounds the heart, protecting it. As such the pericardium is also called the heart protector. Paired with the heart is the yang channel of the small intestine.

The organ that is paired with the pericardium is called the Triple Warmer or the Triple Heater or the San Jiao (which means three jiaos). There is no real organ in our Western medicine that we can say this corresponds to. It may be the lymph system. At any rate, although this is a loosely defined organ it plays a major role in the body’s health.

After the fire element is earth. The spleen is the yin organ of earth. It’s paired organ is the stomach. Both of these organs deal with digestion and the assimilation of food.

Next is the metal element. The yin organ of metal is the lung. It’s paired yang organ is the Large Intestine.

Finally there have water. The yin organ of water is the kidney and the paired yang is the bladder. Realize that everything originates with water and thus this makes the kidney very important. Further, the kidney has a water or yin aspect as well as a yang aspect. All organs have this, but it is the kidney where the yin and yang aspects are most used in this medicine.