Sang Ly MontageLicensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)Applegate, OR1 (541) 708-3953 • e-mail (remove spaces): s a n g @ g o r i l l a c u p u n c t u r e . c o m

Definitions of Common Traditional Chinese Medical Terms

Qi: The energy required for all life (indeed, for all existence!).  When one is healthy, the Qi flows freely and naturally without any blockages.

Shen: Corresponds to what we might call “spirit”: the energy expressed by the individual.
Observed in the clarity and brightness of the eyes and complexion, as well as the focus, clarity and intensity of intellectual and emotional processes.

Jing: One’s “essence” or endowment of life force (Qi).  Stored between the Kidneys.

Three Treasures: The Three Concepts that underly the philosophy and theory of Traditional AsianMedicine.  They consist of Qi, Shen, and Jing.

Taiji: The interplay between Yin and Yang that characterizes all movement and change.  Often translated as “the grand ultimate”, Taiji can be thought of as “the dance of all existence” and its interplay is manifest in the complimentary relationships that characterize all natural process: night/day, cold/heat, internal//external, male/female, life/death.

Yin: The cold, dark, receptive and yielding aspect of Taiji.

Yang: The warm, light, projective and forceful aspect of Taiji.

Meridian: Passageways which conduct the flow of Qi.  Twelve Meridians are associated with the Organs (Lung, Large Intestine, Spleen/Pancreas, Stomach, Heart, Small Intestine, Kidney, Bladder, Liver, Gall Bladder, Pericardium and “Triple Burner”).  There are also Eight “Extraordinary Meridians” which are deeper internal reservoirs of Qi.

Meridians describe the movement of Qi throughout the body.

Qi Gong: breathing exercises often incorporating movements which are specifically designed to restore beneficial flow of Qi through the body’s meridians.

Five Elements: A system of understanding natural processes both within the body and all life.  The Five “Elements” are translated as Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.  These words are metaphors for states of energy and matter.  The system might better be described as “Five Phase” theory, but is almost always referred to as “Five Elements”.

Seven Emotions: When any of these emotions are repressed for prolonged period it can potentially lead to illness or disease.  The Seven Emotions are: Joy, Anger (Frustration), Fear (Fright), Sadness, Pensiveness, Worry and Grief.

Wei Qi: Analogous to the immune system in Western Medicine.  Also called “Defensive Qi”, it circulates just below the skin and serves to protect the body from invasion by External Factors (a.k.a. OPI).

OPI: “Outside Pernicious Influences” or “External Factor” refers to any external invading pathogen or phenomena which upon infiltrating the interior of the body may cause illness or imbalance.  Some external factors include: Cold, Damp, Wind, Dryness and Heat.

Stagnation: When Qi is not adequately circulating.

Excess: A condition of excess in Yin or Yang.

Deficiency: A condition of deficiency in Yin or Yang.

Tonify: Any aspect of treatment which strengthens, nourishes, or supports.

Disperse: Any aspect of treatment which moves, circulates and distributes Qi to relieve stagnation and resolve accumulation of OPIs.

Palpation: A diagnostic technique using the hands to explore and examine areas of the body through the sensitive and careful application of pressure.  This technique is also used to read pulses.

Electro-Acupuncture: Electrical stimulation of acupuncture needles with low-voltage electronics.  Enhances and intensifies the effects of an acupuncture treatment.