Web That Has No Weaver

Chapter 2 - The Fundamental Substances:
Qi, Blood, Jing, Shen, and Fluids

-Chinese medicine is concerned with diagnosis (organizing signs and symptoms to arrive at accurate perception).

-Chinese medicine is not elaborate; it mainly consists of views about health and disease of ordinary people. Ideas include axioms and formulas, modes of perception, and definitions of function.

-Chinese medical theory is not linear, going from proposition to proposition. It is like going from simple drawings to fine paintings. The Ying and Yang may be refined, but never abandoned.

Five Substances

1. QI - matter on the verge of becoming energy

A. Origins of Qi - All Qi is called Normal Qi

  1. Original - parents to children at conception
  2. Grain - digestion of food
  3. Natural Air - air we breathe

B. Functions of Qi - responsible for physical well-being and changes

  1. Qi is the source of all movement in the body and accompanies all movement.
    • includes all movement - voluntary, involuntary, etc.
    • Qi is not cause, it is inseparable from movement
    • constant motion - ascending, descending,entering, and leaving
  2. Qi protects the body.
  3. Qi is the source of harmonious transformation in the body.
  4. Qi govers retention of the body's Substances and Organs.
  5. Qi warms the body.

C. Types of Qi

  1. Organ
  2. Meridian
  3. Nutritive
  4. Protective
  5. Ancestral

D. Disharmonies of Qi

  1. Deficient - general
  2. Collapsed - can't hold organs in place
  3. Stagnant - normal movement impaired
  4. Rebellious - flows in wrong direction


A. Origins - originates through transformation of food

B. Relationships - heart, liver, and spleen; Blood and Qi are mutually

C. Disharmonies

  1. Deficient Blood - insufficient nourishment
  2. Congealed Blood - obstruction and not flowing smoothy

III. JING - means Essence, underlies all organic life, supportive, nutritive

A. Origins

  1. Prenatel Jing - inherited from parents
  2. Postnatal Jing - comes from purified parts of ingested food

B. Function - development

C. Disharmonies - congenital defects (eg. improper maturation)

IV. SHEN - means Spirit, unique to human life, vitality

A. Origins - analagous to Jing

B. Functions - ability to think, discriminate

C. Disharmonies - cannot think, forgets, unreasonable responses

V. FLUIDS - bodily liquids other than blood

A. Origins - ingested food

B. Functions - moisten, nourish but less essential

C. Disharmonies - dryness

Substances are only meaningful in relation to signs, symptoms, and patterns displayed by people.