Foundations of Chinese Medicine

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Lesson 1: The History of Chinese Medicine

Foundations of Chinese MedicineThe Who’s Who of Chinese Medicine: The Yellow Emperor, Hua Tuo, Zhang Zhongjing, Sun Si-miao, and a cast of thousands. Also a brief tour of the classic works you need to know like the Huang di Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Febrile Disease or Cold Diseases), Jing Gui Yao Lue (Golden Chamber), and Wen Bing Cao Bian (Warm Diseases).

Lesson 2: Yin and Yang Theory

Origins of the concepts of yin and yang, how that relates to the bagua, concepts you need to know about yin and yang, how yin and yang apply to the acupuncture meridians, the TCM correspondences you will use in diagnosis and treatment, and the pathologies of yin and yang (excesses and deficiencies) that can occur in a body that is not in harmony or balance.

Lesson 3: Five Element Theory

The five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and how those correspond to health and the TCM organ systems. Generating and control sequences as well as the pathologies that can occur such as overchecking/overcontrolling, counterchecking/insulting.

Lesson 4: ZangFu Theory

Zang Fu Diagnosis methodsBasic theory, Zang/Yin and Fu/Yang organ systems and channels, and the basic functions of the Yin and Yang organs. An overview is given for each organ system pairing (such as Heart/Small Intestine, Lung/Large Intestine, etc.) followed by the physiological function, channel distribution of each organ system, and the relationship between the yin and yang organs in the pair.
Heart/Small Intestine, Spleen/Stomach, Lung/Large Intestine, Kidney/BladderLiver/Gallbladder.

Lesson 5: Vital Substances

Vital Substances are Essence, Qi, Blood and Body Fluids. The types of each as well their functions are covered in this sequence.

  • Essence: what it is, types of essence, where it is stored, functions in the body, and how to strengthen it.
  • Qi: what it is, where it comes from, how it differs from essence, different types (yuan qi, gu qi, wei qi, etc.), funtions of qi, movement of qi, pathologies associated with it, and how to tonify it.
  • Blood: what it is, sources of blood in the body, functions and how it relates to the internal organs, to qi, and to essence, as well as pathologies associated with Blood.
  • Body Fluids: how they are generated and transported, how they relate to the internal organs, functions, pathologies, retention of body fluids, the relationship of body fluids to blood, and the important clinical information you need to know about them.

Lesson 6: Relationships Between the Yin/Zang Organs

How the Yin or Zang organs relate to each other and why that matters clinically. At the end of this lesson there is also a brief discussion of how the Yin and Yang (Zang and Fu) organs interrelate, and the Yang organ interrelationships.

  • Heart and LungBagua and tai chi symbol
  • Heart and Liver
  • Heart and Kidney
  • Heart and Spleen
  • Lung and Liver
  • Lung and Spleen
  • Lung and Kidney
  • Spleen to Liver
  • Spleen to Kidney
  • Liver to Kidney
Works Cited

  • Source: Wu, Qianzhi. “Foundations of Chinese Medicine.” AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Austin Texas. Fall 2007. Lecture Series.
  • Ni, Maoshing. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine. Boston MA: Shambhala Publications, 1995. Print.
  • Beinfield, Harriet. Between Heaven and Earth. New York NY: Ballantine Books, 1991. Print.
  • Kaptchuk, Ted. The Web That Has No Weaver. New York NY: Congdon & Weed, 1983. Print.