Zang Fu

The organs “Zang Fu”, 脏腑 Zàngfǔ, are functional entities in TCM, because they do not only consist of the organ as we know it in allopathic (western) medicine. They include an integration of body functions, tissues, sensory organs, body regions, environmental influences, emotions, psychological activities, Qi directions and are coupled with a Zang or Fu. For example the functional system of the Liver: The Liver regulates the free flow of Qi, controls the storage of blood, controls the tendons and “opens” into the eyes. The Liver corresponds to the wood transformation phase. It is linked to the Gallbladder through internal-external connections.

The functional entities are divided into storage organs (Zang) and hollow organs (Fu). The six storage organs are assigned to the Yin. The Zang organs store, form and transform the pure substances: Jing, Qi, blood and body fluids, which circulate through the body and nourish it. The six Zang organs are Lungs, Spleen, Heart, Kidney, Pericardium and Liver.

The six “hollow” organs are assigned to the Yang. The Fu organs are responsible for the absorption, separation, distribution and excretion of body fluids. The six Fu are Large intestine, Stomach, Small intestine, Bladder, Gallbladder and San Jiao (Chinese concept of a triple burner energy system).

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