The Internal Organs
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the internal organs are connected to one another, as well as to the surface of the body, by a system of channels through which vital energy flows. The channels form a network that helps to regulate the function of the whole body. Each organ is supplied with energy by its own channel. Additional smaller channels connect the different organs. Because of the direct connection between two organs, they can affect each other's function. There is a close relationship between them. Because of this relationship they are considered paired organs.
Together with the ten organs there are two functions that are recognized in traditional Chinese medicine. These two functions also have channels for energy circulation. The Heart Governor controls blood circulation and relates to physical and emotional aspects of the heart. The Triple Heater coordinates all body functions. Both of these functions are extremely important in the well-being of the individual.
The following chart shows the paired organs—e.g., Lung and Large Intestine— and the flow of energy throughout the body in a continuous cycle. Troubles that affect the intestine will interfere with the function of the lung and vice versa. This relationship is true for all the paired organs. In other words, kidney trouble can show symptoms in the bladder; heart trouble can affect the small intestine and digestion; nervous stomach can affect the function of the pancreas, and so forth. (See Chart on following page.)
Simplifed Functions of the Internal Organs
and Energy Flow
Lung i—internalizes Ki and air and removes waste
Stomach 2—receives and digests food
Heart 1—circulates blood, __
maintains emotional stability
Urinary Bladder2—stores and -passes liquid waste
Heart Governor'—governs ----
circulation and relates to physical and emotional aspects of the heart
Gall Bladder2—stores bile, a — digestive enzyme of fat
Large Intestine2— absorbs glucose, salt, and liquid, removes waste, aids lung
Pancreas/SpleenJ—makes hormones and digestive liquid
Small Intestine 2—absorbs nutrients from food, creates blood with the bone marrow
Kidney '—filters and cleans the
Triple Heater 2—regulates circulation and coordinates all body functions
Liver 1—cleans, stores and makes blood
i Solid Organs
2 Hollow Organs
Macrobiotic medicine dosignates the solid organs as Yang organs and the hollow organs as Yin organs. Traditional Chinese Medicine designates the solid organs as Yin organs and the hollow organs as Yang organs. While apparently contradictory the designations work well within the context of their use. The Chinese medical view is based on energy, while Macrobiotics emphasizes a more material approach.