Chinese Medicine Knowledge

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the philosophy of Daoism (Taoism) where everything in nature has a balance. When in balance with nature, a person is healthy.

Yin-Yang and the Five Elements are the two main theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine that suggest ways and treatments on how to maintain the balance within a body. The Five Elements theory is essentially a more refined version of the Yin-Yang theory.

Examples of Nature or Body organs against the Five Elements:

Five Elements
Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Spring Summer Late summer Autumn Winter
Wind Hot Wet Dry Cold
‘Zang’ Organ
Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney
‘Fu’ Organs
Gall Bladder Small Intestine Stomach Colon Bladder
Anger Joy Thinking Anxiety, Sadness Fear, Fright

The Human Body in Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine maintains that a human body is made up of organs, energy/blood channels (so-called Meridians) and the four basic elements of Essence, Qi, Blood and Body Fluid. Read more about the human body.

Zang-Fu Organs

In Traditional Chinese medicine knowledge the main eleven human organs are divided into two groups: Zang-Organs and Fu-Organs. The theories of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements apply to these organs.

Zang organs

Responsible for blood circulation and mental activities
Regulates the digestion of food
Ensures the smooth flow of Qi, Blood and Body Fluid
Regulates the amount of Qi entering the body and the organs
Storage of Essence and responsible for body growth and reproduction


Small intestine
is a place for primary absorption
responsible for digestion of food
transformation of food into waste
stores the waste body fluid
Gall bladder
enhances the process of digestion and absorption
Triple heater
is a channel for the movement of Qi


A meridian is a channel that transports life energy in the form of Qi, Blood and Body Fluid. Whereas Western medicine differentiates between the oxygen circulation system, the blood circulation system and the lymphatic system, Traditional Chinese Medicine consolidates them all under the meridian circulation system.

In Chinese Medicine the twelve Jing Meridians are often given special attention. They are distributed symmetrically throughout the body, each connect one Zang-Fu Organ and represent either the Yin or Yang force.

The Four Basic Elements

In Chinese Medicine the four basic elements of a human body are Essence, Qi, Blood and Body Fluid. Albeit using different names and terms, the same elements also exist in Western medicine.

Essence (Jing)

When a baby is born, it acquires Essence from the parents. The modern Western medicine equivalent is the genetic DNA.

chinese medicine knowledge meridian system


In Chinese Medicine Qi refers to the life energy of a human being. Life energy is acquired through breathing of air, eating of food and drinking of water, and is required to maintain the physiological functions of a body.

Blood and Body Fluid

In Chinese Medicine the concept of blood is very similar to the one in Western medicine. Chinese Medicine maintains that the function of blood is to carry energy and nutrition to organs and tissues. Body fluid refers to all other body fluids in the human body except blood.

Read about Chinese medicine treatments