Tag Archive for: yin and yang

Organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine

What We Say Versus What We Mean: Part I – Organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine

From the moment we wake up to the time we sleep, we are communicating with others.

We rely on language to relay our thoughts, feelings, and intentions to each other. However, sometimes our words can have a hidden meaning that is lost in translation.

This is especially evident in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where our organs have a different meaning from what we typically understand in Western medicine.

In this blog post, we will explore five of the organ pairs in TCM and differentiate each one from its Western/literal equivalent.

Lung and Large Intestine

In TCM, the lung and large intestine work together, forming a yin-yang pair. The lungs control breathing, regulate Qi energy, and open to the nose, while the large intestine has the function of receiving waste and excreting waste. The Western equivalent of the lungs is the same; however, the large intestine is just seen as another organ in the body that is responsible for physical waste.

Stomach and Spleen

The stomach and spleen are another yin-yang pair. The stomach functions in receiving and descending food, while the spleen transforms the food into nutrients for the body. Interestingly, in TCM, the spleen also governs the muscles and limbs. In contrast, in Western understanding, the stomach digests food, and the spleen is an immune organ.

Heart and Small Intestine

The heart and small intestine work together as a pair, with the heart being the ruler of the body and spirit, while the small intestine is responsible for receiving and transforming food. In TCM, the heart also has the functions of housing the mind and controlling blood circulation. In Western medicine, the small intestine is responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.

Bladder and Kidney

The bladder and the kidney work as a yin-yang pair, with the bladder being responsible for excretion and the kidney being the foundation of Yin and Yang. The kidneys also have the functions of governing bones, marrow, and the reproductive system. In Western medicine, the bladder and kidneys are responsible for urinary function and waste management only.

Triple Burner and Pericardium

The triple burner and pericardium are two unique organs in TCM, not found in Western medicine. The triple burner is a three-part organ that regulates water metabolism, while the pericardium is known as the heart protector and has the function of protecting the heart, mind, and spirit. The holy grail of TCM is the balance of the three burners, which is imperative for a healthy body and mind.

Liver and Gallbladder

The liver and gallbladder manage digestion in TCM. The liver regulates Qi and blood circulation, and the free flow of these elements is integral to health. The gallbladder has the function of storing and secreting bile, which helps break down and digest fats. In Western medicine, the liver is responsible for detoxification and the gallbladder’s function is only linked to fat digestion.

This blog post has explored five organ pairs in TCM and their differences from their Western/literal equivalent.

It’s essential to remember that our terminology sounds the same as the Western words, but the meanings can be radically different. Understanding these different organ pairs’ roles and functions is crucial when it comes to TCM treatment.

If you ever have questions about terminology you may have heard, be sure to ask about it at your next acupuncture appointment – we would be more than happy to help you understand better.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

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2 Fall Recipes - Warming Recipes

2 Warming Recipes to Nourish Your Body This Fall

Why is consuming warm foods during the fall season important?

  • Warm foods help balance the yin and yang energies by counteracting the cooling effects of the environment.
  • Warm foods support the spleen and stomach, aiding in digestion.
  • Warm foods promote the smooth flow of qi, the vital energy, throughout the body, preventing stagnation.
  • Warm foods nourish and moisturize the body, which is particularly beneficial during the dryness associated with the fall.
  • Warm foods boost the immune system, providing protection against common illnesses during this time of seasonal transition.

Discover two delightful and comforting warming recipes to savor this autumn.

Start your day with a nourishing warm oats breakfast, and end it with a flavorful and soothing carrot curry soup for dinner.

These recipes not only offer incredible flavors but also provide a cozy and satisfying experience during this season of change.

Warming Oats Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ghee (optional- great for the nervous system- full of Vitamin A & E)
  • ⅓ cup oat bran (higher in protein than rolled oats or 1/2 of rolled oats)
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds


  • 2 Medjool dates cut into small pieces (good source of iron & potassium)
  • A splash of milk
  • Your choice of fruit


  1. Add water to a pot with chopped almonds first, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add ghee, salt, cinnamon, and cardamon to the pot and stir until well combined.
  3. Add oats, turning down the heat too low.
  4. Stir until the oats have thickened.

Curried Carrot Soup Recipe


  • 5 Large Carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic (diced)
  • ¼ ts sea salt
  • 2 cups Chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar


  1. Sauté the onion until translucent, then add curry powder, garlic, and carrots.
  2. Add curry powder, garlic, and carrots. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Stir until well combined.
  4. Slowly add broth until the water just covers the carrots (you can always add more broth later). Cook until carrots are tender.
  5. Blend soup until creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Try them out and relish the autumnal goodness they bring to your table.

Too often, patients feel unheard and are frustrated with poor results from expensive, standard medical care.

At Lokahi Acupuncture, we take the time to approach patient care collaboratively to find creative solutions that are uniquely you, allowing you to create the life you’ve always envisioned.

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today

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