Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines


  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles
  • 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


  • Exogenous | Pestilential
  • Pathogenic Factors
  • Emotional

Materia Medica

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The Six Fu Organs

Gall Bladder

The gall bladder is attached to the liver and stores bile. There is an ancient saying regarding the close relationship between the liver and bile, "The remaining qi of the liver flows to the gall bladder and turns into the juice of essence (bile)." Bile is continuously excreted into the intestinal lumen to assist in digestion. The bitter taste and yellow color of bile are significant in disease manifestations of bitter taste in the mouth, vomiting of bile, jaundice, etc. As the liver and the gall bladder are externally and internally related, the gall bladder is also involved in the free flow of qi concerning emotional activities.

Clinically, when some mental disorders or emotional symptoms such as fear and palpitation, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, etc. occur, treatment can be applied by considering the gall bladder.


Situated below the diaphragm, the stomach's upper outlet connects with the esophagus, and its lower outlet with the small intestine. Its main physiological function is to receive and digest food. The stomach is also known as the "sea of water and cereal." Food is digested here, then sent downward to the small intestine, where the essential substances are transformed and transported by the spleen to the whole body. The spleen and the stomach collectively are known as the "acquired foundation," that is, their proper nourishment establishes the foundation for a healthy life. Clinical diagnosis and treatment place great stress on the strength and weakness of the stomach and spleen qi. Generally, it is considered that whatever kind of disease occurs, if stomach qi is still strong, the prognosis will be good. It is said, "Stomach qi is the foundation of the human body. When there is stomach qi, there is life. When there is no stomach qi death will follow." Preserving stomach qi is therefore considered an important principle of treatment.

Normal stomach qi descends. If it fails to descend, symptoms such as anorexia, fullness, pain and distension of the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, hiccough, etc. will appear.

Small Intestine

The upper end of the small intestine connects with the stomach, its main function being to receive partially digested food from the stomach and further divide it into clear and turbid. The small intestine transfers the turbid residues to the large intestine. The spleen transports the clean essential substances to all parts of the body, and part of the water contained in food to the urinary bladder. Therefore, if diseased, the small intestine will not only affect the function of digestion and absorption, but also lead to urinary problems.

Large Intestine

The upper end of the large intestine is connected to the small intestine by the ileocecum, and its lower end connects to the anus. Its main physiological function is to receive the waste material send down from the small intestine and, in the process of transporting it to the anus, absorb a part of its fluid, and convert it into feces to be excreted from the body. Dysfunction of the large intestine produces the symptoms of borborygmus and diarrhea; if the fluid is further exhausted, the symptoms will be constipation and so on.

Urinary Bladder

The main function of the urinary bladder is to store and discharge urine. It has an exterior and interior relationship with the kidney. Pathologically, if the urinary bladder has a dysfunction of qi, dysuria or retention of urine will appear. If its restrictive function is lost, there may be excessive urination or incontinence of urine.

Sanjiao: The Body Cavities

Sanjiao (three areas of the body cavity) is a general term for the three sections of the body trunk. The upper jiao contains the heart and lung, the middle jiao contains the spleen and stomach, and the lower jiao contains the kidney and urinary bladder. The following are the categories of function as described by the Lingshu:

The function of the upper jiao is to act like a fog; the function of the middle jiao is maceration; the function of the lower jiao is to be an aqueduct.

Thus the heart and lung function is to distribute qi and body fluid by a spreading and moistening action. The spleen and stomach must digest, absorb, and transfer the qi, blood, and body fluid transformed from the essential substances; a similar process to that of soaking in water to cause decomposition and dissolution. The kidney and urinary bladder function to transport fluids and water. Pathological problems in any of the three jiao will effect the organs located there.

Traditional Chinese Medicine pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

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With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I will be revamping the whole website and be moving those information into a new \"Ancient Chinese Culture\" section so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2020.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, Wyith Institute™ or any of its associated businesses.