For example, the Kidney Network includes yet extends beyond the job of managing fluid metabolism which we in the West ordinarily associate with the kidneys. The Kidney stores the Essence responsible for reproduction, growth, and regeneration. It controls the treeth, bones, marrow, brain, inner ear, pupil of the eye, and lumbar region, and is associated with the emotion of fear, the will, and the capacity for sharp thinking and perception. So problems such as retarded growth, ringing in the ears, infertility, low back pain, paranoia, fuzzy thinking, weak vision, apathy, or dispair are veiwed as dysfunctions of the Kidney Network.
The Heart not only propels blood through the vessels, but harbors the Spirit and governs the mind. Symptoms as varied as anxiety, restless sleep, angina, and palpitations occur when the Heart is agitatied.
The Spleen is in charge of the assimliation of food and fluids, as well as ideas, so when this Network is disturbed, indigestion, bloating, fatigue, scattered thinking, and poor concentration ensue.
The Liver is responsible for the storage of Blood, flow of Qi, and eveness of temperament- so when the Liver is thwarted, tension in the neck and shoulders, high blood pressure, headaches, cramping, moodiness, and impulsive behavior may follow.
Through the breath, the Lung sets the body rhythm, defends its boundaries, and affords inspiration. A troubled Lung might trigger tightness in the chest, skin rashes, vulnerability to colds or flus, rigid thinking, or melancholy.
"Since my childhood I'd been dependent on inhailers and anti-asthma medicines. along with acupuncture treatments for six months, I eliminated spicy and cold foods from my diet. Now I can play basketball without needing bronchodilators and I only take medicine occasionally if I get a bad case of hayfever."--Robbie Johnson, age 33
Body Climates (Wind, Dampness, Dryness, Heat, Cold)
In Nature, extreme wind, dampness, dryness, heat, and cold wreak havoc in the world. These same forces can derange balance within the human body, weakening or obstructing the movement of Qi in the organs. As winds shake the trees of the forest, dissasembling leaves and branches, internal Wind manifests as vertigo, unsteady movement, and trembling. As saturated earth generates swamps, so Dampness becomes phlegm and edema in the body. As aridity withers vegitation, so Dryness causes chapping or cracking of mucus membranes. Just as ice inhibits the rush of water in a stream, so internal Cold retards circulation and depresses metabolism. And just as fire scorches the earth, so internal Heat may inflame tissue.
Health and Illness
Qi, Moisture, and Blood circulate within a web of pathways called channels that link together all parts of the organism. Health exists when adequate Qi, Moisture, and Blood flow smoothly. Symptoms as varied as joint pain, headache, anxiety, fatigue, menstrual cramps, high blood pressure, asthma, indigestion, and the common cold occur when thier circulation is disrupted.
All illness is understood as a consequence of either a depletion or a congestion of Qi, Moisture, and Blood. Depletionleads to weakness, lethargy, frequent illness, poor digestion, and inadequate blood flow. Congestion results in aches, tension, tenderness, pain, a distended abdomen, irritability, and swelling.