The theory of the Internal Organs represents the Chinese medicine view of the body as an integrated whole. The Internal Organs are functionally related to various vital substances, emotions, tissues and senses.

Yin & Yang Internal Organs

The Yang organs are in charge of transforming food and drink to produce Qi and Blood. The Yin organs store the vital substances (Qi, Blood, Essence, Body Fluids) which they receive from the Yang organs after transformation from food. The relationship between Yin & Yang organs is a structural-functional relationship. The Yin organs correspond to structure and store the vital substances, while the Yang organs correspond to function.



Small Intestine


Gall Bladder


Large Intestine






Triple Burner


The Internal Organs and the vital substances

A main function of the Internal Organs is to ensure the production, maintenance, replenishment, transformation and movement of the vital substances. Each of the vital substances, Qi, Blood, Essence, and Body Fluids is related to one or more of the organs:

  1. The Heart governs Blood
  2. The Liver stores Blood
  3. The Lungs govern Qi and influence Body Fluids
  4. The Spleen Governs Food-Qi, Holds Blood and influences Body Fluids
  5. The Kidneys store Essence and Influence Body Fluids

The Internal Organs and the Tissues:

Each organ influences one of the tissues of the body, meaning there is a functional relationship between certain tissues and each organ, so that the state of the organ can be deduced by observation of the tissue related to it:

  1. The Heart controls the Blood Vessels and manifests in the complexion
  2. The Liver controls the Sinews and manifests in the nails
  3. The Lungs controls the Skin and manifests in the Body Hair
  4. The Spleen controls the muscles and manifests in the Lips
  5. The Kidneys control the Bones and manifest in the Hair

The Internal Organs and Sense Organs

Each organ is functionally related to one of the sense organs. This means that the health and acuity of a particular sense organ relies on the nourishment of an internal organ:

  1. The Heart controls the tongue and touch
  2. The Liver controls the eyes and sight
  3. The Lungs controls the nose and smell
  4. The Spleen controls the mouth and taste
  5. The Kidneys control the ears and hearing

The Internal Organs and the Emotions

The relationship between Internal Organs and Emotions reflect the unity of Body and Mind in Chinese Medicine. The same Qi that is the basis for all the physiological processes is also the basis for emotional and mental processes, since Qi exists in many different states of refinement. The relation between each organ and a particular emotion is mutual: the state of the organ will affect the emotions, and emotions will affect the state of the organ.

  1. The Heart relates to Joy
  2. The Liver relates to Anger
  3. The Lungs relates to Sadness
  4. The Spleen relates to Worry
  5. The Kidneys relate to Fear

The Emotions only become a cause of imbalance when they are excessive and prolonged. By treating a specific organ, we can influence the particular emotion related to that organ and help achieve a more balanced emotional state.

The Internal Organs and Climates

Each of the Internal Organs is responsible to defend the body of a certain climate:

  1. The Heart protects of Heat
  2. The Lungs protects of Dryness
  3. The Liver protects of Wind
  4. The Spleen protects of Dampness
  5. The Kidneys protect of Cold

An excess of these climatic conditions for a prolonged period of time may adversely affect the relevant organ.


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