Yin Fire in Chinese Medicine


The concept of Yin Fire was introduced by Li Dong Yuan in his book “Discussion on Stomach and Spleen” (Pi Wei Lun), 1249. The following is a translation of the chapter from this book dealing with Yin Fire. “Dietary irregularity and excessive consumption of cold or warm foods damage the Spleen and Stomach. Joy, anger, … Read More

Latent Heat in Chinese Medicine


Latent Heat or “Latent Pathogenic Factor” is a pathology that is quite unique and rather difficult to comprehend. Essentially, Latent Heat is formed when an exterior pathogenic factor invades the body without causing symptoms at the acute stage: the pathogenic factor goes into the Interior, it changes into Heat and it then emerges later in … Read More

Phlegm-Heat in Chinese Medicine


As discussed for Damp-Heat, in Phlegm-Heat, the primary aspect is the Phlegm rather than the Heat. It is Phlegm that is hot rather than the Heat having Phlegm. In a similar way as we said for Damp-Heat, a better name would be “Hot Phlegm” rather than “Phlegm-Heat”. This has important implications in treatment as this … Read More

Damp-Heat in Chinese Medicine

Damp Heat

Before starting our discussion I would like to clarify something regarding the nature of Damp-Heat. In Damp-Heat, Dampness is the predominant pathogenic factor: it is the Dampness that is hot, not the Heat that is damp. In fact, it would be better to call it “Hot Dampness” rather than “Damp-Heat”; however, I will continue calling … Read More

Chinese Medicine: Difference Between Heat and Fire


Most Chinese books use the words “Heat” and “Fire” interchangeably but in fact these two are not the same. I think we should be precise in our diagnosis differentiating between Heat and Fire because the pathology and treatment are different. I should clarify first the meaning of the term “Heat”. The term “Heat” has two … Read More

Empty Heat in Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia


This post continues the discussion of Heat. EMPTY HEAT “Empty Heat” derives from Yin deficiency. There are two aspects I would like to clarify straight away. The term “Empty” Heat may give the impression that Empty Heat is not “real” Heat. Although deriving from Yin deficiency, Empty Heat is “real” Heat and it heats up … Read More

Chinese Medicine: Heat from Qi Stagnation

Heat, Qi

When Qi stagnates it frequently gives rise to Heat. This is why emotional stress which leads to Qi stagnation usually leads to Heat and that is why the tip of the tongue (reflecting the Heart and the Shen) becomes red. Heat from Qi stagnation has the same characteristics and clinical manifestations as those of Full … Read More

Diagnosis, Patterns and Treatment of Heat in Acupuncture


Heat is an extremely common pattern in practice and it is therefore very important that we understand its aetiology, pathology, diagnosis, patterns and treatment. To give an idea of the frequency of Heat in practice, in my clinic in England in a database of over 2500 patients, 46% had a red tongue and 32 a … Read More

TCM Mirror Neurons: The Arena of Shen and Hun?

Emotion, Shen

In 1992 an Italian neurophysiologist in Parma was doing brain research using macaque monkeys. They were specifically researching an area of the brain called F5, located in the premotor cortex. Area F5 contains millions of neurons that specialize in coding for one specific motor behaviour: actions of the hand, including grasping, holding, tearing and, most … Read More