Shen and Hun: The Psyche in Chinese Medicine


This article by Giovanni Maciocia discusses the nature and functions of the Shen and Hun in the human psyche. This is based on classical texts and on Giovanni’s own thoughts and clinical experience. There are five parts to this discussion: 1) The nature of the Shen 2) The nature of the Hun 3) The Shen … 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

Chinese Medicine: The Famous Chapter 8 of the Ling Shu


Chapter 8 of the Ling Shu (entitled Ben Shen 本 神) is quoted very frequently, especially its famous opening sentence. I would like to comment briefly on that sentence and propose a different translation of it.The opening sentence of chapter 8 of the Ling Shu is: Fan ci zhi fa, xian bi ben yu shen … Read More

Chinese Medicine on Joy: An Emotional Cause of Disease?


It always seems strange that joy should be listed among the emotional causes of disease in Chinese medicine. And yet, it has always been mentioned as an emotional cause of disease since ancient times. Strangely, the Chinese character for “joy” [xi 喜] is the only one of the emotions that is not based on the … Read More