The spleen as a visceral organ, according to scholars of traditional Chinese medicine, the spleen is in charge of the function of conveying and transforming corpuscular material for maintenance of muscles and nourishment of flesh and skin. If the vitality of the spleen is great enough for the conveyance work and there is an ample supply of vital energy and blood, then the muscles will be full and round and the complexion will be ruddy and rosy. On the other hand, if the spleen is deficient in vitality and the supply of vital energy and blood is inadequate, then the personí»s figure will appear frail and the complexion flaccid and sallow; if the vitality of the spleen is deficient and is still declining, and water and moisture, not being adequately conveyed, spills from flesh and skin, then the body and the face will be sickly yellowish and swollen.
The kidneys are responsible for storing the essence of life and transforming corpuscular material. The five internal organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and also the kidneys) all depend on the kidneys for congenial warmth. Adequacy of the essence of life in the kidneys and the glow of vitality of the kidneys are the basic guarantee of a personí»s long life, perennial youthful looks and unfading appearance. If the warming power of the kidneys is not adequate for providing congenial warmth to the whole figure, then the body feels chilly, the limbs feel cold and the complexion is pallid. If there is not enough essence of life in the kidneys to nourish the whole body, then hair, both fine and gross, falls off, teeth shake, and the complexion withers early.
If there is a deficiency of essential body fluids in the kidneys, an internal heat induced by that deficiency flares up inside the body and the cheeks are seen to become abnormally red because of the hectic fever. If the deficiency-induced heat dies down, then a water-induced cold becomes rampant inside and the complexion is seen to be darkish. An ample supply of the essence of life in the kidneys is the cause of hair being lustrous, while a deficiency of vital energy in the kidneys entails albescence of hair, both fine and gross, and its shedding.
The word kidney in traditional Chinese medicine differs greatly in concept from that of the kidney as a visceral structure in modern medicine. The meaning of the word kidney in traditional Chinese medicine transcends by far in scope that of the kidney as a visceral structure in modern medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine the kidney is given the title of "prenatal root source of the human body". The so-called root source denotes the foundation of life. In the classic of Internal Medicine the kidney is defined as "the organ enabling work to be done, from which skill is derived". The implied meaning of "enabling work to be done" is the level of strength for tackling jobs. In other words, it is the physical strength of a human being. The implied meaning of what is termed "skill" is the degree of ingenuity of a person. It is no other than the person"s intelligence. What all the above boils down to is that a person"s physical strength and intelligence are rooted in the kidneys of the person"s body. To be more concrete, the kidney has a multitude of functions; it is related with life directly and indirectly in many respects. << Back
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