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Zang Fu -  the Functions of  Body Organs


Bodu FunctionsThe Zang Fu concept of Tranditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explains the physiological functions, pathological changes and mutual relationships of organs of the body.  The Zang and Fu organs are not simply anatomical substances, but more importantly represent the generalization of the physiology and pathology of the systems of human body. To highlight the fact that Zang-Fu are not equivalent to the anatomical organs of western medicine, their names are often capitalized. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does not emphasize the body as a machine-like assemblage of autonomous parts; rather TCM recognizes that human boday is an intricately coordinated, dynamic living system.

Zang and Fu are composed of five Zang organs and six Fu organs. Zang refers to the Yin organs - Heart (including Pericardium), Liver, Spleen, Lung and Kidney (心、肝、脾、肺、腎) - mainly manufacture, store and regulate Essence: Qi, Blood, and Body Fluid.

While Fu refers to the Yang organs - Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Gall Bladder and San Jiao (胃、小腸 、大腸、膀胱、膽、三焦) - mainly receive and digest food, absorb nutrients, transmit and excrete wastes. They transform and transport substances without storing them and for this reason they may be over-filled.

Each Zang is paired with a Fu, and each pair are assigned to one of the Wu Xing (Five Elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth). The Zang-Fu are also connected to meridians; each Zang is attached to a Yin meridian and each Fu is attached to a Yang meridian.

There is another category of organs called the extraordinary Fu organs which include the brain, marrow, bone, vessels, and uterus. They are named Fu but their functions are similar to that of the Zang organs. Because their physiological functions and pathological changes are closely connected with the Zang organs.

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