The analysis of disease in oriental medicine is based on a concept called ‘zangfu’. The zang are solid and the fu are hollow organs. The focus of Chinese medicine on the different organs reflects the increased reliance on concepts therein. Other major concepts are ‘yin yang’ and the ‘5 elements’. As there are 12 meridians and only 5 elements, we have two additional organs to make up 12. These are:

The Pericardium

The pericardium is referred to as the heart protector. For Chinese medicine purposes, the pericardium is referred to as a yin organ; it is mainly paired with the San Jiao (triple burner) which is a yang organ. This organ is said to prevent the heart from external pathogenic attacks. Most heart problems are normally approached through the pericardium as opposed to a direct approach. This is due to the heart being the ‘emperor’ the sovereign and it’s not touched so the pericardium (the heart envelope) will be treated instead. The pericardium operates at its optimum between 7pm and 9pm.

The Triple Burner or San Jiao

The triple burners is known as the san jiao in Chinese medicine. The organ is responsible for the passage of fluids and heat throughout the body. The diagnosis and treatment of diseases may directly be linked to the triple burner not functioning effectively. With the main trunk of the body, we differentiate between upper, middle and lower burner. It is a general metaboliser or a pathway to fluid, gas and heat to flow through.

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