What are tsubos (壺)?

The acupuncture--or acupressure—points, called “tsubo," lie along the fourteen meridian systems (twelve basic systems and two control systems) that extend over the entire body and to the internal organs. Though invisible to the eye, these points, or tsubo are the locations at which it is easy for the flow of energy in the systems to slow down, becoming sluggish and stagnant. When the energy flow slows down in the systems associated with organs, malfunctions occur. When there is an imbalance in the Zo or Fu organs, it is manifested in the tsubo in many different ways: pain, numbness, a sense of pressure, stiffness, chills, flushing, spots, small discolorations, depositions of pigment (freckles and so on), and peculiarities in the electrical charge of the skin

The Taoist view of man as a microcosmic representation of the universe, the Confucian edicts of social form and propriety, and the observation of and dependence on nature characteristic of society are reflected in Traditional Chinese medicine as a whole, and specifically in the selection of tusbo names.  Tsubo names are taken from…

 1. Geographical landmarks: river, pond, lake and ocean

 2. Topographic features: mountain, hill

 3. Location between muscle and bones; e.g. a Valley

 4. Architectural features: a gathering ki place may be like an architectural gate, palace, mansion or house

 5. Roads: Ki route, passageway

 6. Astronomy, meteorology

 7. Animals and flowers


 8. Physiological function, etc.

What is the basic function of the Zo (臓) Organs?

Zo  Fu translates as “internal organs” in Japanese There are five Zo organs and six Fu organs (including the Triple heater meridian). In Traditional Oriental medicine, the focus is on the internal organs as much as the muscle, sinew, and skeleton system. Adding Heart constrictor and Triple Heater meridians create the basis twelve organs of traditional Oriental medicine. Zo and Fu work together as a full energetic system.

Yin organs are Zo organs and are considered the dense organs.

This include:

Lung energy - responsible for respiration and the intake of air (空気) which is sent to the heart. It also eliminates waste (co2). Lungs eliminate the excessive heat of the internal organs and are responsible for the circulation of Ki energy and defensive Ki energy. Oriental medicine considers the skin as a part of the lungs, as air intake and heat reduction depend on the healthy skin.

Spleen energy - responsible for transforming food into the blood (血 ) and food Ki energy, which is sent to the Heart meridian. This is related to the Western understanding of the function of the pancreas. The Spleen energy also distributes Ki energy to each organ and purifies the body, and is responsible for the female reproductive system and its related functions.

Heart energy - the master organ of all organs, is the main combustion chamber of the primary Ki energy which combines, Air from the lungs and food energy from the Spleen, Stomach, and Small Intestine, to create primary Ki energy. The Heart meridian is also responsible for distribution of blood.

Kidney energy - responsible for controlling water in the body, the overall balance of Yin and Yang energy and the distribution of essence (神). The Oriental medicine definition of the kidney meridian is closely related to the Western understanding of the adrenal glands. Kidney energy is responsible for purifying the blood and supporting the reproductive system.

Liver energy - stores and circulates the blood and circulated the Ki energy throughout the body, The liver is also responsible for the purification of the blood.

What is the basic function of the Fu (腑) Organs?

The primary function of the Fu organs is to support the corresponding Zo organs, and they perform other functions as well. The Fu organs are the Yang organs and are considered to be hollow organs.

These includes:

Large Intestine energy - responsible for separating liquids and solids and eliminating waste from the body. It also stores Kidney energy.

Stomach energy- responsible for, along with the small intestines energy, the breaking down of food to transform into food Ki energy. This is sent to the heart energy and becomes the primary functioning of Ki energy.

Small Intestine energy - responsible for transforming food into food Ki energy which is sent to the heart energy. It also helps the bladder energy in the transformation of Ki energy by separating clean and dirty fluids.

Bladder energy - responsible for the transformation of Ki energy. It also collects wastes from other organs and eliminates urine from the body.

Gallbladder energy - responsible for regulating Ki energy throughout the body and filtering infections and viruses from the blood.

 

What are the Zo Fu (臓腑) Organs?

ZO Fu translates as “internal organs network” in Japanese There are five Zo organs and six Fu organs (including the Triple heater meridian). In Traditional Oriental medicine, the focus is on the internal organs as much as the muscle, sinew and skeleton system. So, adding Heart constrictor and Triple Heater meridians, you have the basic twelve organs of traditional Oriental medicine. Zo and Fu work together as a full energetic system.

 

What are the Five Organ networks(五行の関係)? Earth network

There are five organ networks: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Each is associated with its own meridian and set of functions.

Earth network (土行): the spleen meridian (脾経)

As a minister of agriculture oversees the production and distribution of farm resources, the spleen supplies the nourishment that sustains the organism. The raw material of food and experience is ingested, digested, and assimilated to fuel the life of the body and mind. This fuel, called nutritive essence, is extracted and converted into an abundance of Ki and blood. The earth network gathers and holds together. Like Mother Earth, the spleen is the constant provider, the hearth around which the body gathers to renew itself.

 

 

What are the Five Organ networks(五行の関係)? Fire network

There are five organ networks: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Each is associated with its own meridian and set of functions.

Fire network (火行): the heart meridian (心経)

The heart is considered the ruler because, like a benevolent and enlightened monarch, it is all-knowing and ever-present, sharing its wisdom unconditionally for the good of the whole. Our fire aspect represents fulfillment: the total expression and integration of our being, the full extent of our expansion, maturation, and development.

 

 

What are the Five Organ networks(五行の関係)? Wood network

There are five organ networks: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Each is associated with its own meridian and set of functions.

Wood network (木行): the liver meridian (肝経)

Like a military commander who formulates strategy and tactics, the liver exercises authority for collecting and directing the blood. Since blood is never stationary but constantly circulating, and since Ki courses inseparably through the blood and with the blood, the liver equitably distributes all resource, and assures the maintenance of smooth flow and delivery.

 

What are the Five Organ networks(五行の関係)? Water network

There are five organ networks: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Each is associated with its own meridian and set of functions.

Water network (水行): the kidney meridian (腎経)

The kidney consolidates and stores the Ki that initiates and keeps life growing. Like a minister of the interior who conserves natural resources, stockpiling essential  raw materials for use in time of growth, crisis, or transition, the kidney preserves what is essential, essential to human life. It is a well of vitality and endurance. Kidney contains the germ of intellect and creativity and houses our instinct to procreate and survive.

 

 

What are the Five Organ networks(五行の関係)? Metal network

There are five organ networks: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Each is associated with its own meridian and set of functions.

Metal network (金行): the lung meridian (肺経)

In the lung, the Ki of heaven joins with the Ki of earth forming the Ki that vitalizes human life. Like a minister who conducts affairs of state and determines territorial borders, the lung governs the relationship between the inside and the outside, setting limits and protecting boundaries. With restraint and delicacy, expanding and contracting, the lung collects, mixes, and scatters the Ki, instilling rhythm and order.

 

What is the time cycle(体内時計)?

In Oriental Medicine, there is an organ clock that represents the time of the day when each meridian organ system is functioning optimally and has the most energy. There are 12 meridian organ systems and 2 accessory systems that are represented by this clock. Each meridian organ system is also associated with an emotion, a taste, a sense organ, a season, etc.

There's a time for everything in Oriental medicine, and timing and schedule are crucial to maintaining health. Our bodies move like clockwork. Each meridian organ has a two-hour period when Ki energy is at its peak.

Living according to the meridian organ clock can strengthen health. Small practices, such as walking daily, meditation, yoga, and weekly Shiatsu, can help achieve a healthy schedule.

3-5am Lung Meridian

5-7am Large Intestine Meridian

7-9am Stomach Meridian

9-11am Spleen Meridian

11am-1pm Heart Meridian

1-3pm Small Intestine Meridian

3-5pm Bladder Meridian

5-7pm Kidney Meridian

7-9pm Heart Constrictor Meridian

9-11pm Triple Heater Meridian

11pm-1am Gall Bladder Meridian

1-3am Liver Meridian

How to balance Ki energy flow (陰陽五行説)?

The combination of Yin and Yang theory and Five Elements theory is commonly used in traditional Japanese Medicine as well as in other Oriental medicine. Ten internal organs are placed into relationships between Yin and  Yang, and among the Five Elements. 

One additional purpose of Shiatsu is to balance the entire Ki energy in the ten different internal organs. It can be very complex to address ten internal organs at once.  

These relationships result in the balance in the nternal organization. Such balance is the ideal sought by those who use traditional Japanese and Oriental medicine. Understanding how these organs interrelate is  critical when practicing any Oriental healing art.

How to center our mind to perform Shiatsu (Zen) ?

 

Centering the mind is a very important part of the technique of Shiatsu. There are many things, both conscious and unconscious, which can cause one distress or distraction. Maintaining the balanced Ki energy flow is essential to the energy of the giver. Centering the mind helps maintain and control Ki energy. Meditation is most often used among traditional Oriental medicine practitioners for this purpose.

One must center and focus the mind. Centering is how clear the mind is. The skill involves concentration, eliminating disturbances from our internal environment to bring peace within. For many, concentration is difficult. It is important to know how to focus when you need to be, and how to relax that focus when you do not. In learning how not to focus you will then focus more clearly. You will achieve a higher focusing skill by understanding the difference between being focused and not focused.

When it was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks, teaching was done in the temple. Meditation is the foundation of Buddhism, and since all students lived in the temple for more than seven years to study, they were required to develop skills in meditation.

It is important to find the mind-centering technique that works best for you. Traditionally, Zen meditation teaches one to empty the mind. We need to enhance our ability through meditation or other forms of mind centering like Yoga, Martial arts to maintain energy and to avoid drainage of the Ki energy.

What are the four methods of diagnosis (診断)?

Oriental medicine diagnosis traditionally consists of four different methods. There are: 

Bo Shin (望診) - diagnosis by first impression and observation of the patient, without close examination. 

Bun Shin (聞診)diagnosis by listening to the character and quality of sounds. Any odor which you happen to smell is also considered a part of this diagnosis. 

Mon Shin (問診- diagnosis by questioning. Ask questions about the patient's condition, directly or by questionnaire, Find out where the pain exists and inquire into what may have happened to cause their condition. This would include health history and other health concerns. 

Setsu Shin (切診) - diagnosis by examining the body. 

 

 

What is Five Elements Meridian Stretching Exercises (真向法)?

Each of the exercises is associated with one of the five natural elements and its corresponding organs. This stretching exercise works to improve the flow of Ki energy in the body and has a beneficial effect on health.

METAL 

Stretches for strengthening the Lungs and Large intestine.

WATER 

Stretches for strengthening the Kidney and Bladder.

FIRE 

Stretches for strengthening the Heart Constrictor & Triple Heater.

WOOD

Stretches for Strengthening the Liver & Gall Bladder.

EARTH 

Stretches for strengthening the Stomach and Spleen.  

How to diagnoses energy flow(診法)?

In traditional Oriental medicine, there are methods for determining a person's condition which are unique because they come from Oriental medicine theory, and are based on Yin and Yang and the Five Elements theories. These methods of diagnosis have been used for at least 3,000 years and possibly longer than 5,000 years. Mastering this method requires time, practice, consistency, focus and patience. The more familiar you are with Oriental Medicine, the better the diagnoses you will make.

What is Five Elements destructive Cycle (五行の相剋関係)?

The destructive / control cycle represents the natural phenomenon of destruction or control of one element over another. One element can be a destructor and another element can be destroyed. For example, Water can destroy Fire and Metal can destroy Wood. This movement is also commonly used for Sha (瀉) method or sedation meaning that if one element is too strong, it can be suppressed by the destructor element. Thus, the destructor controls the destroyed element. 

What is Five Elements Creative Cycle (五行の創生関係)?

The creative cycle represents the neural phenomenon of regeneration or creation. One element is a creator and the next element (always clockwise) is the creation of the next element. For example, Water is necessary for creation of Wood, and Wood is necessary for Fire. This movement is also commonly used for Ho (補) method or tonification, meaning that if one element is depleted, one should support the creator element to tonify the element that needs to be created. The creative cycle of the Five Elements is also called the Mother-Child law. It is recognized that if the child is suffering, the mother should be supported. 

What is Hara (腹)?

In the medical tradition of Japan, Hara refers to the soft belly, i.e. the area defined vertically by the lower edge of the sternum and the upper edge of the pubis and laterally by the lower border of the rib cage and the anterior iliac crest respectively.

“Concentrate the energy on the Hara, the point two inches below the navel. That is the center from where one enters life and that is the center from where one dies and goes out of life. So that is the contact center between the body and the soul. If you feel a sort of wavering left and right and you don’t know where your center is, that simply shows that you are no longer in contact with your Hara, so you have to create that contact.” -  Osho

What is Hito (人)means?

As human beings and parts of the Universe, we all support each other. By living in harmony and in peace with our inner selves and the world, we can increase the Ki energy among ourselves. Shiatsu is about sharing and exchanging between giver and receiver. 

The receiver becomes giver and giver becomes the receiver.  Two people become ONE.

The more we surrender, the more we become stronger, the more you become stronger,  the more you can support others. The more we trust each other, the more healing happens between us. The more we accept others, the more we can bring peace to each other, and society. 

Shiatsu -- Learn how to BE - how to be a human being!

What is Tsubo (壺)?


A Tsubo  (also referred to as points, acupuncture points or meridian points)  is a place on the skin that is especially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body. There are roughly 365 of them and they are found along the meridian lines all over the body.

Traditionally, Asian cultures conceived of the points as junctures of special pathways that carry the human energy that the Chinese call Chi and the Japanese call Ki.

We can press the tsubos with the fingers, thumbs, knees and elbows to increase and ecrease energy.