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Zang Organ- Lungs

Zang Organ – Lung


Key functions of lung:

  1. Creates and masters body chi.
  2. Governs respiration.
  3. Regulates chi movements assisting blood flow.
  4. Lung chi governs water metabolism.
  5. Distributes Wei chi (Defense chi) to the surface of skin.


Attributes to human body & Mother Nature

the Five Elements metal
the five colors white
the five senses nose
the five lusters Body hair
the five body constituents skin
the five fluids nasal mucus
the five emotions melancholy & sorrow
the five flavors spicy
the five seasons autumn
the five seasonal chi(s) dry


Lung creates and masters chi.

Body chi is the co-product of food essence and fresh air.


Stomach digests and decomposes foods into chyme; small intestine further digests chyme and absorbs the nutrients in chyme; spleen then digests and transforms the nutrients into food essence. Spleen  transports food essence to lung and, in lung, food essence merges with nature’s air and creates body chi – Zong Chi (Pectoral Chi)、Ying Chi (Nutritional Chi) and Wei Chi (Defense Chi)

  1. Zong Chi (Pectoral Chi)

Zong Chi is the co-product of food essence and nature’s air. This chi forms in lung, flows in heart inside the blood vessels and converges in chest assisting heart in driving blood flow.

  1. Ying Chi (Nutritional Chi)

“ying”in Chinese means nutrition or nutrients. Ying Chi is also the co-product of food essence and nature’s air. It flows inside blood vessels and circulates the body providing nutrients to sustain body systems’ physiological activities.

  1. Wei Chi (Defense Chi)

“Wei” in Chinese means protection or defense. Wei Chi, same as Zong Chi and Ying Chi, is the co-product of food essence and nature’s air. Wei Chi is yang and Ying Chi is yin; Wei Chi is tougher and flows faster, and Ying Chi is milder. Wei Chi is a part of the immune system and protects body systems against external invasions such as virus and nature’chi – cold、heat、wind、damp and dry etc.


Lung governs respiration.

When we breathe, lung inhales nature’s air and exhales body’s waste chi out of the body. Lung is the place for internal chi and external air exchanges. Thru the continuous chi and air exchanges, fresh chi is created and body chi movements are regulated.


Lung regulates chi movements assisting blood flow.

Blood circulating the body will pass thru lung and in lung, waste chi in blood and fresh air will exchange. Blood then continues to circulate the body.


Though heartbeat is the basic propulsion force of blood flow, blood still requires chi’s help to drive the flow. Along with chi’s movements, up and down, in and out, blood gets distributed to the whole body.


Lung chi governs water metabolism.

Lung regulates chi movements to conduct water metabolism. Lung chi distributes water upward and outward, out to skin, to nourish、moisturize and defend body systems. By lung chi’s upward movement, lung discharges waste and excessive water out of the body thru sweating; by lung chi’s downward movement, waste water gets transported to kidney for later processing as urine.


Lung affects our emotion of melancholy and sorrow.

Melancholy will deplete chi. Therefore, a person with poor lung function can easily sink in melancholy. Sorrow is another emotion, however, it hurts our health the same way as melancholy does and is also attributed to lung.


Nose reflects lung health condition.

Chinese medicinal theory attributes nose to be lung’s opening and the passage of air and chi exchanges. If lung malfunctions, nose’s health condition would be affected. Insufficient lung chi could cause stuffy nose、sneezing、running nose or lost voice, etc.


Lung relates to nasal mucus.

Lung opens to nose. Nasal mucus is lung’s by-product as a moisturizer for the nose.


Skin and body hair reflect lung health condition.

Skin、sweat glands and body hair are defined by CMT as body surface. By mastering body surface, lung governs the sweating process. So, lung’s health condition can be checked from skin and body hair.


Thru sweating, lung distributes Wei chi (Defense chi) to skin and body hair. Wei chi is a vital protective shield against outer invasions such as wind、cold、heat etc. If lung chi is insufficient to distribute Wei chi and the immune system is down, cold or flue may invade.


Chi Transformation Chart

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