The 5 Spirits: Supporting The Soul in Chinese Medicine | Empower Chiropractic & Acupuncture - Deepstash

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Very interesting to understanding the connection of our internal organs (physical) with the spirit within us (energy). Wholesome and holistic overall look of our health.


The 5 Spirits: Supporting The Soul in Chinese Medicine | Empower Chiropractic & Acupuncture

The 5 Spirits: Supporting The Soul in Chinese Medicine | Empower Chiropractic & Acupuncture


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What's in a Spirit?

  • Along with Qi (energy), Blood, and Essence (like genetics), our Spirit or Shen is considered a vital substance in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as it completes the fabric of our physiological makeup and human life.
  • Fundamentally, Spirit is the unique an...

Spirit is what orient us within our reality

  • Together with our psyche and body, Spirit is what orients us within our reality and experience of the world around us.
  • Its health and vibrancy is essential for developing relationships as well as the virtues unique to the human condition (compassion, accountability, wisdom, morality...

Connection between Organs and Specific Emotions

  • A unique feature of Acupuncture and TCM is how discussions of health integrate how one’s physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual health mirror one another.
  • Just like how each of the body’s organ systems has its own Acupuncture meridian (the Lung channel, ...

Material End, Middle Qi

  • On the Material end you have the most tangible and visible of substances: the body, blood, fluids etc would land here.
  • Towards the middle of the spectrum is energy whose presence is apparent in how the body functions even if it c...

The Spirit

  • The Spirit is the most ethereal expression of energy and an extension of an organ’s Qi-aspect.
  • It can be seen in something as simple as whether someone’s eyes sparkle or light up when they talk to you ab...

The 5 Facets

If you have thought of your spirit or soul as being stored in your heart, that’s actually not far off!

In TCM, there are five types of “spirit-minds” that branch-off from someone’s central Spirit. Each is stored within one o...

Five Facets To Your Personality

  • Each embodies your capacity to show up in the world as the best version of yourself.
  • You can think of them like five facets to your personality: they each have unique roles and characteristics that assert themselves when content or disturbed. 
  • Assessing the ...

Disharmony In Spirit Causes Disharmony In Physique

  • Usually when we see spirit disharmonies they are paired with physical symptoms.
  • Sometimes they aren’t, but patients will share behaviors - deep seated emotions - and mental tendencies they know are holding t...


  • The Shen is the spirit of “The Mind” and represents our consciousness.
  • It is the basis for our humanity and source from which all other spirits emerge from.
  • The Shen is in charge of our identity and ...

The Shen Is ruled by the Heart

  • The Mind is what bridges our intuition and inspiration: it allows one to recognize their truth and callings so they can show up in the world as their most authentic self.
  • In the body, the Shen is ruled by the Heart

The Shen is the Heart-Mind

  • Although different emotions (anger, joy, sadness, fear, guilt, etc) will affect the body’s organs in unique ways, those organs do not “feel” the emotion and, instead, reflect the impact of that emotion as perceived by the Heart in the form of physical sym...

The Shen Is The Most Visible In All Spirits

  • For this reason, the Shen is said to be the “most visible” of all the spirits, evident in how one carries themselves both in public and in conversation: the sparkle (or dullness) in one’s eyes, the capacity to maintain eye contact, ...

Vibrant Shen (Heart - Organ

When the Shen is vibrant, there is:

  • clear thinking & consciousness,
  • sharp insight,
  • good intellect,
  • self-awareness,

Disturbed Shen (Heart - Organ)

When the Shen is disturbed and the Heart is affected, a person will have:

  • cloudy consciousness,
  • poor insight,
  • inappropriate/erratic behavior or speech tendencies,
  • socially awkward interactions,
  • low self-esteem,
  • difficulty expressing one’s se...


  • The Po is the spirit-mind stored by the Lungs. It integrates with us at our first breath, and disintegrates at the end of life when breathing ceases. 
  • When you think of the Po , consider ...

When The Po (Lung Is Supported

  • When the Po is supported and reintegrated with the present moment, we see the ability to process grief in a healthy way.
  • Impulsive reactivity is exchanged for responsiveness and trustworthy instincts.

When There Is Weaknesses Of The Po (Lung

  • When there is weakness of the Po, we might see lingering or unresolved grief, lifeless voice, lethargy, depression, or constant feelings of loss or incompleteness.
  • In this case, a person might be stuck in a moment that is far in the p...


  • The Yi is the spirit-mind stored by the Spleen. It has to do with thought, intellect, and comprehension, intention and creativity. 
  • The Spleen organ in TCM is a major organ of digestion, sep...

The Yi (Spleen Guides The Li Which Guides The Qi

There is a saying, “the Yi guides the Li which guides the Qi” - meaning your intention guides the ritual which guides your energy.

  • Have you ever noticed the difference between having a vague desire to...

Strong Yi (Spleen) Promotes Faithfulness & Loyalty

  • A strong Yi also promotes the virtues of faithfulness and loyalty.
  • If the Yi is suffering, these virtues can become skewed to the point of “‘stifling’ loyalty, exaggerated sympathy, and even self-destructive generosity”.


  • Of all the spirits in Chinese Medicine, the Hun or Ethereal Soul broadly shares the most similarities with the Western concept of the soul: it is tethered at birth, has a will of its own, yet at death it survives the body, preserving its physical appearance to wander...

Hun's Vitality Depends On Its Ability 2 Connect & Disengage Min

  • To start, the Hun is its own level of consciousness whose vitality depends on its ability to connect and disengage with the Mind—to “come and go” as it pleases.
  • Whereas the Mind is more rational and in charge of proc...

Hun / Ethereal Soul Is Yang In Nature

Inherently Yang in nature, the Ethereal Soul provides the psyche with movement in several ways:

  • out-of-body during sleep and dreaming
  • beyond one’s everyday life/circumstances through the pursuit of life...

Hun Resides In The Liver

  • Knowing the Hun requires movement to engage and detach from the Mind, it is no coincidence that it resides in the Liver: the organ responsible for ensuring smooth circulation throughout the body.
  • Physically,...

Signs of a Healthy Liver

  • When the Liver is healthy, the Liver Blood is abundant, circulation of Liver Qi is smooth, the Hun is content : there will be a healthy flow of ideas and creativity for the Mind to receive and integrate.
  • A person will be

Signs of a Weakened

  • When the Hun’s movement becomes stifled due to a weakened Liver (such as Liver Qi stagnation or a Liver Blood/Yin deficiency) the Mind will lack stimulation, making a person apathetic and depressed.
  • They will feel a lack...

Signs of a Weakened Liver Part

  • This can cause discouragement and a lack of desire to move beyond one’s “stuckness” and circumstances in life.
  • If the Mind is overly-controlling or not receptive to the Ethereal Soul’s input/desires, they might be fully aware of what...

Signs of a Weakened Liver Part

  • If the Liver is overburdened due to an excess pathogen (usually Liver-Heat Rising or Liver-Fire) the Hun will travel excessively and inundate the Mind.
  • For example, someone can be full of ideas and inspiration, but because t...


  • The Zhi is our willpower. This spirit-mind is stored in the Kidneys, which, in TCM, are associated with our deepest “essence,” our inherited traits, our reproductive potential, and our deepest stores of ene...

The Emotion and Virtues of the Kidney

  • The emotion of the Kidneys is fear, while the virtue of their spirit-mind is wisdom.
  • When you look back on your life - do you recall experiences where fear of the unknown transformed into experience-based wisdom?

Signs of a Weakened Kidn

  • An imbalance between the Zhi may look like restlessness, a desire to run away from your life, a vague or existential fear; patients might share a desire for things to be different than where they are regarding their life cycle, like a fear of aging, for exam...

Signs of a Weakened Kidney Part

  • On the other hand, the Zhi can also become destructive, resulting in recklessness and excessive risk-taking.
  • These symptoms can coincide with premature aging (looking older than you are), low back/knee pain, bladder issues, burnou...

Signs of a Strong Kidney

  • Have u ever wanted something, set out on the path to complete it, and after enough time, conviction in your ability to achieve it, and consistent effort, u have it?
  • You can think of the Will like The Wizard of Oz, it works tirelessly ...

Signs of a Strong Kidney Part 2

  • In that sense, the Yang Will gives you the perseverance to set out on the journey whereas the Yin Zhi is that part of you that becomes apparent once the goal is reached.
  • A healthy Zhi invites us to faithfully wade into the unknown, t...


  • Oftentimes people think of seeking out Acupuncture for a physical ailment or, just as commonly, to support their mental health in cases of anxiety, depression, and trauma-recovery.
  • However treating the spirit can be just as helpful to...

Oftentimes people think of seeking out Acupuncture for a physical ailment or, just as commonly, to support their mental health in cases of anxiety, depression, and trauma-recovery. However treating the spirit can be just as helpful to encourage someone’s healing. 

In many cases, it’s actual...

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