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Acupuncture Treatment in Oriental Medicine

2-2 What is Oriental acupuncture and moxibustion: ‘Gogyo’ and ‘Yin and yang’?

Next, the basis of Oriental medicine theory involves the concepts of ‘Gogyo’ and ‘Yin and yang’.


Gogyo is the representation of the phenomenon of the natural world into five elements, which are wood, fire, earth, gold, and water. Each of these five elements has a relationship with each other and it is thought that everything in all things can be classified into five elements. For example:

When applied to the organs of the body, these are the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys, respectively.

When applied to body parts, it becomes the eyes, tongue, mouth, nose, and ears.

When applied to tissues, it becomes muscles, blood vessels, flesh, skin, and bones.

When applied to emotions, it becomes anger, joy, thought, sadness, and fear.

In other words, in the clinical practice of Oriental medicine, all signs and symptoms indicated by the patient, are classified into five elements for diagnosis and treatment.


Yin and yang refers to the states of Qi as well as the opposite properties and functions that interact with each other. You may also know the yin-yang sign, is a combination of two white and black fish-like shapes. This yin-yang mark means that things are two as one. Formally, it is called “Yin-yang Taikyokuzu/Taijitu". This mark is a good representation of the dynamic movement and balance of Yin and yang.


Here are some examples. In nature, it applies to night and day, north and south, heaven and earth, winter and summer, moon and sun, woman and man, right and left, static and dynamic. Also, in Western medicine, the relationship between sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves, acidity and alkalinity could be said to be yin and yang. 


As an example of using yin and yang in Oriental medicine, there is a combination of Kyo-sho and Jitsu-sho. For example, to express the patient's condition, Kyo-sho is classified as a vulnerable person with weakened physical strength, whereas Jitsu-sho is classified as a type of active person with full physical strength. There are also combinations of hyo-sho and ri-sho. Hyo-sho is an acute type of illness in a shallow part of the body, and Ri-sho refers to a chronic type of symptom in a deep part of the body. Additionally, Kan-sho can be said to be the condition in which the affected area of ​​the disease is cold and solidified, and Netsu-sho is where there is inflammatory fever.

In summary, in Oriental medicine, we observe the patient's body using a combination of imagery and tangible concepts, considering the front and back of the body, cold and hot and the concept of yin and yang.


‘Qi, ‘Kei-raku, ‘Kei-ketsu, ‘Gogyo’, ‘Yin and Yang’

Through this terminology, I hope that you have a better understanding of the concepts of Oriental medicine acupuncture and moxibustion. These concepts have been passed down to the present day through records left by ancient Oriental doctors. Humans were born according to the rules of nature and have lived with nature. No matter how advanced science is, the function of ‘life’ will not change in that regard. 


The origin of medical care is ‘treatment’. Oriental medicine acupuncture and moxibustion is the action of feeling the Qi emitted from the patient's body with the palm and fingers and healing the disease through the needle and moxa. For the next time, I will explain each of the various symptoms, which can be treated with acupuncture and moxibustion. 

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