Section O


féi pàng

Fatness, corpulence. Traditional literature contains little reference to weight control. With the influence of modern medicine, greater attention is being paid to the problem. Obesity is attributed to phlegm-damp or qi vacuity, or as is often the case, a combination of the two.

Phlegm-damp  (tán shï) obesity is characterized by a large appetite with a predilection for sweet or fatty rich foods, glomus and oppression in the chest and stomach duct, copious phlegm, heavy body, fatigue, aversion to heat, enlarged tongue with thick slimy fur, and a forceful slippery stringlike pulse.

Medication:  Dispel phlegm and transform dampness using Gallbladder-Warming Decoction (wën dân täng) or Stomach-Calming Powder (píng wèi sân) with the judicious addition of Crataegi Fructus (shän zhä), Raphani Semen (lái  ), and Six-to-One Powder (lìu  sân). This treatment should be combined with control of intake of rich food.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV and ST. Select CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , ST-25 (tiän shü, Celestial Pivot) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , and CV-9 (shuî fën, Water Divide) ; needle with drainage. Selection of points according to area affected: For the shoulder and back, add GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) and LI-15 (jiän , Shoulder Bone) . For the chest and breasts, add ST-33 (yïn shì, Yin Market) and ST-16 (yïng chuäng, Breast Window) . For the lower abdomen, add ST-28 (shuî dào, Waterway) . For the buttocks and thighs, add GB-30 (huán tiào, Jumping Round) , GB-31 (fëng shì, Wind Market) , and SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) .

Qi vacuity  ( ) obesity is obesity accompanied by shortage of qi and laziness to speak, spontaneous sweating at the slightest movement, vacuity swelling of the face, poor appetite, lassitude of spirit, somnolence, pale tongue with white fur, and a weak fine pulse.

Medication:  Supplement qi and fortify the spleen. Use formulas such as Saussurea and Amomum Six Gentlemen Decoction (xiäng shä lìu jün  täng) combined with physical exercise.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, CV, SP, and ST. Select BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , BL-21 (wèi shü, Stomach Transport) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , LR-13 (zhäng mén, Camphorwood Gate) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) ; needle with supplementation and moxa.

obesity infertility

féi pàng  yùn

Infertility resulting when phlegm-damp arising internally in obese people becomes lodged in the thoroughfare and controlling vessels or when excessive fat congests the uterus and the uterine vessels. Obesity infertility is usually associated with heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and copious vaginal discharge.

Medication:  Treat with Palace-Opening Pill ( göng wán), which contains Pinelliae Tuber (bàn xià), Atractylodis Rhizoma (cäng zhú), Ligustici Rhizoma (chuän xiöng), Citri Exocarpium (chén ), Cyperi Rhizoma (xiäng  ), Massa Medicata Fermentata (shén ), and Poria ( líng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV and ST. Select CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , ST-25 (tiän shü, Celestial Pivot) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) ; and KI-13 ( xué, Qi Point) ; needle with even supplementation and drainage or with supplementation. Selection of points according to signs: For heart palpitations, add BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , and HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) . For shortness of breath, add CV-17 (shän zhöng, Chest Center) , LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , and LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . For copious vaginal discharge, add GB-26 (dài mài, Girdling Vessel) , BL-30 (bái huán shü, White Ring Transport) , and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) .

oblique insertion


Synonym:  slanted insertion .

Insertion of a needle at roughly 45.

Application:  Oblique insertion is appropriate where the flesh is thin or where an internal organ lies beneath the point; hence it is commonly used on the chest and back. Oblique insertion is also used for moving qi in a particular direction. See directional supplementation and drainage.

oblique-running pulse

xié fëi mài

An anomaly in the position of wrist pulse in which the pulse runs from the cubit position over the posterior pace of the styloid process of the radius toward LI-4 ( , Union Valley) .

obliviousness of hunger and satiety

 zhï  è

See poor appetite.


To cause blockage of the airways, interstices, spleen, etc., hampering their normal functioning. Dampness and phlegm are often described as causing obstruction, as in dampness obstructing the center burner, damp-heat obstructing the spleen and stomach, phlegm obstructing the network vessels of the lung, and phlegm obstructing the orifices of the heart.

obtaining qi


Causing the acupuncture needle to elicit the sensations associated with the presence of qi at or near the insertion site. These sensations include subjective sensations in the patient and an objective sensation felt by the practitioner's fingers. The subjective sensation experienced by the patient can be described as twinging distention, heaviness, tingling or numbness depending on the point in question and the condition of the patient. This should not be confused with the local sensation of pricking pain that may accompany needle insertion. Obtaining qi is a deeper sensation, duller in nature, and less localized than the sharp pain associated with the stimulation of subcutaneous nerves. The objective sensation felt by the practitioner can be described, to use the metaphor of Song to Elucidate Mysteries (biäo yöu ) as a sudden deep tightening that resembles the feeling of a fish biting on a fishing line. As long as the needle moves easily, qi cannot be obtained. Since some patients report the slightest sensation in order to avoid further probing by the acupuncturist, it is better to rely on the subtle objective sensation. Channel-freeing manipulation, needle flicking, and qi-moving manipulation are techniques designed to help obtain qi.

occipital bone


pillow bone.

offensive bursting

göng kuì

The use of powerful pus-outthrusting medicinals such as Manitis Squama (chuän shän jiâ) and Gleditsiae Fructus (zào jiá) to promote the expulsion of pus and toxin in the treatment of sores.

offensive treatment



office of assistant

xiäng  zhï guän

See lung holds the office of assistant, whence management and regulation emanate.

office of conveyance

chuán dâo zhï guän

See large intestine holds the office of conveyance, whence mutation emanates.

office of general

jiäng jün zhï guän

liver holds the office of general, whence strategies emanate.

office of justice

zhöng zhèng zhï guän

See gallbladder holds the office of justice, from which decision emanates.

office of labor

zuò qiáng zhï guän

See kidney holds the office of labor, whence agility emanates.

office of monarch

jün zhû zhï guän

See heart holds the office of monarch, whence the spirit light emanates.

office of reception

shòu chéng zhï guän

See small intestine holds the office of reception, whence the transformation emanates.

office of the granaries

cäng lîn zhï guän

See spleen and stomach hold the office of the granaries, whence the five flavors emanate.

oil paste

yóu gäo

medicinal paste.

oily ashen nail

yóu huï zhî jiâ

ashen nail.

oily sweat

yóu hàn

Synonym:  sticky sweat .

Sticky oily sweat that does not run easily; observed in yang collapse vacuity desertion patterns. Compare expiration sweating.


ruân gäo

A modern preparation made by adding finely ground materials to petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or glycerin. See medicinal paste.

old phlegm

lâo tán

A phlegm pattern arising when fire evil fumes in the upper burner, depressing lung qi, and causing fluids to congeal into phlegm that in time becomes gluey. Old phlegm is characterized by phlegm binding in sticky lumps that adhere to the throat and are difficult to cough up or swallow. Other signs include parched body hair, dry pharynx, thirst, cough and hasty panting, and a complexion that is white like the color of withered bones.

Medication:  Free depression and downbear fire; soften hardness with cold salty medicinals; moisten the lung and disperse phlegm. Use Two Matured Ingredients Decoction (èr chén täng) plus Aurantii Fructus Immaturus (zhî shí), Pumex (hâi  shí), Mirabilitum (máng xiäo), Scutellariae Radix (huáng qín), and Indigo Pulverata Levis (qïng dài).

open and closed supplementation and drainage


open and closed> A method of achieving supplementation and drainage that involves pressing or not pressing the finger (or an alcohol-soaked swab) on the point after needle extraction. Supplementation is achieved by lightly pressing and rubbing the point after needle extraction to close the hole and prevent channel qi from discharging. Draining is achieved by waggling the needle on extraction without pressing to open the hole and allow channel qi to discharge. Alternatively, slow needle extraction after which the point is quickly pressed with the finger supplements, whereas swift needle extraction with slow pressing of the point drains. Elementary Questions ( wèn) states, ``Needling repletion, open the needle hole with the left hand; needling vacuity, close the needle hole with the left hand.'' See needle manipulation.

opening and discharging

See opening with acridity and discharging with bitterness.

opening blocks


opening the orifices.

opening, closing, and pivot

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) Interior-exterior levels in the channel system. ``Opening'' means open to the exterior; ``closing'' means confined in the interior; ``pivot'' means located between opening and closing. Among the yang channels, greater yang governs opening, yang brightness governs closing, and lesser yang governs the pivot. Among the yin channels, greater yin governs opening, reverting yin governs closing, and lesser yin governs the pivot.

opening the orifices

Synonym:  freeing blocks ;

Synonym:  opening blocks ;

Synonym:  freeing the orifices ;

Synonym:  opening the orifices and arousing the spirit ;

Synonym:  opening the orifices and freeing the spirit .

A method of treatment used to address clouded spirit and coma due to evil obstructing the orifices of the heart. Opening the orifices employs acrid aromatic penetrating medicinals which penetrate the heart and free the orifices, repel foulness, and open blocks. Opening the orifices is applied in the treatment of sudden clouding reversal (clouding of consciousness due to abnormal qi flow) in diseases such as fright wind, epilepsy, wind stroke, or angina pectoris, or in coma caused by internal block occurring in externally contracted heat (febrile) disease. Opening the orifices constitutes emergency treatment of the tip. Its principal effect is to resuscitate the patient, and eliminate distention and oppression in the chest and abdomen caused by foul turbidity. Distinctions are made between the following methods: See clearing heat and opening the orifices (cool opening); expelling cold and opening the orifices (warm opening); transforming phlegm and opening the orifices; clearing heat, transforming phlegm, and opening the orifices. In most cases, prescribed medication comes in the form of prepared formulas. Commonly used orifice-opening medicinals are listed below. }

Acupuncture:  To open the orifices of the heart, select as the main points GV-26 (rén zhöng, Human Center) , KI-1 (yông quán, Gushing Spring) , HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , and PC-8 (láo göng, Palace of Toil) ; apply wide-range lifting and thrusting and twirling, retaining the needles until the patient regains consciousness. Prick PC-9 (zhöng chöng, Central Hub) to bleed. Points may be selected from the following for pricking to bleed in order to enhance the orifice-opening spirit-arousing effect: LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) , LI-1 (shäng yáng, Shang Yang) , TB-1 (guän chöng, Passage Hub) , HT-9 (shào chöng, Lesser Surge) , SI-1 (shào , Lesser Marsh) , SP-1 (yîn bái, Hidden White) , LR-1 ( dün, Large Pile) , ST-45 ( duì, Severe Mouth) , GB-44 ( qiào yïn, Foot Orifice Yin) , and BL-67 (zhì yïn, Reaching Yin) , See freeing the orifices.

opening the orifices and arousing the spirit


I>opening the orifices.

opening the orifices and freeing the spirit


I>opening the orifices.

opening the stomach

Synonym:  increasing food intake ;

Synonym:  opening the stomach and increasing food intake .

To increase the appetite. The stomach governs food intake. This function is related to the spleen, since the spleen ``moves the fluids of the stomach.'' Opening the stomach thus means increasing the stomach's intake of food. Commonly used stomach-opening medicinals include Hordei Fructus Germinatus (mài ), Crataegi Fructus (shän zhä), Oryzae Fructus Germinatus ( ), and Galli Gigerii Endothelium ( nèi jïn). An example of a stomach-opening formula is Peanut Gruel (luò huä shëng zhöu). See also arousing the spleen; dispersing food and abducting stagnation; supplementing the spleen and boosting qi.

opening the stomach and increasing food intake


opening the stomach> opening the stomach.

opening with acridity and discharging with bitterness


opening with acridity>

Definition:  A method of treatment that uses acrid-flavored medicinals to diffuse exterior evils and bitter-flavor medicines to clear and drain interior heat. If, for example, a patient has a slight aversion to cold, heat~effusion, headache, scant sweat, thirst, sore throat, yellow tongue fur, and a rapid floating pulse, the exterior evil can be effused and dissipated with cool acrid medicinals such as Mori Folium (säng ), Chrysanthemi Flos ( huä), and Viticis Fructus (màn jïng ), whereas the interior heat can be cleared and discharged with Isatidis Folium ( qïng ) and Sophorae Subprostratae Radix (shän dòu gën).


Synonym:  opening with acridity and downbearing with bitterness .

A method of treatment that uses acrid-flavored medicinals to free phlegm-damp in the chest and stomach duct and bitter-flavored medicinals to treat damp-heat in the chest and stomach duct. The two can be used together to treat phlegm-damp-heat obstruction causing glomus and oppression, distention and fullness, and nausea and vomiting. This method makes use of acrid medicinals such as Magnoliae Cortex (hòu ), Aurantii Fructus (zhî ), Pinelliae Tuber cum Zingibere Praeparatum (jiäng bàn xià), and Citri Exocarpium (chén ), and bitter medicinals such as Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián) and Scutellariae Radix (huáng qín).

opening with acridity and downbearing with bitterness


opening with acridity> opening with acridity and discharging with bitterness.

open mouth and closed eyes

A sign observed in desertion patterns.

oppression in the chest

xiöng mèn

Synonym:  thoracic oppression .

Discomfort and vexation in the chest caused by damp-heat or phlegm-damp obstructing the central burner and inhibiting qi. Compare oppression in the heart and chest and stifling oppression in the heart and chest.

oppression in the heart and chest

xïn xiöng  mèn

See oppression in the chest.

oral gan

kôu gän

gan of the mouth.

orally taken paste

nèi  gäo 

rich paste.

oral putrefaction


A white mold-like coating covering the tongue and the whole of the surface of the oral cavity, or small patches of mucosal erosion known as erosion spots. Oral putrefaction indicates the development of sweltering damp-heat in patterns of damage to yin by stomach vacuity. This generally occurs in enduring or severe illnesses and indicates complex patterns that are difficult to cure.



The English term organ is used to denote a bowel or viscus. See bowels and viscera.

organ cough

 zàng lìu  

five bowels and six viscera cough.

organ fright pattern

zàng  jïng zhèng

bowel and visceral fright pattern.

organ pattern identification

zàng  biàn zhèng

bowel and visceral pattern identification.

organ qi

zàng  zhï 

bowel and visceral qi.

organ stroke

zhòng zàng 

bowel and visceral stroke.

Oriental medicine

döng fäng  xué

Chinese medicine and the medical arts of Korea, Japan, and other Far Eastern lands that developed from it. In China, this term is rarely used.



Any one of the openings of the body. The upper orifices or clear orifices are the eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth, whereas the lower orifices or turbid orifices are the anal and genital orifices. These are collectively referred to as the nine orifices.

orifice of the heart

xïn qiào


The tongue. Elementary Questions ( wèn) says, ``The heart governs the tongue its orifice is the tongue.'' See heart governs the tongue.

Definition:  (Plural in English) The orifices of the heart spirit. Chinese medicine traditionally holds that when the ``orifices of the heart'' are free and uninhibited, the spirit-mind is clear, and that when the orifices of the heart are blocked, there is clouded spirit, mania, or withdrawal. Although the literal meaning ``orifices of the heart'' implies that the term denotes a physical entity, the location and nature of the entity is not explained. Thus the term either denotes a speculative entity or is merely a metaphor describing consciousness as a ``window'' on the outside world. See phlegm confounding the orifices of the heart; opening the orifices.

orifice opening

See opening the orifices.

orifices of the kidney

shèn qiào

The ears. See kidney opens at the ears.

orifices of the lung

fèi qiào

The nostrils or nose.



Beginning; source. In Chinese medicine, ``origin'' appears in the terms original qi and lower origin (the kidney). It connotes the basis of life. The character is also a synonym of , dark, mysterious.

original house mansion


mysterious house.

original qi



Source qi.

Definition:  Right qi. This term does not appear in The Inner Canon (nèi jïng)

original qi vacuity

yuán   ruò

qi vacuity.

original yang

yuán yáng

Kidney yang seen as the origin of life, standing in complementary opposition to original yang (kidney yin). See kidney yin and kidney yang.

original yin

yuán yïn

Kidney yin seen as the origin of life, standing in complementary opposition to original yin (kidney yang). See kidney yin and kidney yang; heavenly tenth.

ouch point

ä shì xué

Synonym:  a-

shi point .

Points that are sensitive to palpation and chosen as sites for acupuncture treatment. These points are most often used to treat disorders in their immediate vicinity, but also treat disorders distant from the point. Ouch points are not necessarily located on the channels. Because their locations vary and reflect the disease and its relationship to the patient, these points are inherently unchartable.


excrescence. See excrescence creeping over the eye.

outer assisting bone


The smaller bone of the lower leg.

Western Medical Concept:  fibula* fibula.

outer body


The outer part of the body, the exterior.

outer canthus


The outer angle of the eye.

outpour diarrhea

zhù xiè

water diarrhea.



The spontaneous or induced forcing of evils to and through the exterior of the body, including those which provoke maculopapular outthrust (outbreak of rash) on so doing.

outthrusting papules

tòu zhên

Synonym:  outthrusting the exterior .

A method of treatment used to promote the eruption of macules in the initial stage of measles.

Medication:  Outthrusting macules makes use of cool acrid exterior-resolving medicinals such as Menthae Herba ( ), Schizonepetae Herba et Flos (jïng jiè), Forsythiae Fructus (lián qiáo), Coriandri Herba cum Radice ( suï), Allii Fistulosi Bulbus (cöng bái), Cicadae Periostracum (chán tuì), Arctii Fructus (níu bàng ), Tamaricis Ramulus et Folium (chëng lîu), Puerariae Radix ( gën), and Platycodonis Radix (jié gêng). Examples of macule-outthrusting formulas include Toxin-Diffusing Exterior-Effusing Decoction (xuän   biâo täng), Cimicifuga and Pueraria Decoction (shëng   gën täng), and Bamboo Leaf, Tamarisk, and Arctium Decoction (zhú  lîu bàng täng). See measles.

outthrusting macules

tòu bän

A method of treatment used in febrile disease marked by exuberant internal heat to clear heat and cool the blood in order to treat faint macules that have not fully erupted. A representative macule-outthrusting formula is Macule-Transforming Decoction (huà bän täng), which contains Gypsum Crudum (shëng shí gäo), Anemarrhenae Rhizoma (zhï ), Glycyrrhizae Radix Cruda (shëng gän câo), Scrophulariae Radix (xuán shën), Rhinocerotis Cornu ( jiâo), and rice. The method known as cooling the blood and transforming macules makes use of the same formula, Macule-Transforming Decoction (huà bän täng), plus Moutan Radicis Cortex ( dän ), Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens (shëng  huáng), Isatidis Folium ( qïng ), and Lonicerae Flos (jïn yín huä) and minus Glycyrrhizae Radix Cruda (shëng gän câo), and rice.

outthrusting the exterior

tòu biâo

outthrusting papules.

overcoming dampness

shèng shï

Dispel dampness, especially when wind medicinals are used. See wind can overcome dampness.


xiäng chéng

In the doctrine of the five phases, an abnormal exaggeration of restraining, where one of the phases is weakened, causing the phase that under normal circumstances would overcome it to invade and weaken it further. For example, wood normally restrains earth, but if earth is weak, then wood overwhelms it, rendering earth even weaker. In terms of the viscera, this means that the spleen, normally only restrained by the liver, will, if weak, be completely overwhelmed, becoming even weaker.

oxhide lichen

níu  xiân

An episodic skin disease characterized by thickening and hardening of the skin that gives it the appearance of the skin of an ox's neck. Oxhide lichen starts with itching, the appearance of irregular flat papules, and in some cases browning of the skin. Subsequently, the papules coalesce and the skin becomes dry and hard with sores that weep and that are itchy especially at night. It is attributed to wind-damp-heat toxin depressed in the skin or to insufficiency of construction-blood and blood vacuity engendering wind and depriving the skin of nourishment. It is often associated with emotional disturbances.

Western Medical Concept:  neurodermatitis. neurodermatitis* .

Medication:  Quicken the blood and course wind; clear heat and dispel dampness. Tangkuei Drink (däng guï yîn zi). Ill-Wind Oil Paste (fëng yóu gäo).

Acupuncture:  Select , BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , BL-12 (fëng mén, Wind Gate) , BL-40 (wêi zhöng, Bend Center) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) . Needle with drainage. Tap and cup the ouch points to bring out the depressed heat in the blood aspect. The affected area can be needled obliquely from all sides toward the center. For pronounced itching, add . See lichen.