Section S



The gallbladder.



The liver.


bîng huô

The small intestine.


dïng huô

The heart.



The stomach.



The spleen.


gëng jïn

The large intestine.


xïn jïn

The lung.


rén shuî

The bladder.


guî shuî

The kidney.

saber and pearl-string lumps

 däo xiá yîng

Scrofula. Saber lumps are scrofula occurring in a configuration that looks like the shape of a saber; pearl-string lumps occur on the neck giving the appearance of a pearl necklace.

sagging distention in the stomach duct and abdomen

wân  zhuì zhàng

Fullness and distention with a heavy downbearing sensation in the stomach duct and abdomen; a sign of center qi fall.

sagging of one testicle

piän zhuì

Synonym:  hemilateral sagging .

Painful swelling and sagging of one testicle attributable to phlegm-damp, static blood, or liver channel fire-heat. Sagging of the left testicle is usually due to static blood or liver fire; sagging of the right testicle is usually due to phlegm-damp or food accumulation.

Medication:  Phlegm-damp or static blood patterns can be treated with Tangerine Pip Pill (  wán), whereas liver channel fire-heat can be treated with Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân xiè gän täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, LR, SP, and ST. Main points: LR-1 ( dün, Large Pile) , LR-4 (zhöng fëng, Mound Center) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , and CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) . Selection of points according to pattern: For phlegm-damp and static blood, add ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , and LI-4 ( , Union Valley) ; needle with drainage, or prick to bleed with a three-edged needle. For liver channel fire-heat, add BL-18 (gän shü, Liver Transport) , BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , LR-2 (xíng jiän, Moving Between) , GB-43 (xiá , Pinched Ravine) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) , and KI-1 (yông quán, Gushing Spring) ; needle with drainage.



One of the five flavors. Saltiness enters the kidney; it can soften hardness and induce moist precipitation. See five flavors; five flavor entries.

saltiness enters the kidney

xián  shèn

Salty medicinals tend to act upon the kidney. Salty medicinals that enter the kidney notably include products from the sea such as Haliotidis Concha (shí jué míng), Cyclinae (seu Meretricis) Concha (hâi  ), Ostreae Concha ( ), Pumex (hâi  shí), Sargassi Herba (hâi zâo), and Callorhini seu Phocae Testis et Penis (hâi gôu shèn). Other animal products include Gekko ( jiè), Mantidis O"otheca (säng piäo xiäo), Hominis Placenta (  chë), Testudinis Plastrum (guï bân), and Cervi Cornu Parvum ( róng). Other vegetable products include Cynanchi Baiwei Radix (bái wëi), Cistanches Caulis (ròu cöng róng), Sepiae seu Sepiellae Os (hâi piäo xiäo), Dendrobii Caulis (shí ), and Scrophulariae Radix (xuán shën). Minerals include Actinolitum (yáng  shí) and Magnetitum ( shí).

salt wheezing

yán xiäo

Wheezing exacerbated by excessive consumption of salty or sour foods in enduring vacuity. Saltiness and sourness seep into the bronchioles allowing phlegm to enter and gather, causing phlegm-damp to gather in the bronchioles. In such conditions, exposure to wind-cold causes qi to become depressed and phlegm to congest. Salt wheezing is essentially a vacuity pattern, and may present as heat or cold.

Medication:  Salt wheezing requires medicinals to disinhibit the lung, regulate qi, and sweep phlegm in addition to a basic formula for heat or cold wheezing. Granorum Saccharon ( táng) or Saccharon Granulatum (shä táng) can be added to the formula. If necessary, decoct Ginseng Rhizoma (rén shën ) and apply mechanical ejection. See wheezing.



See saltiness.

salty taste in the mouth

kôu xián

A subjective sensation of saltiness in the mouth, which may be associated with periodic ejection of salty drool. A salty taste in the mouth is a sign of kidney vacuity.

Kidney yin vacuity  (shèn yïn ) causes a salty taste in the mouth with ejection of small amounts of salty drool. Accompanying signs include dry throat and mouth, dizzy head, tinnitus, limb aching lumbus and knees, vexing heat in the five hearts, unquiet sleep, red tongue with thin fur, and a sunken fine rapid pulse that is forceless at the cubit.

Medication:  Enrich the kidney and downbear fire; invigorate the governor of water. Use Major Yin Supplementation Pill (  yïn wán) or Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill (zhï bâi  huáng wán).

Kidney yang vacuity  (shèn yáng ) causes a salty taste in the mouth with generalized fatigue, shortness of breath and lack of strength, fear of cold and cold limbs, limp wilting lumbus and legs, frequent nocturnal urination, a pale enlarged tongue with dental impressions, and a forceless fine sunken pulse.

Medication:  Warm and supplement kidney yang with Kidney Qi Pill (shèn  wán) plus Schisandrae Fructus ( wèi ). See taste in the mouth.

same-name channel

tóng míng jïng

Channels of the hand and foot that otherwise share the same name. For example, the foot greater yang channel and hand greater yang channel are same-name channels. See selection of same-name channel points; combining same-name channel points.



Synonym:  sand qi .

Any of various externally contracted heat (febrile) disease patterns characterized by distention or papules. Disease characterized by pain, distention, and oppression in the chest attributable to wind-cold, summerheat, and epidemic qi blocking the stomach and intestines is called sand distention. Sand in the skin and qi aspect manifests as faint red papules the size of millet seeds; when it brews in the blood aspect, the whole body is painfully swollen, and there are blackish patches (``black sand''). Papules. A Clinical Guide with Case Histories (lín zhèng zhî nán  àn) states, ``Sand is a general word for papules.'' See also gua-sha and maculopapular eruption.

sand distention

shä zhàng

See sand.

sand-heap perverse crop

duï shä  

fat sore. See also perverse crop.

sand lump

shä kuài

A lump in the rib-side, chest, or abdomen, observed in sand patterns and that forms when release of sand by gua-sha leaves residual toxin that gathers and binds.

Medication:  Clear and separate the toxin bind using a) medicinals that course the qi aspect such as Aquilariae Lignum (chén xiäng) and Amomi Semen seu Fructus (shä rén), b) medicinals that address toxin bind in the blood aspect such as Persicae Semen (táo rén), Carthami Flos (hóng huä), Rubiae Radix (qiàn câo gën), Sparganii Rhizoma (sän léng), and Dalbergiae Lignum (jiàng zhën xiäng), and c) abductive dispersers that address toxin binding with stagnant food such as Raphani Semen (lái  ) and Arecae Semen (bïng láng).

sand qi


See sand.

sand scraping

guä shä

See gua-sha.

sand strangury

shä lín

Stone strangury, especially when the stones passed in the urine are small. See stone strangury.

sand toxin


The toxin to which sand is attributed. See sand.

sand veins

shä jïn

The appearance of dark green-blue, purple, or red veins above and below the knees and elbows in sand patterns. Sand veins are attributable to sand toxin. Clearly visible sand veins are a sign of the toxin in the blood aspect. Veins that are sometimes visible and sometimes not are an indication of toxin entering the qi aspect. If they are slightly visible, this is usually a sign that the toxin is obstructing the qi aspect. Sand veins can be treated by pricking with a three-edged needle to discharge the toxin.

sapping of kidney yin

xià  shèn yïn

Exuberant heart fire causing the life gate fire to stir and wear kidney yin, and causing such signs as seminal emission, premature ejaculation, and vacuity vexation and insomnia. Such conditions are sometimes described as ``sapping of kidney yin'' because the kidney yin and kidney yang are the root of all the viscera, and disease among them naturally take their toll on the kidney.

sauce receptacle

chéng jiäng

The depression below the lip and above the chin.

Western Medical Concept:  groove*!mentolabial mentolabial groove* mentolabial groove.

sauce receptacle clove sore

chéng jiäng dïng

A clove sore in the source receptacle (infralabial fossa). See human center clove sore.



The crust that forms over a wound and protects it until the flesh has grown back.



A disease characterized by small papules the size of a pinhead that are associated with insufferable penetrating itching and that, when scratched, may suppurate or crust without producing any exudate. Scab commonly occurs between the fingers and may also be observed on the inside of the elbow, in the armpits, on the lower abdomen, in the groin, and on the buttocks and thighs, and, in severe cases, over the whole body. It is attributed to damp-heat depressed in the skin, and is transmitted by contact. In The Origin and Indicators of Disease (zhü bìng yuán hòu lùn) of the Sui Dynasty, the author, Chao Yuan-fang, attributed it to ``worms,'' which he said were ``small and very difficult to see.''

Western Medical Concept:  scabies* Scabies. Scabies is caused by the common itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, which is 0.3--0.5 mm long and 0.2--0.4 mm wide.

Medication:  Wash with a decoction of 9~g of Zanthoxyli Pericarpium (huä jiäo) and 30~g of Kochiae Fructus (  ); then apply Cnidium Seed Powder (shé chuáng  sân). This disease is less commonly seen nowadays because of improved hygiene. See sore.


tàng shän

See burns and scalds.



Soaking in hot water to facilitate removal of skin and tips. Persicae Semen (táo rén) and Armeniacae Semen (xìng rén) are treated in this way.

scallion-stalk pulse

köu mài

A large floating pulse that when pressure is applied is empty in the middle, like a scallion or green onion stalk. Li Zhong-Zi states that ``It is as if the finger is feeling a scallion. At the superficial level, the skin of the scallion is felt. At the mid-level, the empty middle of the scallion is felt. At the deep level, the finger touches the under side of the scallion.'' This is why this pulse is likened to a scallion stalk. The scallion-stalk pulse is a sign of heavy blood loss, and usually occurs in major bleeding.

scalp acupuncture

tóu zhën liáo 

Acupuncture involving the needling of points on the scalp in accordance with a system that purportedly combines traditional Chinese medical understanding with modern theories of cerebral cortical function.

scant breast milk


Synonym:  breast milk stoppage .

Insufficient milk to suckle the infant. Scant breast milk is due to postpartum depletion of qi and blood or to liver qi depression. The latter is easily distinguishable by the presence of distention and fullness of the breasts.

Qi-blood vacuity  ( xuè  ruò) causes scant breast milk by causing insufficiency of the source of milk transformation (i.e., reduced milk production). The chief characteristic is absence of pain and distention in the breast. Other signs include white lips, low food intake, and fatigue.

Medication:  Treat by the method of supplementing qi and nourishing the blood, assisted by freeing breast milk. Use Lactation Elixir (töng  dän).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on ST and LR. Main points: CV-17 (shän zhöng, Chest Center) , ST-18 ( gën, Breast Root) , and SI-1 (shào , Lesser Marsh) . For qi-blood vacuity, add BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , needling with supplementation.

Liver depression and qi stagnation  (gän   zhì) is characterized by fullness, distention, and pain in the breast, sometimes associated with generalized heat~effusion and oppression in the chest.

Medication:  Course the liver, resolve depression, and free milk. Use Free Wanderer Powder (xiäo yáo sân) plus Manitis Squama (chuän shän jiâ) and Vaccariae Semen (wáng  líu xíng).

Acupuncture:  Use the main points listed above, and add PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass) and LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , needling with even supplementation and drainage.

scant inhibited menstruation

yuè jïng  shâo

See scant menstruation.

scant menstruation

yuè jïng guò shâo

A smaller menstrual flow or shorter menstrual period than normal (in some cases reduced to spotting). Because the flow is disfluent, scant menstruation it often called ungratifying menstruation or inhibited menstruation, and scant inhibited menstruation. It is attributed to blood vacuity, blood cold and blood stasis, phlegm-damp, or kidney vacuity. Compare profuse menstruation. See entries listed below.

Scant Menstruation

scant semen

jïng shâo

Scant ejaculate, sometimes of only two or three drops, affecting the ability to produce children. Scant semen is attributable to congenital insufficiency, sexual intemperance, or excessive mental taxation wearing essential qi.

Medication:  Supplement essence and replenish the marrow with Marrow-Engendering Unicorn-Fostering Elixir (shëng suî  lín dän). Compare seminal cold.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, back transport points, KI, and SP. Select CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , and BL-52 (jïng göng, Palace of Essence) ; needle with supplementation. If there is a tendency to yang vacuity, add GV-4 (mìng mén, Life Gate) and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) , and add moxa. For excessive mental taxation, add BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) and HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) .

scant urine

niào shâo

Less urine than normal. See urine.



shoulder blade.

scarring moxibustion

bän hén jîu

The method of treatment whereby moxa is burned on the body and leaves a scar. Scarring moxibustion employs a small cone of moxa wool (some less than 1 cm in diameter) that is placed directly on the skin and completely burned. The area is then wiped clean with a cloth and the process is repeated until the prescribed number of cones has been burned. When this has been done, the area should be carefully cleaned and dressed. After one to three days, the patient will develop a blister that will eventually leave a small scar. The blister generally takes about a month to heal. During this time, the patient must keep the area clean and frequently change the dressing to prevent infection. The scarring method is the most drastic form of moxibustion. The formation of a blister was traditionally considered important in the healing process and thus it is said that if moxibustion does not form a blister, the disease will not be cured. This method is currently used in China to treat severe vacuity cold or cold-damp diseases. When performing scarring moxibustion, note the following: The pre-burning of a cone or two not quite down to the skin is a way to accustom the patient gradually to the burning pain. These pre-burned cones, however, should not be counted toward the prescribed number. When the moxa is burning, the practitioner should scratch or tap the area around the point to reduce the burning pain. The number of recommended cones should be adjusted to the patient's condition. Strong young patients can withstand more burnings and larger cones than weak elderly patients. The patient should be given a full explanation about the procedure and be forewarned of the formation of a scar. Garlic juice or some other liquid is usually placed on the point being treated in order to secure the moxa cone.

scattered pulse

sàn mài

dissipated pulse.



Describes the drastic damaging effect of heat on the blood and fluids. See heat.


châo jiäo

Stir-frying materials in a wok over a high flame until they become burnt on the outside and emit a burnt smell. Abductive dispersing medicinals such as Massa Medicata Fermentata (shén ) and Crataegi Fructus (shän zhä) are scorch-fried to strengthen their spleen-fortifying food-dispersing action.

scorching heat


Intense heat of which the patient is subjectively aware and very often can also be felt with the hands. Scorching heat may be experienced subjectively in the stomach or anus. Heat toxin sores characterized by redness and swelling are often scorching hot to the touch.

scorching pain

zhuó tòng

Pain associated with a heat sensation, and when located at the surface of the body, with palpable heat. Scorching pain is observed in both repletion and vacuity heat patterns, and notably sore patterns and stomach yin vacuity. See pain.



scourge epidemic.

scourge epidemic


Synonym:  scourge ;

Synonym:  warm epidemic .

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) Any contagious disease attributed to the contraction of epidemic pestilential qi. The two most commonly observed kinds are pestilential qi epidemic toxin hidden in the membrane source and summerheat-heat epidemic toxin hidden the stomach. starts with abhorrence of cold and vigorous heat~effusion, quickly shifting to a pattern of heat without headache and generalized pain, red or crimson tongue with a chalky white tongue fur, and a rapid pulse.

Medication:  Course, disinhibit, and outthrust using Membrane-Source--Opening Beverage ( yuán yîn) or Three Dispersers Beverage (sän xiäo yîn). is marked by vigorous heat~effusion, vexation and agitation, splitting headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, crimson tongue with parched fur, and in some cases by spontaneous external bleeding, macules, and clouded spirit or coma.

Medication:  Clear the scourge and resolve toxin with Scourge-Clearing Toxin-Vanquishing Beverage (qïng wën bài  yîn).

scourge jaundice

wën huáng


Any severe contagious jaundice. Scourge jaundice is attributed to heaven-current epidemic pestilence or damp-heat seasonal toxin scorching construction blood. Scourge jaundice is characterized by body and eyes that are deep yellow in color, high fever, clouded spirit, urine the color of Phellodendri Cortex (huáng bâi) juice, abdominal distention with water, rib-side pain, and blood ejection and bloody stool. In some cases, there are maculopapular eruptions. The tongue is red or crimson; the pulse is surging and rapid.

Medication:  Clear construction, cool the blood, and open the orifices. See acute jaundice.

Definition:  acute jaundice.

scourge sand

wën shä

A disease caused by depressed deep-lying cold qi that emerges in the spring, or stagnant summerheat-heat that emerges in the autumn, the latter form being by far the more common and more highly contagious. Scourge sand is characterized by heat~effusion and aversion to cold that makes it seem similar to but not the same as malaria. Other signs include swelling of the head and face, and in some cases signs such as rapid breathing with fullness and oppression, bloating in the chest and diaphragm, abdominal pain, or dysentery with stool containing pus and blood. Treat by letting blood to discharge the sand toxin. Use Aquilaria and Asafetida Pill (chén xiäng ë wèi wán).

screen gate

lán mén

One of the seven gates.

Western Medical Concept:  ileocecal valve* valve*!ileocecal ileocecal valve.


Synonym:  mouse sores .

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) Lumps beneath the skin down the side of the neck and under the armpits. These are often referred to in older books as saber and pearl-string lumps because of the saberlike formation they can make below the armpit, and the necklace-like formation they make on the neck. Scrofula occurs when phlegm gathers in the neck, armpits or groin. The phlegm is produced by the scorching of fluids by vacuity fire arising in lung-kidney vacuity. In some cases, wind-fire evil toxin is also a factor. Scrofula starts as bean-like lumps, associated with neither pain nor heat. Subsequently the lumps expand and assume a stringlike formation, merge, and even bunch up into heaps. They are hard and do not move under pressure. In the latter stages they may become slightly painful. They can rupture to exude a thin pus and sometimes contain matter that resembles bean curd dregs (residue of ground soybeans in the production of soybean milk and tofu). They can take a long time to heal, old ones healing while new ones arise. In some cases, fistulas may form.

Western Medical Concept:  lymphadenitis* tuberculosis of lymph node* tuberculosis of lymph node; lymphadenitis.

Medication:  Course the liver and resolve depression; soften hardness and transform phlegm. Use Free Wanderer Powder (xiäo yáo sân) combined with Two Matured Ingredients Decoction (èr chén täng). In advanced stages, base treatment on enriching the lung and supplementing the kidney, using Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (lìu wèi  huáng wán) plus Adenophorae seu Glehniae Radix (shä shën) and Ophiopogonis Tuber (mài mén döng).

Acupuncture:  Use principally local points and points selected according to the affected channel. Main points: (i.e., the nodes themselves), and . Apply treatment in the following way: Prior to rupture, fire-needle the center of each node once every 2--3 days. After rupture, for wounds that fail to heal, pole the affected areas or apply 3--5 cones of moxa on garlic or aconite cake every 3--5 days; complement acupuncture treatment with medicinal therapy and dressings. At and , apply moxa pole or 5--7 cones directly or on ginger, repeating the treatment every other day. These points may also be needled with supplementation, retaining the needles for 15--30 minutes. Selection of points according to affected area: For scrofula on the nape, add TB-17 ( fëng, Wind Screen) , TB-6 (zhï göu, Branch Ditch) , and TB-10 (tiän jîng, Celestial Well) , and moxa GB-41 ( lín , Foot Overlooking Tears) . For the neck, add LI-14 ( nào, Upper Arm) and ST-5 ( yíng, Great Reception) , and moxa LI-10 (shôu sän , Arm Three Li) . For the armpit, add GB-21 (jiän jîng, Shoulder Well) , HT-3 (shào hâi, Lesser Sea) , and GB-38 (yáng , Yang Assistance) . Needle with drainage. Selection of points according to progression of the disease: For initial-stage scrofula, needle with drainage at BL-18 (gän shü, Liver Transport) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) to course the liver and resolve depression, soften hardness and transform phlegm. For pronounced phlegm-fire, further add LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) . For advanced stages, needle with supplementation at BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , BL-13 (fèi shü, Lung Transport) , BL-43 (gäo huäng shü, Gao-Huang Transport) , LU-9 (tài yuän, Great Abyss) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) to enrich the lung and supplement the kidney. For binding wind-heat toxin, needle with drainage at GV-20 (bâi huì, Hundred Convergences) , GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , and prick LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) to bleed. Modern medicine observes that malign tumors of the nose, mouth, throat, and breast can spread to the lymph nodes of the neck and armpits. It is important to be able to differentiate these forms of metastasis from scrofula.

scrotal itch

yïn náng säo yâng

Synonym:  yin sac itch .

Itching of the scrotum, in severe cases with thickening of the skin, and rupture by scratching causing exudation of yellow water and subsequent scabbing. Scrotal itch is caused by brewing damp-heat, yin vacuity and blood dryness, or by lower burner cold-damp.

Brewing damp-heat  (shï   jié) scrotal itch starts with severe itching relieved by bathing in hot water, and with pimples like millet grains. Scratching produces a watery exudate and burning soreness. The tongue is yellow and slimy, and the pulse is stringlike, slippery, and rapid.

Medication:  Clear and drain liver-gallbladder heat with Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân xiè gän täng). Bathe with a decoction of Portulacae Herba ( chî xiàn).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on SP, ST, LR, and LI. Select GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , and GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) ; needle with drainage.

Yin vacuity and blood dryness  (yïn  xuè zào) patterns are characterized by severe itching with roughening and thickening of the skin. Scratching produces blood (no watery exudate), which dries to form a regular blood scab. It is associated with thirst, heart vexation, red tongue, and fine rapid pulse.

Medication:  Use medicinals such as Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens (shëng  huáng), Angelicae Sinensis Radix (däng guï), Paeoniae Radix Alba (bái sháo yào), Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix (dän shën), Millettiae Radix et Caulis ( xuè téng), Lumbricus ( lóng), Kochiae Fructus (  ), Dioscoreae Hypoglaucae Rhizoma ( xiè), Cnidii Monnieri Fructus (shé chuáng ), Glycyrrhizae Radix Cruda (shëng gän câo), and Cyathulae Radix (chuän níu ),

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, SP, LR, KI, and ST. Select BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , LR-8 ( quán, Spring at the Bend) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) ; needle with even supplementation and drainage. For pronounced itching, add HT-8 (shào , Lesser Mansion) , and .

Lower burner cold-damp  (xià jiäo hán shï) patterns are characterized by damp scrotum, mild itching, limp aching lumbus and knees, sagging distention in the smaller abdomen, inhibited urination, heavy swollen lower limbs, moist white tongue fur and a forceless sunken moderate pulse.

Medication:  Warm the channels and dissipate cold; eliminate dampness and relieve itch. An effective formula is Five Accumulations Powder (  sân).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, SP, and ST. Select CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , CV-3 (zhöng , Central Pole) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , and SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) ; needle with drainage and moxa. See scrotal wind.

scrotal welling-abscess

shèn náng yöng

Synonym:  kidney sac welling-

abscess .

A large suppurative swelling of the scrotum. A scrotal welling-abscess starts with painful swelling of the scrotum with heat and redness. In severe cases, the skin is fully stretched so that it becomes smooth and shiny, and the scrotum becomes heavy and sags. With time, it begins to suppurate. A scrotal welling-abscess is accompanied by heat~effusion and aversion to cold, dry mouth with desire for cold fluids, and rough voidings of reddish urine. It is attributed to liver and kidney channel damp-heat pouring downward or to invasion of external dampness.

Medication:  Clear heat and disinhibit dampness with Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân xiè gän täng). When pus forms, the same formula can be used with the addition of Manitis Squama (chuän shän jiâ) and Gleditsiae Spina (zào jiâo ), although lancing may be necessary. The condition is distinguished from welling-abscess of the testicle by absence of swelling of the testicles.

scrotal wind

shèn náng fëng

Synonym:  kidney sac wind ;

Synonym:  bobble wind .

A condition of dryness and itchiness of the scrotum relieved by bathing in hot water, and, in severe cases, with red pimples the size of millet seed, that exude fluid when scratched and are sometimes associated with scorching heat pain. Scrotal wind is caused by liver channel damp-heat pouring downward and invasion of external wind evil. It is usually difficult to cure.

Western Medical Concept:  riboflavin deficiency* eczema*!scrotal neurodermatitis* scrotal eczema; neurodermatitis; riboflavin deficiency.

Medication:  Clear heat, dispel wind, and eliminate dampness with Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân xiè gän täng). Dab on Indigo Powder (qïng dài sân) plus Three Stones Powder (sän shí sân) after bathing the affected area with decocted Cnidium Seed Powder (shé chuáng  sân). In persistent cases, use Chinese Wolfsbane Paste (láng  gäo).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on GV, ST, LI, SP, LR, and GB. Main points: GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) ; needle with drainage. Selection of points according to pattern: For liver channel damp-heat, add LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) , and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) . For wind evil, add GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , and GV-20 (bâi huì, Hundred Convergences) . See also scrotal itch.


shèn náng

Synonym:  kidney sac ;

Synonym:  yin sac .

The sac that contains the testicles. See scrotal wind; cold mounting; foxy mounting; sagging of one testicle; scrotal welling-abscess.

scurrying pain

cuàn tòng

Pain that repeatedly changes location; attributable to qi stagnation or wind evil. Pain that moves from one location to another. Scurrying pain is a sign of wind evil in the channels obstructing qi dynamic. Wind is swift and changeable; the pain that it causes changes from one position to another. It is observed in wind-damp impediment patterns with a prevalence of wind evil.

Western Medical Concept:  wandering pain. wandering pain* pain*!wandering See pain.

sea of blood

xuè hâi


Synonym:  sea of the twelve channels .

One of the four seas. The thoroughfare vessel.

Definition:  The liver.

Definition:  SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) .

sea of grain and water

shuî  zhï hâi

One of the four seas. The stomach.

sea of marrow

suî hâi

One of the four seas. The brain.

sea of qi


One of the four seas. Chest center.

Definition:  Cinnabar field.

Definition:  CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) .

sea of the channels

jïng mài zhï hâi

The thoroughfare vessel.

sea of the twelve channels

shí èr jïng zhï hâi

Synonym:  sea of blood .

The thoroughfare vessel.

sea of the yang vessels

yáng mài zhï hâi

The governing vessel.

sea of the yin vessels

yïn mài zhï hâi

The controlling vessel.

seasonal cold epidemic

shí xíng hán 

A contagious disease caused by fulminant cold in spring or summer, characterized by headache and generalized pain, cold and heat without sweating, or retching counterflow, white fur, absence of thirst, a pulse that is tight and floating. Seasonal cold epidemic is similar to the cold damage greater yang pattern.

Medication:  Resolve the exterior with warmth and acridity.

seasonal cough

shí xíng sòu

Synonym:  fulminant seasonal cough ;

Synonym:  heaven-current cough .

Cough due to a seasonal qi that is contagious. A seasonal cough is characterized by bouts of continuous coughing with heat~effusion, aversion to cold, headache, and nasal congestion.

Medication:  Diffuse the lung and resolve the exterior. Use Ginseng and Perilla Beverage (shën  yîn), Toxin-Vanquishing Powder (bài  sân), and variations.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on LU, LI, and BL. Select BL-13 (fèi shü, Lung Transport) , LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , BL-12 (fëng mén, Wind Gate) , and BL-11 ( zhù, Great Shuttle) ; needle with drainage.

seasonal current

shí xíng

seasonal qi.

seasonal epidemic


seasonal qi.

seasonal epidemic dysentery


epidemic dysentery.

seasonal evil

shí xié

Any evil whose occurrence is seasonally related.

seasonal qi



Any contagious epidemic qi, whose occurrence is associated with a given season.


Synonym:  epidemic scourge ;

Synonym:  heaven current ;

Synonym:  seasonal current ;

Synonym:  seasonal epidemic .

Epidemic disease.

seasonal toxin


Any seasonally related contagious epidemic disease evil or disease caused by it. See warm toxin.

seat board bone

zuò bân 

Synonym:  bolt bone .

The bone on which the body rests when sitting. In women, the seat bone is sometimes called the interlocking bones. See failure of the interlocking bones to open.

Western Medical Concept:  ischium* ischium.

seat sores

zuò bân chuäng

Pock pimples of the buttocks. See pock pimples.

second yang channel

èr yáng

Yang brightness channel.

second yin channel

èr yïn

Lesser yin channel.

secret formula


A formula kept secret by its inventor or anyone to whom he passes it on.


To prevent or arrest the loss of qi, blood, fluids, or essence, and the invasion of evil, as through the exterior. Examples: secure essence (also called astringe essence), to arrest seminal loss; secure the exterior, to treat insecurity of exterior qi, characterized by spontaneous or night sweating. See also insecurity.

securing and astriction


The method of treating efflux desertion patterns (i.e., enduring or critical discharge or loss of sweat, blood, semen etc.). Securing and astriction involves the use of supplementing and astringent medicinals to in the treatment of spontaneous or night sweating; in the treatment of persistent cough; in the treatment of persistent diarrhea culminating in prolapse of the anus (called enduring diarrhea efflux desertion); in the treatment of seminal emission or seminal efflux; in the treatment of copious urine or enuresis; to treat severe bleeding; to treat flooding and spotting; or to treat persistent vaginal discharge.

Securing and Astriction
Efflux desertion patterns are all at root vacuity patterns, the loss of sweat, blood, or semen etc., being the tip. For this reason securing astriction formulas usually comprise supplementing medicinals combined with astringent medicinals, the former usually being used in large number or quantity than the latter. Rarely, securing medicinals are used alone. In general, securing astriction is a method of treatment that is not used too early in the development of a condition. See the entries listed above.

securing essence


Synonym:  astringing essence .

A method of treatment used to address seminal emission and seminal efflux in vacuity patterns, using essence-securing medicinals such as Mastodi Ossis Fossilia (lóng ), Ostreae Concha ( ), Rosae Laevigatae Fructus (jïn yïng ), Euryales Semen (qiàn shí), and Nelumbinis Stamen (lián ), combined with kidney-supplementing medicinals like Cuscutae Semen (  ), Tribuli Fructus (  ), and Corni Fructus (shän zhü ). A representative essence-securing formula is Golden Lock Essence-Securing Pill (jïn suô  jïng wán).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, CV, and KI. Select CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , KI-12 ( , Great Manifestation) , CV-3 (zhöng , Central Pole) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) ; needle with supplementation.

securing the kidney and astringing essence

 shèn  jïng

A method of treatment used to address seminal emission or frequent urination due to insecurity of kidney qi. Securing the kidney and astringing essence includes treating seminal emission or unconscious loss of semen, night sweating, lumbar pain, tinnitus, and lack of strength in the limbs with Golden Lock Essence-Securing Pill (jïn suô  jïng wán) or treating frequent voidings of clear scant urine with Mantis Egg-Case Powder (säng piäo xiäo sân).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on KI, CV, and BL. Select BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , KI-12 ( , Great Manifestation) , and BL-52 (jïng göng, Palace of Essence) ; needle with supplementation. For tendency to yang vacuity, add GV-4 (mìng mén, Life Gate) and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) and use moxa.

securing the kidney to promote qi absorption

 shèn   <

securing kidney to promote qi absorption> See promoting absorption of qi by the kidney.

securing the menses


To stanch persistent flooding and spotting. Securing the menses treats the tip rather than the root of flooding and spotting.

Medication:  Among medicinals used are general blood-stanching medicinals like Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo), Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens (shëng  huáng), and Agrimoniae Herba (xiän  câo), and securing astringents like Bovis Cornus Os (níu jiâo säi), Limonitum (  liáng), Halloysitum Rubrum (chì shí zhï), and Amethystum seu Fluoritum ( shí yïng). A representative menses-securing formula is Rousing Spirit Elixir (zhèn líng dän).

seeing one as two

shì  wéi èr

Seeing one object as two, usually overlapping images.

Western Medical Concept:  double vision* double vision. Seeing one as two is observed in squint.

seeing red as white

shì chì  bái

Synonym:  seeing things in changed colors .

Improper perception of colors. Seeing red as white is attributed to poor congenital constitution or to obstruction of the vessels in the eye.

Western Medical Concept:  color blindness* color blindness.

Medication:  Enrich yin and nourish essence; regulate qi and blood. Use variations of Light-Restoring Powder ( míng sân) and acupuncture, but expect no marked results.

seeing things in changed colors


seeing red as white.

seeking the cause from patterns identified

biàn zhèng qíu yïn

identifying patterns and seeking the cause.

seething cauldron pulse

 fèi mài

See seven strange pulses.

selection of adjacent points

lín jìn  wèi xuân xué

See selection of local points.

selection of contralateral points

jiäo chä  xué

Selection of points lying on the opposite side of the body to that of the disease site. Selection of contralateral points includes great needling and cross needling. See selection of distant points.

selection of distant points

yuân  xuân xué

Selecting points far from the disease site. Distant points are usually connected with the disease site directly or indirectly through the channel system. Methods of selecting distant points include: selection of same-channel points; selection of opposite-channel points; selection of same-name channel points; selection of contralateral points; selection of same-channel points of corresponding location. After determining the channel on which the disease site is located, points can be selected on that channel for treatment. For instance, if a headache is identified as a yang brightness channel headache in the forehead, ST-8 (tóu wéi, Head Corner) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and ST-41 (jiê , Ravine Divide) may be chosen. For a lesser yang headache on the sides of the head, GB-8 (shuài , Valley Lead) , GB-32 (zhöng , Central River) , and GB-43 (xiá , Pinched Ravine) may be selected. In some cases, a disease located on one channel may be treated by needling points located on the channel with which it stands in interior-exterior relationship, often in combination with same-channel points. For example, the nose lies on the hand yang brightness channel, so that disorders of the nose can be treated by combining the opposite-channel point LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) with the same-channel point LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . The throat is considered to belong to the hand greater yin lung channel, and hence it can be treated by combining the same-channel point LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) with the opposite-channel point LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . The stomach belongs to the foot yang brightness stomach channel, and stomach disorders are often treated by combining ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) with SP-4 (göng sün, Yellow Emperor) . Abdominal distention is considered to be a foot greater yin disease, and is often treated by combining SP-3 (tài bái, Supreme White) and SP-4 (göng sün, Yellow Emperor) with ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) . Disorders can also be treated by needling points on the channel that bears the same yin-yang name as the affected channel. For example headache and pain in the nape and back can be treated by combining the foot greater yang channel points BL-60 (kün lún, Kunlun Mountains) and BL-62 (shën mài, Extending Vessel) with the hand greater yang channel point SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine) . Frontal headache and red sore swollen eyes can be treated by combining the foot yang brightness channel points ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) and ST-41 (jiê , Ravine Divide) with the hand yang brightness channel point LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . Stomach pain or distention and fullness in the stomach duct can be treated by combining ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) with LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . Rib-side pain can be treated by combining the foot lesser yang point GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) with the hand lesser yang point TB-6 (zhï göu, Branch Ditch) . Points on one side of the body may be selected to treat disorders of the other. Contralateral points may be selected according to channel or according to corresponding location of the disorders. For example, toothache on the left can be treated by needling the LI-4 ( , Union Valley) of the right hand. Paralysis of the left side of the face can be treated by needling the LI-4 ( , Union Valley) and TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) of the right extremity. Left-sided hemilateral headache can be treated by needling the TB-9 ( , Four Rivers) of the right arm. The left shoulder can be treated by needling the LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , and SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine) of right. Finally, left hip pain can be treated by needling GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) of the right side. An example of treating disorders by the contralateral point corresponding to the location of the disorder is to treat pain on the left by needling LI-15 on right. Selection of contralateral points includes the method described in The Inner Canon (nèi jïng) great needling, sometimes referred to by its French name grande piq, and cross needling. The twelve regular channels comprise six pairs of channels, each pair of which shares the same yin-yang denomination. One channel of each pair is a foot channel, whereas the other is a hand channel. The arms and legs have corresponding locations, e.g., the fingers and toes, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, etc. Selecting the same-name channel point of corresponding locations means that a disease affecting the channel at a point on the arm can be treated by needling a point on the same-name channel of the foot at the corresponding location on the opposite side of the body. Thus a disorder at LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) on the hand greater yin channel can be treated by needling the corresponding point on the foot greater yin channel, which is SP-1 (yîn bái, Hidden White) . See more examples in the list below.

Selection of Same-Name Channel[0.2ex] points of corresponding location
    Pairs on the greater yin
  • LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) and SP-1 (yîn bái, Hidden White)
  • LU-10 ( , Fish Border) and SP-3 (tài bái, Supreme White)
  • LU-9 (tài yuän, Great Abyss) and SP-5 (shäng qïu, Shang Hill)
  • LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • LU-6 (kông zuì, Collection Hole) and SP-8 ( , Earth's Crux)
  • LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring)
  • LU-4 (xiá bái, Guarding White) and SP-11 ( mén, Winnower Gate) Pairs on the yang brightness
  • LI-1 (shäng yáng, Shang Yang) and ST-45 ( duì, Severe Mouth)
  • LI-2 (èr jiän, Second Space) and ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley) and ST-43 (xiàn , Sunken Valley)
  • LI-5 (yáng , Yang Ravine) and ST-41 (jiê , Ravine Divide)
  • LI-10 (shôu sän , Arm Three Li) and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)
  • LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) and ST-35 ( , Calf's Nose)
  • LI-12 (zhôu liáo, Elbow Bone-Hole) and ST-34 (liáng qïu, Beam Hill)
  • LI-14 ( nào, Upper Arm) and ST-32 ( , Crouching Rabbit)

selection of interior-exterior--related channel points

biâo  jïng xuân xué <

selection of interior-exterior> selection of opposite-channel points.

selection of local points

jìn  xuân xué

Local points are acupuncture points located at the site of the sign or bowels or viscus being treated. Any point can be employed as a local point. Local points are most effective for chronic local diseases, but are occasionally used to treat acute local diseases too. Local points also include adjacent points---those situated near the disease site. These can replace local points in the treatment of acute conditions, and can strengthen the effects of local (and distant) points. Although any point can function as an adjacent point, those that have a salient location are usually chosen. A number of commonly used local points are conventionally used for certain local diseases.

Selection of Local Points
  • GV-20 (bâi huì, Hundred Convergences)
  • BL-7 (töng tiän, Celestial Connection)
  • GB-14 (yáng bái, Yang White)
  • GB-15 (tóu lín , (Head) Overlooking Tears)
  • BL-5 ( chù, Fifth Place)
  • BL-1 (jïng míng, Bright Eyes)
  • GB-1 (tóng  liáo, Pupil Bone-Hole)
  • BL-2 (zân zhú, Bamboo Gathering)
  • LI-20 (yíng xiäng, Welcome Fragrance)
  • ST-3 ( liáo, Great Bone-Hole)
  • GV-23 (shàng xïng, Upper Star)
  • TB-21 (êr mén, Ear Gate)
  • TB-17 ( fëng, Wind Screen)
  • GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool)
  • GB-2 (tïng huì, Auditory Convergence)
  • SI-19 (tïng göng, Auditory Palace)
  • ST-5 ( yíng, Great Reception)
  • CV-24 (chéng jiäng, Sauce Receptacle)
  • ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage)
  • ST-7 (xià guän, Below the Joint)
  • CV-23 (lián quán, Ridge Spring)
  • CV-22 (tiän , Celestial Chimney)
  • SI-17 (tiän róng, Celestial Countenance)
  • LI-15 (jiän , Shoulder Bone)
  • TB-14 (jiän liáo, Shoulder Bone-Hole)
  • SI-10 (nào shü, Upper Arm Transport)
  • SI-11 (tiän zöng, Celestial Gathering)
  • LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend)
  • LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh)
  • TB-10 (tiän jîng, Celestial Well)
  • TB-4 (yáng chí, Yang Pool)
  • LI-5 (yáng , Yang Ravine)
  • SI-4 (wàn , Wrist Bone)
  • CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct)
  • ST-21 (liáng mén, Beam Gate)
  • LR-13 (zhäng mén, Camphorwood Gate)
  • BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport)
  • BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber)
  • BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport)
  • GV-4 (mìng mén, Life Gate)
  • GV-25 ( liáo, White Bone-Hole)
  • GV-3 (yäo yáng guän, Lumbar Yang Pass)
  • ST-34 (liáng qïu, Beam Hill)
  • GB-33 ( yáng guän, Knee Yang Joint)
  • GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring)
  • GB-40 (qïu , Hill Ruins)
  • KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine)
  • BL-60 (kün lún, Kunlun Mountains)
  • KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea)

selection of opposite-channel points

 jïng xuân xué

Synonym:  selection of exterior-

interior related points .

Selection of points that lie on the channel that stands in exterior-interior relationship to the channel on which the disease is located. See selection of distant points.

selection of pathocondition points

duì zhèng xuân xué

Some points are traditionally noted for their effectiveness in treating specific signs, helping to relieve the tip of an illness. See list below.

Selection of Pathocondition Points
  • GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer)
  • LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • GV-26 (shuî göu, Water Trough)
  • CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head)
  • CV-8 (shén què, Spirit Gate Tower)
  • ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow)
  • SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine)
  • HT-6 (yïn , Yin Cleft)
  • HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport)
  • HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate)
  • GB-44 ( qiào yïn, Foot Orifice Yin)
  • LI-18 ( , Protuberance Assistant)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • PC-5 (jiän shî, Intermediary Courier)
  • ST-7 (xià guän, Below the Joint)
  • ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • CV-23 (lián quán, Ridge Spring)
  • HT-5 (töng , Connecting Li) Sore throat impediment
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang)
  • GV-26 (shuî göu, Water Trough)
  • ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • PC-4 ( mén, Cleft Gate)
  • CV-22 (tiän , Celestial Chimney)
  • LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence)
  • SI-1 (shào , Lesser Marsh)
  • CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • SP-1 (yîn bái, Hidden White)
  • LR-5 ( göu, Woodworm Canal) Dysphagia-occlusion
  • CV-22 (tiän , Celestial Chimney)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • CV-17 (shän zhöng, Chest Center)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)
  • BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • PC-8 (láo göng, Palace of Toil)
  • ST-25 (tiän shü, Celestial Pivot)
  • CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi)
  • PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass)
  • ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)
  • TB-6 (zhï göu, Branch Ditch)
  • GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring)
  • ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)
  • SP-4 (göng sün, Yellow Emperor)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring)
  • CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • CV-3 (zhöng , Central Pole)
  • KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine)
  • KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow)
  • CV-2 ( , Curved Bone)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • GB-26 (dài mài, Girdling Vessel)
  • BL-30 (bái huán shü, White Ring Transport)
  • CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • ST-25 (tiän shü, Celestial Pivot)
  • TB-6 (zhï göu, Branch Ditch)
  • GV-1 (cháng qiáng, Long Strong)
  • BL-57 (chéng shän, Mountain Support)
  • LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend)
  • SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood)
  • SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection)
  • CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head)
  • ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li)

selection of points on the affected channel

xún jïng  xué

Synonym:  selection of same-

channel points .

Selection of points on the same channel as the disease site. Points are selected at either local or distant locations. Disease sites in the head, face or trunk are often treated by distant points below the elbows and knees on the affected channel. For example, yang brightness headache can be treated by needling LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and stomach pain can be treated by needling ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) . In some cases, points close to the affected area are chosen, e.g., LR-13 (zhäng mén, Camphorwood Gate) for liver vomiting and pain or LI-20 (yíng xiäng, Welcome Fragrance) for nasal congestion and loss of sense of smell. See Table . point selection.

selection of same-channel points

bên jïng xuân xué

Selection of points on the same channel as the disease. See selection of distant points.

selection of same-name channel points

tóng míng jïng xuân xué

See selection of distant points.

selection of special group points

 dìng xué  xuân xué

Selection of points belonging to groups such as the source point; network point; cleft point; meeting points; lower uniting point; four command points; alarm point; back transport point; transport point; intersection point. See these entries.

selection of same-name channel points of corresponding location

tóng jïng xiäng yìng  xué 

Selection of points on the channel of the same yin-yang denomination at anatomically corresponding positions on the channel of the same yin-yang denomination on the opposite side of the body. See selection of distant points.



The viscid white fluid released during ejaculation, a tangible form of essence. Diseases of or relating to semen include scant semen, seminal cold, and seminal loss. See essence; essence gate; essence chamber.

seminal cold

jïng lêng

A condition characterized by cold, thin, scant semen; a major cause of male sterility. Seminal cold is attributed to insufficiency of kidney qi or to kidney yang vacuity.

Insufficiency of kidney qi:  (shèn   ) Seminal cold due to insufficiency of kidney qi is accompanied by weak constitution, marked emaciation, lusterless facial complexion, lack of strength and shortness of breath, aching lumbus and limp knees, hair loss, loosening of the teeth, frequent urination or profuse urination at night, a pale tongue and a fine pulse weak at the cubit.

Medication:  Treat by neutral supplementation of kidney. Use variations of Five-Seed Progeny Pill (  yân zöng wán).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on KI, CV, and back transport points. BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) ; needle with supplementation.

Kidney yang vacuity:  (shèn yáng ) Seminal cold due to kidney yang vacuity is accompanied by physical cold and coldlimbs, a bright white facial complexion, and impotence. Other signs include aching lumbus and limp knees, dizziness, tinnitus, devitalized essence-spirit, long voidings of clear urine or profuse urination at night, pale enlarged tongue with thin white fur, and forceless fine sunken pulse.

Medication:  Warm the kidney and invigorate yang. Use formulas such as Cuscuta Seed Pill (   wán), Golden Coffer Kidney Qi Pill (jïn guì shèn  wán), Right-Restoring Life Gate Pill (yòu guï wán), and Striped Dragon Pill (bän lóng wán).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, KI, and GV. Select BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , GV-4 (mìng mén, Life Gate) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , ST-29 (guï lái, Return) , and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa.

seminal efflux

huá jïng

Involuntary loss of semen (essence) occurring in sleep without dreaming or when awake, in severe cases several times a day. Mentioned Jing-Yue's Complete Compendium (jîng yuè quán shü) states, ``Emission of semen not due to dreaming is called seminal efflux.'' Seminal efflux sexual performance incommensurate with libido, sexual intemperance, or excessive masturbation, causing depletion of the kidney origin and insecurity of the essence gate.

Medication:  Treat with formulas such as Golden Lock Essence-Securing Pill (jïn suô  jïng wán), Left-Restoring Kidney Yin Pill (zuô guï wán), or Right-Restoring Life Gate Pill (yòu guï wán). In some cases it may be attributable to damp-heat or phlegm congestion.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, KI, and back transport points. Select BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , KI-12 ( , Great Manifestation) , BL-52 (jïng göng, Palace of Essence) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) . Needle with supplementation and add moxa. For seminal efflux due to damp-heat or phlegm congestion, see damp-heat seminal emission and phlegm congestion seminal emission. See also seminal loss.

seminal emission



Synonym:  seminal loss .

Involuntary loss of semen (essence). In a broad sense, seminal emission refers to any involuntary loss of semen (seminal loss); in a narrower sense, it refers to loss of semen during sleep, the most common form. Seminal emission is mildest when it occurs while dreaming dream emission(). It is more severe if it occurs without dreaming seminal emission without dreaming(), or while awake in the daytime seminal efflux( and when profuse great seminal discharge). It is said that ``essence i.e., semen is moved by the spirit in response to the heart.'' In dream emission, the disease is mostly in the heart, whereas in seminal emission without dreaming, the disease is usually in the kidney. If evil is involved, the patterns are repletion and heat; if no evil is involved, the patterns are vacuity and cold. Seminal emission at the onset of illness is usually caused by evil fire stirring the essence chamber. In enduring illness it is usually due to internal damage by the seven affects and disharmony of the organs. The main causes are effulgent sovereign and ministerial fire, heart vacuity and liver depression, insecurity of kidney qi, noninteraction of the heart and kidney, and spleen vacuity qi fall.

Effulgent sovereign and ministerial fire  (jün xiàng huô wàng) causes dream emission and frequent erections. Other signs include a)~heart palpitations or fearful throbbing, vexation, red face, b)~dizzy head and flowery vision, c)~aching lumbus and tinnitus, and d)~tidal heat~effusion, night sweating, and emaciation. The tongue is red with little fur, the pulse fine stringlike and rapid, large and vacuous, or stringlike and vacuous at the cubit.

Medication:  Treat by enriching yin and downbearing fire, assisted by subduing and settling. Use Heaven, Human, and Earth Marrow-Retaining Elixir (sän cái fëng suî dän) plus Mastodi Ossis Fossilia (lóng ), Ostreae Concha ( ), Testudinis Plastrum (guï bân), Gardeniae Fructus (zhï ), and Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, HT, KI, and LR. Drain BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , HT-8 (shào , Lesser Mansion) , and LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) ; supplement BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) .

Heart vacuity and liver depression  (xïn  gän ) causes frequent alternating dream emission and seminal emission. Accompanying signs include: a)~distention and fullness in the rib-side, sighing; b)~heart palpitations, insomnia, dizziness, and lassitude of spirit, c)~heart vexation, susceptibility to fright, reduced sleep, and mental depression; d)~intermittent alternating heat~effusion and aversion to cold, bitter taste in the mouth, and reduced food intake. The tongue is red at the tip with a white fur, while the pulse is large, stringlike, vacuous and rapid.

Medication:  Course the liver and eliminate depression; nourish the heart and quiet the spirit. Use Free Wanderer Powder (xiäo yáo sân) plus Cinnabaris (zhü shä), or use Biota Seed Heart-Nourishing Pill (bâi  yâng xïn wán) combined with Free Wanderer Powder (xiäo yáo sân).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on PC, LR, SP, HT, and back transport points. Supplement HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , and BL-43 (gäo huäng shü, Gao-Huang Transport) to nourish the heart and quiet the spirit. Drain PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) to soothe the liver and eliminate depression. A combination of supplementing and draining nourishes the heart and regulates the liver, quiets the spirit and secures essence.

Insecurity of kidney qi  (shèn   ) causes seminal emission unassociated with dreaming or frequent seminal emission. Accompanying signs are: a)~limp aching lumbus and knees and listlessness of essence-spirit; b)~clouded head and tinnitus, panting on physical exertion, bright white facial complexion and emaciation; c)~increased urination at night or frequent urination. The tongue is pale with white fur, and the pulse is sunken and weak.

Medication:  Supplement the kidney and astringe essence. Use Essence-Containing Pill ( jïng wán).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, CV, and KI. Select CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , KI-12 ( , Great Manifestation) , BL-52 (zhì shì, Will Chamber) , BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) : needle with supplementation and add moxa.

Noninteraction of the heart and kidney  (xïn shèn  jiäo) causes dream emission accompanied a)~vexation and insomnia and limp aching lumbus and knees; and b)~dizziness and tinnitus, dry mouth and pharynx, and in some cases tidal heat~effusion and night sweating. The tongue is red with scant fur, and the pulse is rapid at the inch and sunken at the cubit, or large, vacuous and rapid.

Medication:  Promote heart-kidney interaction; enrich water and quiet the spirit. Use Cinnabar Spirit-Quieting Pill (zhü shä än shén wán) combined either with Celestial Emperor Heart-Supplementing Elixir (tiän wáng  xïn dän) or with Coptis and Ass Hide Glue Decoction (huáng lián ë jiäo täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, HT, and KI. Drain BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , and PC-7 ( líng, Great Mound) ; supplement BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) .

Spleen vacuity qi fall  (   xiàn) causes seminal efflux with a)~shortness of breath and laziness to speak, fatigued limbs and lack of strength, and withered-yellow facial complexion; b)~torpid intake, bland taste in the mouth, diarrhea with sloppy stool, distention and sagging in the stomach duct and abdomen after eating, and lack of warmth in the limbs. The tongue is pale with white fur, while the pulse is sunken and weak or sunken and fine.

Medication:  Supplement the center and boost qi; fortify the spleen and secure essence. Use Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng) plus Nelumbinis Fructus seu Semen (lián ), Mastodi Ossis Fossilia (lóng ), and Ostreae Concha ( ) to fortify the spleen and upbear qi and to secure essence. Alternatively, use Mysterious Fragrance Powder (miào xiäng sân) or Origin-Securing Brew ( yuán jiän).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, CV, SP, and ST. Select BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa. For other patterns, see damp-heat seminal emission; depressed heat seminal emission; phlegm congestion seminal emission. See also white ooze.

Definition:  Specifically, involuntary loss of semen during sleep.

seminal emission without dreaming

 mèng ér 

See seminal emission.

seminal loss

shï jïng

seminal emission.

sensation of pressure in the head

tóu zhàng

See distention in the head.

separate decoction

lìng jiän

Decocting certain medicinals separately from others used in the same formula. Some costly materials such as Ginseng Radix (rén shën) and Rhinocerotis Cornu ( jiâo) are boiled separately to ensure maximum extraction of their active constituents and prevent loss. The fluid is strained off and the dregs are then boiled with the other ingredients. The two decoctions are blended before taking.

separating the clear and the turbid

fën qïng bié zhuó

To promote the separation of the clear and the turbid.

separation of the clear and the turbid

 bié qïng zhuó

The absorption in the small intestine of the essence of grain and water (the clear) by the action of the spleen, and the transference of solid waste to the large intestine and fluid waste to the bladder (the turbid).

separation of yin and yang

yïn yáng  jué

The parting of two interdependent paired yin-yang phenomena that inherently brings the destruction of both. In the body, when the yin or yang aspect of the body has been worn away excessively, the opposite pole is deprived of its basis for survival. Elementary Questions ( wèn) states, ``When yin and yang separate, essential qi expires.'' See yin collapse; yang collapse.



To calm; (in medicinal therapy) to calm (the spirit) with heavy settling medicinals.

settling and absorption


Any method of treatment involving the use of minerals and animal shells, and other medicinals to settle fright and calm the spirit, to subdue yang and extinguish wind, and to secure the kidney and promote qi absorption.

Settling fright and quieting the spirit  (zhèn jïng än shén) is used to treat heart palpitations, fearful throbbing, insomnia, or mania and withdrawal. This method makes use of heavy settlers, i.e., medicinals that are heavy in substance and have a settling effect on bodily functions, such as Magnetitum ( shí), Mastodi Ossis Fossilia (lóng ), Mastodi Dentis Fossilia (lóng chî), Ostreae Concha ( ), Concha Margaritifera (zhën zhü ), Cinnabaris (zhü shä), and Ferri Frusta (tiê luò). Heavy settlers may be combined with yang-freeing medicinals such as Cinnamomi Ramulus (guì zhï) and Acori Rhizoma (shí chäng ), with heart-qi--supplementing medicinals such as Codonopsitis Radix (dâng shën) and Glycyrrhizae Radix (gän câo), with heart-blood-nourishing medicinals such as Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix (dän shën), Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata (gän  huáng), Angelicae Sinensis Radix (däng guï), and Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo), with heart-spirit--quieting medicinals such as Ziziphi Spinosi Semen (suän zâo rén) and Biotae Semen (bâi  rén), and with heat-clearing phlegm-transforming medicinals such as Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián) and Bambusae Caulis in Taeniam (zhú ) according to need. A commonly used formula is Loadstone and Cinnabar Pill ( zhü wán).

Subduing yang and extinguishing wind  (qián yáng  fëng) is used to treat a)~ascendant liver yang or liver wind characterized by headache, dizziness, agitation, twitching muscles, and trembling hands, b)~extreme heat engendering wind on externally contracted disease, characterized by high fever, clouded spirit, tetanic reversal, and convulsions of the limbs, or c) yin vacuity stirring external wind in final-stage externally contracted heat (febrile) diseases, characterized by heat in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, trembling limbs, or tetanic reversal.

Medication:  Yang-subduing wind-extinguishing medicinals such as Ostreae Concha ( ), Concha Margaritifera (zhën zhü ), Mastodi Dentis Fossilia (lóng chî), and Magnetitum ( shí) combined with liver-clearing medicinals such as Uncariae Ramulus cum Unco (göu téng), Chrysanthemi Flos ( huä), Mori Folium (säng ), Prunellae Spica (xià  câo), Moutan Radicis Cortex ( dän ), and Gardeniae Fructus (shän zhï ) or with yin-enriching medicinals such as Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata (gän  huáng), Scrophulariae Radix (xuán shën), Ophiopogonis Tuber (mài mén döng), Ligustri Fructus (nüê zhën ), Testudinis Plastrum (guï bân), and Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo). If necessary, wind-extinguishing tetany-settling medicinals such as Buthus (quán xië), Bombyx Batryticatus (bái jiäng cán), Lumbricus ( lóng), and Antelopis Cornu (líng yáng jiâo) may be employed. Gastrodia and Uncaria Beverage (tiän  göu téng yîn) is used to treat liver yang transforming into wind. Triple-Armored Pulse-Restorative Decoction (sän jiâ  mài täng) is used to treat yin vacuity stirring wind.

Securing the kidney and promoting qi absorption  ( shèn  ) is used to treat failure of the kidney to absorb qi, marked by short rapid breathing, panting at the slightest exertion, vacuity sweating, cold limbs, a bright white or dark green-blue complexion or upbearing fire flush (red complexion due fire in bowels and viscera), and a fine sunken pulse. Treatment employs kidney-supplementing medicinals such as Aconiti Tuber Laterale ( ), Cinnamomi Cortex (ròu guì), Rehmanniae Radix Conquita (shú  huáng), Corni Fructus (shän zhü ), Juglandis Semen ( táo rén), and Gekko ( jiè). To these should added heavy settlers such as Magnetitum ( shí), Amethystum seu Fluoritum ( shí yïng), Stalactitum (zhöng  shí), and Galenitum (qiän) to promote the kidney's action of absorbing qi. A commonly used formula is Galenite Elixir (hëi  dän)

settling and subduing

zhèn qián

subduing and settling.

settling fright and quieting the spirit

zhèn jïng än shén

A method of treatment used to address heart palpitations or fearful throbbing, insomnia, and mania and withdrawal (mental disturbances).

Medication:  Fright-settling spirit-quieting medicinals include Magnetitum ( shí), Mastodi Ossis Fossilia (lóng ), Ostreae Concha ( ), Concha Margaritifera (zhën zhü ), Cinnabaris (zhü shä), and Ferri Frusta (tiê luò). These may be combined with heart yang freeing medicinals such as Cinnamomi Ramulus (guì zhï) and Acori Rhizoma (shí chäng ). They also include medicinals that boost heart qi such as Codonopsitis Radix (dâng shën), Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens (shëng  huáng), Angelicae Sinensis Radix (däng guï), and Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo), as well as spirit-quieting medicinals like Ziziphi Spinosi Semen (suän zâo rén) and Biotae Semen (bâi  rén). Representative formula: Loadstone and Cinnabar Pill ( zhü wán).

Acupuncture:  BL-15 (xïn shü, Heart Transport) , HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) can be selected as the main points, adding other points for particular patterns and signs. See heart palpitations; fright palpitations; sleeplessness; forgetfulness; mania; withdrawal.

settling tetany

zhèn jìng

resolving tetany.

settling the liver and extinguishing wind

zhèn gän  fëng

calming the liver and extinguishing wind.

seven affects


Joy, anger, anxiety, thought, sorrow, fear, and fright. The seven affects in excess can be a cause of disease. See internal damage by the seven affects; affect. Compare five minds. The Chinese term for seven affects is identical with the term rendered as seven relations.

seven damages



From Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer (jïn guì yào lüè) Food damage, anxiety damage, drink damage, sexual intemperance damage, hunger damage, taxation damage, and channel-network and construction-defense damage.

Definition:  From The Origin and Indicators of Disease (zhü bìng yuán hòu lùn) Great overeating damages the spleen; great anger and qi counterflow damages the liver; exertion or lifting heavy weights and long sitting on wet ground damages the kidney; cold in the body and cold drinks damage the lung; anxiety, worry, and thought and cogitation damage the heart; wind, rain, cold, and summerheat damage the body; great fear damages the mind.

seven gates

 chöng mén

Seven points between the mouth and anus: flying gates (lips); door gates (teeth); respiration gate (epiglottis); rushing gate (cardia, the upper mouth of the stomach); dark gate (pylorus, lower mouth of the stomach); screen gate (ileocecal valve); corporeal soul gate (anus).

seven orifices


The two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and the mouth. Compare nine orifices.

seven relations


Seven relationships or interactions of medicinals, namely: going alone; mutual need; empowering; fear; aversion; killing; clashing.

Going alone  (dän xíng) ( dan1 xing2): The ability of a medicinal to be used alone, as in Licorice Decoction (gän câo täng) and Pure Ginseng Decoction ( shën täng).

Mutual need  (xiäng ) ( xiang1 xu1): The combined use of two medicinals of similar action used together to enhance each other's action. The implication is that the combined use of the two medicinals is greater than the sum of their individual action. Mutual need medicinals include Anemarrhenae Rhizoma (zhï ) and Phellodendri Cortex (huáng bâi).

Empowering  (xiäng shî) ( xiang1 shi3): The use of one or more agents to enhance the action of a main agent. For example, Armeniacae Semen (xìng rén) empowers Tussilaginis Flos (kuân döng huä) to moisten the lung and downbear qi, and to suppress cough and transform phlegm.

Fear  (xiäng wèi) ( xiang1 wei4): Toxicity of a medicinal being counteracted by another. For example, Pinelliae Tuber (bàn xià) fears Zingiberis Rhizoma Recens (shëng jiäng) because its toxicity is reduced by it. Astragali (seu Hedysari) Radix (huáng ) was traditionally said to fear Ledebouriellae Radix (fáng fëng), although in Jade Wind-Barrier Powder ( píng fëng sân) Astragali (seu Hedysari) Radix (huáng ) is said to be empowered by Ledebouriellae Radix (fáng fëng). The Chinese wei4 means fear, but in this context the term implies the fear of a benevolent power as the English word awe.

Aversion  (xiäng ) ( xiang1 wu4): The weakening of a medicinal action by another. For example Scutellariae Radix (huáng qín) is averse to Zingiberis Rhizoma Recens (shëng jiäng) because its action is weakened by it; Ginseng Radix (rén shën) is averse to Raphani Radix (lái ), since its supplementing action is reduced by it. īc implies dislike, sickening, ailing, hence weakening; see nausea.

Killing  (xiäng shä) ( xiang1 sha1): The elimination of side-effects of a medicinal. For example, Phaseoli Aurei Semen (lüè dòu) kills Crotonis Semen ( dòu), i.e., it eliminates the croton's noxious effects. The Chinese sha1 has connotations of purification as well as slaughter.

Clashing  (xiäng fân) ( xiang1 fan3:) The creation of noxious effects when two medicinals are used together. For example, Aconiti Tuber (chuän  tóu) clashes with Pinelliae Tuber (bàn xià), so the two should not be used together.

seven-star needle

 xïng zhën

A cutaneous needle, traditionally made by binding sewing needles to a bamboo stick, and used to provide a therapeutic stimulus when tapped lightly on the skin. See cutaneous needle.

seven strange pulses

 guài mài

Seven pulses signifying critical conditions:

Pecking sparrow pulse  (què zhuó mài) : An urgent rapid pulse of irregular rhythm that stops and starts, like a sparrow pecking for food.

Leaking roof pulse  ( lòu mài) : A pulse that comes at long and irregular intervals, like water dripping from a leaky roof.

Flicking stone pulse  (tán shí mài) : A sunken replete pulse that feels like flicking a stone with a finger.

Untwining rope pulse  (jiê suô mài) : A pulse described as being now loose, now tight, with an irregular rhythm like an untwining rope. Damage to a hemp rope made of tightly twined strands can cause a local slackening of the twine, so that it is tight in some places and loose in others; hence the image used to describe this pulse.

Waving fish pulse  ( xiáng mài) : A pulse that seems to be yet seems not to be present, like a fish waving in the water.

Darting shrimp pulse  (xiä yóu mài) : A pulse that arrives almost imperceptibly and vanishes with flick, like a darting shrimp.

Seething cauldron pulse  ( fèi mài) : an extremely rapid floating pulse that is all outward movement with no inward movement, like water seething in a cauldron. See also ten strange pulses.

severe conditions are treated by coaction

shèn zhê cóng zhï

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) Critical conditions of extreme heat resembling cold (true heat and false cold) and extreme cold resembling heat (true cold and false heat) are handled by the paradoxical method of treatment whereby the nature of the treatment coincides with that of the false signs.

severe heat and severe reversal

 shën jué shën

The deeper heat evil lies in the body, the more pronounced reversal cold of the extremities. Severe heat and severe reversal occurs in warm heat disease when deep-lying heat damages right qi and prevents yang qi from reaching the extremities of the body. Although there is high fever and clouded spirit, the extremities are cold. The more severe the heat, the more pronounced the cold signs.

sexual taxation

fáng shì láo shäng

Excessive in sexual activity (sex, childbirth), which wears kidney essence, thereby weakening the health and increasing vulnerability to disease. Commonly observed signs include lumbar pain, seminal emission, fatigued spirit, lack of strength, and dizziness. Excessive childbirth may cause damage to the thoroughfare and controlling vessels, characterized by menstrual irregularities, menstrual block, and vaginal discharge.



Any shaking or tremulous movement of the head or limbs. ``Shaking'' occurs in the phrase: ``All wind with shaking and visual dizziness is ascribed to the liver.''

shaking of the head

tóu yáo

Tremor or wobbling of the head that the patient cannot control. There are repletion and vacuity patterns. patterns usually take the form of mutual exacerbation of wind and fire or liver wind stemming from yang brightness repletion heat; signs include sudden shaking of the head, dizziness, deafness, stiff painful neck, and in some cases high fever, vexation and agitation, and abdominal pain and constipation.

Medication:  Calm the liver and extinguish wind; drain fire and clear heat. patterns mostly arise when insufficiency of the liver and kidney in old age or to vacuity weakness after enduring disease stirs internal vacuity wind. They are characterized by enduring tremor of the head with other vacuity signs.

Medication:  Supplement the liver and kidney; boost qi and blood; support the right and extinguish wind.

shaman healer


A person who professes to heal by incantations or magic figures. Shaman healers were popular in the Shang (21st to 16th century ) and Zhou (16th to 11th century ). By the period of the Warring States, folk doctors were more common than before, and (the legendary) Bian Que (Qin Yue Ren) advocated that doctors should not treat patients who believed in shamans rather than healers. Despite this, shamanism has continued to the present. The Chinese






The name of a dynastic period (approx. 16th cent. --11th cent. ).

shank sore

Synonym:  trouser-

bottom sore ;

Synonym:  trouser-bottom toxin sore ;

Synonym:  skirt-hem sore .

A sore on the shin, characterized by redness, swelling, and itching. The local skin and flesh turns gray and dark. When scratched open, it suppurates. Shank sores can persist for a long time without healing. It arises mostly when damp-heat pours downward and causes blood stasis and qi stagnation. Accordingly, it is accompanied by a thin slimy yellow tongue fur, and a slippery rapid pulse. If the sore persists without healing, it becomes grayish white in color, and exudes thin dirty gray or green pus, and tends to swell in the evening. Such conditions indicate center qi fall, which often attended by bright white facial complexion, thin sloppy stool, pale tongue with thin fur, and a fine pulse.

Western Medical Concept:  ulceration of the lower leg* ulceration of the lower leg.

Medication:  Clear heat and disinhibit dampness; harmonize construction and resolve toxin. Take Fish Poison Yam Toxin-Transforming Decoction ( xiè huà  täng) or Mysterious Three Pill (sän miào wán) combined with Fish Poison Yam Dampness-Percolating Decoction ( xiè shèn shï täng). Apply Golden Yellow Paste (jïn huáng gäo) with Nine-to-One Elixir (jîu  dän). For those who are allergic to Nine-to-One Elixir, use Black Tiger Elixir (hëi  dän) topically. Center qi fall is treated by nourishing the blood and harmonizing construction, and by freeing the network vessels and relieving pain. Use variations of Cinnamon Twig Decoction Plus Tangkuei (guì zhï jiä däng guï täng). For liver-kidney yin vacuity, use Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (lìu wèi  huáng wán), Left-Restoring Kidney Yin Pill (zuô guï wán), or Double Supreme Pill (èr zhì wán). For spleen-kidney vacuity cold with a sore that is black and painless, add Perfect Major Supplementation Decoction (shí quán   täng). Dab on Flesh-Engendering Powder (shëng  sân) and cover with White Jade Plaster (bái  gäo). Some older literature makes a distinction between inner shank sores (on the medial face of the shin) and outer shank sore (on the lateral face). It attributes inner shank sores to dampness in the three yin channels of the foot, with vacuity heat in the blood aspect, and attributes outer shank sores to damp-heat gathering in the three yang channels of the foot. The Great Compendium of External Medicine (wài   chéng) states inner shank sores are hard to cure, whereas outer shank sores are easy to cure.

shedding of flesh and loss of bulk


1 rou=4 po=4 jiong3

Synonym:  loss of bulk and shedding of flesh .

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) Severe emaciation, a sign of debilitation of spleen qi. It is seen in enduring illness and cachexia. cachexia See emaciation. po4, break (down); jun4, also read as tuo1 rou4 po4 jiong3

shell-bursting mammary welling-abscess

tuö   yöng

effusion of the breast.

shell-bursting scrotal welling-abscess

tuö  náng yöng

scrotal welling-abscess.


The tonguelike protuberance in front of the ear, i.e., the tragus. Also called ear gate, fleshy protuberance in front of the ear, and pearl of the ear.



A unit of volume that in the Ming and Qing Dynasty was slightly greater than 1 liter (1,073.7 and 1,035.5 ml respectively), and that in previous dynasties was considerably less, e.g., 594.4 ml in the Tang. See Table , page .


zhî ya



chuán biàn

passage and transmutation. Any passage from one channel to another or change in the manifestation of disease, i.e., all regular and irregular developments in cold-damage diseases. Shift includes the normal passage of disease through the channels, such as from greater yang to yang brightness or lesser yang , and major or irregular changes such as of yang patterns into yin patterns or cold-heat complexes.

shifted bladder

zhuân bäo

Urinary stoppage or frequent voiding of small amounts of urine occurring in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy; attributable to qi vacuity or kidney vacuity.

Qi vacuity  ( ) shifted bladder is marked by urinary stoppage or frequent voidings of small amounts of urine, pain and distention in the smaller abdomen, and fidgetiness. General signs include bright white facial complexion, lassitude of essence-spirit, heavy-headedness and dizziness, shortness of breath, laziness to speak, ungratifying defecation, pale tongue with thick white fur, and a moderate vacuous slippery pulse.

Medication:  Supplement qi, upbear the fall, and raise the fetus. Use Qi-Boosting Urine-Abducting Decoction (  dâo niào täng).

Kidney vacuity  (shèn ) shifted bladder is characterized by frequent inhibited urination that may gradually turn into urinary stoppage. There is distention, fullness, and pain in the abdomen, and fidgetiness. General signs include fear of cold and cold limbs, limp aching lumbus and legs, pale tongue with thin moist tongue fur, and a forceless slippery sunken pulse.

Medication:  Warm the kidney and support yang; transform qi (promote qi transformation) and move water. Use Golden Coffer Kidney Qi Pill (jïn guì shèn  wán) minus Aconiti Tuber Laterale ( ) and Moutan Radicis Cortex ( dän ), and plus Morindae Radix (  tiän) and Cuscutae Semen (  ).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment on back transport points and CV. Main points: Needle CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , bilateral BL-28 (páng guäng shü, Bladder Transport) , bilateral SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) ; moxa CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) . Supporting points: GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) and bilateral ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) . Apply a strong stimulus and retain needles for 15--20 minutes, rotating every 1--2 minutes. Moxa after needling. For qi vacuity, add BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) . For kidney vacuity, add BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) .



Trembling with a subjective sensation of cold. Occurring in malaria, it comes at regular intervals and is followed by high fever. In other febrile diseases, it is a sign of exuberant interior heat preventing yang qi from effusing to the exterior and is treated by clearing heat or outthrusting evil. Shivering may also occur in yang qi vacuity patterns without heat~effusion and with a fine vacuous pulse. In such cases, it is treated by supporting yang using formulas such as Astragalus Center-Fortifying Decoction (huáng  jiàn zhöng täng) or Cinnamon Twig Decoction Plus Aconite (guì zhï jiä   täng).

shiver sweating

zhàn hàn

Perspiration accompanied by pronounced shivering is a sign of the struggle between the evil and right in externally contracted heat (febrile) diseases. Shiver sweating is a favorable sign when the disease resolves after it. If the disease does not resolve, right qi, severely debilitated by the struggle, may desert outward leaving the patient in a critical state. Shivering without sweating is a sign of insufficiency of right qi, and heralds the inward fall of the evil.



To thrust or surge, as in the term water-cold shooting into the lung.

shortage of qi


Weak, short, hasty breathing, a weak voice, and a tendency to take deep breaths in order to continue speaking; mainly attributable to visceral qi vacuity, especially of center and lung-kidney qi, but also observed in phlegm turbidity, water-rheum, food stagnation, and qi stagnation. See breathing. Compare qi shortage.

shortness of breath


Breathing characterized by short rapid shallow breaths. Shortness of breath is observed in many different diseases and in both vacuity and repletion patterns. In repletion patterns, it is characterized by a rough sound usually associated with distention and fullness in the chest and abdomen, and is attributable to phlegm or stagnant food affecting the normal bearing of qi. In vacuity patterns, it is generally a sign of major vacuity of original qi in enduring disease, and is characterized by weak faint breathing and associated with physical fatigue and lassitude of spirit.

Comparison:  Shortness of breath is similar to panting in that there is discontinuity between breaths (inability to catch one's breath), but differs from panting by the absence of raising of the shoulders, of flaring nostrils, or of inability to lie flat. is weak breathing and a faint voice. Patients suffering from repletion shortness of breath may tend to suffer from cough and panting. Those with vacuity shortness of breath tend also to have shortage of qi. Thus the dividing lines are not clear-cut. See also breathing.

short pulse

duân mài

A short pulse is one that is felt only at the bar point. The short pulse signifies dual vacuity of blood and qi, or impaired flow of blood and qi.

short voidings of reddish urine

xiâo biàn duân chì

Scant urine that is darker in color than normal. Short voidings of reddish urine normally signify repletion heat unless the patient has been given sweating, ejection, or precipitation treatment. The presence of water swelling with short voidings indicates disease among the lung, spleen, and kidney. See urine.

short voidings of scant urine

xiâo biàn duân shâo

Scant urine (oliguria) characterized by short voidings. See urine.



The joint between the arm and the trunk and the surrounding area.

shoulder and back pain

jiän bèi tòng

Pain in the shoulder and back. The shoulder and back are traversed by the foot greater yang and are associated with the lung. Pain in this area may be due to wind-cold or wind-heat invasion, or else to injury or taxation. See back pain; shoulder pain.

shoulder blade


Either of two flat triangular bones each forming the back part of the shoulder.

Western Medical Concept:  scapula* scapula.

shoulder pain

jiän tòng

Any pain in the shoulder. The shoulder is a convergence point of the three yang channels of the hand and is close to the lung. Shoulder pain if not due to injury or taxation (best treated by manipulation and acupuncture), is usually caused by wind-damp. Distinction is made between pain on the anterior and posterior aspects. Pain in the anterior aspect is usually caused by wind-heat in the lung, whereas pain in the posterior aspect, which is often associated with back pain (see shoulder and back pain), is usually caused by wind-damp.

Medication:  For wind-heat in the lung causing pain in the anterior aspect, dispel wind and clear heat with Major Ledebouriella Decoction ( fáng fëng täng) and variations. For pain in the posterior aspect due to wind-damp, dispel wind and transform dampness using Notopterygium Dampness-Overcoming Decoction (qiäng huó shèng shï täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on LI, TB, and SI. Main points: LI-15 (jiän , Shoulder Bone) , TB-14 (jiän liáo, Shoulder Bone-Hole) , , SI-11 (tiän zöng, Celestial Gathering) , LI-16 ( , Great Bone) , GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , and LU-9 (tài yuän, Great Abyss) . Needle with drainage. Selection of points according to pattern: For wind-heat, add LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) . For wind-damp, add LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , TB-4 (yáng chí, Yang Pool) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) . If necessary add moxa. Selection of points according to affected channel: For pain on the yang brightness or lesser yang channels, add ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) and GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) . For pain on the greater yang channel, add SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine) and ST-38 (tiáo kôu, Ribbon Opening) joined to BL-57 (chéng shän, Mountain Support) . Selection of points according to signs: For pain in the shoulder and arm, add LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) and GB-21 (jiän jîng, Shoulder Well) . For inability to lift the shoulder, add ST-38 (tiáo kôu, Ribbon Opening) joined to BL-57 (chéng shän, Mountain Support) . For inability to adduct the arm, add SI-10 (nào shü, Upper Arm Transport) and SI-9 (jiän zhën, True Shoulder) . For inability to rotate the shoulder and stretch out the arm, add SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine) and SI-6 (yâng lâo, Nursing the Aged) . See also leaky shoulder wind.

shrunken tongue

shé shòu biê

A thin, shrunken tongue indicates insufficiency of yin liquid or a dual vacuity of yin and qi. A shrunken tongue resulting from damage to yin humor by exuberant heat is crimson in color and dry. In dual yin and qi vacuity, the tongue is pale in color. tuberculosis*!pulmonary pulmonary tuberculosis* carcinoma* Modern clinical observation shows that shrinkage generally occurs in the latter stages of external heat (febrile) diseases, and in conditions described in Western medicine as pulmonary tuberculosis, and also in advanced-stage carcinoma. It is explained as the atrophy of the lingual muscle and epithelium due to malnutrition.

Shu Han

shû hàn

The name of a dynasty ( 221--263).

shuttle bone


spine bone.


xiâo cháng

Abbreviation for the hand greater yang small intestine channel.

side head wind

biän tóu fëng

hemilateral wind.

side-lock bone





A long deep audible exhalation, commonly observed in depression of liver qi, but may also be observed in qi vacuity patterns. Compare great respiration.




Any indication of disease, e.g., pain or other localized discomfort, heat~effusion, poor appetite, abnormalities of stool, urine, menses, etc. In most cases, a sign is insufficient to determine the nature of the disease. A group of signs of diagnostic significance is called a pattern. The most important signs are listed below.

Definition:  Any disease sign other than the pulse. See precedence of signs over the pulse; precedence of pulse over signs.


silvery internal obstruction

 yín nèi zhàng

coin screen.

simple abdominal distention

dän  zhàng

Synonym:  simple abdominal drum ;

Synonym:  simple drum .

Pronounced abdominal distention without generalized water swelling. See drum distention; stone water.

simple abdominal drum


See simple abdominal distention.

simple drum


See simple abdominal distention.

simple supplementation and drainage manipulation

dän shì  xiè shôu  <

simple supplementation> A method of achieving supplementation or drainage in acupuncture by manipulating the needles. Simple supplementation and drainage techniques are listed below. See needle manipulation.

Simple Supplementation and[0.1ex] Drainage Manipulation

simultaneous supplementation and attack

göng  jiän shï

The principle of simultaneously supporting right and dispelling an evil. Simultaneous supplementation and attack applies in two cases: where the evil is strong but right is not too severely weakened, or where evil qi is strong and the first consideration is to expel it, whereas right qi is weak and cannot withstand attack (offensive treatment). An example of the first case is were there is cold diarrhea due to mild interior vacuity (not persistent clear-food diarrhea which would be more severe). Such conditions may be treated by simultaneously resolving the exterior and warming the interior, using a formula such as Cinnamon Twig and Ginseng Decoction (guì zhï rén shën täng) as prescribed in On Cold Damage (shäng hán lùn) for dual resolution of interior and exterior. An example of the second case is a condition requiring swift precipitation to preserve yin, for which the normally prescribed Major Qi-Coordinating Decoction ( chéng  täng) is contraindicated because of the presence of a forceless soft pulse. Instead, Yellow Dragon Decoction (huáng lóng täng) or Humor-Increasing Qi-Coordinating Decoction (zëng  chéng  täng) is used, to prevent sudden desertion following precipitation.



Tough, stringy, elastic parts of the body. A tendon. See sinew membrane. A palpable muscle. The sinew gathering, i.e., the penis. See sinew wilting for an example of this usage. A vain visible at the surface of the body, especially one that is abnormal in size or form.

sinew and bone pain

jïn  téng tòng

Pain experienced as coming from the sinew and bone.

sinew gan

jïn gän

See gan of the liver.

sinew goiter

jïn yîng

Goiter on whose surface green-blue veins like earthworms are clearly visible. Sinew goiter is attributed to anger damaging the liver, effulgent fire, and blood dryness.

Medication:  Clear the liver and resolve depression; nourish the blood and soothe the sinews. An appropriate formula is Liver-Clearing Aloe Pill (qïng gän  huì wán).

sinew impediment


An impediment pattern characterized by hypertonicity of sinews and joint pain preventing normal movement. Sinew impediment is caused by wind-cold-damp invading the sinews. Long-standing sinew impediment can develop in liver impediment.

sinew membrane


The thin coating of the muscle, as distinct from the thick sinews (tendons) that are attached to the bone. The sinew membrane, like the sinew itself, is governed by the liver. See sinew.

sinew mounting

jïn shàn

Pain and shrinkage of the penis, sometimes associated with itching, swelling, suppuration, impotence, and discharge of white mucus with the urine. Sinew mounting is attributed to liver channel damp-heat and damage to the kidney through sexual intemperance.

Medication:  Treat by clearing damp-heat, using formulas such as Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân