4325 Understanding Chinese Medical Terminology

Ancient Medical Terminology

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

East Asian Medicine (EAM) is often misunderstood. Understandably so, since most biomedical providers have no formal training on the subject. However, this is changing and more physicians are referring patients for acupuncture therapies than ever before.

It is imperative to understand medical perspectives & terminology

used in effective systems of

Traditional Medicine.

Our patients' health depends on it.

EAM is founded on thousands of years of practical, clinical based experiences recorded by scholars and physicians. Unlike our perspective of the body as a machine, EAM views body as a natural landscape affected by changes in the internal (endoderm) and external (exoderm) environment. Anatomical and physiological terms, functions, interrelationships and clinical manifestations were developed to understand the complexities of the whole organism.

Diagnostic criteria based on etiology, symptomology and physical exam are used to formulate a differential diagnosis.


Treatment strategies are most effective when customized to meet individual needs. Prescription herbal formulas, medicinal food recommendations and clinical modalities are strategically modified each visit based on diagnostic criteria and symptoms that present.


Medical Terms

EAM - Biomedicine

  • Qi (chee)- best used as a suffix to describe a technical, medical term for a physiologic function; metabolic energy

  • Meridian / Channel- Neuromusculoskeletal pathway connected by fascia that follows a major blood vessel and/or nerve along a specific location in the body and functions to conduct bioelectrical and chemical signals

  • 12 Primary Channel System- A complex network of fascia and connective tissue organized by neuromusculoskeletal pathways that link all systems of the body; an anatomical map used to diagnose, treat and explain physiological activity.

  • Acupuncture Point- specific anatomical location that conducts bioelectrical and chemical signals

  • Ashi Point- Area of tenderness which is painful on compression and associated with hyperirritable tissue, muscle tension and may cause referred pain, motor and autonomic dysfunction (myofascial trigger point)

  • San Jiao- (Interstitium) A fluid-filled space on the torso, containing internal structures (organs, muscles, and vessels of the lymphatic and circulatory system) which transports nutrients and solutes, and functions to support general metabolism

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References. Physiological Reviews, Scientific Reports


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