TCM Conditions Glossary - Plum Pit Qi, Restless Zang...

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a unique form of medicine supported by many theories unfamiliar to many of us in the west. Many people who visit an acupuncturist may be told that they have Qi Deficiency or Liver Qi Stagnation. These "patterns" are behind the formulation of your treatment protocol. For most western medical disorders such as depression, there are a host of related TCM diagnoses which contain depression as a main indicator.

Outside of the TCM patterns and channel imbalances there are a number of TCM conditions that are described in terms more akin to the western way of labelling a condition. Panic attacks, for example, are commonly described as running piglet disorder in TCM theory. Some of the common conditions that TCM has unique names for are described below. In most cases, there is no set treatment protocol for any of the conditions listed here but the terms are used in a variety of texts, theories and point function descriptions.

TCM Disorders Glossary

  • Bi Syndromes:
    Bi Syndrome refers to an obstruction of the circulation of Qi and Blood in the channels usually caused by the invasion of pathogenic factors (cold/wind/damp) in the muscles, tendons, bones & joints, causing soreness, pain, numbness or a heavy sensation. Western conditions such as arthritis are related to this pattern.
  • 5 Types of Lin Disorders:
    General term for urinary disorders involving frequency, dribbling, urgency a/or painful issues. Western conditions such as kidney stones are related to this pattern.
  • Plum Pit Qi:
    A subjective sensation of blockage a/or constriction of the throat. Common in disorders with a clear emotional aspect coupled with Qi stagnation. This is often seen in anxiety disorders.
  • Restless Zang Disorder:
    TCM term for emotional disorders resulting from long-term overthinking and overworrying which over time injures the SP, HT and LV and may give rise to unpredicatable a/or inappropriate emotional responses.
  • Running Piglet Disorder:
    TCM term which some consider similar to a western panic attack. The issue is seen in stagnant LV conditions where the Qi will rise up and interfere with the Heart/Chest causing palpitations, anxiety, fear a/or dizziness.
  • Shan Disorder:
    TCM term which generally designates hernia disorders, but mentioned in cases of hernia, issues w/external genitalia (swelling, pain), and abdominal pain that presents with stagnation issues (constipation, incomplete a/or difficulty urinating).
  • Steaming Bone Disorder:
    TCM term describing a condition of deep internal heat arising from severe yin deficiency. The patient will describe a heat that seems to come from the bones.
  • Wasting and Thirsting Disorder:
    TCM term nearly equivalent to Diabetes. Characterized by frequent urination, excessive thirst a/or hunger, and possibly emaciation.

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience.

For a complete list of valuable resources, see our (TCM) Chinese Acupuncture Resources section. The most recommended texts are below: