In this article, we will look at O-Heng in relation to health and the treatment of diseases. If a human body is healthy, it means that the Umyang O-Heng energy in the human body is balanced. To recapitulate, O-Heng (five elements) energy in the human body is related to and comes from O-Jang Yuk-Boo, the ruling internal organs of the human body. O-Jang refers to the five ruling viscera: the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Yuk-Boo refers to the other six ruling internal organs: the gallbladder, small intestine, samcho (pancreas – 3 parts of the body), stomach, large intestine, and bladder. Each of the five elements of O-Heng has relating O-Jang and Yuk-Boo: Mok (wood) relates to the liver and gall-bladder; Hwa (fire) relates to the heart, and to the small intestine and samcho; Toh (earth) relates to the spleen and stomach; Keum (metal) relates to the lungs and large intestine; Sooh (water) relates to the kidneys and bladder.
It may be noted that, truly, the correct Korean medical term is not 0-Jang Yuk-Boo but Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo. There are actually six ruling viscera, not five. This is because of the presence in the body of an additional element of Hwa, known as Shin-Po – an encasing of the heart. Thus, altogether there are 12 ruling organs (opposite) – the six ruling viscera (Yuk-Jang) and the other six ruling internal organs (Yuk-Boo). Each of these twelve organs relates to one of the body’s 12 major energy pathways (Kyung Lak), along which vital Ki flows. By stimulating certain pressure points along Kyung Lak, for example via acupuncture or acupressure, the health of the relating organ is supported and improved. (The relating pressure points for each organ are displayed in the accompanying images).
If there are any problems with a ruling internal organ or relating body part, it means that the O-Heng energy in that organ is insufficient and appropriate treatment is required.
An illness within an organ can be detected by studying and understanding the relationship between O-Heng and Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo and then by examining the respective relating body parts and other entities. Each of the five O-Heng – Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo relationships have related entities, including a colour, sound, smell and taste. These entities either support the body or can be tested on the road to a diagnosis. For example, the liver and gallbladder (Mok) is supported by the colour blue; whereas a craving for sour tastes indicates that the liver is weak or fatigued. Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo also have relating cardinal points. Thus, the direction in which important items, such as one’s bed or desk, are positioned can add support to relating Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo. For example, the liver is supported if the top of the head points south when lying down.
The relationship between Yuk-Jang and related Yuk-Boo, for example the liver and gallbladder, is like that of husband and wife. What affects one, affects the other. If one suffers, the other suffers and becomes ill. Likewise, if one is treated, the other is improved. If a person’s
Yuk-Jang Yuk-Boo is not well balanced, they should try improving the balance of their mind and body via, for example, physical exercise, education, studying, and diet.
First and foremost, each symptom requires a different treatment, and individual treatments are prescribed depending on the symptoms in each case.
Liver – Gallbladder (Mok) Korean medical practitioners refer to the liver as the general organ. The liver detoxifies the body and protects and fights against incoming diseases. It also plays a major part in the body’s metabolic processes, supporting the rest of the body. If the liver is healthy, the entire body’s circulation is flourishing. Mok energy creates energy, like a tree sprouting up and branching out. Wisdom and intelligent thinking is released from the liver, and decisiveness of the mind is released from the gallbladder.
In Korea, people say of a really brave person – their liver is swollen or their gall bladder is big. This is because they are not afraid of anything. Vice versa, to refer to a person as having a small liver or no gallbladder means that they are regarded as cowardice. It has been found that some people are physically incapable of laughing after removal of their gall bladder.
With regards to emotion, the liver uses a lot of energy. If the liver uses a lot of energy or is weak or fatigued, energy is emitted via the emotion of uncontrollable anger or negativity. Equally, if an individual possesses too much anger, their liver will become damaged.
People who are easily angry and whose face easily turns blue can suffer symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, feeling nauseous, and a blocked or upset stomach. Symptoms such as a blocked or upset stomach indicate that the energy inside the liver is too excessive, forcing the energy up and then out to the left and right sides. Excessive liver energy is known as Khan-Ki (liver-energy) or Khan-Hwa (liver-fire).
The best treatment for the liver is food (diet) and self-control. Staying calm and virtuous helps support the liver. An individual is supported, and their liver is enhanced, by regular meetings with lots of Mok people.
In addition, physical exercise promotes a healthy liver. The liver’s relating body parts include the muscles, eyes and hip joint. Therefore, muscular exercises and hip joint exercises are particularly recommended. Actually, another treatment is to prescribe shock and fright. Shock and fright can improve the health of the gallbladder and even clear problems in the organ.
Heart and Shin-Po – Small Intestine and Samcho (Hwa) In Korean medicine, knowledge, the brain and the heart are considered together. The mind and spirit of the body comes from the heart and the heart is known akin to the mind and spirit.
Samcho relates to the three parts of the body – the head, the upper body, and the lower body. Samcho used to be a customary medical word.
However, the use of the word has since changed over time. Now it is a very special word, and is no longer referred to by the average person.
Samcho is difficult to explain and understand, as it requires an understanding of physiology and pathology. Sometimes, if the body is shocked, afraid, surprised or angry, the heart beats hard. When the heart beats hard, it becomes weaker and has to beat more rapidly.
Korean herbal-medicine doctors do not use electrocardiographs and electrocardiograms (ECGs) to detect a weak heart. Instead, they simply read the patient’s pulse. This is because these methods sometimes detect problems in a heart, after an ECG has failed to do so. In Korea, a person who is cross-tempered, ill-natured and has a bad heart is referred to as having a really bad Shim-Po. A person is mean and is not a nice person if their heart is not strong. Vice versa, a person who has a nice heart is referred to as having a nice Shim-Po. The heart affects the spirit.
Therefore, the mind should be devoted to the heart in order to support a healthy life.
Spleen Stomach (Toh)
Digestion creates energy. The spleen extracts energy from food and distributes it to the rest of the body. If the spleen is healthy, the (digest-ed) food provides the body with the energy that it needs. This means that the spirit is healthy. If a person has a good stomach, all food is digested correctly via the constrictions and churning motions of the stomach. This then generates good circulation throughout the rest of the body.
The Korean term Bee-Wee refers to the relationship between the spleen and the stomach. The Bee-Wee relationship should be good. A person who is, for example, confident and is not restricted by embarrassment is often referred to as being a person whose Bee-Wee is good. Bee-Wee people can eat anything. Their digestion is good and they receive good energy from the food that they eat. In terms of emotions, they also have a good character. If they are embarrassed they laugh and do not get affected by it. On the other hand, if another person makes you feel really bad, it is said that they have touched your Bee-Wee.