The 5 Shen
The 5 Shen: 五神
“Shen” is a Chinese word translating loosely as “spirit”. It may also be called “god” or “heart-mind”. The poetically evocative, yet complex and precise ideology of shen makes up a core philosophy of traditional oriental medicine, Taoist philosophy and Qi Gong.
The five shen are the five psycho-emotional aspects of our selves, corresponding with the five elements in traditional oriental medicine. Five element theory is a symbolic system ancient Chinese developed to understand the world. It has practical applications in traditional oriental medicine. Like the five elements, the five shen are interactive and interdependent. Good health means maintaining balance and harmony in our bodies, lives and shen.
Shen : Our Spirit
Responsible for consciousness, memory, thinking & sleep
Hun: Our Ethereal Soul
Responsible for creativity, ideas, inspiration, vision, & the drive towards something greater
Po: Our Corporeal Soul
Responsible for feelings & sensations, helping us to identify with the world
Yi: Our Intelligence
Responsible for concentration, focusing, memorizing, applied thinking & generating ideas
Zhi: Our Will
Responsible for will power & motivation
It is said that before one can heal any physical condition, we must address underlying emotional or psychological imbalances. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task for anyone. Acupuncture can do this in a simple, gentle yet profound way.
With improved physical health, we experience greater psycho-emotional well-being, and vice versa.
I chose the name 5Shen (pronounced ‘Five Shen’ or ‘Wu Shen’) to reflect the physical, emotional and psychological interconnection of health, and the holistic nature of acupuncture and herbal therapy.