Hun & Po

By Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee covers the key concepts of Chinese Medicine: Hun and Po.
Total CPDs: 1.5
Total CPDs: 1.5
IVAS (1.5), Standard Certificate (1.5), NCCAOM (1.5)
Access Period: Lifetime
Course Notes: Notes are provided with this course.

Course Overview

Hun and Po are among the key concepts of Chinese Medicine; they are presented here by Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée through their characters, their uses and meanings in classical Chinese texts and in medical texts, and with their main correlated notions. Key sentences and excerpts are studied directly from the source texts including discussion of their practical applications. Among the Five Aspects of the Spirit (shen), the Hun souls are the spiritual and intelligent aspects, associated with Heaven, the Immaterial and with the Liver; the Po souls are the corporeal and sentient aspects, associated with Earth, the body and with the Lung. This recorded course covers all of these concepts.

Course Objectives

  • The practitioner to develop his/her art;
  • Invigorates his/her thought; and
  • Raises his/her vision and conduct.
  • The practitioner will have a stronger understanding of the concepts of Hun and Po, and how they can be utilized to benefit treatment outcomes.
  • The practitioner will understand the history and sources of the Hun and Po in Classical texts and its modern implications.

Course Outline

0 hrs - 15 min
Vital Spirit belongs to Heaven, body belongs to Earth as referred in Huain Nan Zi Chapter 7. In Chinese Medicine, when fire in Kidney by richness of yin cannot be sustained, the Yang escapes. Fire inside is fire from above which is kept inside. The coming together of Heaven and Earth brings a sense of beginning. The merging of sperm or the father and blood of the mothers as human being will develop my body and enable the vital power of discernment for knowledge and perception: in order to see, you need a body. Human sight goes beyond the body such as mind, spirit and heart.
15 min - 30 min
How to nourish & maintain life in order to prepare for after death. Presentation of the Chinese character of Hun & Po. In Hun, we find the idea of a cloud with no definite form, always changing. In Po, we find the white color of the bone that remains after departure. Bones do not move. Hun is like the knowledgeable Qi or Consciousness with the expression of life, which is not static. Muscular activity cannot be seen in corps. We translate muscular movement as bones and sinews. In Western culture, sinews take us away from the movement as in English what is of the body, is not of the soul. Circulation of Blood is the body and it is in relation to my own discernment. Circulation of my blood is disturbed by any turbulence of mind, behavior, or poor life nourishment. Perception, feeling, emotion, reasoning, intelligence, dreams, imagination… is what is part of the Hun, which is heaven in me. It may develop best in light or brightness. Lingshu 8 establishes the relationship between Hun and Shen. (Hun follows faithfully the Shen Lungshu 8).
30 min - 45 min
Po, is on the side of body activity. Po is something of the body as it regulates the breathing. As Yin & Yang and Heaven & Earth, Hun & Po together form an expression from the origin through multiplicity of Yin, Yang and Qi. Harmonious blending is never the same as it is always a change in movement.
45 min - 1 hrs
Humans have the ability to develop consciousness, but not the ability to develop pure instinct. Consciousness comes from the merging of what emerges from Heaven and Earth. So Po cannot exist without the Hun. In starvation, humans would kill for food as in human behavior, we would share the food. Instinct cannot be without consciousness otherwise is would be bestial behavior. So we need to give the body what it needs in order to maintain its balance. Sleeping is in relation to Hun to visit Spirits of ancestors and awareness. As revealed in ancient Chinese tales, which expresses the Hun balance as in constructive sleep. Hun in China is the multiplicity of expression of Heaven in me. Unity is expressed by my inner realization. References to the 3 Hun & 7 Po.
1 hrs - 1.25 hrs
What is of Heaven and Earth in unity of my life does not dissipate. Hun and Po are two of the fire aspects of the Spirit. Which movement of QI does it correspond to? Hun Qi fits best with rising and escaping from the upper part of the scale as Hun associates with Liver and with what is of the Liver Qi. As the opposite, the Po is associated with substance and liquid such as the Lung is the Master of QI. It disseminates and descends liquids outward and downward. In Chinese, Anus means the Po door. When the body dies, there is liquid. The orifices are blocked in order to retain the fluids so the Hun can leave freely without grasping another place to eat or to survive.
1.25 hrs - 1.5 hrs
Presentation of the Hun and Po in relation to the five spirits. Reference to classical text such as Suwen 5, Lingshu 8, Suwen 62 with symptomatic reviews. Recorded Question & Answer.
Elizabeth is such an inspiration with her considerable knowledge and clarity. It is a privilege to hear her.
Jane O. - Canada
An interesting survey of the concepts of Hun and Po as relates to cosmology and general Yin-Yang theory.
Matthew Q. - United States of America


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Cancellation Policy
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Taught by Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

TCM academic and historian, Elisabeth Rochat has specialized in both medical and philosophical Classics in her 40+ years career. She co-authored 'A Survey of Chinese Medicine' and continues to teach about the Classics of TCM internationally.
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