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Lack of will and fear


Greeting to the yin yang community!

I am trying to identify a condition according to the TCM patterns. It can be described as a lack of will in every aspect, a generalized fear of acting, insomnia and high levels of anxiety that reflects sometimes to GI symptoms.

I am new to TCM and I am trying to figure out the diagnosis. According to what I have already studied it is between Heart Fire and Kidney Yin Deficiency. Are there any other prospective diagnoses?


Liver attacking the spleen, liver/gallbladder imbalance, even phlegm misting the heart is a possibility depending on the person and other issues. But, yes, the lack of will is generally kidney deficiency. But the difference between lack of will and stagnation can be difficult to ascertain. Kidney yin deficiency is likely with insomnia and anxiety (but you should have empty heat signs as well to further confirm).


In addition to the common TCM patterns Chad has mentioned, there is another layer you can also consider and that is role of the five shen.

A lack of will is a characteristic sign of the hun being impaired. The movement of the hun is key to stimulating the shen, which in turn provides a clear and conscious awareness. When the hun slows it’s movement depression and especially low desire/lack of ambition result. Since the hun stimulates the shen, it is also common that shen disorders result in chronic hun conditions, which include anxiety, fearfulness, and insomnia.

The hun is the ethereal component of the liver system. Generally liver qi stagnation is the main cause of impairment of the movement of the hun, though liver blood deficiency could also be a cause. The main points to stimulate the movement of the hun would be GB 40 and UB 47.

As you progress through your learning of TCM you’ll find there are many different layers and viewpoints to any given set of symptoms and conditions.


Thank you for your responses! Your work is wonderful!!


How do we define the lack of will(power) from the lack of having any clear goals or ascertainment in life? For example, one may have strong to do what they want will but exhibit no real desire to have a dream or a goal in life. I’m most interested in what you have to say about this @Stephen, especially regarding your in-depth comment above; does this mean the hun may be moving just enough to empower the will but not enough to stir the shen? The liver channel houses the hun yet it is the heart channel that houses the shen. We’re already talking about kidney, liver, and heart, so I think it appropriate to suggest to @chrys that further investigation needs to be taken to find the root pattern(s) affecting the patient in question.


Keep in mind @chrys that if it is due to liver blood deficiency that herbal treatment is more appropriate.


If there’s stagnation in the liver channel with sufficient qi and yin then there will be anger and resentment. However, if there’s either too much water or too little wood and/or earth then this can cause imbalances in the kidney system which ultimately harbors fear.

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