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External Structures

External Structures
Images from 1918 Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body from
Any V.+80° (Any(BL))


Everything in our bodies has a physical structure. The physical structure has two loci of importance, the inner structure and the outer structure. The inner structure is controlled by the bones or by the bone level of any tissue, which is the deepest core level of that tissue. The outer structure is defined by “external structure”. But wait, you say, isn't the external boundary the same as the external structure? Well, you would think so, wouldn't you? But while these two tissues are extremely closely tied together, in fact, the external structure is energetically unique.

Perhaps I wouldn't mention it at all weren't it for the fact that the external structure appears quite often in Fu Xi Wen pulse diagnosis as an important location for treatment.

The external border is made up of multiple cells lined up together. When disease agents, such as a bacteria, strike, they attack individual cells within this multi-cellular structure. We can also think of the entire structure not just as multiple cells stacked together, but as a complete organ unto itself. There are individual skin cells on the surface of your body but there is also your skin as a single functional unit. If the organ of the skin is breached, an energetic line in the sand is crossed even if the external border of individual skin cells has not been fully penetrated. Here's another way to think about it. Skin has multiple layers. The external structure is always on the outside, whereas the external boundary is comprised of all of the layers together. So the external structure can be breached even if the boundary has not been fully broken or invaded.

I have another analogy for you. The Great Wall of China is meant to defend against the Mongols (yet Genghis got through!). The wall that faces the outside is the external structure and each brick is part of the external boundary. The Mongols can chip away at the external structure easily but it will take a lot longer to push through all of the bricks necessary to penetrate the wall.

The external structure is the security perimeter. It is the first warning that a problem is present on the outside that is trying to move inside. If that warning goes off, the external boundary is under attack. Next, if the external boundary fails, then the disease penetrates deeper.

Every tissue has an external structure, not just the skin. And disease can invade from outside a tissue to inside or inside to outside. Consider diagnosing this structure in the case of diseases that strike the outside of tissues.


Water + (Compass Element)

Tissue Treatment

Basic Perfusion: Advanced Perfusion:

Heaven: Fire + Water Heaven: Water + Fire

Images from 1918 Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body from

Man: Earth + Water + Compass Element Man: Water + Compass Element + W.Metal or E.Wood

Earth: Water + Compass Element Earth: Compass Element + N.Water or S.Fire


Willpower in compass emotion

Closely Interrelated Tissues

The external structure is tied to the internal structure, so it is directly related to the bones and the bone level. It is also directly related to the external boundaries where Metal creates Water.

Notes From Ethan's Clinic

When a virus, bacteria, or fungi attacks the body, the first place it strikes is this external structure. If you are aware of being hit by a pathogenic invasion, the first thing to do is physically rub off the pathogen. See chapter “Virus Shield” for more information.

The Classics of Chinese medicine recommend sweating as the first line of defense. Sweating is excellent for physically pushing off a pathogen that is trying to colonize the outside of the body (the external structure) and work its way in. It also creates an osmotic gradient using the salt of the sweat. Water flows towards the greater amount of solutes and the lowest density of water. So, if salt resides on the outside of the cell wall of a pathogen, this creates a hypertonic situation where the moisture will rush out of the pathogen, hopefully kill it. Sweating is such a brilliant defense against disease that we encoded its wisdom into our DNA.

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