How to stop an action or impulse control in Chinese Psychology

By Nils Volden


One of the great questions in Chinese psychology is how to STOP. If you see an man on the floor, a child that has lost her mam in the shopping mall, stopping on a red traffic light, or simply not to hit a person. The key is the communication in Shen, and more specifically the circulation of qi in three areas of Shen. 提升控制 Tíshēng kòngzhì in Chinese psychology are about how to increase your control over your impulses.

Everything builds around your ability to quickly interpret new information to decide to continue or to stop an action. Our mind absorb information with Yi, the mental aspect of spleen zang. Yi send new information to Hun (the mental aspect of liver zang), and Hun processes this new information and send the information with alternative solutions to Shen (the mental aspect of heart zang). Shen will then decide what to do. The complete process depends firstly on the person’s psychic qi. If the person are mentally tired or – occupied we find a decline in the psychic qi and thereby also a weaker mental activity. The process also depend on the qi in Yi, Hun and Shen. A weak qi in these mental aspects will delay or delete the solution.

The human body got a mental back up system that is located deep inside Zhi, the mental aspect of kidney zang. This aspect are a defense mechanism that activates when we have a psychic qi xu or similar. The main symptom is anxiety, a kidney yin xu or kidney qi stagnation symptom. The nature of anxiety is to wake up our senses to pay more attention to the tiny little details that might cause us damage or create a situation of something.


Tisheng kongzhi are intimately related to three areas in the brain called the dorsal and ventral parts of the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and the bilateral frontal eye fields. This system are activated with context-dependent stop signal tasks; where whether to stop or not depends entirely on 场合 Changhe, the context. Changhe is totally information dependent, and therefore also the strength of Yi qi. You got a time limit for changing your mind; after for example 100 milliseconds you cannot change the nervous signal going to your muscles, or zheng qi to the tendino muscular meridians (TMM). This mean that the processing speed in Hun and Shen need to be quick. If you last 200 milliseconds to decide you will not be able to stop a movement. Everything depends on the available psychic qi. The mind need to change quickly to stop the nerves from fire wrongly. Psychic qi xu will lead to a delayed processing speed. Of course this mechanism works the same for biomechanical aspects as for mental aspects like thoughts. The speed of redirecting thoughts are the key for Tisheng kongzhi, and the most important factor are the psychic qi.


One of the great Tisheng kongzhi problems is observable among addicts. 关注 Guangzhu, attention in drug addicts are guided by drug associated stimuli. When they receives 刺激物 Cijiwu, the stimuli, it guides Shen to the drug, making Shen aware of the drug. The more time Shen is processing Changhe, the more chance for Shen to enter into the topic “DRUG”. The more laps the mind makes on this topic, the bigger chance for the person to use drugs again. A Shen qi xu will slow down the mental process in Shen and increase the chance for a relapse. The clue here are to make Guangzhu (attention) to go another way, and quickly. The chance for drug abuse increases with the time the person last for redirecting the mind. The quicker, the better, but not before you are sure that your decision are the correct one. Here we need a strong Shen qi, a general strong psychic qi and observation skills to not loose information with a strong Yi qi xu. Some might argue that a weak Yi qi might cause the person to ignore the drug associated stimuli. That might be the case, but would you take the risk that Yi only see this stimuli and nothing else. This is an area for decision training and for the Sinopsychologist to attend. The key are to slow down in the curves to allow the mind to think; use Shen qi and the Psychic qi where it matters.

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