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Vital Substances Blood

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Introduction to Vital Substance Blood or Xue in TCM

Introduction to Vital Substance Blood or Xue in TCM

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  • 1. Vital Substances 2 By James O’Sullivan C.Ac. (China) [email_address] www.active-health.org
  • 2. Blood
    • Not the same as the concept in Western Medicine
    • Is the Red liquid circulating in the Vessels with Qi
    • It nourishes the Body and Shen
    • Is inseparable from Qi
  • 3. Blood
    • Is a form of Qi – a dense and material one
    • Qi infuses life in to Blood without Qi, Blood would be inert
    • Blood is derived mostly from Gu (Food) Qi produced by Spleen
    • Spleen pushed Food Qi upwards to Lung – pushing action of Lung sends to Heart where it is transformed to Blood
    • Blood Moistens and Nourishes the body – complements nourishing action of Qi
    • Provides the material foundation for Shen
    • Blood is part of Yin and it houses and anchors Shen
  • 4. The Creation of Blood Kidneys Stomach - Spleen Food & Liquids Lungs Blood Marrow Heart Post Heaven Source of Blood Produces Yuan Qi acts on Marrow Gu Qi Pre Heaven Source of Blood
  • 5. The Functions of Blood
    • Nourishes the body
      • Blood is circulated by Heart (heart governs blood), it circulates around the body carrying nourishment to all the organs, muscles, tendons and tissues(the Qi helps to do this).
    • Moistens the body
      • Liver Blood: moistens the eyes and sinews, skin and hair.
      • Heart Blood: moistens the tongue and nourishes the Shen
  • 6.
    • Houses the Mind (Shen)
      • Helps anchor the Mind helping us to have clear thought. When you are blood deficiency, you experience anxiety and unclear thinking.
    The Functions of Blood
  • 7. Blood Deficiency
    • This can be due to not enough Qi to move the blood, or the blood not being produced. Usually relate to the Spleen’s inability to move Gu Qi for blood production. Excess bleeding can also lead to blood deficiency.
    • Clinical manifestations: pale complexion, pallor, pale lips, pale thin and dry tongue, insomnia, dizziness, vertigo, blurring of vision, palpitations, numbness of hands and feet, fatigue, pale face(blood deficiency effects the whole body)
      • Tongue: Pale with thin coating
      • Pulse: Thin
  • 8.
    • if Qi is weak or stagnant then it may fail to move the blood, lead to Blood Stasis, may develop tumours. It can also be caused by trauma.
    • Clinical manifestations: Sharp pain that is fixed in location, dull complexion, tumours, cysts or swelling of the organs, mostly of the “ Liver”.
      • Tongue: Purple and/or purple spots.
      • Pulse: Deep, choppy maybe a little wiry
    Blood Stasis
  • 9.
    • Usually result from internal heat generated by the disharmony of other organ…usually “Liver”.
    • Clinical manifestations: Reckless bleeding (haemorrhage, bleeding between cycles, etc.), restlessness, irritability.
      • Skin problems
      • Deep red tongue
      • Rapid pulse
    Heat in the Blood
  • 10. Qi and Blood Relationship
      • Qi is Yang, Blood is Yin. Qi is the commander of Blood, Blood is the mother of Qi.
      • Blood nourishes Qi, in other words, Qi give life and movement to Blood, but Blood nourishes the organs that produce Qi.
      • Qi is Yang compared to Blood which is Yin in nature
      • Qi & Blood are inseparable
      • “ Qi is the commander of Blood, Blood is the mother of Qi”
  • 11. Qi-Blood Relationship
    • 4 Aspects to Blood - Qi Relationship:-
      • 1. Qi Generates Blood – Gu (Food) Qi is the basis for Blood
      • 2. Qi Moves Blood – Qi is the motive force for blood – “When Qi moves, Blood follows” and “If Qi stagnates, Blood congeals”
      • 3. Qi holds Blood – Qi holds Blood in the Vessels preventing haemorrhage – esp. Spleen Qi
      • 4. Blood Nourishes Qi – Qi needs the nourishing qualities of Blood – provides a dense material preventing Qi from “floating”
  • 12. Jing (Essence)
    • Source:
      • Jing is the source of life derived from parents, supplemented by Post-Heaven Qi. It is the basis of all organic life, fluid like and the blueprint for mental and body development. Mainly stored in the Kidneys.
    • Function of Jing:
      • Responsible for Growth, Reproduction and Development: it is very important for development of a person through life, its responsible for growth of bones, teeth, and hair.
  • 13.
      • It is also important for the brain and sexual reproduction, fertility in both men and woman.
      • Promoting Kidney Qi: Kidney Qi is the root of all Qi in the body. If deficiency, then you will see weakness in the whole body.
      • Producing Marrow: This also includes the brain and spinal cord.
      • Determining our Constitution: It works with “Wei Qi” to help protect the body. If weak Jing, then you will see the illness or chronic infections.
  • 14.
    • Formation of Jing:
      • Pre-Heaven : A Pre-Natal substance received from the parents. The quality and quantity of Jing is determined at birth. We get this from both parents at conception and while we are in the womb.
      • Post-Heaven : A Post-Natal substance created by food, air and life style.
  • 15. Disharmonies of Jing
    • Retarded development:
        • Weak Jing in children may lead to poor bone development, slow learning or poor concentration. As we get older the weak Jing causes premature greying of the hair, balding, deafness, osteoporosis, senility and unclear thinking.
    • Kidney disorders:
        • Because of the relationship with the kidneys, if Jing is weak you will have poor memory, dizziness, poor concentration, impotence, low back pain and tinnitus.
  • 16.
    • Constitutional weakness:
      • This lead to chronic problems like allergies, auto-immune disorders and Wei Qi deficiency.
    • When we have No “ Jing”, we Die.
  • 17. Shen (Mind)
        • Is the “spirit” of the person, the ability to think and the force of human personality.
        • Is often described as the “Mind”>to from ideas and have the desire to live.
        • The state of the shen is observed in the eyes. Eyes with glitter and spark, indicate a healthy, good “spirit”.
        • If the “Shen” disharmony, the eyes are dull without glitter , it shows a “disturbed spirit”, a person might be slow, forgetful, suffer from insomnia, not clear thinking.
        • If there is extremely “Shen” disharmony, can lead to violent madness and unconciousness.
  • 18. Jing, Qi and Shen (The Three Treasures)
    • Jing:
      • Is responsible for the developmental process of the body.
    • Qi:
      • Is the next stage, responsible for the more immediate life of the body.
    • Shen:
      • Is the most refined level responsible for human consciousness.
  • 19. Body Fluids ( Jin Ye)
    • Body Fluids:
      • Originate from food and drink. They enter the body via the St, which is said to be the origin of fluids.
    • Jin:
      • Means anything liquid or fluid, these fluids are thin, clear, light and watery. It circulates in the Exterior(skin & muscles) with the Wei Qi. It warms and nourishes the muscles and moisten the skin and hair.
  • 20.
    • Ye:
      • Means fluids of living organisms, more thick, turbid, dense and heavy fluids. It circulates in the Interior with the Ying Qi (nutritive Qi). It nourishes the joints and orifices (eyes, ears and mouth) and moisten spine, brain and bone marrow.
    • Jin Ye = organic fluids.
  • 21. Body Fluids Deficiency
    • this can lead to a whole range of problems arising from the lack of nourishing and moistening function. For example, deficiency fluids in the intestines can lead to constipation.
    • Clinical manifestations: Dryness in the body, scanty urination, thirst, constipation, dry stools, dry eyes and lips.
      • Red w/no coating.
      • Thin, rapid pulse.
  • 22.
    • the main causes of this pattern can be the Qi and Yang of the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys, are too weak to transform and absorb the body fluids, leads to dampness and phlegm.
    • Clinical manifestations: Poor appetite, fatigue, dizziness, oedema, cough, damp with feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen.
      • Tongue: Wet, white coating.
      • Pulse: Slippery - wiry
    Fluid Retention
  • 23. Relationship Between Qi, Blood and Body Fluids
    • Qi is crucial in the production and the transportation of body fluids, and it is responsible for holding the fluids in place.
    • If body fluids become deficiency, then this can damage Qi, the body fluids are essential for maintaining healthy Qi.
  • 24.
    • Body fluids and blood nourish each other, and body fluids are essential to maintain blood at in good function.
    • On the other hand, body fluids constantly replenish blood and make it thinner so that it dose not stagnant, causing illness.