The “Chronic Dehydration” blog was quite popular. Your feedback has been amazing. I love that so many of you wanted to share this article with your patients! Together we can make a huge impact.
If you missed it for some reason, you may want to click below and catch up.
“Chronic Dehydration” plays an important role with regards to blood-related TCM patterns. Our Western analysis told us that 83% of the blood in the body is WATER.
Today we are going to continue our discussion on Chronic Dehydration in relation to blood in TCM.
I did a little research on the subject of blood in one of my favorite books. Okay, I’ll admit I’m a little nerdy. How many of you like to curl up in a big comfy chair, reading “A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine” in your spare time?
I LOVE reading this book! The words and explanations crack me up. When I was in college, my friends and I used to come up with random phrases from the TCM dictionary and try to stump the class. Everyone would get a chuckle. Now days, I don’t have many to chuckle with ‘in person’ because most of my colleagues have scattered around the world. Hopefully today, you and I can chuckle together.
The Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine has dedicated 16 pages toward blood-related TCM problems. Let’s take a look at a few.
Heat in the blood:
* Blood Arrow: Spontaneous bleeding from the pores–that
sometimes spews out like an arrow from the body.
* Blood Chest Bind: Masses in the chest are known as
stagnant blood caused by heat.
* Blood Concretion: Abdominal lumps from an accumulation of stagnant blood, which has congested in the channel.
Cold in the blood:
- Blood Mounting: Painful hardness in the lower abdomen which can be accompanied by black stool and/or swelling of the scrotum from past injury.
- Blood Cold: Cold causes blood to congeal. What would happen if you put blood in the refrigerator? It would clot.
Not enough blood:
- Blood Thirst: Not enough blood in the body–headache, miscarriage, deafness, lumbar pain, lack of strength in the extremities. (This reminds me of a vampire thirsting for blood.)
- Blood Desiccation Menstrual Block: A woman who has had extreme blood loss. Her periods gradually become lighter and lighter, to the point where she has none. Some may think they are going through early menopause, when in fact they are deficient in blood.
Blood not moving:
- Blood Drum: When blood stagnation keeps fluids from moving in the abdomen resulting in a greatly enlarged abdomen with blue veins protruding at the surface.
- Blood Mole: Found on the face, neck and trunk. When squeezed they bleed. (I’m thinking this is a pimple!)
- Blood Stasis Wilting: Stagnant blood in the joints from past injuries.
Blood not staying put:
- Blood Ejection: Vomiting blood.
- Blood Failing to stay in the channels: Spontaneous bleeding such as nosebleeds; bloody stool or urine.
- Blood Flying to the Eye: Red blood vessels in the eye.
Quote: “All the bowels and viscera and all parts of the body rely on the blood for nourishment.”
The baseline definition of “blood” links the following organs as important team players in the role of creating and moving blood: Spleen, Stomach, Heart, Lung, and Liver. Another organ to consider is the Triple Energizer because of its relation to fluids. If you have been an acupuncturist for any amount of time, you realize a patient who comes in with imbalances to a combination of these organs will present with a plethora of symptoms. Often these patients will have chronic pain–and more than likely “Chronic Dehydration.”
Quote: “Blood is the mother of qi. The nourishing action of blood is necessary for the activity of qi.”
If blood does not function properly, then qi cannot move well either. As acupuncture practitioners, our primary purpose is to put the body back into balance by moving qi and blood in the meridian systems.
The question to ask is this: How are we going to move qi if the patient doesn’t drink enough water to keep the blood flowing?
My own analysis:
It is absolutely necessary that patients drink enough water to help in the treatment process. I am realizing that almost every patient with CHRONIC PAIN also suffers from “Chronic Dehydration.”
These patients come in with the same problems, year after year… You do your very best to take good care of them, but if they don’t take care of themselves by drinking plenty of water, your hands are partially tied as a practitioner. You can only work with the resources that are available to you. Blood that doesn’t have enough water is STAGNANT blood and it just doesn’t move well.
In the next blog I’ll share two patients. One has chronic hives, obesity, and chronic pain. The other has fibromyalgia and mood swings. I challenged both of these patients to increase their water intake to 2-3 liters of water per day. I’m really excited to share the changes that occurred with these patients. Stay tuned for Part 3.
Have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst