The theory of qi,blood and body fluid
In TCM,qi,blood and body fluid are considered to be the basic substances to constitute the human body and maintain the life activities,and they provide the energy needed by the physiological activities of viscera,meridians,tissues and other organs,whereas,their formations and metabolizam depend upon the normal physiological activities of viscera,meridians,tissues and other organs .Therefore,it is ture to say that qi,blood and body fluid are only the material basis of the functional activities of viscera,meridians,tissues and other organs,but also the physiological products of their functional activities. They,physiologically,depend on each other for existence and restrain and utilize each other;they,pathologically,act upon each other and have causality between them.
The theory of qi,blood and body fluid is a theory that study the formation,distribution,physiological functions,pathologically changes and the interrelationship of them.
What is meant by qi? It is the ancient Chinese initial understanding of natural phenomena.That is,qi is the most basic refined substance to constitute the world and all things in the universe result from the movements and changes of qi.This concept was introduced into TCM and became one of its characteristics.After a comprehensive survey of the statements of "qi" in TCM documents,there are the following two meanings:One refers to the refined substance to constitute the human body and maintain the life activities,such as cereal essence,freash air inhaled from the natural world;The other to the physioligical activities of viscera and meridians,such as heart-qi,lung-qi and so on.Qi is particularly important for human body .For this reason,zhangzhongjing said:"Man's life relies entirely upon this qi."Classic on Medical Problem states:"qi is the root of the human body,once the root is damaged, the stem and leaves would turn withered."And,also,Basic Questions points out:"one's life is the combination of qi of heaven and earth."
(一)the formation of Qi
Qi in the human body is composed of the congenital qi inherited from the parents,the cereal essence transformed by the spleen and stamoch,and the fresh air inhaled from the natural world by the lung.Therefore,the source and production of qi is related not only to innate endowment,acquired nutrition and environmental conditions,but also to the physiological functions of the kidney,spleen,stomach and the lung,ect.
Otherwise,the transformation and transportation of the spleen and stomach is particularly important in the forming process of qi.Congenital qi depends on the nourishments of acquired qi to perform its physiological functions.
(二)the function of qi
Qi is the most basic refined substance to maintain the life activities and has various physiological functions important to human body.Therefore Classic on Medicine Problems states:"Qi is the root of the human body."
1.propelling functions of qi
Qi,as a sort of refined substance full of vigour,plays a promoting and activating role in the growth and development of the human body,the physiological activities of viscera and meridians,the production and circulation of blood,as well as the production ,distribution and excretion of the body fluid.If the above functions are weakened due to qi-deficiency,it will affect the growth and development of the human body,stagnation of blood,and fluid retention.
2.warming function of qi
Classic on Medicine Problem says:"Qi is resposible for warming."That is to say that qi is the source of calory in the body,whether man's body temperature is normal or not depends on the warming function of qi.Only through the warming function of qi can all viscera and meridians perform their physiological activities normally,and can such liquid substances as blood and body fluid circulate normally.As the saying goes:"Blood flows in warmth,while it coagulates in cold."For example,the insufficiency of yang qi may impair the warming function of qi,causing cold-syndrome such as aversion to cold with perference for heat,cold limbs,lower body temperature and the stagnation of blood and body fluid,ect.Conversly,qi excess may results in the failure of qi to disperse heat,marked by aversion to heat with preference for cold,fever and so on.Basic Question states:"qi excess produces heat while qi deficiency produces cold."
(3)defending function of qi
Qi has defending function to defend the body surface against the exogenous pathogens and to combat with the invaded exogenous pathogens can not attack the body."And"If the pathogens invade and occupy the body,qi-deficiency is bound to ensue."
4.controlling action of qi
This function is mainly meant the ability to control liquid substances to prevent their extravasation without reasons,and to fix the internal organs in the body.This is shown in the following aspects:
(1)keeping the blood flowing within the vessals to prevent it extravating without reason.
(2)controlling and regulating the secretion and excretion of sweat,urine,sperm,saliva,gastrointestinal juice to maintain a relative balance of water metabolism.If the controlling function of qi are weakened,bulk of liquids substance in the body will run off.For example,qi fails to controll blood ,causing various hemorrhea;fails to controll body fluid,leading to urinary incontinence,sialorrhea,diarrhea and so on;fails to control sperm,resulting in spermatorrhea and premature ejaculation.
(3)firming the internal organs in their normal postions without prolapse.If this function is impaired,such prolapse as gastroptosis,nephroptosis,hysteroptosis will occur.
The propelling and controlling functions of qi are the two aspects of mutural opposition and mutural complement.The coordination of the two functions of qi ,regulating and controlling the secretion,transportation and excretion of the liquid substance in the body,plays an important role in maintaining the normal blood circulation and water metabolism.
5.action of qi-transforming
Qi transformation may be defined as various changes brought about by the movements of qi.Concretely speating,it refers to the respective metabolism of essence,qi,blood and body fluid,and to their intertransformation.For instance,food is transformed into cereal essence,then into qi,blood and body fluid;body fluid into sweat and urine by metabolizing;and the residues of food after digestion and absorption are turned into feces to be discharged from the body.All these process are the specific manifestations of the function of qi transformation.
(三) The movements of qi
Qi-movements refers to various kinds of movements of qi in the body and may be summaried into four types as ascending,descending,exiting and entering.All the viscera and meridians are the places in which qi ascend,descend,exit and enter.The movements of qi are the root of the life activities of human beings.They promote and activate various kinds of physiological activities in the body,and only through the physiological activities of viscera and meridians,can the movements of qi be manifested concretly.
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