Qi Deficiency: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the energy that circulates through the body at all times is known as 'qi'. A balanced qi indicates good physical and mental health. So, if you are not feeling well, then going by what is said through TCM theories, you might just have a qi deficiency.
Experts believe that a qi deficiency is associated with the spleen . It is said that the best way to treat this kind of deficiency is by taking ample rest and eating foods that treat the imbalance. In simple terms, the best way to understand the significance of qi is by looking at it as bodily energy.
Read on to know more about qi deficiency and the approaches that can help in balancing it.
Going by what the practitioners of TCM claim, everything in the world is made up of qi. This includes the physical body as well as the feelings that a person has. It is important that a person has a balanced qi so that he or she can lead a life free from mental and physical health issues.
Qi is often combined with the concepts of yin and yang (the harmony of opposite forces). These together form the core components of TCM . The maintenance of yin and yang is dependent on the presence of a sufficient amount of qi. A qi deficiency could be considered as a lack of energy that can result in pain, suffering and illness.
Studies have revealed that there is a possible range of factors that can lead to a qi deficiency. Few experts believe that there could be a link between qi deficiency and ageing. Few also believe that an imbalanced qi is related to chronic medical ailments such as hypertension, stroke or heart disease . The body's qi is also affected by one's diet, habits from birth and emotions. Therefore, it keeps changing.
Chronic stress and sleep deprivation have been found to be the two main reasons behind an imbalanced qi. When the stress hormone cortisol is elevated, it can interfere with the body's immune function and thus increase the risk of depression . Home remedies such as Ashwagandha are said to be quite beneficial in lowering cortisol levels.
The following are some of the other causes of qi deficiency :
Symptoms of qi imbalance can vary widely as each process and each organ of the body has its own qi associated with it. A qi deficiency occurs in a particular organ when there is not much energy for it to perform its specific functions.
However, in general, the following are some of the signs and symptoms of a qi deficiency :
Eastern medicine and Western medicine view the role of the spleen in the human body quite differently. In Western medicine, it is basically considered a part of the immune system and is not generally treated as a vital organ . This is so because people can ideally survive without one, if necessary.
However, Eastern medicine believes that spleen plays an important role in the human body and is also considered as the central element that takes care of food distribution and digestion. This is so because it is said that spleen is responsible for extracting qi from whatever we eat . Therefore, if you are experiencing a lack of energy, then the affected spleen is most often considered as the primary suspect.
Once you approach a TCM practitioner with your problem, you will need to first provide a detailed medical history. This would be followed by a physical examination which would identify the pattern of disharmony. The practitioner would focus on paying attention to your tongue (this is the best way to determine ailments in TCM).
Practitioners of TCM say that the tongue is a strong indication of a person's harmony or disharmony . A pale tongue indicates a qi deficiency. A course of treatment can be developed once the pattern and source of disharmony are identified.
TCM believes in treating the body as a whole rather than just merely addressing symptoms. For instance, while in Western medicine, a practitioner would treat tiredness with stimulants, a TCM expert would address the issues causing the fatigue. Making a few changes in the diet and lifestyle can help in balancing qi .
To keep qi balanced, TCM experts recommend eating foods that are good for the spleen .
Although there is little scientific evidence for qi deficiency, many people feel that applying concepts of resolving qi deficiency have improved their lives in a great way. Nevertheless, if your symptoms persist, it is always wise to get yourself checked by a general medical practitioner apart from your regular TCM healthcare expert.
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