The Concept of Blood (Xue) in TCM Acupuncture Theory

The concept of Blood (Xue) as it is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory comprises a host of different meanings, actions and effects than they way the term is commonly understood in western medicine. Chinese medicine states that the Blood is a dense form of body fluids that have been acted upon and enegized by Qi. The Blood of Chinese medicine flows both within the blood vessels as well as within the meridians, as it has a synergistic relationship with Qi. From a clinical perspective, these relationships indicate a broad spectrum of influences that must be considered when forming a TCM diagnosis. While conditions such as uterine bleeding have more obvious links to the Blood, an unsteady mind as it may arise in such conditions as depression and anxiety may also be strongly related.

Below you will find detailed information surrounding the theory of Blood in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Basic Formation of Blood

  • There are two separate cycles of Blood formation in the body. The Post-heaven Qi cycle uses Foods and Fluids (Gu Qi) to form Blood and the pre-heaven cycle uses Yuan Qi and the Kidneys to produce marrow which produces Blood.
  • The Blood is circulated by the Heart and stored by the Liver.

Map of the Creation of Blood

 

Functions of Blood in the Body

  • Moistens and provides nourishment to the organs, bones, muscles, tendons and skin.
  • With Qi, provides the foundation for mental activity.

Blood Disharmonies with Signs and Symptoms

Patterns
Signs
HT, LV and/or SP Blood Deficiency Fatigue, palpitations, numbness, dizziness, blurred vision Pale w/thin coat thin
LV, LI, ST Blood Stagnation Pain that is fixed in location, dull complexion, petechiae Purple a/or purple spots deep, choppy maybe a little wiry
Heat in the Blood Reckless bleeding (hemmorhage, bleeding between cycles, etc.), restlessness, irritability Deep red tongue rapid

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience.

For a complete list of valuable resources, see our (TCM) Chinese Acupuncture Resources section. The most recommended texts are below: