Tag Archives: Anemia

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Answers to Anemia

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) attribute anemia to be primarily caused by an imbalance known as Blood Deficiency. When referring to blood, TCM has a deeper meaning for it than the clinical definition of the term. Blood in TCM can also pertain to the inherent energy within the blood. TCM practitioners believe that Blood is made partly from the nutrients extracted in the digestive system that resulted from the action of the pancreas-spleen. Blood is created when jing or kidney essence combines with this extract. The bone marrow is where most of the body’ kidney essence is stored. This seems to jibe with conventional Western medicine’s knowledge that the bone marrow is where blood is created.

The symptoms and signs of anemia:

-Pain in the chest
-Shortness of breath (especially with activity or when standing)
-Light headedness or dizziness (especially with activity or when standing)
-Concentration difficulties
-Lack of energy/fatigue

Certain forms of anemia may come with symptoms such as:

-Problems thinking

These symptoms and signs are reflections of the TCM hallmarks of blood deficiency although Blood deficiency may come with extra symptoms like dry hair, pale complexions, tongue, nailbeds, and lips; dry skin; dry, thin, and premature graying hair; spots in the vision of the person; and premature hair loss.

Blood deficiency may be the result of:

-Stagnant blood and chronic diseases that slow down the generation of new blood
-Lack of nutrients in the body
-Blood loss because of severe menstruation, or gastrointestinal hemorrhage
-The body’s inability to absorb nutrients

The good news is that there are several natural ways you can utilize to build blood. They include proper nutrition, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture just to mention a few.

Proper Nutrition

To build and nourish blood through nutrition, two approaches can be used:

-Add certain nutrients that create new healthy blood
-Improve the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract

To boost absorption, mucus and damp conditions need to be reduced and the qi energy of the pancreas-spleen needs to be built. You need to restrict yourself or totally avoid the consumption of damp and phlegm producing foods if you have a damp condition in your body.

Blood Deficiency Diet

Greater consumption of protein-rich foods is required to help build blood. Chicken and other types of animal protein are some of the best sources of blood building protein. It is possible to be on a vegetarian diet and still build blood; however, the process is not as fast as an animal protein diet. Besides animal protein that has the highest concentration of jing among foods, soups and stocks made from beef bones and chicken (preferably organic) can be others sources for jing.

Plants that are loaded with chlorophyll and leafy green vegetables are highly nutritious since they not only contain iron, but also posses other factors that aid in the utilization and absorption of iron, and produce Blood.

The quality of blood quality may also be affected by the amount of additives in foods, especially if the food has too much salt, sugar, and hormones. You should always strive to eat chemical-free foods or organic foods. The liver you consume needs to be organic and free of chemical additives.

Grains – bran, barley, wheat, corn, sweet rice, oats, and rice
Common supplements – algae, chlorella, seaweeds, chlorella, and spirulina
Vegetables – button mushroom, wheatgrass, watercress, dark leafy vegetables, wheatgrass, spinach, shitake mushroom, cabbage, kelp, celery, artichoke, dandelion leaf
Beverages – guiness beer, soya milk, smoothies, miso, spirulina
Fruits – apple, mulberry, apricot, longan, avocado, grape, date, fig
Condiments, oils – molasses
Beans – tempeh, aduki, fermented bean products, kidney beans, black soya
Spices, herbs – parsley, nettle
Seeds and nuts – black sesame, lightly roasted almonds
Fish – tuna, sardine, oyster, octopus, and mussel
Meat – liver of pork, beef, or sheep, chicken, red meat especially bone marrow

Western foods that can be eaten every day western that aid in the building of Blood:

-Chicken and red meat
-Rice porridges with almonds, soya milk, rice milk, apricots
-Mushroom lasagna and kidney bean with spinach salad
-Leafy dark green vegetable salad with grated beetroot and avocado
-Snacks of dried almonds and apricots
-Warm chicken salad with grapes and artichokes
-Calamari with mussel chowder
-Parsley with scrambled eggs with parsley

If you have anemia, these are the foods to best avoid:

Damp generating and congesting foods: dairy and ice cream (except a little yogurt and butter, nuts, and chocolate).

Raw uncooked foods that is uncooked and cold natured, concentrated sweeteners, sweet foods, salt, tomato, raw vegetable, and sprouts.

Damp causing foods and congesting foods such as dairy and ice cream, nuts, chocolate, and sugar

Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture

An important component of Chinese medicine is Chinese herbal medicine. If blood deficiency is prolonged, herbal formulas may help resolve severe the problem. Also herbal formulas can help, address the underlying disharmony/imbalance, tonify Spleen and supplement blood.

Acupuncture can improve the function of an anemic person. It also helps make the absorption of nutrients spleen-pancreas function more efficient. The development of healthy bone marrow and red blood cells can be supported with this therapy as well as disharmonies and other underlying problem that may disrupt the building of blood.

Anemia Treatment Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

When the body does not produce enough RBCs or red blood cells for it to function normally, this is known as anemia. Fatigue is the most common symptom of anemia and it is due to the poor function of other cells that are poorly supplied with oxygen due to the body’s lack of RBCs causing the body to become weak. Doctors oftentimes term this condition as “tired blood” for obvious reasons. Anemia can present itself in many forms. It can range from mild to severe that can last for a short time or stay with a person for the rest of his/her life. The type of anemia the patient has will determine the type of allopathic treatment he/she will receive. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) usually choose alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture, bodywork and herbal remedies among others to treat anemia.

Anemia Treatment Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Doctors trained in allopathic medicine can identify various types of anemia. A specific cause will lead to a certain type of anemia which will entail a specific treatment for the condition. Practitioners of TCM, on the other hand, argue that all anemia types are just signs of the body either not creating adequate amounts of good quality blood or the flow of energy or qi, which is the vital energy that generates health in the body, is deficient or has slowed down. In order to treat anemia, these practitioners need to boost circulation of qi throughout the body as well as create more good quality blood. The symptoms presented by the patient are determinants of what treatment needs to be given.

Acupuncture for Anemia

One of the most common modalities used by TCM practitioners to treat anemia is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a type of treatment wherein slender, filament-thin needles are stuck at specific points in a person’s body to boost qi flow all over the body. When used for anemia treatment, needles are inserted into affected energy vessels (vessels where qi flows) known as meridians associated with the spleen, where blood, according to TCM, is created as well as meridians associated with the abdomen. Some needles can also be used to treat meridians that correspond to the liver. The liver is the organ system where blood is stored and helps regulate the proper flow of blood all over the body.

Some of the common acupuncture points that are needled to address anemia include:

Spleen 10

The spleen 10 acupuncture point is also known in Chinese as Hsue Hai or Sea of Blood. The treatment of Spleen 10 or Sp 10 helps to tonify and revitalize blood as well as resolve all types of blood disorders.

Liver 8
The Liv 8 is referred to in Chinese as Spring at the Crook or Qu Chuan. This is a favorite point for practitioners for the treatment of Liver qi deficiency related to blood conditions. This point revitalizes the blood and tonifies blood and yin of the body as well.

Stomach 36

Foot three mile or Hsu San Li is the other name of this acupuncture point that is situated on the Stomach meridian. The Foot Three Mile indicates that treatment of this acupoint can relieve fatigue and can give you extra strength to walk another 3 miles or so. The Stomach 36 point vigorously tonifies both blood and Qi, better absorb nutrients and improve the digestive function.

Anemia Treatment Using Chinese Herbal Medicine

Both complex and single herbal remedies used by licensed Chinese herbal remedies can help treat anemia. A variety of herbs is utilized to boost qi and blood supply. These herbs may include:

White peony rhizome – astrnges yin and nourshes blood
Rehmannia – a processed type of this herb is known as Shu di. Rehmannia helps generate fluid and nourshes yin.
Dear Antler – tonifies qi and blood and strengthens yang.
Astragalus propinquus – tonifies spleen qi and blood
Licorice root – tonifies stomach and spleen qi
Pilose asiabell – nourishes body energy and blood
Angelica – dispels cold, tonifies blood, harmonizes and revitalizes blood
White Atractylodes rhizome – tonifies the spleen and supplements qi
In a lot of cases, TCM treatment of a condition may entail complementary therapies along with herbal formulas. The Four Ingredient Decoction is one of the most widely used remedy for deficiency of blood.

Anemia Treatment Using Chinese Massage (Tui Na)

Chinese massage treatment or Tui Na massage has been a reliable part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It is based on a principle that is akin to that of acupuncture, which is manipulation of energy channels to help boost yin and yang and improve the flow of qi all over the body. There are practitioners who may concentrate on hand on foot massage in order to increase blood production in the spleen as well as better qi flow all over the body.

What Is Anemia?

As we can see, anemia is a condition concerning the blood which is typified by symptoms, such as:

-Muscle cramps
-Shortness of breath especially after exercise, headache
-Problems concentrating
-Pale skin
-Loss of energy and fatigue

Different factors can lead to different forms of anemia. One example is individuals suffering from sickle-cell anemia. They possess a genetic disorder that causes their body to create abnormally shaped red blood cells. For some reason, these red blood cells have a tendency to collectively clump in the bloodstream leading to symptoms such as infection susceptibility, poor muscular development and pain in the joints. Iron-deficiency anemia is due to a lack of iron in the blood. Other types of anemia can include among others thalassemia, hemolytic anemia, vitamin-deficiency anemia and aplastic anemia.