The basic substances are Blood (Xue), Essence (Jing), Spirit (Shen), and Body Fluids (Jin Ye). You will find out about the concept and functions of each substance as well as ways to maintain their health and balance within the body.
What are body fluids in tcm?
Traditional Chinese Medicine consider 4 types of body fluids, they are blood, jing, jin-ye, and shen.
The first source of blood is mainly produced from food essence and Jing (the essence of life required for the growth and development). The stomach and spleen digest the food and turn into food essence. This food essence is transport by the spleen to lungs where it produces blood with the help of heart and lungs.
A second source of blood produced from Jing, which is a life essence stored in the kidneys. Jing goes to the bones where its forms healthy marrow. The bone marrow in turn produces the blood. Jing also goes to the liver forming clear blood.
The Function of Blood
- Blood nourishes the body, also complements the action of Ying Qi. Blood is considering as a denser form of Qi; it flows with the (Ying) Qi in the vessels and channels all over the body.
- Blood moistens body tissues; prevent dry out.
- Blood nourishes and supports the Shen resides in the blood vessels, which are part of the heart.
When blood is deficient, Shen becomes uneasy with symptoms of vague anxiety, slight irritability, unease and inability to fall asleep.
Jing is the vital essence of the body, which is the secret of good health and longevity. Jing is of two types they are prenatal jing and postnatal jing.
- Prenatal jing is an inherited congenital essence from their parents (mother and father) at conception. It is a fixed quantity, which considered irreplaceable (cannot renew). It determines the constitution (genetic make-up) you born with, how healthy you are mentally and physically as well as your ability to fight illness. Prenatal essence will be gradually spent during growth, physical and mental development, reproduction, and aging process. A life with an excess utilization of jing due to stress, excess sex, lack of rest, poor nutrition, etc. can lead to health decline involving chronic incurable illnesses.
- Postnatal jing is acquired essence derived from the food you have digested and is distribute to every organs and tissues. When in good health and cultivate jing with proper nutrition, rest, unstressed, moderate sex, etc for optimum functioning of the body. The energy not used on everyday basis gets refined to postnatal jing.
Prenatal converted into postnatal; however, this will replenish prenatal jing. Higher demand of energy due to illness protecting prenatal jing from being used faster. Some even consider a third jing know as kidney jing, it is the combination of prenatal and postnatal jing stored in kidney.
Jin-Ye is a generalized term for all bodily fluids includes saliva, gastric juices, phlegm, tears, mucus, and sweat. All these body fluids are extracting from our food and water processed by the spleen and stomach.
Based on the nature, form and location the body fluids are of two categories, they are Jin and Ye.
- Jin means clear fluid. Body fluids, which are clear and thin, are Jin. Jin fluids are transfer partly in the blood, also manifest as sweat.
- Ye mean turbid or cloudy fluid. Body fluids, which are thick and heavy fluids are ye. Ye fluids nourish the inner body parts such as joints, body orifices, brain, and bone marrow.
Body fluids moisten and nourish every body parts. The generation, transportation and excretion of body fluids are a complicated processes by the coordinated activity of Zang Fu organs specifically lung, spleen and kidney.
Jin-Ye circulate through the body under the influence of the spleen, lungs, and kidneys. If there is any weaknesses, in one of these organs may lead to fluid deficiency or dysfunction.
Shen means spirit or mind, indicating our consciousness, mental functions, and mental health.
Shen resides in the blood vessels (part of heart system) nourishes by the blood. It retires to sleep at night; however, disturbance in the shen may lead to insomnia. As per TCM pathology deficiency in blood fails to nourish the shen, also heat from various organs may disturb the shen.
Through eyes, you can view the state of the shen. Healthy shen produce bright shiny eyes. Disturbed or weaken shen produces dull cloudy eyes; often seen in case of long-term emotional disturbance or serious shock, eve that occurred long ago.
Healthy shen depends on the quality of jing and qi. If the jing and qi are healthy, they will nourish shen.