a dull, rather lifeless skin appearance is evident,
with little natural color and often cold to the touch, when
the body is unhealthy .
Not only does the skin protect the body from external
pathogens, it plays a major role in a number of body
functions. Through many millions of nerve endings within
its structure, the organ receives sensation. As well,
temperature control is achieved through a vast network
of blood vessels and glands. Skin is composed of the
outer epidermis and the inner dermis. The epidermis
has no nerves, connective tissue or blood vessels. It
is the outermost cellular layer of the skin, which varies
in thickness, ranging from 0.1 mm in the eyelid to over
1 mm on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the main objective of acupuncture, massage and cupping
is to change and influence a particular organ's Blood
and Qi (or "Chi") through manipulation of the skin by stimulating
a particular point. TCM's main 14 channels with
a direct link to the internal organs also lie within
the skin. Channels, collaterals, Blood and Qi affect
the the above.
From the Chinese Medicine point of view, the lung directly
controls and influences the skin. As long as the lung's energy
is plentiful, skin is nourished, glows, and performs
well. Skin moisture is dependent on healthy lungs because
they spread the Qi and Fluids around the body through
the skin. Each internal organ has a corresponding channel
on the skin, which also means it is a connection that
mediates with external pathogens through the skin.
Western definitions of Qi (sometimes shown as "Chi") include The energy of life,
"Vital force," "Life force,", Energy. Everyday comments
such as ''Last week I was very ill and my energy
level was so low that all I did was stay in bed. Today
I feel better and more energetic and much stronger too,''
demonstrate that we all experience the existence of
Qi on a regular basis.
Qi is manifested in movement and heat. All movement requires
Qi, and often this is evident as heat. However, cold
signifies the lack of energy. In the clinical situation
as well, a lack of energy usually occurs when a patient
complains of cold. It is a Turkish tradition that a
chair must be allowed to cool down after it has been
vacated before someone else takes it. There is an honest
concern and fear of catching another person's hidden
illness through his body warmth left on the chair.
During the treatment of disease which is in the Qi Level,
the external pathogen is still fighting at the skin
level and the body's overall resistance is still
good, according to the Four Levels of Differentiation
of Syndromes. Some of the clinical manifestations include
a high fever, a cough with thin yellow phlegm, wheezing
and thirst. At this level, cupping treatment is especially
Through functional activity of Qi ("Chi"), blood is transformed
from the essence of food, which then circulates throughout
the blood vessels and nourishes the body tissue.
Within the context of Chinese medicine teaching, it
should be noted that Blood is derived from Food and
Qi and produced by the Spleen.
Blood in TCM contains Qi ("Chi" or energy), which is the locomotive
of Blood. Blood and Qi cannot be separated as Qi infuses
life into Blood. Without it, Blood would be inert.
Blood circulates in blood vessels and channels as well
as collaterals. Qi follows where Blood goes and Blood
moves where Qi moves. In the Chinese Yin/Yang diagram,
Blood is Yin where Qi is Yang.
Wei Qi is the Protective/Defensive Qi that flows just
under the skin. It forms the outermost defensive wall
against all external pathogens, such as Wind, Cold,
Damp and Heat. Wei Qi is also in control of perspiration,
by regulating the opening and closing of the pores of
the skin. Governed by the Lungs, its source is Blood
and Qi and it warms and nourishes the skin. ''Wei
Qi is one type of Yang-Qi, the result of the digestion
and absorption of food by the Spleen and Stomach, having
the functions of protecting the integument and musculature
against external pathogens, adjusting sweat secretion
and nourishing the skin.'' ''Failure
of Wei Qi to protect the body against diseases: a morbid
state marked by spontaneous sweating and aversion to
wind, caused by deficiency of the superficial Qi, lowering
the ability of the body to resist diseases, leading
to the invasion of exopathic factors.''
Clinical manifestations at this level consist of fever
with little or no sweating, occipital headache, stiff
neck, thirst, sore throat, cough and a feeling of chill.
Cupping therapy is highly effective for treating conditions
at this level.
in TCM, usually refers to congestion or accumulation
through lack of movement; pertains to lack of movement of any kind ,
i.e., Food, Fluids, Qi or Blood.
of food (food accumulation)
This condition is often exhibited by children whose
parents are eager to feed the child with rich foods,
sometimes with force. Cold drinks and foods or irregular
feeding habits can also cause accumulation problems.
All of the above impair the Spleen's function of
transformation and transportation. Clinical symptoms
include restlessness, vomiting, stomach and abdominal
Body Fluids originate from the Stomach. Fluids are
the necessary Yin substance in the Stomach that help
it carry out the proper digestion process. When this
process is impaired by Cold and Heat pathogens, or too
many raw foods, it damages the Spleen's functions. Clinical
manifestations of fluid stagnation are very similar
to those of food stagnation, with the exception of fluids
accumulation in the extremities, i.e., the hands and
feet. This condition is caused by Heart of Kidney Qi
deficiency and it usually affects elderly people.