Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Healthy You Are in TCM Model

According to TCM, our body energy is consisted of two elements: blood and Qi (XueQi). We need sufficient body energy to keep the body functioning appropriately. Therefore, without doing any tests, doctors of Chinese medicine can determine a person's general health condition by looking at the patient’s appearance, hair color and thickness, skin tone, color of the teeth and gum, tongue color, and etc. because these are the indicators of the level of XueQi or body energy.

Chinese medicine categorizes body energy into 5 levels, using the concepts of Yin and Yang. You can try to match your own body condition to see which level represents your body.

Level 1 - Healthy Level

At this level, the person has a balance of Yin and Yang. The people that are at this energy level have a fit figure, healthy facial complexion, mild temper, and a regular sleeping pattern. Only a few people can achieve this level. The person seldom gets sick. This is the ideal state of our body.

Level 2 - Weak Yang Level

The body’s Xue Chi level is lower than healthy level. The body energy is still strong enough to combat illness, as a result, the person will experience various symptoms of discomfort. These symptoms can be frequent colds, fevers, and etc.

Level 3 - Weak Yin Level

The body’s Xue Chi level is even lower than weak yang level. Strangely, people at this energy level seem healthy and are rarely sick. In fact, their body energy is only enough to defend the body but not enough to remove illness from the body. The body has to use the limited energy to maintain the major body functions and ignore the minor illness unless the illness is life threatening. In other words, these people's energy level is too low to even get sick. Without any obvious symptoms, this group of people continue with their unhealthy life style, such as staying up late over midnight, little exercise, smoking, over working, etc. However, a lot of them find it hard to fall asleep at this stage. How long the person can maintain this level of energy depends on how much energy is stored in his previous life, say in the childhood. After all the backup energy is used up, the person reaches the next weaker level of energy.

Level 4 – Weak Yin and Yang Level
At this stage, the person will feel constant fatigue during the day as his Xue Chi decreases to the minimum, and the body will try to obtain energy from the muscle and other areas of the body. The person is having serious health problems at this point, not one problem but several problems at the same time, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, etc. These problems will in turn use up more body energy in stock.

Level 5 – Xue Chi Exhaustion Level
At this stage the body will attempt to extract energy in anyway they could as the body approaches total collapse. The patients of this Xue Chi level will develop diseases such as various cancers, kidney failure, stroke, etc.

Reflections:
1. Various health problems are only individual manifestations of lack of XueQi in the body. As a result, the most direct way to keep or regain health is to increase your level of body energy. As to how to do this, I will introduce it in another post of writing.

2. Unfortunately, many of us are at Level 3 due to a lot of pressure from work and busy schedule. We need to realize the urgency of the situation and do something right now instead of waiting out till we reach Level 4.

3. When your body is at Level 4, you have a lot of levels to catch up. Don't expect any miracle drug or approach to bring you to Level 1 in a short time. In other words, it requires your perseverance and a commitment to change your life style.

Wish You Healthy Everyday!

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