The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 肾不纳气 Pinyin name: Shèn Bù Nà Qì
Pattern nature: Empty
Common causes: 1. Excessive physical work, 2. Chronic illness, 3. Poor hereditary constitution
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Tight (Jin), Weak (Ruo)
Tongue description: Pale
This pattern results from a dysfunction of the Kidneys' capacity to receive and hold Qi down. The Kidneys' role in the cycle of Qi is to receive Clean Air from the Lungs and holding it down so it combines with Grain Qi from the Spleen to form Gathering Qi.
When the Kidneys cannot receive and hold Qi down, it stays in the Lungs, resulting in symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, especially on exertion as well as spontaneous sweating. Kidneys control inhalation from the Lungs, so when there is asthma it is characterized by difficulty in inhalation more than exhalation (the Lungs control exhalation).
It therefore has classic symptoms of the latter such as the abundant and clear urination, which tend to happen during asthma attacks.
When Kidney Yang is Deficient, all the Yang energies of the body are deficient, including Defensive Qi, hence the sweating and cold limbs.
Since the Kidneys "rule Water", the Deficiency means that it cannot transform Body Fluids which gives rise to edema. It tends to be localized in the face because of the Lung involvement.
This pattern only appears in long-term chronic conditions, hence the general lassitude, thin body and mental exhaustion.
Excessive physical work: Excessive physical work or exercise - especially lifting things - weakens the Kidneys
Chronic illness: A chronic illness will always eventually affect the Kidneys and may cause this pattern, especially if reaches the Kidneys by way of the Lungs.
Poor hereditary constitution: Because they're the source of Essence, the Kidneys are particularly affected by hereditary weakness. It is more of a predisposing factor to the development of this pattern than a cause.
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners. In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors as well as learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), tight (Jin) or weak (Ruo)
Tongue description: Pale
Main symptoms: Asthma Tinnitus Thin body Dizziness Cold limbs Weak breath Rapid breath Listlessness Chronic cough Lower back pain Clear urination Spontaneous sweating Swelling of the face Difficulty in inhaling Shortness of breath on exertion
Diagnosis commentary: Shortness of breath on exertion, lower back pain and clear urination are enough in and of themselves to diagnose Kidneys failing to receive Qi
Tonify and warm the Kidneys, stimulate the Kidney’s receiving of Qi, stimulate the descending of Lung-Qi.
Source date: 1624 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.
You Gui Wan is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify.
Source date: 650 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Directs rebellious Qi downward. Arrests wheezing. Stops coughing. Warms and transforms Phlegm-Cold.
Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.
Eat a balanced diet made of cooked foods (not raw) and those with a warm nature such as whole grains, or meat. Avoid any intake of cold and raw foods and drinks as well as caffeinated foods and drinks, sugar, and alcohol.
Avoid excessive sexual activity and exposure to cold, especially over the lower abdomen and back.
Get plenty of physical exercise as appropriate for your body's capability.
Kidneys failing to receive Qi can lead to the formation of Phlegm (which would worsen the symptom of breathlessness)