Kidneys failing to receive Qi

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 肾不纳气      Pinyin name: Shèn Bù Nà Qì

Pattern nature: Empty

Causes

Precursor patterns: Kidney Yang Deficiency Lung Qi Deficiency

Common causes: 1. Excessive physical work, 2. Chronic illness, 3. Poor hereditary constitution

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Asthma Tinnitus Thin body Dizziness Cold limbs and ten other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Tight (Jin), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify and warm the Kidneys, stimulate the Kidney’s receiving of Qi, stimulate the descending of Lung-Qi.

Common formulas: You Gui Wan Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Pathology

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 is an Excess type of pattern in the upper body and a type of Kidney Yang Deficiency below.

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.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Kidneys failing to receive Qi can derive from Kidney Yang Deficiency Lung Qi Deficiency

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 Kidneys failing to receive Qi

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

Treating Kidneys failing to receive Qi

Treatment principle

Tonify and warm the Kidneys, stimulate the Kidney’s receiving of Qi, stimulate the descending of Lung-Qi.

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Kidneys failing to receive Qi, You Gui Wan is also used to treat Kidney Qi not Firm or Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang.

Read more about You Gui Wan

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Directs rebellious Qi downward. Arrests wheezing. Stops coughing. Warms and transforms Phlegm-Cold.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Kidneys failing to receive Qi, Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is also used to treat Rebellious Qi or Rebellious Lung Qi.

Read more about Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Diet recommendations

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.

Consequence patterns

Phlegm

Kidneys failing to receive Qi can lead to the formation of Phlegm (which would worsen the symptom of breathlessness)