Jings – Fluid
Chi、Jing、blood and fluid all are basic substances that construct human body and sustain body’s vital activities.
Jing : Jing is a collective term for all useful, essential yin substances in human body including chi、blood、Jing and fluid.
Chi : Chi is intangible, vital microparticles in human body. As a vital force, it drives body systems’ physiological activities. Chinese medicinal theory regards chi is the very source creating the universe and Jing、blood and fluid are originated and transformed from chi.
Blood : Blood is red liquid.
Fluid : Fluid is a collective term for all liquids in body except blood.
Chi is yang and mobile with driving and warming force. Jing、blood and fluid are yin in static state with nourishing and moisturizing function.
Fluid is a collective term for all body liquids except blood, including
- Fluid transformed from food essence
- organ secretions ie. gastric juice、intestinal juice、saliva、synovial fluid etc.
- the excretions from metabolism ie. urine、sweat、tears etc.
Fluid mainly contains water. Fluid and secretions contain a large amount of nutrients which are the basic substances that construct human body and sustain body vitality.
How fluid is produced?
According to Chinese medicinal theory, fluid mainly comes from the foods and water we eat and drink. Stomach、small intestine and spleen digest foods and water, and spleen transforms them into food essence and fluid. Waste fluid gets distributed to kidney, in kidney usable fluid is recycled and distributed to lung and waste water is transformed to urine to be discharged.
How is fluid distributed?
The distribution of fluid mainly requires spleen、kidney、liver and heart to co-work.
Heart: Fluid in food essence is transformed into blood in middle-jiao and driven by heart chi to circulate the body.
Spleen: Spleen transports fluid upward to lung for further distribution. Spleen also directly distributes fluid to whole body.
Lung: After receiving fluid from spleen, lung, via lung chi dispersing, distributes fluid to upper body and out to body surface and, via lung chi’s downward movement, distributes fluid to kidney、bladder and lower body.
Kidney: Kidney masters fluid. (1) Kidney chi assists stomach、small intestine、spleen and lung in distributing fluid. (2) Kidney fluid sent from lung is recycled and usable fluid is distributed, passing sanjiao, up to lung for further distribution to whole body. The useless waste water is transformed to urine and is distributed to bladder.
Liver: Liver regulates chi movements and chi movements assists in fluid distribution.
How is fluid excreted?
Waste fluid is excreted via sweating and urination.
Sweat: By lung chi’s upward movement, lung discharges the waste and excessive water, sent from kidney, out of body thru sweating.
Urine: (1) Lung chi transports waste water downward to kidney; kidney transforms waste water into urine and distributes urine to bladder for urination. (2) When lung exhales, part of fluid transformed from food essence also gets carried out of the body.
Water in stool: Large intestine recycles fluid in food residue and discharges stool out of body.
The Functions of Fluid
- To nourish and moisturize body systems
Fluid contains water and various kinds of nutritional substances and is strong in nourishment and moisturization.
- Fluid, spreading throughout the skin, nourishes skin, warms muscles and moisturizes skin、muscles and body hair to have them look healthy and resilient.
- Fluid inside the body nourishes organs to support their physiological functions.
- Fluid inside orifices, moisturizes mouth、eyes、nose etc.
- Fluid in joints lubricates joints.
- Fluid in marrow nourishes bone marrow and brain.
Chinese medicine theory defines fluid into two kinds – thin fluid (gin in Chinese) and thick fluid (yie). Thin fluid is crystal clear, light and thin in texture; thick fluid is crystal clear, thick, coagulated in texture. Thin fluid flows faster and spreads throughout skin、muscles and orifices and permeates into blood vessels. Its function is to moisturize these systems. Thick fluid is less mobile and spreads throughout joints、organs、brain and marrow to nourish them.
- To transform into blood
Fluid can seep into blood vessels in tertiary collaterals and transforms into blood. It nourishes and lubricates blood vessels.
- To regulate body yin and yang
Chinese medicinal theory emphasizes body’s harmony. The harmony mainly relies on the balance of body yin and yang. Fluid is yin and performs an important role of balancing yin and yang. Fluid regulates itself to allow the body to adapt nature’s changes and keep at normal state. Such as, in winter time (yin state), sweat pores close off to reduce the amount of sweating, thereof, excessive water is distributed downwards to bladder so as urine is increased; in summer time, sweating is more than urinating.
- To excrete waste water
Thru the metabolism of sweating and urinating, fluid excretes waste water and toxins out of the body and ensure body system’s normal function.
The five fluids secreted by Zang organs
The five fluids – sweat、nose mucus、tears、thin saliva (“en”in Chinese) and thick saliva (“twuò” in Chinese) are Zang organs’ secretions. Heart secretes sweat; lung secretes nose mucus; liver secretes tears; spleen secretes thin saliva; kidney secretes thick saliva. These five fluids are from fluid and secreted by Zang organs. They are distributed in Zang organs’ orifices for the purpose of nourishing and moisturizing the orifices. These five fluids’ secretion and distribution is part of the process of fluid’s transformation, distribution and secretion.
The relationship of five Zang organs and five fluids
- Sweat is heart’s fluid.
Sweat is body’s yin fluid transformed by yang chi and discharged out of the body. Sweating too much will deplete heart’s chi and blood and cause rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat. Sweating too much can also deplete yang chi. Vice versa, if heart chi and blood are insufficient, it could induce pathological sweating.
- Nose mucus is lung’s fluid.
Nose mucus is secreted by nose for moisturizing nose. Lung opens at nose. If lung functions well, nose mucus can moisturize nose without running nose. If lung catches cold wind, the nose mucus is clear like water; if lung catches hot wind, the mucus will be thick and turbid.
- Thin saliva (en) is spleen’s fluid.
Thin saliva is clear in texture. It protects and cleans mouth. It will secrete more when we are eating, serving the purpose of moisturizing and dissolving foods for easy swallow and digestion. Normally thin saliva will stay in mouth, but if spleen and stomach are out of harmony, the saliva will increase and drip out from mouth.
- Tear is liver’s fluid.
Liver opens at eyes and tears are secreted in eyes. Tears protect and moisturize eyes. Normally tears stay in eyes but whenever a tiny particle gets in eyes, tears will be secreted in large amount in order to flush away the particle and clean eyes. If liver blood is insufficient, tear secretion will decrease and make eyes dry.
- Thick saliva (twuò) is kidney’s fluid.
Thick saliva is thicker in texture and assists in food digestion. Thick saliva is transformed and secreted from fluid and kidney Jing, so it can also nourish kidney Jing.