Relationship of Qi & Blood - Vital Substances in TCM

Relationship of Qi & Blood - Vital Substances in TCM

Blood and Qi have a very close relationship. Blood is said to be is a denser form of Qi, and more Yin in nature.

Qi and Blood are inseparable, and the Ying form of Qi actually circulates with the Blood in the Vessels. While Blood engenders Qi, Qi is said to command or move the Blood.

The dependency of Qi on Blood can be illustrated as follows: After a patient has experienced heavy Blood loss, they will usually show signs of Qi deficiency, such as weakness, sweating, breathlessness, and fatigue.

The dependency of Blood on Qi can be illustrated as follows: After prolonged and heavy sweating injures or depletes the Qi, a patient may develop symptoms of Blood deficiency, with symptoms such as pale face, numbness, palpitations, and dizziness.

Qi Generates Blood

  • Food Qi is the basis for Blood
  • Spleen Qi is essential for the production of Food Qi
  • Original Qi is also essential as a catalyst
  • Lung Qi is essential for the production of Blood (pushes the Food Qi to the Heart)

Where Qi is deficient, eventually Blood will become Deficient. Where Blood is deficient, one often needs to tonify Qi.

Qi Moves Blood

  • Blood would be inert without Qi. Ying (Nutritive) Qi flows with Blood in the Vessels.
  • Lung Qi infuses Qi into the Blood Vessels to push the Blood.

"When Qi moves, Blood follows". "When Qi stagnates, Blood congeals."

When Qi is deficient or stagnant, it fails to push Blood, which also stagnates.

Qi Holds the Blood

Spleen Qi is responsible for holding the Blood in the Vessels, preventing extravasation. If Spleen Qi is deficient, hemorrhages may occur.

Blood Nourishes the Qi

It is said... "Blood is the mother of Qi"

  1. Qi needs Blood for nourishment.
  2. Blood provides a material basis (more Yin) which prevents Qi from "floating" away and producing signs of Empty Heat (see later)
The Relationship Between Blood and Jing

Blood also nourishes and replenishes the Jing (Essence).

References Used

The TCM information presented here has been referenced from numerous sources; including teachers, practitioners, class notes from Five Branches University, the following books, as well as other sources. If you have benefited from this information, please consider supporting the authors and their works by purchasing the books below.

Browse All Chinese Medicine Reference Texts ▶