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Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat is one step further along the spectrum from Heart Yin deficiency with Empty Heat.
This syndrome exists when life has been out of balance for too long. Contemplate the picture of the two balls!
Most of this site tries to not be too technical, but this page probably makes more sense to acupuncturists. If you're not an acupuncturist you may get a flavour of it by just ploughing on!
As you read more about Chinese medicine, with its constant discussion of health in ENERGY terms - very different from Western medicine - eventually the penny may drop. At least, so we hope.
As we write more pages, some of the unfamiliar terms below will be explained, and there'll be links to them.
In Chinese medicine, the Heart and Kidney energies should work together
with Kidney supplying the original jing-essence that creates Mind, which
is housed by the Heart. The Heart sends Fire down to warm the Kidneys: in return the Kidneys send pure fluids up to nourish the Heart.
One pushes down, the other pushes up and pulls down, and in health they balance one another. In Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat, however, the downward pushing or pulling is severely reduced. This leaves only upward pushing, giving too much Yang, so forming Empty Heat.
('Empty' because it occurs when there is not enough cooling, Yin energy, to combat it. Imagine a car engine running normally in a cool country. Now imagine that its engine runs out of coolant. The car will overheat, not because it is being worked too hard or because it is a hot country, but because of the lack of Yin - the coolant.)
Empty Heat occurs when the body itself, because it’s out of balance, appears to be hot. Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat is sometimes mistaken by orthodox doctors for a low, ongoing fever without obvious cause.
This Empty Heat fever may be more one of sensation than
measurable by thermometer, but in some people there is a small increase in
body temperature, usually quantifiable (if at all) towards evening.
(Full Heat occurs when there is an invasion of the body by some external pathogenic factor. In orthodox terms this would be a bacterial or viral infection to which the body responds with fever. Full Heat fevers are easily measurable with a thermometer.)
The causes of Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat are not so different from those of Heart Yin deficiency with empty Heat.
When, through long years of overwork (constantly on the go) and
inadequate or irregular dietary habits, or prompted by the menopause (or
for men, too much sex), both Heart and Kidney Yin are exhausted, then
all the conditions are in place for empty Heat as well.
Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat doesn’t usually arrive overnight, although some of its symptoms, like tinnitus, may be noticed suddenly one evening.
Treating it is by no means impossible, but usually takes time.
Unfortunately, these days, people are less willing to wait for treatment to work, or not until they have exhausted other possibilities - by which time their condition will normally have worsened.
However, even then,
there is usually room for improvement.
Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat has anxiety, depression
and insomnia as possible expressions in our mental health. Modern
orthodox treatments include medication - often with undesirable
side-effects - and psychotherapy, which if it does nothing else should
help sufferers learn to slow down.
Slowing down in itself is not enough, however, because by the time this syndrome has taken effect, there are large gaps in the patient’s ability to recover naturally. Treatment of some kind is needed: you won’t get better by taking a long holiday, good for you though that would be!
As explained above, when there is a yin deficiency, yang appears to be stronger. Both Heart and Kidney in good condition have powerful means to slow the body, the Heart through directing life to healthier ways and the Kidneys through providing the jing-essence and Water to nourish and cool the Heart Fire.
The Heart should, in health, send Fire downwards to warm the Kidneys
but lacking Yin, the Heart fails to do this. When the Kidneys are
exhausted by constant demands on their resources, their Qi is drained
and they cannot anchor the Heart energy.
Kidney Qi exhaustion leads to both Kidney Yin and Yang depletion. Without the support of Kidney Yang, Spleen Yang is weakened and nutrition not absorbed, so Blood becomes deficient which leads to Heart Blood deficiency which reinforces Heart Yin deficiency and the progression to Heart Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat.
So when Yang predominates for an extended period, constant upward movement (Yang is warming and heat rises) generates empty Heat symptoms.
If severe, Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat becomes self-perpetuating. Inability to sleep means that Kidney Yin is further depleted, making good sleep even more difficult.
The symptoms of Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat are a mix of both Heart and Kidney Yin deficiency syndromes, with those of Empty Heat. So some symptoms pertain to Heart (palpitations) others to Kidney (backache).
In the lists below, many more symptoms could have been included, such as (from Kidney) weak, sore knees, thinning hair and poor teeth but what follow are the more usual ones.
Please don’t think that if you have this
syndrome you will have all the symptoms shown! Much depends on your own
constitution and mental make-up. (The only one that I have is mild tinnitus, which started years ago when I was overworking and took no notice.)
Symptoms will tend to worsen in the afternoon and evening, when Kidney qi would normally be strong but in this syndrome is weakened.
‘Shen’ (your Mind) is disturbed:
The aim of treatment is to calm the Mind, to clear empty Heat and to nourish the Yin of Heart and Kidney.
Points such as the following may be chosen by your acupuncturist, but patients should be encouraged to eat the right foods at regular intervals, to put more order and space into their lives and to take exercise that is harmonising and within their capabilities.
Acupuncture treatment needs to be frequent at first: a little and often. Acupuncturists should not use all the points together!
For other syndromes of the Heart, click on the links below:
If you have this syndrome, my book on 'Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion - What to Do!' may be helpful - see also below.
Also, the last thing you need on top of it is Qi Stagnation. Read my book, below!
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index.
Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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