Heart and Kidney Not Harmonised, with Qi deficiency

Image by Devanath from Pixabay

Heart and Kidney Not Harmonised, with Qi deficiency is a long title for a page, and it is definitely shorthand for a problem that’s not uncommon these days.

Western medicine appreciates the important relationship between heart and kidney, with your heart pumping blood round the body and your kidneys maintaining blood quality and quantity control for health.

But the Chinese ideas go much further. They regard Heart and Kidney as having major parts to play in your mental and emotional spheres. What the Chinese mean by your Blood is also a hugely influential factor as a foundation for your personality. You may be more convinced of this when you’ve seen someone ‘going to pieces’ as they haemorrhage, their life and character leaking away. 

The advantage of this approach is that they can often see where a problem is coming from, just by looking at someone, or taking the pulse or examining the tongue, each of which reveals different aspects of health.

For this Heart and Kidney Not Harmonised, with Qi deficiency syndrome, Blood is particularly important. That’s because from healthy Blood comes Qi. Now here’s another problem! What does Qi mean?

Qi Definition

Defining Qi for Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency
How to define Qi

Qi is badly translated by the word ‘energy’. But this qi kind of energy is different in scope to how you feel after a bad night’s sleep and the strong coffee that somehow resets your system just in time for work! With Qi we’re talking about the fundamental force behind existence, that enables those tiny quanta to bounce in and out of being, making up the vector that produces all the visible and invisible stuff in the universe.

OK? So – when I say Qi, that’s what I mean, not caffeine. (And even then, I shall get lots of picky comments about my explanation of Qi from students of Chinese medicine.) Read much more about Qi here.

Blood mothers Qi

In our bodies, Blood mothers Qi. Just as a mother conceives and grows the foetus, eventually producing the small bundle of yang that is going to draw on her for months to come, so Blood conceives and nourishes Qi.

How do you get Blood? From good nutrition, properly eaten and digested, plus oxygen from your Lungs, and then the addition of something special from your Heart – a bit of Heart Fire which then transforms into Blood (blood with a capital B, denoting the Chinese concept of Blood.) Read more about Blood.

Then good Blood can mother your Qi. So then you have Qi (which of course you can exhaust by taking no rest or otherwise abusing yourself).

So one cause of this syndrome (Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency) is Qi deficiency caused by chronic Blood deficiency, arising from a variety of causes, see below.

Another is Qi deficiency from taking no rest. OK, I’ve already said that! But if there isn’t enough Qi, there’s nothing to move your Blood. (And Gents, for healthy erections, you probably agree you need the right kind of Qi – to turn you on – and enough Blood to expand things at the right time and maintain that expansion for a while.)

Although this page deals with Heart and Kidney qi, we should also mention your Liver which, in Chinese medicine, is more important than your Kidneys for maintaining adequate supplies – quantities – of Blood in your system, ready for business. Qi stagnation in your Liver can definitely jeopardise what you need for good sex.

Theory about Heart and Kidney not Harmonised

Theory about Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency
Upper yang and lower yin in balance

The upper part of your body is Yang which likes movement and warmth. That’s where your Heart resides.

The lower part of your body is Yin and likes stillness and coolth. What’s where your Kidneys resides.

Your Heart sends yang-warmth down to warm the yin-‘coolth’ of your Kidneys. Your Kidneys send yin-fluids up to cool and nourish your Heart.

When there isn’t enough Qi, what happens? Well, nothing much. Things don’t move around as they are supposed to, and you feel unsettled, with symptoms like these:


  • Dizziness from Blood deficiency
  • Tinnitus from Kidney deficiency
  • Depression from Qi deficiency (often from Qi stagnation too)
  • Shortness of breath on exertion from Heart Qi deficiency
  • Lowered spirits, (slight depression) from Heart Qi deficiency
  • Sweating without obvious cause from Heart Qi deficiency
  • Impotence and premature ejaculation
  • Palpitations (meaning an unpleasant sensation relating to your Heart and your pulse) in your chest, from Kidney not balancing Heart
  • Low backache from Kidney deficiency
  • Pale face from Blood deficiency
  • Tongue pale from Blood deficiency
  • Pulse deep because this is chronic and didn’t start overnight, and weak because you lack both Qi to move the pulse, and Blood to fill it out. If Heart qi deficiency predominates, the pulse will be empty and more superficial.


If this goes on for too long and you do nothing about resting and repairing your body, you may move on to get Heart and Kidney not communicating with Yin deficiency.

With that your pulse will become faster and your tongue much redder. That’s more serious.

Causes of this syndrome

Hidden causes behind Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency
Apparent causes have hidden reasons.
  • Lack of rest damages your Kidney function. If Kidney functions poorly that won’t help ‘mend’ this syndrome of Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency.
  • Haemorrhage or loss of blood, either once badly or a smaller amount often, may lead to Blood deficiency. Without Blood you cannot make Qi. Examples include severe or chronic illness that drains you or during which you often lose blood, or for some women, regular very heavy periods (menorrhagia). However, in general, theory suggests women recover faster from Blood loss than men, because – at least during child-bearing years – their bodies are accustomed to renewing their blood supplies monthly.
  • For men, too much sex (ie ejaculation) drains Kidney Qi and eventually Jing Essence, which supplies Qi for the whole shebang. You definitely don’t want to run out of Jing Essence too soon.
  • For women, gestating and giving birth to too many babies close together can weaken Kidney Qi.
  • Excess physical work or exertion can lead to Kidney Qi and Kidney Yang deficiency (Question. How much is too much? Answer – enough to weaken Kidney Qi and Yang! So it depends. Frequently straining to lift something too heavy for you, or to run faster than ever before or for longer may be too much – it depends on your constitution. You might manage something that would easily overstrain me. So, to develop a stronger body, work up to it gradually, Build steadily, it’s safer.)
  • Long or severe exposure to Cold, damages Kidney Yang and to some extent, Kidney Qi.
  • Emotional challenges, such as from disappointment or loss, weaken Heart Qi. Read more on this at Heart Qi deficiency.
  • Poor attention to good nutrition, including how and when to eat, damages Blood, which then cannot support Qi

Treatment for Heart and Kidney not Harmonised, with Qi deficiency

What forms of treatment should you seek for Heart and Kidney not Harmonised, with Qi deficiency?

Two hands meeting lead to treatment.
Benefits of touch therapy.

And how can you help yourself?


  • Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to harmonise Heart and Kidney and engender Qi
  • Chinese herbal prescriptions exist for this too. Your herbalist would adapt a basic formula to your particular needs.
  • Various kinds of hands-on treatment help steady and support you, for example Tuina and Shiatsu.
  • Meditation helps many. Also, prayer and contemplation.


Help yourself too!

  • Read the list of causes up above and adjust your life accordingly. (Hah! So easy for me to say, and so hard to do!)
  • For many, reduce extreme physical activity. Lift less weight, perhaps with slower repetitions – but take advice. Run less often. Rest more!
  • Tai Qi and Qi Gong help. They strengthen your body gradually through various rhythmic movements. (But don’t expect them to be easy, and it’s hard work and tiring, at least to start with. Also, you must practise them daily for the rest of your life!)
  • Yoga is good for stilling the mind. Yoga asanas help slow and strengthen you. (I’m not in favour of fast, sweat or power yoga for helping this syndrome.)
  • More sleep. Better sleep. Sleep renews Blood. For help, click on insomnia.


Nutrition and Food for Heart and Kidney not harmonised with qi deficiency

avocado, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, spring onions, and leaves
Fresh food leads to better health.
  • The whole question of nutrition! Without good food, you can’t make good Blood. Although supplements may help, it’s actually the quality and quantity of proper, fresh, non-junk food that matters (so avoid processed and junk food). Another thought: junk and processed foods make you more susceptible to disease, and if you do catch something like Covid 19, for example, a history of eating junk food will almost certainly make you susceptible to its more serious symptoms. Besides, I think it’s well accepted that many people with obesity – often from too much junk food – are in greater danger from Covid 19. So, please, less pizza! (And yes, even I – hardly a paragon of virtue – do sometimes eat pizza.) Poor food, including junk food, makes you more susceptible to chronic disease, some kinds or which deplete your Blood. Besides, chronic and severe disease are exhausting, meaning Qi deficiency, the problem behind this syndrome.
  • Learning to cook with fresh ingredients is in itself beneficial for your Shen-Mind, hence your Blood (which houses your Mind) and your body. The whole process of cooking can be very calming, and getting your hands ‘dirty’ while making food – eg bread-making – is therapeutic.


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