Lung Phlegm Fluids is the name of a syndrome in Chinese medicine. It’s the name for a set of symptoms with a pattern understood in Chinese medicine.
This syndrome usually comes after a long period of doing the wrong thing. By that time you’re usually old, it has become chronic and it’s hard to shift. Often people think it’s incurable, but Chinese medicine offers hope and a way forward, at least.
Background factors include:
Even if you don’t over-eat, but you still eat the wrong foods long-term, you may be at risk of Lung Phlegm Fluids. Vegetarians who eat just cold, raw food, beware, even if the food is organic and supposedly ‘good for you’!
With reduced Yang energy your body can’t fight the good fight, which in this case means it can’t digest food properly. In Western medical terms it is probably acid deficient, and your intestines will have lost some of their efficiency.
When you then throw at your digestion cold, raw foods, or rich, greasy foods, it tends to turn these not into good Blood and Qi, which would circulate to nourish your body and brain, but Phlegm and mucus.
I’ve written a book about this, with specific help for different kinds of phlegm, including this one, so you don’t waste time on web suggestions that don’t work! Click on the image of the book in the panel on the right.
An ancient observation in Chinese medicine is that although the Spleen is ‘responsible’ for allowing Phlegm to manifest, much of this phlegm is stored in your lungs.
Phlegm covers a multitude of factors, so do read about it.
Then, because again of the Yang deficiency, your body can’t transform the phlegm into urine, so it remains in your lungs, watery and sloshing around.
If this syndrome continues, with its background of Yang weakness in the Spleen, Lungs and Kidneys, things will eventually worsen.
Because the Lung phlegm fluids are in the chest area, known in Chinese medicine as the upper (burning) space – also occupied by the Heart – their presence may eventually interfere with the Yang energy of the Heart.
What this means is that the Heart Yang fails to pump properly – so your heart beat becomes less reliable, typically causing palpitations – plus you get an ‘overflow’ of liquids in the body as a whole, starting with oedema in the legs.
From lack of Yang you get coldness. Because your Yang energy is insufficient to transform the fluids, they gradually well upwards into your abdomen, causing distension.
Kidney yang deficiency reduces your ability to urinate, so fluids continue to accumulate and Heart Yang deficiency leads to more palpitations: having your lungs feeling ‘full’ means breathlessness and probably a diagnosis such as ‘asthma’.
Well, if you’ve followed me so far, you’ll realise that with your chest full of phlegm, your heart labouring, an accumulation of fluids in your legs and abdomen now beginning to press upwards restricting proper breathing, a Western doctor would put you on diuretics, heart stimulants, and possibly a nebuliser for your lungs.
You’re ill! – and easily susceptible to passing infections.
So, ideally, you’d seek help before getting to this stage.
Well, this is a site about Chinese medicine, so don’t be surprised when 3000 years of experience suggests treatments like these:
No doubt you want to get better as fast as possible, but your condition of Lung Phlegm Fluids is chronic. That means, whether you like it or not, that the underlying reasons for it have existed for some time. In turn, that means it will take you time to recover.
If you are already taking medication from your doctor, that may confuse your Chinese medicine or acupuncture practitioner, and possibly restrict what he or she can do.
For instance, if you are taking medication, he may be reluctant to give you Chinese herbs for your Lung Phlegm Fluids if there is a possibility of interference with the drugs you are taking. (Guess who’d be blamed if unexpected symptoms arose? Not your doctor!)
Yuck! Phlegm!: How to Clear Your Phlegm Using Ideas from Chinese Medicine (Chinese Medicine in English Book 4)
Click to read about acupuncture points along the Lung channel.
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