Lung Qi deficiency occurs after a bad cold or a bout of bronchitis, for example. But there are many other ways of getting this syndrome. Click here to find out more about the Lungs.
If you’ve got it, you’re usually absolutely exhausted.
Symptoms of Lung Qi Deficiency
People vary, of course, but if you have this syndrome, you’ll probably have at least some of the following symptoms, the main ones being in bold:
- mild cough, probably aggravated by exertion and cold.
- shortness of breath. This means that you easily get breathless from slight exertion, such as walking, talking or climbing steps. This is a common symptom of Lung Qi deficiency.
- your voice lacks its normal strength and vibrancy. You may have to keep clearing your throat to speak if you also have Lung Phlegm. When speaking, you soon run out of puff, and you may find that you can’t maintain volume, so your voice gets quieter and quieter as you speak.
- you prefer not to speak too much because it’s exhausting
- sweating: for no reason that you can think of, you find yourself perspiring, even when you are doing nothing. This is more common during the day.
- your nose runs: either a clear or a white runny, watery, liquid, often occurring when your are tired or cold, or in the wind or a breeze, especially if it’s cold. This occurs when you have what is called Empty-Cold, due to a lack of Yang Qi, especially a lack of Kidney Yang Qi.
- aversion to cold conditions, cold weather, cold air, cold water.
- complexion – ie colour of your face – is often pale but quite a bright pale/white colour.
- exhausted! Tired. Can be sleepy. May need frequent short sleeps or rests. You dislike hurrying.
- Pulse: ’empty’, especially in the Lung pulse position, which is over the radial pulse in your right wrist crease. However, other pulses can also be empty or weak.
- Tongue: usually pale, often with small transverse lines in the Lung area of the tongue, (which is just behind the front, or tip, of the tongue).
A frequent tendency to catch colds or coughs is another sign of Lung Qi deficiency. You probably take all sorts of ‘over-the-counter’ remedies and vitamins to stop yourself getting colds so often.
In Chinese medicine, your Lung Qi – energy – controls or manages your defensive energy. With Lung Qi deficiency, your defensive energy will be weak. Then you become more susceptible to exterior pathogenic factors such as the Wind and Cold.
You could have this even though you take lots of nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals and so on. That’s because it’s not primarily a nutritional issue, but an energy – qi deficiency.
How do you get Lung Qi Deficiency?
There are a number of ways Lung Qi deficiency can happen, explained further below and on succeeding pages:
- When an acute respiratory condition has failed to clear, possibly because it received the wrong treatment, Lung Qi Deficiency is a frequent sequel. For more on this, see below.
- Constitutional lung weakness brings, almost by definition, a tendency to Lung Qi deficiency. (Constitutional? Inherited respiratory weakness, or parents who smoked heavily especially during your pregnancy, or a family history of tuberculosis – just some examples.)
- Bad lung habits, of which there are many, definitely predispose you to Lung Qi deficiency. (Bad habits? Bad posture, too much sitting, especially sitting hunched; smoking; lack of exercise; not knowing how to breathe properly; living in stale air or air that doesn’t circulate; wearing tight clothes that inhibit free breathing …)
- Emotions that weaken your Lung Qi (The main emotion that affects the Lungs is long-term grief – a sense of loss allowed to continue to your detriment, but also worry; anger and frustration, if suppressed, can also injure your Lung energy.)
- When one of your other energy organs – zang-fu – is weakened, and cannot support your Lung Qi. (The main zang-fu organ for this is your Spleen though any of them may work to your Lung’s disadvantage.)
Remains from an acute respiratory attack
After suffering an acute respiratory illness, such as a cold, cough or bronchitis, if you are too weak to clear it or you receive the wrong treatment, it remains behind in shadow-form.
Usually, given the right circumstances, a healthy body can shake off a cold after a few days. If someone says they still have a cold they caught some weeks before, they are probably describing Lung Qi deficiency.
Nowadays our bodies have many ways to combat the symptoms of acute illnesses. These symptoms include
- blocked or runny nose
- streaming eyes
- coughing and often …
- fever which acute illnesses provoke.
Modern Medicines and Lung Qi Deficiency
We have anti-inflammatories, analgesics and medicines to reduce our fevers, pain and discomfort. The thick head and blocked nose the illness gives us can be cleared with other medications. Modern medicine is powerful and wonderful.
However, the symptoms our body produces are its chosen ways to kill and banish the bug. By preventing our body’s natural defence system from working in the efficient way it has evolved, we lay ourselves to a deeper invasion by the bug, and a more lasting set of symptoms.
Why? Because the body tries to keep the place where it defends itself as far from the vital centre as possible. After all, if your country is being attacked, you would prefer to keep the invader at your borders rather than let him into your capital city.
When the invader gets to your capital city, he has successfully chased your defending army until their backs are to the wall. It would have been better to keep the fight far away from the centre.
That’s what you body tries to do when it puts all your symptoms in your nose and throat, your head and shoulders. These are the upper, outer, more yang-like places, where your body first joins battle.
The faster the bug achieves entry to your lungs or to your system, the harder it will be to expel.