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This Nutritive and Defensive Qi disharmony happens when the Chinese medical equivalent of your immune system (the Defensive Qi) can't reduce its activity during sleep (the Nutritive phase).
If you want to know what kind of Qi - energy - is stimulated when an acupuncture needle is used, well, you've found it - your Ying Qi.
Your Nutritive Qi comes from the food you eat and the fluids you drink.
Its job is to regulate the smooth working of your Yin energy organs or Yin zang-fu (these are your Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys and Liver) and to moisten your Yang zang-fu (your Small Intestines, Stomach, Large Intestine, Bladder and Gallbladder and Three-Heater).
It works closely with your Blood and your blood vessels, and connects everything up via the acupuncture channels, through which it circulates.
Although it circulates all the time, it becomes active, at least in its nourishing and repairing roles, when you rest and particularly when you sleep. So if you can't or don't sleep, it can't repair your body so well and you become tired and more easily damaged and susceptible to frustrations.
Ideally, the Defensive Qi (the Chinese name for it is Wei Qi) circulates in the acupuncture channels during the day, but 'submerges' during the night when the Nutritive Qi takes over and through your sleep, re-nourishes your body and mind.
Where does the Defensive Qi circulate? In Chinese medicine, the Yang area of the body, where it circulates, is in - or just under - the skin, and in the parts that move the body, the muscles. This is the external - outside area.
Just to remind you ... Your Nutritive Qi is what feeds and repairs your body, and circulates in the internal energy organs, being a Yin area.
What does Defensive Qi do? If it is working properly, it defends and protects you from what are called external pathogenic factors, the chief of which are - Chinese concepts again - Cold, Wind, Damp, Heat.
But it does more than that, because it is also considered to feed these outer areas and keep them warm. So it manages the temperature of your body.
As part of this heat-regulating function it has another very important function which is that it opens your sweat pores when you need to cool down and closes them when you need to keep warm. You sometimes find people who seem to sweat either all the time or inappropriately: their Defensive Qi is often not functioning properly.
This form of Qi does not enter the acupuncture channels, and is mainly managed by your Lung Qi.
Consequently, if your Lung Qi is deficient, or your Defensive Qi is low, you'll probably feel cold and be prone to catching more diseases, including colds.
They can roam at any time within the grounds though they normally sleep at night, but on this occasion they are over-excited.
So they tear around, frenziedly barking, generally running amok, and preventing your sleep.
In Chinese medicine, there are acupuncture points which in effect, calm them down and help them to find their kennels, leaving you in peace.
In this syndrome the Yang can't enter its rest-state so remains in its Yang state.
Because the Yang gets 'stuck' in its Yang state you get this nutritive and defensive qi disharmony:
If you have it, this syndrome is hard to diagnose in Western medicine and you will probably have tried many medications.
In theory at least, Chinese medicine does have an effective treatment for it, which I've used quite successfully from time to time.
Re-balancing any nutritive and defensive qi disharmony is important, because otherwise your system will be too yin or too yang, so unable to repair itself properly.
That means you'll feel a bit 'wired' or restless and more prone to disease.
Acupuncture points used for this include points to open the doors, let the dogs run free and find their kennels.
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.
All the books in the 'Chinese Medicine in English' series should be fully accessible on Kindles and Kindle apps. (Or you can buy the softback print editions, of course.)
('Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine' published 1986, was never available in a Kindle version.)
If, having read one of my books you can write a review - preferably positive - that would help others decide whether to read it.
You can put your review on Amazon or, on this site, here.
And if you think it was terrible?
Well, let me know so I can improve it for the next person. (Ideally let me know before cursing it in public!)
Here are some of the books I (Jonathan) have written.
Subscribers to Kindle Unlimited can borrow the first four for 'free'.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine! See Reviews.
Seven Reviews so far for Yuck Phlegm. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
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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