Are you aware the main cause of not-so-fair skin and/or not-so-glossy hair is poor blood circulation, blood stasis and/or some other blood disease? You must make a special effort to invigorate blood circulation if you want to be a healthy, beautiful woman.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory stresses the strengthening of qi and nourishing the blood are both of vital importance if one wants to guarantee the normal operation of his/her internal organs. The word "anemia" is used in Western medicine to refer to conditions similar to those of blood deficiency as defined in TCM. Anemia is usually defined as a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin (the iron-containing, oxygen-transporting metalloprotein in the red blood cells of vertebrates) in the blood. It can also be defined as a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. People who suffer from blood deficiency generally have pale faces. They also generally feel weary and have trouble breathing. Women usually suffer from the added symptom of irregular menstruation. Although these symptoms are similar to those of anemia, people who suffer from blood deficiency might have a normal amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. If you have any of the following symptoms, you might suffer from blood deficiency:
The lunulae (crescent-shaped, whitish areas of the beds of your fingernails) are shrinking. According to TCM theory, an abundance of nutrients and good blood circulation are needed to ensure the healthy growth of nails. Therefore, if you are weak, your nails will grow slowly and, in turn, the lunulae will shrink. If you are ill or suffer from malnutrition, your body will "cut off" supplies of nutrients to the nails, skin and hair, to guarantee the supplies of nutrients to your internal organs, especially the heart, brain and kidneys. Therefore, the main cause of your not-so-fair skin and/or not-so-glossy hair might be blood deficiency. You should make a special effort to invigorate blood circulation if your hair is dry and/or turning yellowish.
Many women, especially those whose hair is yellowish and/or dry, are susceptible to the cold. They often feel cold, especially in their hands and feet, during winter. Why? Scientists have discovered people who lack iron in their bodies tend to be less tolerant of the cold.
According to nutritionists, a woman should have 18 milligrams (mg) of iron every day. Those who are susceptible to the cold should eat more foods that contain iron, such as liver, mutton, beef, fish, eggs, edible black fungus, milk, beans and green vegetables.
If you have been diagnosed as suffering from anemia, you should make a special effort to invigorate your blood circulation; otherwise, your symptoms might worsen.
Eating more spinach, peanuts, lotus seeds, chicken, pork and sea cucumbers is the safest, most effective way to invigorate blood circulation. In addition, fruits, such as mulberries, grapes, Chinese dates and longans, will help invigorate blood circulation.
To strengthen qi and invigorate blood circulation, you should take a nap each day and go to bed around 11 p.m. Some people think staying up late will not harm their health; however, it will adversely affect the generation of yangqi* in your body.
Also, TCM theory suggests one's mood influences the functioning of his/her heart. When one is in a good mood, qi and blood will circulate smoothly. However, if one feels stress and/or is depressed, he/she will have blood stasis. As a result, his/her skin will look dark and rough.
Also, it is important to exercise every day, but not to become exhausted. For example, take a stroll after a meal rather than sit and rest. Then, you may gradually quicken your steps until you sweat slightly. In addition to invigorating blood circulation, this will help improve the digestive functions of your spleen and stomach.
Yangqi, central to the Taoist view and practice of qi, is the life force that animates the forms of the world. It is the vibratory nature of phenomena — the flow that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and subatomic levels. According to Taoist cosmology, the two most fundamental forms of qi are yinqi and yangqi, which are the primordial feminine and masculine energies.
Tong Tong is a columnist who has been published in several leading Chinese medical magazines and newspapers. She has written several healthcare books in recent years. In August 2009, Tong's book, Helping You Eliminate Your Internal Heat, was published. The book, which introduced ways to relieve internal heat and/or fever, so people could stay fit and vigorous, was a bestseller that year.
(Executive Editors: WANG HUAIZHOU and GU WENTONG, Women of China English Monthly February 2017 Issue)
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