There are so many term associated with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that may not be familiar to many, so I wanted to post a blog that would help clear up some of the mystery.
One of the most commonly heard terms is Qi, which has many different interpretations, but can be thought of as a life force. It can be either material or like a vapour. The main thing to know about Qi is that without Qi, there cannot be life. We use up our Qi as we age and certain circumstances use it up faster than others. The good news is that through proper diet, exercise and of course acupuncture and herbal therapy, Qi can be tonified to extend life and maintain health.
Yin is all that is cooling and moistening, so when Yin becomes deficient, it causes one to be hot and dry. Yin is associated with more solid form, darkness and corresponds to parts of the body that are away from the sunlight. In our four-legged friends this means the belly and the insides of the legs. The organs that are associated with Yin are the Lung, Liver, Heart, Kidney, Spleen and Pericardium.
Yang is the opposite of Yin so it is warming and drying. When there is a deficiency of Yang, there is coldness and dampness. Yang is considered to be more insubstantial form, light and corresponds to the parts of the body that are closer to the sun. In our four-legged friends this means along the back, head and outside of the legs. The organs that are associated with Yang are Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Stomach, Gall Bladder, Bladder and Triple Heater.
In Chinese Medicine, Blood is considered as a form of Qi and therefore Qi and Blood move together throughout the body. Like blood in a conventional sense the Blood of TCVM nourishes the body and provides moisture to all parts of the body. Blood is also involved in the mind and keeping one feeling peaceful and prevents anxiety.
Stagnation is a term that is often heard in TCVM. In normal circumstances, Blood and Qi flow together throughout the body. At times these substances become stagnant, or stop flowing well, leading to Stagnation. One possible cause of this can be a trauma. A bruise would be considered a form of Stagnation for instance. Where this occurs there is pain and warmth in the areas of Stagnation and if not addressed ,this can lead to the formation of lumps which can become cancerous.
A deficiency is when there is a lack of a Substance, usually Yin, Yang, Blood or Qi. Deficient animals are usually older, quieter and weaker. Generally their conditions have been going on for a longer period of time.
An excess is when there is too much of a Substance, the same as those that can be deficient. Excess animals tend to be younger, more active and strong. Their conditions are usually fairly recent.
All of these concepts are far more complex then stated here, but will hopefully clear things up a bit when you hear them used at your next consultation.