“When we are asleep at night, the blood naturally embraces the mind, but if blood is deficient, the mind floats and the person cannot sleep.” —G. Maciocia
We tend to be a blood-deficient society—overextending ourselves, staying up late and not getting enough sleep, eating food on the go, feeling more stress than calmness, exercising hard—even when exhausted. Sound familiar?
As a health coach for FloLiving.com and an acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health, I speak with patients about blood deficiency multiple times daily. Working with clients, I have observed a lot of pale tongues with weak pulses to match; just two signs that may point to blood this deficiency diagnosis.
One way blood deficiency shows up is in our sleep patterns. I call myself a reformed night owl, because at age 26 I couldn’t wake up in the mornings and requested a sleep-study test. Little did I know that lack of sleep was creating a blood deficiency and vice versa. My body was begging for more rest, and I had developed digestive disorders. That’s when I began to learn about Chinese medicine and herbal remedies.
Chinese Medicine Helps Establish Balance
Blood and Qi, or life force, according to Chinese medicine, are interconnected. A deficiency in blood creates an imbalance in our flow, Qi. Put simply, blood is important! It feeds our muscles, helping to prevent pain and nourishes every aspect of our body including the skin, brain and deep organs.
Although acupuncture can support specific organ systems to help build the blood, a Chinese medicine mentor explained to me that food—diet and herbal remedies—are the best way to build blood. In fact, Chinese herbal remedies work from the inside out to treat the root cause, correcting internal imbalances in the body to change the pattern, and in turn, positively affect the symptoms.
Gui Pi Tang Supports the Heart Blood and Spleen Qi and Blood
In Chinese medicine, the spleen and stomach work together to ensure proper digestion. These organs receive food that we eat, and in the process of digestion, the spleen extracts Qi and uses some of it to produce blood.
A strong digestive system helps us successfully obtain the nutrients from food to build blood. Here are some foods that, along with Gui Pi Tang, can strengthen digestion and help build blood: artichoke, beetroot, cabbage, dandelion and all dark leafy greens, kelp, spinach, watercress, wheatgrass, apple, apricot, avocado, date, fig, cherry, black sesame seeds, bone marrow and liver, bone broth, nettles, parsley, molasses, spirulina. Foods that are dark red, like blood, are big builders. Avoid foods that deplete blood such as excessive sweet, salt, fatty or chemically processed foods.
Other ways to build blood:
- Eat regular meals and avoid fasting.
- Obtain adequate rest/sleep.
- Consume a healthful diet to rebuild after blood loss, including menses or giving birth.
- Do not overwork emotionally or physically.
Benefits of Gui Pi Tang
Shen, our Heart Spirit, is the outward emotional and mental expression of one’s inner health. When our spirit is unsettled, sleep is interrupted, causing imbalance in our body systems. Mental Tranquility can help settle the spirit so we can sleep soundly, stay calm, experience joy and be able to adapt to life’s stresses. It also helps nourish the blood to support our mental aspects to help keep anxiety at bay.
You’ll feel connected in mind and body when blood is nourished. You will have vitality and strength; joy and laughter are abundant.
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