Blood is the life force of the body. It is the body’s mechanism for healing. It is essential for vitality, and sustainability, and so many people in the modern day are blood deficient.
What is blood deficiency? The closest thing to describe this in western medicine would be low iron.
But blood is more than just iron.
In Chinese Medicine blood is the yin fluid that nourishes all of the tissues of the body, provides warmth to the extremities, helps the mind to settle into deep sleep, keeps the heart calm and steady, and nourishes the uterus, nails, hair, eyes and sinews.
If you inverse all of that, some of the signs of blood deficiency can include:
- Dry skin, lips, scalp, and stools
- Pale complexion
- Heart palpitations
- A heavy feeling all over the body
- Very heavy periods, and or, very light periods
- Easily startled by sounds and movements
- Cold hands and feet
The temptation straight away when you read a list of signs and symptoms is to self-diagnose. And you may be right!
I would highly encourage you to get a second opinion with someone who can direct you towards some blood tests, (preferably someone who looks at optimal ranges of blood tests not just the wide pathology lab ranges), to help you navigate what is needed to replenish the resources of your body.
This is especially relevant for new mums, or mums of young children who may not be getting the sleep they crave, or all the nutrients they need from their diet.
Some of the best food sources to nourish blood include:
- Animal sources of Vitamin A; organ meats, organic beef liver etc
- Bone broth
- Leafy green vegetables: kale, silver beet, spinach etc
- Chicken, lamb, pork
- Root vegetables: beetroot and sweet potato
Making sure the blood of the body is well nourished is a super important step in making sure you feel vibrant and healthy.
By Dr. Karina Smith
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Karina Smith is a Melbourne based Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Yin Yoga Teacher, Teacher Trainer & Educator. With a passion for women's health, through Yin and Chinese Medicine Karina aims to improve the health of her students, patients and clients.After years of dancing and its emphasis on performance, yoga was an unexpected beacon of self-care and restoration for Karina, where her relationship to movement shifted to something that was there to nourish her mind and body.
A year after commencing practice at the Australian Yoga Academy (AYA), Karina knew she wanted to do the yoga teacher training on offer there - and from thereon it has been a deep-dive into the rich offerings of this ancient practice.
Karina has now studied and taught yoga extensively - including two 350hr Teacher Trainings (AYA and Shantarasa Institute, India), studies under the renowned Bernie Clark and Paul Grilley, over a decade of teaching at numerous studios in her home town of Melbourne, and lecturing for The Australian Yoga Academy.
In 2018, Karina launched her own 50 Hour Yin & Functional Anatomy Teacher Training and continues to run this course. Karina’s love of Yin Yoga revealed a deeper fascination for human anatomy and led her to pursue Chinese Medicine. After graduating in 2019, she now runs her own clinic offering acupuncture, herbal therapies, moxibustion and cupping treatments.