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What is Blood deficient?! - pathology results in the eye of a Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Have you heard of your TCM practitioner say to you that you are Blood deficient?

You say, ' I had a blood test done last week. My GP said it is good, everything is within the normal range.'

As Chinese Medicine practitioners, we diagnose Blood deficiency or Blood Xu in a very different way to how a GP or Western Medicine doctor would.

Blood test in the hospital setting

My past experience working as a Registered Nurse in Emergency and Intensive care has showed me the importance of bloods results. The very first thing I usually do, after checking a patient's vital signs at the hospital is take some bloods for blood test. A lot of interventions including further blood tests, scans and intravenous fluids and medication depend on the blood results.

However, I also know first hand that if someone presents to the hospital with a *Haemoglobin (Hb) level of 90 and *Iron level of 11 will not get a blood transfusion.

* Hb normal range (115-165), Iron normal range (9-30)

As the doctors in the hospital and GP diagnose with blood test results, medical history, physical and neurological examinations, CT or MRI scans and other diagnostic tests that might be needed, Chinese Medicine practitioner does it differently.

How do we form a diagnosis?

1. We look at your tongue that tells us the supply of blood in the body

2. We feel the pulse that tells us how strong each and every organ is or isn't (5 Main organs in the body)

3. We ask you about your period (if you have one)- cycle, days of bleeding, amount, heaviness, colour, etc

4. We talk to you about your sleep and how deeply you sleep

5. We also talk about cramps, dizziness, blood pressure, floaters in the eyes, brain fog, memory, digestion, your poo, your eyes, and many other things.

Most importantly, Chinese Medicine practitioners have been trained to NOT depend on a single factor to diagnose you. We use the techniques of look, smell, listen and speaking to form one or a few diagnosis because a human body is complicated.

Just because we do it differently, doesn't make us special. It is just a different medicine system.

Does it mean that my blood test is not relevant?

Yes, it is still important and relevant. Chinese Medicine doesn't have the capacity to read the numbers of Hb you have in your blood!

Your blood test results may be one of the leads for Chinese Medicine practitioner to look into and see if you are presenting with other signs that are related to it. Inversely, We will still send you off to a blood test when we feel that you may have other concerning issues.

Your blood test helps us provide you with a better treatment.

What do we aim for in a blood test?

As Chinese Medicine practitioners, we would like most of your blood test results to be around the middle of the normal range. This may change depending on the tests.

So the best thing to do is bring your blood test results in with you the next time you go in to see your Chinese Medicine practitioner.

Till then,


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