Class Preview: TCM Formulas 1 by Senior Prof. Bill Schoenbart

In this intriguing sneak peek into TCM Foundations 1, we delve into the profound realm of Chinese medical physiology, guided by the expertise of Bill Schoenbart L.Ac, DAOM. Within the intricate tapestry of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), several vital substances take center stage, each contributing to the harmonious functioning of the human body. These fundamental elements, including qi, blood, body fluids, shen, and jing essence, constitute the very essence of life in TCM. Each of these vital substances possesses its unique characteristics and plays an indispensable role in maintaining health and balance.

Among these vital substances, the spotlight in this class falls upon the concept of Jing Essence, a notion of utmost significance in TCM. Jing Essence can be categorized into two main types: prenatal and postnatal. Prenatal Jing Essence is inherited from our parents and is considered a finite and irreplaceable resource, often equated with our genetic inheritance. Postnatal Jing Essence, on the other hand, is derived from our daily activities, nutrition, and overall lifestyle. Both prenatal and postnatal Jing Essence work in harmony to support vital functions such as growth, reproduction, and development.

Understanding Jing Essence is particularly crucial because its deficiency can have far-reaching consequences on our health. When Jing Essence is depleted or imbalanced, it can result in various health issues. For instance, individuals with insufficient Jing Essence may experience stunted growth, infertility, and even conditions like osteoporosis. This class offers a window into the intricate world of TCM, unraveling the significance of Jing Essence and how its balance is pivotal in achieving and maintaining well-being.

Full Transcript Below:

      • [Bill]All right, so we are talking about the vital substances. So, this is basic Chinese medical physiology, qi, blood, body fluids, jing essence, shen. These are the substances that create all the physiology of the body. So, last week we left off in the middle of jing. So, I want to go back and look at it again. So, the main functions of jing, growth, reproduction, and development. So, we did this last week. I’m just want to go over it ’cause it was towards the end of class. So, if that aspect of jing is deficient, you could have stunted growth in children, you could have poor bone development. That could be in children or in adults. Infertility, frequent miscarriage, mental retardation, osteoporosis, loose teeth, premature gray hair, hair loss. All of those things can result from jing deficiency. And there are lots of formulas and herbs that nourish jing. So, what would that be? Would that be prenatal or postnatal if you’re using herbs to nourish it.

      • [Student]Postnatal.

      • [Bill]Postnatal, exactly. Any questions on that? Internet folks? All right.

      • [Student] What if one kidney is removed?

      • [Bill]So, the question was, what if one kidney is removed? Remember, Chinese organs are groupings of functions. So, even more than that, what happens if the spleen gets removed? You still have a spleen in Chinese medical physiology, even though the physical western spleen is removed. So, yeah, people donate a kidney, they still have jing, they still have all the normal kidney functions, unless there’s something wrong with that kidney, of course. Other questions? All right, so the next basic function of jing, it’s the material basis of kidney yin and that produces kidney jing. So, remember the kidney’s the source of the yin and yang for the entire body. So, the jing essence is the source of kidney yin. And the kidney yin nourishes the organs that create jing. So, it’s a foundational substance. Jing essence is considered to be the most concentrated vital substance. It produces marrow. So, this is bone marrow as you would think of it, but it’s also a substance that fills the brain and the spinal cord. So, the cerebral spinal fluid, but it’s even more than that. So, if that aspect of kidney jing is deficient, you could have poor concentration, poor memory, dizziness, tinnitus ear ringing and empty feeling in the head and all that, is that one function of jing showing up in a depletion? Is it possible to have all these show up? Yeah. But if you think of the functions of jing, then in the dysfunctions, it goes according to those functions. Last one, jing is the basis of constitutional strength that nourishes the wei qi. If you remember when a qi is being made, it’s the qi in the chest, the gathering qi divides into wei qi and nutritive qi. And that is powered by the source qi and by the jing. So, frequent colds, chronic runny nose, can be a sign of that. Questions? Yes.

      • [Student] It seems some of those examples that you gave, when someone has depletion, it seems it often happens to older people. So, how would they in turn work with what they have?

      • [Bill]The question was some of these signs of depletion, I mentioned, it’s often seen in older people. So, how would they deal with what they have? Well, their prenatal jing is the same throughout life. The postnatal, proper diet, proper sleep. Herbal medicine is very effective at nourishing jing. But ultimately, jing declines with age, obviously. So, you don’t start out with gray hair and end up with luxuriant black hair. It goes the other way around. But some people are healthier in their old age than they were when they were kids because they take care of themselves better. So, by the usual methods, diet, lifestyle, herbs, acupuncture, stress reduction. And, of course, just ’cause you have a diagnosis and a treatment doesn’t mean you can always cure something. If someone has a very serious, known to be fatal disease, you can in many cases improve their life, reduce their symptoms. But if it’s an incurable disease, they’ll likely decline at some point. But if you think about it, the last months and years of your life are the most precious ’cause that’s, that’s all you’ve got left. So, if you’re treating someone with a genetic disease or with cancer and you can reduce their symptoms, improve their energy, help ’em feel better, that’s not a failure. So, some of the causes of jing deficiency, constitutional weakness of course, would that be prenatal or postnatal?

      • [Student]Prenatal.

      • [Bill]Prenatal, exactly. So, you can’t change your constitution. As soon as the fetus begins life, that’s the constitution that doesn’t change. So, you’re born with your bank account. So, if you have a, some people are really, really sickly as kids or they may even have a genetic disease, so they have to work extra hard. But as I mentioned, there are many cases, especially people in the healing arts, ’cause they had to really work hard, ’cause they were sickly as kids, some of them are very, very healthy and vital as adults, but they’re doing many, many things. Herbal medicine, proper diet. My first teacher, Bernard Jensen, he lived to well over a hundred and he was really energetic. He passed away ultimately ’cause of a car accident, the after effects of that. But he told us he was very, very sickly as a kid, in and out of hospitals all the time. And I never met anyone as with as much energy as him. When I studied with him, I was in my early thirties. He was in his eighties and we’d get tired and he would just keep going. But he was very, very serious about his diet, his lifestyle. So, poor nutrition, of course, nutrition’s a source of all qi and vital substances in the body. So, if you’re eating a really either poor quality food or poor nutrition, fast food, highly processed foods, highly refined foods, you’re not going to produce enough jing and blood and qi. I mean, I’ve seen people give their kids nothing but spaghetti and macaroni. I mean, they’ll get some energy out of it, but it’s very, very difficult for them to have long-term health on that. So, I know it’s easy to say when it’s not my kid throwing a fit. But still you do your best, especially with parents, if they don’t expose the kid to junk food early on, they tend to have a desire for more variety of foods. And that goes for adults too. I mean, look at a previous president, he only eats McDonald’s and he’s not very healthy. But he probably has pretty good prenatal jing, ’cause somehow he’s still surviving with a bad diet and a bad mood. But then there’s people that eat like that and they’re sick all the time. They have no energy, frequent colds. So, that’s why when they interview these people on over a hundred, what’s your secret? And they say, you know, a McDonald’s every day and a shot of whiskey and cigarettes, that’s not their secret. Their secret is their prenatal jing, which you can’t control that. So, excessive work. What’s excessive work? Working to the point of exhaustion, working to the point where you have no recreation, where you have no time for exercise, where you’re grabbing meals on the run. But especially working to the point of exhaustion, one of the worst things is night shift. I don’t think you’ll ever find someone that’s worked a night shift that said they felt much better on that. So, sleep is really critical as well as work, play balance.

      • [Student] How do I understand where is the point where you need to stop working or I mean, how to maintain this balance because I’m struggling all the time. I feel like great, I do a lot of things and then next day I’m, oh, I am down . I don’t have much energy and it happens often, even I know that I need to control, but I just feel great and I just keep going.

      • [Bill]So, the question was, it’s a pretty common one she said, “How do you control that? “I’ll feel really great. “So, I’ll work, work, work, work, work. “And then after that I kind of crash and feel bad.” Well you have to be more body aware. You have to recognize what it feels like when you’ve reached that point. Sometimes you have to be able to tell the difference between empty energy and real energy? So, for example, if you start consuming your yin when jing as part of yin, you’ll get a little hyper, but that’s not real energy. That’s hyperactivity. So, yeah, you have to recognize that. And, of course, you can look back, okay, I had all that energy, I accomplished all that, then the next day I couldn’t do anything. So, you think, what did I do? Okay, I did that for eight hours, maybe I’ll do it for four next time. It’s just a matter of experience. What they say, live and learn. Some people live and don’t learn. So, live and learn is better. And you know, of course, a single mom with four kids, she’s going to be exhausted. You know, she’s going to be pushing that. So, everyone’s got their own situation. You do the best you can. I think I saw question in the chat, let me see. When we say jing is the basis for marrow, does it mean the TCM marrow? Yes. TCM marrow is more… The bone marrow in western physiology, is basically where blood cells are made. In Chinese medicine, marrow itself is considered an extraordinary organ and is connected to the brain. So, it’s much more in TCM. Any other questions? All right, so another cause of jing deficiency, excessive sexual activity. Just like excessive work, how do you know? Well, sexual potency varies by the individual and by age. Generally, it’s considered sexual frequency should decrease as you get older, because you have less jing available. But then there’s older people that have lots of sexual activity and feel fine. There’s younger people, pass a certain amount, they’re exhausted. So, it goes by the symptoms. If you start experiencing symptoms of jing deficiency and the sexual activity is the only variable that’s changed, then probably less frequent would be better. Drug use, prescription and recreational. So, can you think of any medically approved drugs that would deplete jing?

      • [Student] Xanax. Xanax.

      • [Bill]Xanax? I’m not familiar enough with it to know if it would deplete jing. Probably, but I’m not familiar enough with it.

      • [Student]Chemo.

      • [Bill]Chemo, always right? I mean you can see someone on Xanax, you wouldn’t know till they told you. You can see someone on chemo that you know, it’s like, oh suddenly they have gray hair, their hair’s falling out, they look exhausted. So, chemo definitely depletes jing. Fortunately, if the cancer abates the jing comes back. What about recreational? What kind of recreational drugs deplete jing?

      • [Student] Marijuana?

      • [Bill]Marijuana, to a minor degree. Depends how heavily they use it.

      • [Student] Methamphetamines.

      • [Bill]Methamphetamines, always. Yeah. And you have to be careful. I have a patient now who had low energy and she had two issues she wanted to deal with. She had adrenal insufficiency and she had digestive symptoms. So, her doctor gave her an amphetamine and her digestive system symptoms got worse and her adrenal depletion got worse. So, I just went to the drug name and read her the side effects. In some cases acute adrenal depletion and diarrhea and indigestion. So, basically to treat her low energy, he gave her a drug that caused her other main symptoms to get worse. So, she’s talking to her doctor now about tapering off it, ’cause so she just stops it suddenly she’ll get rebound. So, once she starts tapering on her doctor’s instructions, she can start taking a ginseng-based formula, increase that a little bit each time she tapers off the other one. But she has to do it with her doctor ’cause it’s outside our scope to tell someone to stop a medication, even if it’s pretty obvious she never should have started it. Late stage of diseases, meaning, you know, fatal diseases or serious diseases, they deplete the jing in and of themselves. So, especially late stage, people look like they’re getting older, they have lots of dysfunction and aging in general. Jing declines with age. How fast it declines depends on two things. What do you think are these two things? How fast jing declines with age?

      • [Student] Diet and lifestyle.

      • [Bill]That’s postnatal.

      • [Student] And your constitution.

      • [Bill]And your constitution, exactly. Some people you couldn’t even imagine. You know, Dick Van, the actor, I used to watch him when I was a little kid and I’m 73. He’s still running around, still happy. He’s still, I think he even did a pratfall on some show where he fell down on purpose, and he’s in his nineties. Probably, wouldn’t want to do that for most 90 year-olds. So, some people, plus he’s led a very happy life, comfortable life, and he probably has incredibly good prenatal jing. Other people, you know, you find out how old they are and you’re surprised. You thought that they were, you know, much older, ’cause they don’t have much jing, so it declines much, not much to start with. Maybe a very, very stressful life and a poor diet, poor constitution, and they look old before their times. There’s people in their fifties that get Alzheimer’s and there’s people over a hundred that’s sharp as a tack. So, there is a lot of variance.

      • [Student] A question, is there are some status about physical activities that it can turn off aging genes and people who exercise properly, they can like look 20 years younger?

      • [Bill]Yeah, the question was, or the comment, there’s studies that show physical activity can decrease your physical age, you know, in other words, improve your vitality, improve your jing. That’s true with all these things, you know, the causes of jing deficiency, well, work, nutrition, sexual activity, there’s healthy amounts of that, unhealthy amounts of not enough of that, and unhealthy amounts of too much of that. So, there’s always this moderation. So, exercise, extremely beneficial. We have the same genes as our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who walked all day long, were exercising all day long, moving. So, we have those same genes. We may be living in a technologically advanced environment, but that’s the last couple hundred years. Genes don’t involve that fast. So, we’re meant to move and most people they get out and move, they feel better. But for example, it’s known that people that do multiple marathons or climb the seven highest peaks in the world, they have a decline in their immunity. They have a decline in their health, ’cause it’s too much. They do it ’cause they love it but it’s too much. So, and you’ll have patients that it’s obvious they need to decrease their level of exercise there. They may do iron man all the time triathlons, marathons. So, if they’re having problems, whether it’s joint problems or immune system problems, they need to, may need to rest more. Doesn’t mean they need to stop exercising altogether, then you get insufficient exercise which definitely leads to poor health. If you don’t exercise, you have no flow of lymph. Lymph is is not pumped by the heart, it’s pumped by the muscles. So, that you need your lymph to flow, you need blood circulation, you need the heart and lungs to be healthy. So, if you find that you’re exhausted after exercise and it lasts a long time into the next day, then that would probably be something you just do one time and then give yourself plenty of rest. I mean when I was younger, I was a long distance runner and I’d be fine, but then I injured my feet, ’cause they had terrible shoes back then. They didn’t have good running shoes, they were paper thin soles. So, I ended up having damaged to my feet. So, I had to back off the running. But I felt fine, just that my feet couldn’t handle it. And you’ll see people that are weightlifters, they look incredibly healthy, but they have multiple problems, ’cause they eat too much protein, they don’t get enough cardiovascular exercise. It’s just all lift, lift, lift. So, balance and moderation in everything. But definitely movement is crucial. And in aging, it talks about the different problems caused by lack of movement, too much sitting, too much walking, all those things can cause problems. Questions? Online folks? Okay, so let’s look at the relationship between jing essence and qi. So, jing is the material basis of qi. When qi is being made, jing provides some of the raw materials. Qi generates jing. So, the qi of the spleen extracts nutrition from food and then nutrition from food is used as a raw material to create jing. Jing generates source qi. So, when source qi is made, jing provides some of the raw materials for that manufacturing. Any questions? So, then there’s a relationship between jing and blood. They mutually affect each other. So, jing helps generate blood. If you remember in the manufacturing of blood, you’ve got the products of food, you’ve got the products of air, those come together. And then source qi and jing are used to create blood. Blood nourishes the jing. How do you think that might happen? How could blood nourish the jing?

      • [Student] Through nutrition?

      • [Bill]Yeah, blood nourishes the organs that create the jing, that create the qi. So, everything goes both ways. These vital substances help support each other. Just like they say blood is the mother of qi, qi is the leader of blood. So, you can’t have qi without blood. ’cause blood nourishes the organs that create qi. Blood can’t do much without qi ’cause it can’t circulate. So, there’s this constant relationship between the organs, between the vital substances. Any questions on jing essence before we move to body fluids? Yes.

      • [Student] Could you describe please how all three work together? ‘Cause I feel like right now I have a set, I have jing and qi and then I have jing and blood. But I know that they’re all working together. So, where they overlap.

      • [Bill]Yeah, if you look at your notes towards the end of the notes on figure 32 in your notes, so, you can see it’s at the end of, it’s right after page 27 of your notes, the flow charts. So, it shows food qi from the spleen, air qi from the lungs and this goes to the heart and then kidney essence or jing and source qi combine to make blood. So, that’s how qi, jing and blood are working together in one way.

      • [Student] Okay, cool, thank you.

      • [Bill]Any other questions? So, now we’re going to do body fluids, which is, it’s complex ’cause it involves all the organs. I see there’s a question here. So, a mother who eats junk food can pass it to her first child prenatal jing and then if she ate healthy and had a second child, it will pass a healthy prenatal jing. Ah, broadly speaking, yes. So, if a mother’s eating a really poor diet, it’s possible that she won’t pass healthy jing to the child. You know, basically the health of her egg depends on her nutrition. Now, you know the human body’s pretty miraculous. So, people have survived near starvation and produce healthy kids. But you know, that would be the exception to the rule. You see children born to malnourished mothers, they don’t do well. You can especially see that in places like Equatorial Africa, where they have famines and parasites due to poor quality water. So, these children are born in a very, very unhealthy state. So, their prenatal jing was quite weak and then their postnatal jing is also very poor due to diet. So, there’s of couple things and you know, using that as an example, what can you do about it? Well, I know you’re all broke students now, but when you have some money later on, there’s charities you can donate to that can help people like that. For example, Solar Cookers International, they’ll donate these solar cookers to places in Africa, India, places where they’re equatorial areas where they have really poor quality water and they can boil their water with these things, cook their food. So, first of all they’re not drinking poor bad water, which completely destroys their jing ’cause their nutrition doesn’t even reach them. And second of all, they don’t have to walk 20 miles to get firewood. They can actually cook their food with these solar cookers. And then there’s also for severe famine, there’s something called Plumpy’Nut. P-L-U-M-P-Y, Plumpy’Nut. I believe it was invented by a Frenchman. Basically it’s peanut butter, powdered milk and sugar. Normally, you think sugar is terrible but children who have, you know, very, very bad caloric intake, that can actually help them. So, they’re getting fat, protein, carbohydrates and you can look it up. Anderson Cooper did a segment on it. He went to Equatorial Africa where there was a famine. And you see these kids, they’ve got what the ganji in Chinese medicine where their belly’s big, their arms and legs are like sticks, glassy eyes. Some of them were so close to death they couldn’t be saved. But there was a couple where they got this Plumpy’Nut and he came back a few months later and they were healthy little kids. The reason is, it doesn’t require the bad water to mix with it. They give these mothers formula and they mix it with bad water, feed the child and they get more parasites. So, the Plumpy’Nut, they just eat it right out of the package. So, that’s another thing you can donate to when you’re a wealthy acupuncturist. Or at least not a broke student.

      • [Student]Excuse me.

      • [Bill]Yeah.

      • [Student]So, you mentioned that in those conditions the children tend to have bigger belly. Is that retention of body fluids or what’s- going on?

      • [Bill]No, it’s…The question was about the bigger belly is that retention of body fluids? It’s a syndrome in Chinese medicine called ganji. It’s a starvation syndrome. Typically, they’ll often have parasites at the same time. So, once they actually get nutrition that swollen belly comes down and their arms and legs fill out if they’re not too late. So, there’s lots and lots of herbs and formulas in Chinese medicine you’ll see that’s used for, it’s called childhood nutritional impairment. ‘Cause there used to be a lot of starvation in China too. Crop failures, things like that. In modern China, Mao did something where he had them kill all the sparrows ’cause they were eating the grains. But then it turns out the sparrows were eating the insects and they had a massive starvation because of that. So, but even outside of human causes, just crop failures in general, floods, drought that can cause these mass starvations. So, they had lots of experience with that in ancient China and they would’ve these formulas that would help the child recover. Any other questions? Okay, so let’s look at body fluids. Got to replenish my body fluids. Whenever you’re interviewing a patient and you ask ’em about their thirst, always take a sip of water when you ask them. So, jinye is body fluids. Now, in your CAM textbook, that older Chinese textbook, they put a G at the end of it. There shouldn’t be one. So, they put jing. The reason is in China they don’t use pinyin, they use Chinese characters. So, often if you may be learning from a Chinese teacher or a Chinese book, they’ll either delete a letter off the end of a pinyin word or add one, because they use Chinese characters. They don’t use pinyin. Pinyin’s for non-Chinese speakers. So, that’s what happened in your CAM textbook. They put a G at the end of it, it made it look like jing, but it’s actually jin. So, jin translates to moist or saliva. These are the thin fluids of the body and the jin moistens and nourishes the skin, the muscles, the blood vessels, the various orifices of the body. And also it’s an aspect of blood. From the Western perspective, what aspect of blood do you think would be jin, thin fluids?

      • [Student]The plasma?

      • [Bill]Plasma, yeah. So, then there are the ye, the thicker fluids, these are inside the bones. They lubricate the capsule joints like the shoulder, they nourish the eyes, the nose and the mouth and then sweat, tears, saliva, mucus, these are all part of body fluids. So, we don’t treat jin and ye separately in Chinese medicine we just call it jinye, the thin and the thick fluids or body fluids. Questions.? Okay, so we’re going to now look at the body fluids in relation to the organs. I understand we’re not going to do the organs until later, but that’s always a dilemma. If you study organs first then you’re talking about vital substances. So, you’re not really expected to know this. This is just to give you the heads up on it. And then once we study the organs, it’ll make more sense. But you’ve heard enough about the organs that it should be easy to understand. So, the spleen controls the transformation and transportation of fluids. What do you think that means, transform fluids?

      • [Student] From like the raw material.

      • [Bill]Exactly, the raw material, meaning whatever you’re drinking into something your body can use. So, I always use that example, if you get an IV transfusion of orange juice, you’ll probably die. If you drink some orange juice, the spleen will transform it, send the essence of those fluids and they can go through your blood vessels. So, it’s transforming unusable to usable. Transportation of fluids where the spleen will transport the pure essence upward to be turned into blood and to be distributed as fluids, it’ll send the turbid downward to be further processed by the yang organs. So, the pure fluids go to the lungs, the impure go to the small intestine. So, the direction of pure and impure fluids and foods you’ll see later, this is controlled by the spleen. So, if impure fluids go down, that’s proper. And then they’re further separated to pure and impure. What happens if impure fluids go up? What does that sound like?

      • [Student] Sounds like vomit.

      • [Bill]Yeah, exactly, sounds like vomit, exactly. Vomiting is a reversal of the stomach. Stomach qi should go down. If there is nausea, that’s a reversal of stomach qi. Vomiting, that’s a severe reversal of stomach qi. So, impure fluids should go down, not up. What happened if pure fluids go down? They should go up! What do you think that might be?

      • [Students] Diarrhea.

      • [Bill]Diarrhea, exactly. So, you’re losing some nutrition, you’re losing some fluids you need. That’s why when people have chronic diarrhea to the point where it’s unstoppable, they have to go to the hospital and get IV fluids. So, the pure should go up, so it can be used. The impure should be go down so it can be further processed and excreted. Any questions on that? All right, so that’s the spleen’s involvement with fluids. The lungs mist the pure fluids, nourish the skin and muscles and it sends some to the kidneys as well. So, the lungs, when the lungs inhale, they’re taking qi and descending it. The kidneys from below are grasping that qi and helping the lungs inhale. So, that lung, kidney relationship is very important for extracting air qi inhalation but also moisture. The lungs are taking those pure fluids, they’re steaming some of them and sending ’em down to the kidneys with their qi. And then some of that steam fluids go to the skin to keep the skin moist, where dry skin can be a lung yin deficiency. And the lungs are what are called, the upper source of water. They’re the canopy of all the water metabolism. So, they govern water metabolism from above. The kidneys govern it from below. Let’s see, we got more things in the chat. “How can we treat lung yin deficiency?” Once you have the diagnosis, the treatment is easy. How do we treat lung yin deficiency? Three words, nourish, lung, yin. So, once you have a diagnosis, the treatment is right there built in. So, lung yin deficiency, nourish lung yin. There’s various herbs in the yin nourishing category that are very specific to nourish lung yin. And of course, what if they have a dry cough all the time? Check their lifestyle. They may be doing hot yoga, probably not the best thing for them. Or they may be living in a very, very dry hot environment. So, they need to have some humidifier in their house. Also, they may not be the obvious, not taking in enough fluids or their spleen could be weak and not processing fluids properly and sending ’em up to the lungs. So, you have to do a differential diagnosis. But nourishing lung yin would always be a part of that. So, we already saw they regulate the water passages from above, the kidneys regulate the water passages from below. So, the kidneys steam some fluids, send it back up to the lungs to keep them moist. So, organs can’t keep themselves moist, even though the lungs are governing fluids from above and they’re steaming fluids to send ’em down to the kidney, they depended on the kidney to steam some of those fluids and send them back to the lung. And you think, well, how’s that possible? Think about western physiology. The heart is filled with blood and is pumping blood all over the body. What’s a heart attack? The blood’s not coming back through the heart and nourishing the heart muscle. They have a heart attack. Now, ultimately it’s still coming from the heart, but it has to come back to the heart to be nourished. That blood inside the heart’s not doing anything to nourish the heart muscle. So, same thing with fluids. The lungs need to moisten the kidneys. The kidneys need to moisten the lungs. So, the kidneys also provide the yang energy to the spleen to help it transform fluids. So, if the kidney yang is deficient, the spleen yang can be deficient and then fluids tend to accumulate. We’ll go into that in more detail when we study the organs. The kidneys also provide the qi to the bladder to help it function in fluid processing. So, when someone has frequent urination due to deficiency, we’re going to tonify kidney yang and kidney qi. You’re not working with the bladder directly, with acupuncture, you can. There’s a point just above the pubic bone where you can actually strengthen the bladder. But otherwise, with herbal medicine, you’re strengthening the kidney and the kidneys will help strengthen the bladder. And ultimately, just like in western medicine, our western physiology, the kidneys determine how much fluid is retained, how much is excreted. If too much is being retained, that’s edema, that’s a dysfunction. If too much is being lost, that’s urinary frequency, that’s a dysfunction. So, healthy kidneys will retain the proper amount, excrete the proper amount.