February 2021

Zoom on our selection of healthy fruits and vegetables 


With only 70 kcals for 2 fruits, the clementine is a flagship food of the season! Its various properties make it an excellent fruit for health. The flavonoids, limonoids and carotenoids it contains are compounds whose antioxidant power has been recognized. The clementine thus makes it possible to protect oneself from diseases such as certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases or degenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson's). Carotenoids are also essential for the production of vitamin A, because the body transforms them into this vitamin according to its needs. Clementine also provides an important source of vitamin C, which is known for its relaxing and de-stressing effect, and which helps stimulate our immune system.

health



A pomegranate, a fruit with a tangy taste, is equivalent to about 128 kcal. Its juice contains a significant amount of antioxidants that are beneficial in the prevention of many diseases, including prostate cancer. It protects against atherosclerosis (= deposition of fat on the arterial wall) and cardiovascular diseases since it increases the antioxidant activity of the blood.


Pomegranate also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, ideal to help the body fight, especially when temperatures begin to drop, against the little aches and pains of winter.


The Jerusalem artichoke is a root vegetable also called Canadian truffle. Low in calories with only 72 kcal per 100 g, it has interesting health properties. The Jerusalem artichoke contributes to intestinal health, especially thanks to its content of fructans, carbohydrates that contain inulin, a mixture of polysaccharides. These fructans help relieve constipation and have the advantage of balancing the intestinal flora.


Finally, the inulin contained in the Jerusalem artichoke facilitates the absorption of calcium and magnesium, essential minerals for the prevention of osteoporosis. Tip: if you do not know how to cook it, know that it can be eaten raw, grated on a salad for example, or cooked, in the oven, sautéed in a wok or in soup.


Leek is a vegetable of the lily family, which also includes onion and garlic. Very low in calories with about 60 kcal per 100 g, leeks are a healthy ally that will blend perfectly into your soups. It contains an antioxidant from the flavonoid family, kaempferol, which protects against free radical damage and gives leeks anti-cancerous properties. Finally, leeks have the advantage of being an important source of vitamins and nutrients. It contains vitamins A, B6 and B9, C, as well as copper and iron.


kiwi

The kiwi is undoubtedly one of the most consumed fruits in autumn and winter.  One kiwi (90 g) represents only 56 kcal, but above all 2.7 g of fiber, which is a very important amount. Fiber not only helps intestinal transit, but also regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A kiwi also provides 70 mg of vitamin C, knowing that the recommended daily intake is around 90 mg for a man and 75 mg for a woman in Canada, and around 110 mg for an adult in France. Tip: consume two kiwis per day, in the morning, to fill up with vitamin C and to enjoy its benefits throughout the winter!


The pineapple belongs to the family of bromeliads. Rich in fibres (cellulose), it facilitates intestinal transit and helps to fight against chronic constipation. It also contains polyphenols which, associated with vitamin C and beta-carotene, have recognized antioxidant properties and make it possible to fight against various chronic diseases. 


Slimming virtues are also lent to it because of its bromelain content which does not destroy fat but limits its absorption by the body.


The carrot


Carrots (raw, cooked or in juice) contain carotenoids including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. They have antioxidant properties capable of neutralizing the body's free radicals and allow the body to better fight certain diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and certain diseases related to aging, including cataracts. 
 
In addition, carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A by the body if the body needs it. Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of mucous membranes, normal skin and vision, and iron metabolism.

Pear

The pear contains phenols with antioxidant power. These substances, mainly present in foods of plant origin, can prevent several diseases, including certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Containing fiber, it also contributes to good digestion. Rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, it strengthens the body's immune system. 

To preserve all its benefits, it is better to buy it organic and consume it with your skin. 

 

 Jealousy is an almost unavoidable feeling during a love relationship. However, undeniably, this feeling is painful, both for oneself and for the partner who suffers its various manifestations. SHOPOIR gives you ways to understand your jealousy and learn how to manage it.

jealousy

Jealousy: a proof of love?

It is difficult to conceive of a love relationship totally devoid of jealousy. In fact, it is not uncommon to think that, on the contrary, a person who is not jealous at all does not sincerely love his or her partner. As a result, the two feelings are commonly associated.


In fact, jealousy is a response to a threat from a third party to a relationship we value. It is the fear of seeing one's partner taken in by another person, and therefore the desire to maintain the relationship, that is at the root of this feeling1. 1 In this sense, jealousy is less a proof of love for one's partner than a desire to keep possession of him or her. If the feeling of love often induces in fact the instinct of possession, the opposite is not necessarily true, and it is therefore not directly love that explains jealousy.


Jealousy is a natural feeling

Even though the partner may be exasperated by displays of jealousy that he or she may find exaggerated, it is important to know that jealousy remains an absolutely normal and human feeling1.


1,2 when we experience the sense of exclusivity that binds us to our mother, the fear of abandonment, or the jealousy we may feel at the birth of a baby brother or sister. It is in this sense a precisely primary feeling1, strongly linked to childhood, like envy, possessiveness or selfishness.


The psychology professor A.P. Buunk distinguished in 1997 three forms of jealousy in couples3 :


Reactive jealousy: a negative response to a partner's emotional or sexual involvement with another person.

Preventive jealousy: an effort to prevent the partner's intimate contact with a third person.

Anxious jealousy: obsessive anxiety related to the possibility of the partner's infidelity.

The feeling of jealousy can thus present different degrees, depending in particular on each person's personal experience. This implies that it can still, in some cases, become pathological and potentially destructive.


Jealousy: a destructive feeling

Jealousy is a particularly powerful feeling. Many people's experiences of jealousy often coincide with the idea that they are no longer in control of their emotions or actions, to the point where they think they have gone crazy1. 1 Ultimately, the person who causes their partner to experience jealous outbursts often comes out devastated.

Jealousy manifests itself in a variety of ways, which greatly impair the quality of the love relationship: distrust, surveillance of the partner, interrogations, accusations, all of which lead to arguments because they tend to deprive the other of his or her freedom. These manifestations can even turn into dementia if the jealous person does not try to rationalize their feelings, and allows themselves to be overwhelmed by their obsessive thoughts, which are often the main driving force behind jealousy2.

Thus, while it is almost impossible not to feel jealous at some point in a relationship, it is important to "educate "2 this feeling so that it is not fatal to the relationship.

Manage your jealousy by agreeing to acknowledge it.

Today, jealousy is usually a feeling that we are ashamed of and try to hide1. 1 Yet, denying or repressing it tends to make it even more important and leads to frustration.

It is therefore preferable to try to protect one's partner from possible jealous outbursts by letting him/her know that he/she is uncomfortable with a change in his/her behaviour or relationship. Openly discussing the problem with his/her partner and finding a compromise is a constructive way to manage jealousy2 , as opposed to destructive behaviour, such as threatening to end the relationship. Discussions promote stability in the couple and can even strengthen bonds.

Manage your jealousy by improving your self-confidence
One of the first causes of the feeling of jealousy is the lack of self-esteem1. Indeed, the jealous person feels threatened because he/she is afraid that the rival is more attractive, more intelligent, or generally has qualities that he/she does not have.

It is important to try to regain self-confidence because a lack of self-esteem tends to lead to destructive behaviour in the couple2. However, most of the time, the jealous person tries to regain self-confidence by soliciting his partner more, by provoking compliments, or even by asking for proof of love from him. However, this only temporarily calms the feeling of insecurity, and the jealous person will tend to increase these kinds of solicitations to reassure himself, which can, in the long run, irritate the partner.

Finally, it is in oneself that one can have the surest and most durable conscience of his own value and thus find a sincere self-esteem. By learning to value oneself, one is better able to trust one's partner because one doubts less about one's propensity to be attracted to another person.

Managing jealousy by rationalizing one's instinct for possession

The partner's desire for possession often stems from a mistaken vision of the love relationship, according to which both members are fusional and indispensable to each other, in all circumstances1. In reality, while each member of the couple brings unique things to each other, it must be recognized that one cannot meet all of one's partner's needs alone. It is perfectly normal for the partner to want to be active independently, by going out with friends or visiting family, and this personal balance must be respected.

One can go as far as to mention the ideal of a disinterested love, which would be satisfied with the freedom and happiness of the other, whatever the implications. This is obviously much more difficult to put into practice, but it is a perfect example of the absence of possessiveness and, consequently, of jealousy.

Our current lifestyles cause us a lot of stress and anxiety, which has a considerable impact on our health. It is important to take the time to find, from time to time, calm and serenity for our physical and mental well-being.

time to meditate



Research over the past 40 years has shown that meditation has measurable psychological and physiological benefits.


Here are 10 reasons to take the time to meditate:


1. To avoid depression

According to a study published in 2015 in the medical journal The Lancet (1), mindfulness meditation would be as effective an alternative as antidepressants against depression relapses.


In addition, a study conducted on 91 women with fibromyalgia published in 2007 (2) reports a significant reduction in depressive symptoms in patients who participated in 8 2.5-hour meditation sessions.


2. To learn how to stop

Nowadays, we don't really take the time to stop, we always do something during the breaks we give ourselves, like using our smartphone, watching a show or smoking a cigarette.


Meditation allows us to be more present to ourselves and to the world around us by becoming aware of the simple fact of being there. To practice meditation in mindfulness is to stop for a short moment and return to the present moment.


3. To be happy

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports (3) shows that meditation increases the volume of grey matter in the precuneus, a region of the brain that is larger in people who tend to feel positive emotions intensely and perceive real meaning in their lives.


4. To reduce stress

The effect that meditation has on stress is one of the best known benefits.


In 2008, a study showed that mindfulness meditation (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) was effective in reducing stress and anxiety (4) in both healthy people and those with chronic illnesses.


5. To sleep better

Some people show a reduction in insomnia through mindfulness meditation techniques. Because of its relaxing effect, meditation can be an effective solution to insomnia when insomnia is caused by stress and anxiety.


6. To avoid migraines

According to research published in the medical journal Headache (5), meditation could relieve migraine. This research subjected a panel of 19 chronic migraine sufferers to the MSBR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) method for 8 weeks. The result: a reduction in the frequency of migraine headaches for patients who followed the Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) method.


7. To control one's emotions

Beginning in 1998, psychology professor Paul Ekman, who heads the Human Interaction Laboratory at the University of California, conducted various experiments, including one on startle (6). He has discovered that the more a person is subject to negative emotions, the more he or she jumps.


During his research, Ekman equipped the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard with sensors and electrodes and made him hear a deafening noise, the equivalent of a large firecracker exploding next to his ear, and asked him to suppress his startle. The monk did not move and said he heard only a small noise.


The daily exercise of meditation, which leads to great serenity, can help us control all our emotions.


8. To reduce blood pressure

When we reach a state of relaxation through meditation, it causes a drop in tension by dilating the blood vessels.


In a study at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mental Health in Boston, patients with high blood pressure tested daily meditation with the help of a cardiologist. After 3 months of practice, 40 of the 60 study participants reduced their blood pressure medication. Meditation increases the body's production of nitric oxide (a gas that helps blood vessels expand, allowing better blood circulation).


9. To avoid burnout

Burnout is an ailment that is a direct result of chronic stress related to the work environment, different from depression.


American researchers have tested a meditation technique on doctors, a profession that is highly affected by burnout. For this study (7), 70 doctors followed mindfulness meditation sessions for 1 year.


The meditation sessions had the effect of reducing the symptoms associated with burnout. By the end of the program, participants' emotional exhaustion had decreased by 25.4%.


10. Because it's free!

You can of course practice meditation in a private or group class that you will pay for, but meditation can also be practiced alone, at home, for free!


 

 Stress is said to be the cause of more than 60% of visits to the doctor. It affects a very large public, regardless of age and social level. Stress becomes worrisome when it persists because it can become dangerous to health.

Impact of stress on health



How does stress affect our body?

According to endocrinologist Hans Selye, stress is a normal adaptation response of the body to the stresses and strains it experiences. It triggers a series of reactions that allow the body to manage the situation and regulate the stress caused by the triggering event.


The process of stress consists of 2 phases:

The alarm phase: The body reacts to this "attack" by stimulating the adrenal glands to release adrenaline so that the body can react immediately. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, some muscles contract and glucose is released into the bloodstream.

The resistance phase: The body then releases other hormones, including cortisol (hormone involved in the regulation of blood pressure, cardiovascular function, immune function), dopamine (= pleasure hormone), endorphins (= wellness hormone), serotonin (= sleep and calming hormone).

Once the stressful situation has been calmed and controlled, a relaxing reaction is triggered. After a period of rest the body returns to its natural metabolism.


When stress makes you ill


Sometimes the stressful situation lasts longer or recurs frequently.  The body then enters the 3rd phase: the exhaustion phase. The hormones produced to manage stressful situations are produced almost continuously, which costs the body far too much energy. Excess cortisol blocks the production of new neurons in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that acts on mood), which could lead to depression.


Too much stress could be the cause of some immune system failures. In addition, stress could be responsible for many ailments such as certain skin infections, insomnia, or amenorrhea. It also aggravates certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer. 


The Impact of Stress on Cardiovascular Health

American researchers, Dr. Friedman and Dr. Rosenman have been interested in how the personality of individuals affects their stress management.
They identified 2 typical personalities: type A and type B individuals. Type A individuals are at risk of suffering the harmful effects of stress because they are impatient, hardworking, aggressive and ambitious. Conversely, type B people would be much more optimistic and relaxed. Type A people would be 6 times more likely to suffer from heart problems than type B people.
 

Stress would cause aging
Hormones secreted during a stressful situation leave traces in the body. These wastes are deposited on arteries, joints, skin and promote tissue aging.
Stress generates free radicals (= unstable oxygen compounds) and increases oxidative damage, i.e. the aging and death of cells.

 Fatigue on waking is not normal and can be the result of several factors. Frequent unrepaired sleep that cannot be explained by a change in lifestyle is a sign that something is wrong. It is therefore important to find out what the causes are and remedy them.

Sleep needs are very different for different people and ages. An adult sleeps an average of 7 to 8 hours a night but some will need 11 to 12 hours of sleep to feel rested. The ideal amount of sleep is therefore specific to each person. It is the time of sleep that will allow you to be in shape and efficient when you wake up.



Wake-up Fatigue



When sleep is not restorative and does not constitute a true rest, one can feel tired when waking up: getting up then becomes difficult. When you are tired, the activities of daily life, which are usually easy to accomplish (work, housework, children's homework...), become a chore.


"Sleep is an excellent indicator of a person's general state of health and their relationship with their environment," according to Dr. Valaxt, a researcher at an INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) unit specializing in the study of sleep and dreams. It is therefore important to monitor one's sleep and pay attention to the changes it undergoes.

Fatigue on waking up: causes and remedies: understand everything in 2 minutes


Source Channel: This Morning
The causes of waking fatigue can be multiple. It is not a phenomenon to be taken lightly because this fatigue can be linked to a psychological or physical problem.

When the psyche takes over...
This feeling of not resting can be due to stress, overwork at work, too intense leisure activities or even an unbalanced or insufficient diet. To find out where this fatigue comes from, it is necessary to analyze the changes that may have occurred recently in your life. Wake-up fatigue is one of the signals sent by the body to make the person suffering from it understand that their lifestyle is not suitable for them.

Attention
Non-repairing sleep is also a symptom of depression. Constant tiredness, insomnia, loss of motivation are signals that must be monitored. Don't hesitate to talk about it with your doctor.


Fatigue and illness
Waking up tired for several weeks can be a warning sign of illness, as many of these symptoms can manifest themselves. Whether it's fatigue caused by an exhausting illness such as the flu, osteoarthritis or cancer, or by a silent condition such as anemia or a thyroid disorder, it is important not to take unrepairable sleep lightly and consult a specialist without delay.

Unexplained fatigue may also be a sign of sleep apnea. The sleeper occasionally blocks his breathing, which causes a drop in blood oxygenation and forces the heart to work harder to make up for this lack of oxygen. The sleeper with sleep apnea often wakes up tired and unaware of what has happened.

Changing your lifestyle
It is important to change certain habits in order to sleep better and to avoid any risk of fatigue in the morning.

- Getting enough sleep is the first rule of thumb to avoid feeling tired in the morning. To do this, you must listen to your body (yawning, heavy eyelids, tingling in the neck...).

- Practicing a regular sport activity allows you to relax, to evacuate the pressure accumulated during the day and to tire your body in order to have a real restorative sleep.

- Adopt a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, cereals...) and drink at least 1.5L of water per day.

- Limit alcohol and cigarettes which have harmful effects on the quality of sleep. Alcohol and nicotine are responsible for very disturbed sleep (frequent waking up, reduction in the duration of deep sleep...).

- Avoid excessive stimulation before bedtime, whether auditory, intellectual or visual (computer screen, excessively bright light, video games, etc.).

Remedy this naturally...
In order to fight against this tiredness, many food supplements and plants can be used. Cures of caffeine, vitamin C or iron can be used to counter this constant tiredness thanks to their toning and relaxing properties.

Phytotherapy is also a good way to relieve temporary fatigue. Herbal teas of green anise, red vine or rosemary can be very good remedies against fatigue. As well as rhodiola, schisandra, ginseng and eleutherococcus.

Taking antiasthenics (amino acids, mineral elements, vitamins, stimulants, restorative, fortifying...) can also help you feel more toned and stimulated.

The arrival of a newborn baby in the home upsets family organization and daily life. Whether it is at the level of the couple's relationship or the relationship between the parent and the child, it can be difficult to regain the balance that existed before the birth. So what are the different changes involved in a new birth and how best to manage them?

First child: moving from being a couple to being parents

how to manage the arrival in the family?




What change in the couple when the first child is born?

In the case of a first child, the biggest change in the family occurs at the level of the couple, who are given the new role of parents. In many cases, this transition is difficult and is accompanied by a decrease in satisfaction in the couple, and thus a deterioration of the love relationship1. The first child tends to monopolize the parents' attention, to tire them, not to mention the questions and worries that his arrival raises, which considerably harms the couple's relationship. According to a survey carried out by the UDAF in Paris in October 2013 among 600 parents (70% mothers and 30% fathers)2 , 53% of the parents questioned felt tensions in their couple following the birth of their child. The increasing scarcity of intimate moments of love also poses problems: 37% of the parents questioned said they had encountered difficulties in their sexual life after the birth of their child. Even if this does not prevent 90% of the parents from living well during the first months of their newborn's life, it is important not to let tension and boredom persist in the couple.


How to avoid that the baby interferes with the love life?

Communication is important in the prevention of conflicts related for example to the sharing of tasks or the education to be given to the child. It is therefore essential that the couple agree on each other's new role as parents, in order to facilitate the organization. Similarly, differences in views on the education to be transmitted play an important role in marital tensions. Accepting these differences and, ideally, finding common ground before the baby's arrival is crucial to a smooth start to parenting.


Since tension in the couple after the birth of the first child is also linked to fatigue and irritability, new parents need to be given the opportunity to rest and recharge. Most parents appreciate first and foremost the provision of "material" help, such as childcare, help with child care, or help with household chores.3 The first thing that most parents appreciate is the provision of "material" help, such as childcare, help with child care, or help with household chores.3 The second thing that most parents appreciate is the provision of "material" help. Emotional support is also important, and on this subject, more than half of the respondents in the UDAF Paris study2 were able to rely on their family (parents, brothers and sisters). The respite time provided by outside helpers is an opportunity for new parents to relax, to communicate their feelings, and to regain their status as a couple.


Welcoming a newborn to a family with a child The jealousy of the elder: an almost unavoidable stage

The arrival of a second child once again changes the family order, as the first child, then unique, becomes a big brother or sister. Not only does the mother pay less attention to the eldest child, but she also tends to be more restrictive and strict with him or her. Even if this is not systematic2, the fact that the parents' attention is no longer focused exclusively on the first child but on the newborn can cause frustration and anger, to the point of thinking that the elder is no longer loved by his parents. They may adopt aggressive attitudes towards the baby, or adopt immature behaviours in order to get attention. Overall, the child shows less affection towards his mother and may become disobedient. They may even exhibit regressive behaviours, such as not being clean or asking for a bottle, but this is especially true when the child has acquired these behaviours shortly before the baby arrives (a few weeks to a few months). All of this is a manifestation of the child's jealousy. This is a normal behaviour, very often observed, especially in young children under 5 years of age3.


How can we prevent and calm the older child's jealousy?

To prevent jealousy reactions from the first child, it is essential to announce the future birth to him or her, trying to be as positive and reassuring as possible about this change. It is a question of valuing their new responsibilities, and the activities they will be able to share when the baby grows up. It's important to show understanding for his jealous reactions, which means not getting angry, so he doesn't feel further punished. However, firmness is required as soon as he shows too much aggressiveness towards the baby, or if he persists in his regressive behaviors. The child must feel reassured, i.e., it must be explained to him that, despite everything, he is still loved, and he must prove it to him by arranging moments of exclusive complicity with him. Finally, patience is needed: 6 to 8 months are necessary for the child to finally accept the arrival of the baby.




Updated April 2012 - Notice to those who idealize non-conflictual love relationships: repressing anger can shorten the longevity of spouses!

According to a surprising 2008 study1 of 192 couples in a small town in Michigan, U.S.A., the risk of dying is higher for couples who suppress anger and avoid conflict.

Couple bickering would make it possible to live longer



This conclusion is the result of 17 years of observations in which couples were classified according to the attitudes demonstrated by the spouses in conflict situations.


Among the 26 couples with partners who avoided conflict or had little communication, both spouses were four times more likely to die prematurely than those in which at least one spouse regularly expressed anger.


Specifically, 23 per cent of "non-conflictual" couples had both spouses die in the course of the study, compared with 6 per cent of other couples. Similarly, 27% of "non-conflict" couples lost a spouse, compared with 19% of other couples. These results persisted even after controlling for other risk factors for death.


Differences between men and women


During the same period (from 1971 to 1988), 35% of men in couples where there was a lack of strong verbal exchanges died, compared to 17% of men in other couples. Among women, 17% living in a couple with no conflict died, compared with 7%.


According to the author of the study, conflict resolution in couples is a public health issue because by repressing it, anger adds to other sources of stress and contributes to shortening life.


Because conflict is inevitable, the key point is how each couple resolves it: if you don't resolve it, you're vulnerable," says Ernest Harburg, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.2 "Conflict is inevitable, so the key is how each couple resolves it: if you don't resolve it, you're vulnerable," says Ernest Harburg, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.



Between the stress linked to the life of a couple, the modern will to have a fulfilled sexuality or the notion of commitment which sometimes poses problems, one can imagine that love life is not always synonymous with happiness or appeasement. However, we often hear that "love is health". What is it really like?

Love, a token of good health?


The love process, whether it is attraction, mutual attachment or desire, involves many hormones. These are related to sensations or emotions that are beneficial to health.   

The exhilaration of the first days

When we fall in love, the feeling of euphoria, exhilaration and elation is linked to the secretion of a hormone: phenylethylamine (PEA). It is nicknamed the "passion hormone" and chocolate, known for its positive effects on mood, contains it. Phenylethylamines act as neurotransmitters (= chemical molecules that ensure the transmission of messages from one neuron to another) which allows them to have a particular action on certain neurons.  In this case, phenylethylamine soothes stress and anxiety and is also a psycho-stimulant1.


Attachment and couple building

After the stimulating actions of phenylethylamine come those of dopamine (happiness hormone) and oxytocin (attachment hormone). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and dependence. It is believed to be involved in the attachment process and feelings of fidelity.

Oxytocin2 is naturally secreted by our brain. Also produced naturally during childbirth and lactation, this hormone is responsible for the feeling of relaxation, attraction and attachment to another person. It is said to be a powerful anti-stress and has doping effects on the immune system.  It is secreted during a hug, a loving thought or a simple look. 


Lasting love

Throughout the love relationship, endorphins are at the origin of the feeling of well-being. These hormones are neurotransmitters of the opiate family. They act in the same way as morphine by binding to specific receptors that block the transmission of pain signals and reduce the sensation of pain. They are believed to be used to combat anxiety. Endorphins can be produced by the body after a major effort such as a sports activity. Dependence on endorphins is strong but not harmful to health. Endorphins could also modify our immune responses favourably.


No two love relationships are alike. For some people, love provides a feeling of well-being and happiness that fills them up and helps them feel good psychologically. For others, it is the sharing and the perpetual discovery of the other that helps them to be happy. Falling in love has many impacts on mental health. A love relationship is often a way to surpass oneself in order to please the other, to feel reassured by the other, to blossom and to have self-confidence. Love, also thanks to the hormones secreted during a love relationship, is in fact a kind of antidepressant! In addition, sexuality would help reduce stress and generally lead to happiness according to a Quebec survey.


But love has not only good sides and can be synonymous with stress and worries. Like any relationship with the other, love is a succession of complex and opposing feelings: well-being, jealousy, fulfillment, anger, passion, stress, worries... Arguments within the couple, jealousy or infidelity can cause annoyance and generate stress and anxiety. Being in love is not always easy and it can have a negative impact on our mental health. The couple's health is often at the center of mental health, which fluctuates according to the good relationship or the difficulties encountered. 

Modern codes concerning love relationships and sexuality can also be factors of stress and anxiety. Wanting to conform to current clichés about what a couple or a sexual life should be does not necessarily lead to happiness and would be an additional factor of anxiety and even self-denial.


 Many experts agree that there is a parallel between physical and mental health. Physical health would reflect emotional health. When a person feels depressed or stressed, their physical health can deteriorate, increasing their chances of getting sick compared to someone who feels happy.


Love, accompanied by a sense of well-being and happiness, would be a good way to stay in shape. According to one study, people living in couples have less flu and have more effective immune responses than people living alone.


Sexual relations are also a way to stay in shape. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted and find that sexual relations contribute to well-being and happiness. According to a study conducted in Great Britain, sexual activity may reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent hypertension and various cancers, including prostate and breast cancer.  


In spite of a balanced diet and regular physical activity, it is not always easy to get rid of some recalcitrant little kilos. In fact, certain areas of the body such as the thighs or hips seem to be the favourite places for fat to lodge itself. Certain fat-burning foods can then be of great help. In this article, discover the top 5 fat-burning foods!

fat burning



Top 5 Fat Burning Foods

In the diet, some active ingredients can stimulate fat combustion, oxidation or elimination via intestinal transit. Fat-burning foods have the particularity of concentrating them and having a positive effect on the body. Here are the 5 most effective fat-burning foods. 


Eggplant, a food that burns powerful fat

If you are used to cooking eggplant, you have certainly noticed that this vegetable behaves like a real sponge that catches the oil. In the body too, its flesh captures the fat and traps it, thus promoting its subsequent elimination. This fat-burning effect of the eggplant is above all linked to its high content of dietary fiber and, more precisely, pectin, which makes it a slimming ally of choice. For an optimal effect, it is best to steam or bake the eggplant.


Green tea, a drink that stimulates the oxidation of lipids

This is now scientifically proven: green tea is one of the most effective fat-burning foods. Indeed, in addition to its record content of antioxidants and diuretic active ingredients, green tea contains catechin. Specifically, epigallocatechin, also known as EGCG. EGCG stimulates the metabolism and significantly increases fat burning. As a result, regular green tea drinkers are generally slimmer.


Lemon, to help the body digest fats

The major active ingredient in lemon is citric acid. In the body, citric acid has many benefits. Its antioxidant capacity makes it possible in particular to stimulate the immune defenses and to fight against cellular ageing. To lose weight, citric acid also has some advantages. Indeed, it stimulates the production of bile and digestive enzymes and thus makes it possible to awake the digestive system and to facilitate digestion, the reuse and the elimination of fats after their metabolization. Therefore, lemon is a very interesting fat-burning food.


Oat bran, a food that traps fat in the body 

Oat bran has two main advantages when it comes to weight loss. These two benefits are directly related to the very high content of soluble dietary fibre in oat bran. First of all, oat bran has a fairly powerful satiating effect. Its integration into the diet allows you to be satiated longer, avoid cravings and eat less at main meals. Secondly, soluble fibre has the effect of trapping bile salts and cholesterol in the body and encourages their elimination by also stimulating intestinal transit.


Apples, a pectin-rich food that helps burn fat better

Like oat bran, apples are an effective fat-burning food thanks to their soluble fiber and pectin content. In the digestive system, pectin actively participates in the elimination of excess fat via the intestinal transit. An adequate intake of soluble fibre even helps to regulate blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This is very interesting in the context of a weight loss project.


What should we think of pineapple as a fat-burning food?

Pineapple is certainly the most popular fat-burning food. However, one must be careful! Indeed, pineapple gets its reputation from its content of bromelain, an enzyme that stimulates fat burning. However, bromelain is mainly contained in the stem of the pineapple, the inedible part. Therefore, you should not rely blindly on this fruit to lose weight, as is sometimes the case in certain diets. However, the pineapple is a fruit rich in fibre and micronutrients and has its place in a healthy and balanced diet.


How to integrate fat-burning foods into the diet?

A fat-burning food can be a great ally to help you lose weight and give you a boost to help you get rid of those stubborn pounds. However, no food has miracle properties. The consumption of fat-burning foods should be done in addition to a varied and balanced diet. That is to say, rich in plants, dietary fiber, micronutrients, lean protein and quality fats. The foods mentioned above are a crutch in case you want to lose weight, never a solution in itself.


 This section describes how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) conceives the organization of the human being and how it considers the imbalances that can affect its main components:

Physiology



  • the Viscera (ZangFu);
  • the Substances;
  • the Meridian Linking Network (JingLuo) which allows the exchange of Substances between the Viscera and all the components of the body such as the organic tissues, the trunk, the head, the limbs, etc.

At the next level, all these elements, and more particularly their relations and interactions, are described in more detail.


A holistic physiology

In Western medicine, anatomy and physiology are very descriptive and detailed. They are based on important notions of chemistry and biochemistry and accurately describe cells, glands, tissues and different systems (immune, digestive, circulatory, reproductive, etc.). In addition, they provide a thorough description of the biochemical interactions between nutrients, enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. It explains that all these elements and systems are involved in homeostasis, i.e. maintaining the individual's various physiological constants at their normal value: temperature, cardiovascular tone, blood composition, acid-base balance, etc.


In TCM, a few texts, defining the characteristics and functions of Viscera, Substances and Meridians, serve as a physiological presentation. Although there are some rather rough descriptions of the shape and weight of certain Organs observed with the naked eye during rare dissections, the physiology of TCM includes mainly an analogical description of the role of Viscera and tissues. Traditional Chinese physiology speaks the old language of images. It privileges the correspondences between different organic components whose complementary functions it considers to be complementary, whether they are Viscera, tissues, sensory openings or even emotions and psychic activities.


A whole greater than the sum of its parts

Through observation, Chinese doctors have found that the various components of the body form affinity networks under the umbrella of one of the five major organs: Heart, Lung, Spleen/Pancreas, Liver and Kidneys. These five Organs participate collectively in the balance, both physical and psychic, of the organism, thanks to their network of influence and to the management of the substances they preserve or put in circulation throughout the organism through the intermediary of the Meridians. (See Organic Spheres.)


For example, the Liver manages the Blood, promotes the free circulation of Qi, influences the circulation of Organic Liquids, digestion, muscular activity, vision, mood (frustration, anger, moroseness), menstruation, etc. (See Organic Spheres). Moreover, its functioning, good or bad, will have a specific impact on other visceral systems and functions. It is therefore from a set of concrete, clinically observable signs that TCM will recognize the proper functioning or pathological state of an organ and its sphere of influence.


This physiology may seem simplistic. In fact, it has the shortcoming of not being very detailed and would not be of much help when performing an operation on the brain... On the other hand, it has the advantage of taking into account the whole person in a perspective where the environment, lifestyle, emotions and even personal and spiritual values are intimately linked to health and medicine. This explains in part its effectiveness in the face of chronic or degenerative diseases.


The environment as part of human physiology

When TCM defines the framework for the development of an imbalance or disease, it uses the terms External and Internal, which evoke a relationship between the organism and its environment.


Life is essentially a process of exchange, where our organism must continually assimilate, transform and then reject a multitude of nutritional inputs from the environment: Air, Food and stimuli. The environment is therefore considered an integral part of our "external" physiology. And this environment is itself constantly in transformation, and affected by occasional or cyclical changes. All these transformations imply a constant adaptation on the part of our organism so that it remains authentic (Zhen) or correct, (Zheng) to echo both philosophical and medical terms used by TCM. In order to remain ourselves in spite of this incessant renewal of what constitutes us, we call upon another component of our physiology: the Three Treasures of Life.


The Three Treasures of Life

These three treasures represent three forces of our vitality that we perceive through their manifestations, without being able to touch them with our fingers.


  • The Shén. They are the Spirits who inhabit us. They allow us to be conscious, to direct our life, to follow our aspirations, to give a purpose to our existence. The Shen manifest themselves from the first hours of our existence by a will to exist, and develop according to the experiences of life. (See Spirits.)
  • The Jing. Precursors of materiality, they are Essences - in the sense of essential and original -, a little like invisible plans and specifications that weave the necessary weft for the manifestation of the Shen. The Essences received from our parents contain the plans of our organism and determine how we will build ourselves: they are the innate or prenatal Essences (see Heredity). Other Essences, called acquired or postnatal, are the result of the transformation of Air and Food.
  • The acquired Essences can be renewed permanently while the innate Essences wear out and are not renewable. Their decline leads to signs of aging and then death. However, it is possible to save them and take care of them, which is one of the keys to health. (See Substances.) Essences also serve as a support for memory.
  • The Qi. Regarded as "the universal energy", it is the subject of a complete fact sheet. In the body, it is perceived as an amalgam of "densified" breaths. It then takes the form of Substances such as Blood or Organic Liquids, which circulate in the body through the networks of different Meridians and vessels to reach all tissues. It also represents the dynamic force that allows the body to accomplish all of its functional activities. Thus, Qi in its dynamic aspects is at the origin of the movement of various Substances which are stable and condensed forms of the same Qi. Just like the acquired Essences, the Breaths must be constantly nourished in order to renew themselves.

The pure and the impure

Pure and impure are the terms used to qualify the states of Qi. The most refined states are said to be pure; the coarse states (before processing) and the degraded states of the residues are said to be impure. In order to maintain its integrity, the organism constantly assimilates and settles the different Qi states circulating in the body. These operations aim at the maintenance and preservation of the material framework of the organism, considered as a pure substance.


The decantation of the pure and the impure is done through the Viscera. According to their relationship with the pure and the impure, they are classified into two categories, the entrails (Yang) and the organs (Yin). The Bowels are responsible for receiving the impure Qi, in the form of Food, extracting the pure components, and then rejecting the impure. For example, the Stomach receives the Food (coarse, therefore impure) and prepares to decant it; the Large Intestine, after having completed the recovery of the pure and useful components for the body, eliminates the residues (impure) in the form of faeces.


For their part, the Organs are in charge of managing the pure in its various forms: Blood, Organic Liquids, Acquired Essences, Nourishing Qi, Defensive Qi, etc. For example, the Heart circulates the Blood, the Kidneys preserve the integrity of the liquids by eliminating the used liquids and help to refresh and humidify the organism, the Lung distributes the defensive Qi to the surface, etc.


Viscera (ZangFu)

The Viscera (ZangFu) include on the one hand the so-called "full" Organs (Zang) (Heart, Spleen/Pancreas, Liver, Kidneys and Lung) and on the other hand the "hollow" Entrails (Fu) (Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gall Bladder and Bladder).


Although the management of the organism is the responsibility of the Spirits, the balance of physiological functions is attributed to the Viscera. The place of the Brain has been debated at length in Chinese medical texts without ever correctly identifying the functions of the cortex. All Chinese medical theories (Yin Yang, Five Elements, Viscera Theory, Meridian Theory, etc.) attribute the control of homeostasis to the Viscera and more precisely to the balance of the spheres of influence of the five Organs (Zang). Before describing the Viscera more precisely, it is important to remember that in Chinese physiology, this description is not exclusively physical.


Several other aspects are integral to physiology, including the functions of the Organs and their relationship with the Substances as well as with the emotions. Physiology also takes into account imbalances in organic functions and the deficient state of the Substances or their pathogenic degradations that lead to disorders on all levels, both physiological and emotional and psychological. It also takes into account the fact that the non-resolution of inner conflicts, the uncontrollable presence of certain emotions or an imbalance of the Spirits can lead to a bad management of the Substances and a disturbance of the visceral functions.


The division of the visceral functions specific to TCM is very old, and includes certain anatomical errors. Even though physicians such as Wang QingRen (1768-1831) have made efforts to revise the errors, TCM is slow to change its old codes and list of functions out of concern for continuity with the clinical expertise that has proven itself over the centuries.


The Organs (Zang)

The Chinese names of the organs are difficult to translate, because the entities they describe do not always correspond to the organs defined by Western physiology, hence the use of capital letters, which remind us, for example, that what TCM calls Gan, which is translated as Liver, does not correspond exactly to the liver of the Western anatomy.


The Lung (Fei). This organ roughly corresponds to the "western" lung, but it encompasses the exchanges of the right heart and pulmonary circulation. Indeed, in addition to managing the respiratory system, Fei is the Organ that combines what comes from Food and what comes from the Air into a complex Qi that will be distributed to the rest of the body through the arterial blood.


The Heart. It manages the blood vessels and includes the left heart which pulses the blood, but it also has certain characteristics of the brain since it is closely related to the Mind and Consciousness.


The Heart Wrap, located around the heart, has characteristics of the autonomic nervous system that stimulates the heartbeat (modern western physiology has found that part of the heart is made up of nerve cells that are connected to the brain, and is commonly referred to as the "brain of the heart").


The Spleen/Pancreas (Pi). Although it manages the digestive system, it shares some characteristics with other systems (coagulation factors and the role of insulin in cell absorption, for example).


The Liver (Gan). While corresponding to the hepato-biliary sphere, it has certain characteristics of the hormonal and nervous systems.


The Kidneys (Shèn). They manage the urinary system, but also have certain characteristics of the adrenals and reproductive glands. In addition, among the Kidneys, we theoretically find MingMen, an entity responsible for our original vitality and its maintenance; it is very likely that it is related to the precursor role of hormones from the hypothalamus.


The Bowels (Fu)

With the exception of the Triple Warmer and the "curious" Entrails, the Entrails (Fu) are very similar to those of Western physiology.


The Stomach (Wei) receives and prepares Food.


The Small Intestine (XiaoChang) sorts the Food.


The Large Intestine (DaChang) eliminates faeces.


The Gall Bladder (Dan) stimulates the intestines with bile.


The Bladder (PangGuang) eliminates urine.


The Triple Warmer (SanJiao) describes a reality that is difficult to find an equivalent in Western physiology. It represents a subdivision of the trunk into three sections also called Foci: the Upper, Middle and Lower Heater. All the Viscera (Organs and entrails) are housed in one or other of these Foci. It is easy to see the symbolism of the terms Fireplace and Heater, which designate the places where the different Qi and Organic Liquids are produced and circulated. The Triple Heater is hollow and is a place of passage and transformation, which makes it the sixth of the Entrails of Chinese medical physiology.

The Curious Entrails. In TCM, the vessels, bones, Marrow, Brain and reproductive organs are part of the Fu Viscera. Although they are not entrails in the sense we understand, these tissues correspond quite well to those described by Western physiology, although the Marrow and Brain have certain functional characteristics that are specific to TCM.


The Substances

The Substances are the currency of exchange between the Viscera. Blood and Organic Liquids, as well as Spirits, different forms of Qi and Essences, are all considered Substances. They constitute all the components that circulate in the body and that activate, protect or nourish the Viscera, the tissues, the sensory organs, etc.


The weakness of a Substance causes pathological signs at the same time as it makes the body more vulnerable to environmental factors. For example, a weakness of the defensive Qi leads to heavy sweating at the slightest effort as well as greater difficulty in warming the skin. This deficiency predisposes the body to "catch cold" or to develop repeated infections in areas close to the surface of the body (ear infections, rhinitis, sore throat, cystitis, etc.).


The quality of the substances depends on external inputs: daily, diet; in crisis situations, pharmacopoeia. In addition, acupuncture, massage and health exercises (Qi Gong and Tai Ji) allow to act specifically on the Substances, activating their circulation, distributing them better in the body and releasing stasis and stagnation. Indirectly, these therapeutic interventions improve the functioning of the Viscera that produce the Substances in question (such as Spleen/Pancreas and Lung) or those that preserve their quality (such as Kidney and Liver). Finally, since Spirits are part of the Substances, meditation exercises (Nei Cong) are an important part of the treatment modalities.


The Meridians and their ramifications (JingLuo)

The ability of Air and Food Qi to become Blood, Essences and Organic Liquids, and to reach the superficial or deep structures of the body to defend, nourish, moisturize or repair them, depends largely on their mobility. As mentioned above, Qi - in multiple forms - enters, ascends, descends, and is eventually expelled as waste, through the Triple Heater and the Viscera that work there.


But this mobility must be projected throughout the body beyond the Triple Heater, from its center to the periphery, from the Viscera to the tissues (bones, skin, muscles and flesh), the sense organs and the limbs. The TCM calls JingLuo the distribution network through which this circulation takes place. The JingLuo describes the main circulation axes (the Meridians), in a simple and rectilinear way, according to a process that is above all mnemonic. It should be noted that modern scientific anatomy has chosen a different path by trying to isolate each system and describe it with precision: nerves, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels, etc. However, this way of doing things also has its limits, since we can see that this vision lacks globality and is never completely complete: we regularly discover new nerve ramifications as well as new networks, such as those of the fascias or those of ionic currents and electromagnetic fields.


Rather than trying to precisely identify the constituents of each network, TCM has focused, in a very pragmatic way, on discovering the possibilities and characteristics of these networks with regard to communication, circulation and regulation of the body's functions.

Acupuncture points

Part of the Meridians connect specific points on the body surface to various areas within the body. The stimulation of these points, among others through acupuncture, generates a precise action on the circulatory capacities of the Meridians and on different Organs and various functions.


The mapping of the points and the Meridians is the result of a long clinical experimentation. Science is only just beginning to see the accuracy of the results and to try to explain the mechanisms involved. In some cases, the peripheral nervous system serves as a support; in others, information travels through the central nervous system or through relational chains such as those of muscles and fascias; some reactions depend on the release of endorphins; others are the result of the modification of ionic currents in the interstitial fluid caused by acupuncture needles.


The use of acupuncture instruments - needles, heat, electrostimulation, laser light - therefore triggers various reactions, often complementary, which, for example, reduce pain and inflammation and inhibit the exaggerated production of certain transmitters (e.g. histamine), to relax muscles and tendons to straighten the structure, to activate the circulation of blood and nerve impulses to the tissues and organs, to stimulate hormonal secretions, to promote tissue regeneration by better elimination of waste products and a greater supply of nutrients, to allow repolarization of cells, etc.

 Substances: "fluids" that circulate

The term Substances is used to refer to a particular set of components that help keep the body alive and in balance. Their main characteristic is that they are mobile, unlike the fixed functional structures of Viscera, tissues and sensory openings. Substances connect, stimulate, protect, nourish and moisturize organic structures. Some of them, less dense, feed higher functions such as psychic functions.

Substances


Substances include :

  • Blood (Xue);
  • Organic Liquids (JinYe);
  • Spirits (Shen);
  • Breaths (Qi);
  • Essences (Jing).

Let's first look at the more subtle substances (Spirits, Essences and Breaths), and then look at the characteristics and functions of the more tangible substances (Blood and Body Liquids).


The Three Treasures of Life: Spirits - Essences - Qi

Vitality depends first of all on three elements, the Spirits (Shen), the Essences (Jing) and the Breaths (Qi). Together they are called SanBao or the Three Treasures of Life. These three Substances are invisible, but we perceive their presence through various physical and psychic manifestations. Let's think of breathing, which manifests the presence of the Lung Qi, or speech, which manifests thought, an activity of the Spirits.


The Spirits. They are presented in greater depth in a card dedicated to them. Let us recall all the same that their strength is manifested in the brightness and liveliness of their gaze, the clarity of their ideas and the coherence of their speech. Spirits animate our state of consciousness and are manifested by :


  • Thought, which receives our intuitive visions and perceives our desires, elaborates them in an intelligent way into coherent propositions, and imagines the means to reach our objectives and to satisfy our desires;
  • the will, which allows us to act, to act firmly, to support and to concentrate our actions towards the goals we are pursuing.

From the consolidation of the Spirits will come the desire to heal, the will to modify one's lifestyle and the clarity of mind that allows us to recognize the path to follow and to commit ourselves to it.


The Essences. They are, in a way, the plans and specifications that weave the material fabric on which the Spirits and the functional activity of the body rely to manifest themselves. As the Essences have an innate aspect and an acquired aspect, it is advisable to make the part:


  • of what belongs to the inescapable determinism of the Prenatal Essences (also called Essences of the former sky);
  • of what derives from the postnatal Essences (of the posterior sky), which depend on the hygiene of life and the richness or the deficiencies of the environment.

The Essences can be preserved, nourished, reconstituted and strengthened by means of an adequate diet, physical and respiratory exercises, healthy sexuality, quality of rest (sleep and meditation) and by a purification of the Air and Food consumed. They are stored in the Kidneys which also take care of their preservation. (See Heredity.)


The Qi. Translated as Vital Energy or Breaths, the Qi is one of the keystones of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Its quality is reflected first in general vitality and then, more specifically, in the different forms and functions it takes on. If some Breaths are weak, unable to circulate normally or are looking for pathological ways to escape, various means will be used to strengthen or reharmonize them, in conjunction with the work on Spirits and Essences. (See Tools.)


Qi is manifested by the presence throughout the body of a dynamism that activates the different physical structures of the body and allows, at more subtle levels, the expression of emotions and psychic life. Qi is described as a malleable substance that runs through the body in different material forms (Blood and Organic Liquids) or is stored in the Viscera in the form of Essences, waiting to be mobilized by the original Qi, the YuanQi. The concept of Qi is described in the card that bears its name. We will linger here to describe its multiple faces, its functions and its pathologies.


The different Qi

Qi is always dynamic and changing. We qualify it differently according to the place where it is and according to its function of the moment:


  • YuanQi. Coming from a symbolic place - the Gate of Destiny (MingMen) located between the Kings - YuanQi is an original Energy received from our parents. It rises first in the Triple Heater, then gradually reaches the periphery to embrace the whole body. It is the energy that constantly stimulates the triggering of physiological and psychological processes. It is innate, but must be maintained by the Acquired Energies (ZongQi) drawn from the Air and Food; these external contributions have a direct impact on the capacity of expression of the YuanQi.
  • ZongQi. A complex or ancestral synthetic energy, it comes from the combination of Qi extracted from Air and Food, and is produced in the thorax. It is an acquired Qi, compared to the innate Qi that is YuanQi. Its function is to support the activity of the Lung and Heart Wrap, and to rhythmically circulate the Substances through the respiratory movement and cardiovascular pulsation. Moreover, it returns to MingMen, to maintain the original vitality at its source.
  • ZhenQi. Result of the fusion of the innate Qi (YuanQi) and the acquired Qi (ZongQi), ZhenQi constitutes the true or vital Energy which runs through the whole body and all the Meridians, and which includes the activity of the Viscera, the tissues and the Sensory Openings. When the components of this Energy are used to fight against pathogenic factors (Perverse Energies or XieQi), they are called Correct Energies (ZhengQi).
  • GuQi. Transient energy produced from Food, it is part of the composition of ZongQi. The quality of GuQi depends on the diet and the vitality of the Viscera responsible for digestion, mainly the Spleen/Pancreas, Stomach and Small Intestine.
  • QingQi. Assimilated from the Air, this Energy combines with GuQi to produce ZongQi. QingQi is dependent on breathing and the quality of the ambient air. Breathing is first of all the activity of the Lung, but also the support of the Kidneys which provide strength and efficiency to the respiratory movement (what TCM calls the receiving capacity of Qi).
  • WeiQi. Defensive function of the ZhenQi, this Energy circulates in the membranes, the skin, the muscles and even in the Viscera. When we are active, it concentrates its activity on the surface of the body and intensifies exchanges with the outside world. WeiQi then promotes the adaptation of the body to environmental fluctuations. When we are at rest, and the organism takes advantage of this to repair or develop its components, WeiQi goes deep to help the internal organs balance their spheres of influence. Although it follows broad lines of distribution, WeiQi is highly mobile and less dependent on the paths of the Meridians than its counterpart, the YingQi Nourishing Energy.
  • YingQi. This Nourishing Energy is manifested by the ability of the Blood to transmit nutrients to Viscera, Tissues and Sensory Openings. It follows very defined paths according to an arborization that spreads from the main Meridians to the whole body territory thanks to a multitude of ramifications called JingLuo. This Energy joins the layers of the Defensive Energy (WeiQi) to which it provides assistance. It circulates in a precise order and according to a particular rhythm: we speak of great circulation and small circulation, and we identify energy tides where the Energy reaches more particularly certain Viscera at certain times of the day (see Meridians).

The production and toning of Qi depends essentially on three Organs :

  • The Lung, through breathing, renews the Qi from the Air (QingQi) and participates in the synthesis of the acquired Qi (ZongQi).
  • The Spleen/Pancreas, through digestion, renews the Qi from Food (GuQi), which maintains the Nourishing Energy (YingQi). The Spleen/Pancreas gives the Qi the necessary tonicity to control other Substances and keep the Viscera in place.
  • The Kidneys, in conjunction with MingMen, support the innate Qi (YuanQi), which in turn supports all activities and productions in the body.

The functions and pathologies of Qi

Qi, in its multiple facets, controls several functions:

  • It is responsible for all the movements in the body and all the transformations that take place in the viscera and tissues.
  • It is responsible for warming the body and defending it.
  • It exercises control over the other Substances (both Blood and Essences as well as sweat and urine).
  • It helps to keep the Viscera in their right place.

Thus, any deficiency of Qi can slow down the circulation and interfere with essential transformations inside the body. For example, a weakness in the Qi of the Viscera involved in digestion will often lead to bloating and swelling, as well as difficulty in adequately transforming Food to extract the active ingredients and nutritional components.


It is also possible that the Qi cannot circulate properly, that it stagnates or knots. These problems may be caused by factors other than low Qi. For example, certain emotions can disrupt its circulation, the cold can slow it down, too much food can oppress it, etc. If the Qi has the capacity to do so, it will fight its state of stagnation by "rebelling". If Food Stagnates in the Stomach, the Qi Revolt will manifest itself by regurgitation or vomiting. If mucus clogs the Lung and affects the Breathing Qi, it will revolt by causing coughing and possibly asthma.

There are many manifestations of weakness, Stagnation or Revolt of Qi. For example, when the Qi Control function weakens, there may be unexpected sweating, drops after urination, spontaneous hematomas, and many other phenomena where the Qi temporarily loses Control of the flow of Body Fluids or Blood. A too low Qi can also cause problems such as organ failure, hemorrhoids or varicose veins.


Regenerate Qi

In TCM, and more particularly in acupuncture, treatments are essentially aimed at correcting the state of Qi. Needle placement and manipulation of the acupuncture points aim either to reinforce the Qi, to release their Stagnations or to restore their normal movements. Through the Meridians, the acupuncturist can act at a distance, on the internal movements of the body and on the Viscera.


The Blood (Xue)

Blood is a condensation of Nourishing Qi (YingQi). It circulates in the vessels to carry fluids and nutrients to all tissues of the body, allowing them to maintain their respective structures. It maintains the material base necessary for the activity of Qi and the manifestations of the Spirits (consciousness, memory, thought, sleep, etc.). Blood nourishes the tissues, carrying the Essences to the Organs, bones and Marrow; it nourishes the muscles and moistens the skin and hair; it carries sweat and provides an important component of the menstrual flow (the celestial dew); it brings the acquired part of the Essences that nourish the fetus; it nourishes the Brain and the Sensory Openings, supporting the activity of the senses. Moreover, it roots the Spirits by nourishing the structures useful for psychic activity and serves as a vehicle for these same Spirits; it therefore has an important energetic component and is not strictly material like the blood of Western physiology.

Blood depends on many Organs. When it circulates in the vessels, it is under the guidance of Xin, the Sovereign Heart. It is stored, released and controlled in its flow by the Liver, which preserves its quality. It is regenerated by the Energy from Food and Liquids made available through the entrails (Stomach, Intestines) and the digestive system (Spleen/Pancreas). Finally, the Blood is enriched by the Bone Marrow which belongs to the Kidney Sphere.


Chinese medicine recognizes a close link between Qi and Blood (Xue). The expression QiXue refers to the vascularization of the body. This vascularization influences in particular the tone, intensity of color and texture of the tongue where the quality of Qi and Blood can be assessed. Taking the pulse - which goes far beyond the count of beats per minute - also makes it possible to evaluate the quality of the Qi pulsing in the Blood. Depending on the dilation or contraction of the vessels, and according to characteristics such as its strength, the regularity of its movement, its "presence" under the skin, the pulse can be described as fast, slow, regular, superficial, deep, strong, weak, supple, tense, etc.. (see Palping).


The functions and pathologies of the Blood

In the Yin Yang theory, the Blood is Yin: it controls, channels and makes the Yang activity of the Qi (the functional activity of the body) and that of the Spirits more harmonious. When the Blood weakens, the Spirits become agitated (anguish, anxiety, insomnia, emotional instability, irritability...), and their activities are less efficient (memory, concentration, planning disorders...).

Several pathologies can affect the Blood, impairing its function of nourishing and moistening the body, and altering its ability to properly root the Spirit. The main affections of the Blood are Emptiness, Stagnation and Heat of the Blood.


A Blood Void can be caused by a multitude of factors, ranging from a poor or unbalanced diet to excessive worry, the inability of the digestive sphere to adequately process Food, excessive menstruation, or a problem with the Bone Marrow. In addition to the pallor and psychic disorders already mentioned, the Blood Vacuum can generate symptoms such as a lack of breast milk, dizziness, drops in pressure, as well as tics, spasms and tremors that are observed when the muscles are malnourished.


Blood Stagnation often comes from Cold (climate, cold baths, air-conditioned work environment, cold storage). Trauma (sprains, fractures, contusions) can also cause a slowing of Blood circulation or Blood Stagnation and, in conjunction with other conditions, the appearance of clots or masses of Blood. Stagnations cause numbness and stinging pain, and Blood clumps can be particularly painful with acute sensations as if the tip of a knife were pressed into the site of pain.


Finally, the very state of the Blood can be altered by a pathogenic factor called Heat, creating a Heat of Blood. A large number of conditions can result from this: internal bleeding (nose, lungs, stomach, intestines, uterus, kidneys); dermatological conditions (boils and abscesses, eczema, skin rashes accompanying fevers or diseases such as measles); and even psychological disorders (agitation, delirium).


Regenerate the Blood

Thanks to acupuncture, by activating the circulation of Qi and by heating or dispersing Heat, or by using plants that stimulate the circulation of Blood and defeat Stagnations, TCM can treat various disorders related to Blood such as menstrual problems (dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea), postpartum pain, swellings, after-effects of trauma and fractures, bleeding, abscesses and various wounds.


Body fluids (JinYe)

Body fluids include all the fluids in the body: secretions, sweat, urine, blood serum and plasma, cerebrospinal fluid, interstitial fluids, etc. The TCM considers that all liquids derive from the processing of Food. The process of settling liquids depends first on the Kidneys and the original Qi, the YuanQi. However, it is in the Triple Heater, also called the Water Path, that the separation of the liquids, which are said to be pure and impure, actually takes place (see Physiology). The impure liquids go down to be evacuated by the Bladder while the pure liquids go up to be distributed by the Blood and circulate with the Nourishing (YingQi) and Defensive (WeiQi) Energies to their respective destinations. The Spleen/Pancreas, which manages the digestive sphere, is the Organ responsible for this decantation along with three of the Bowels: Stomach, Small Intestine and Large Intestine. As for the circulation of liquids towards the surface of the body, and then to their final destination in the Bladder by the Triple Heater, it is under the control of the Lung.


The Organic Liquids (JinYe) are of two types:


  • The Jin are very fluid. Constantly circulating from the Triple Heater, they are used to humidify and temper the skin, among other things through perspiration; they will eventually be eliminated in the form of urine.
  • The Ye, viscous substances rich in nutritive components, are distributed mainly to the Marrow, the Brain, the joints and the five Major Organs. The latter, through their Meridian Systems (JingLuo), are responsible for providing the appropriate secretions to the sense organs: the Lung secretes the fluids from the nose, the Spleen/Pancreas and Kidneys control the production of saliva, the Liver controls the production of tears, and the Heart controls the production of sweat.

Functions and pathologies of Organic Liquids

The main function of Organic Liquids is to humidify and nourish the body. Their production can be disrupted in many ways. If the proper functioning of the Spleen/Pancreas is compromised by diet (food allergies, too much raw and cold food or dairy products) or by certain drugs (such as antibiotics), the production of the Liquids will become pathogenic and may lead to the appearance of Perverse Energies such as Internal Moisture or generate harmful mucus or phlegm. If the Kidneys and the original Qi (YuanQi) are low, water retention problems and urinary disorders will occur, as liquids are poorly drained. On the other hand, profuse sweating, repeated diarrhea, hemorrhaging, lack of water intake, and an environment that is too dry can create a weakness in body fluids accompanied by signs of Dryness.

The consequences of a deficiency of Organic Liquids can be very numerous. Their Stagnation can create retention and oedema. If mucus invades the Lung, it will promote asthma; if it reaches the openings of the Heart, it will cause psychic disorders, confusion, manic and compulsive disorders. Exaggerated humidity will give symptoms of tiredness, lassitude, heaviness of the head and limbs, congestion in the chest and abdomen, and will lead to a propensity to infections and inflammatory phenomena, such as small fevers at the end of the day.


Organic Liquids are the Substance with the most varied pathogenic forms. There are TCM publications dealing exclusively with these pathologies. They can manifest themselves in secretions, perspiration, urine, oedemas, internal humidity, and in multiple mucus and mucus. The latter may be either visible, such as pathological secretions from the Lung, or hidden, such as certain cysts, masses or deposits that can be perceived by swelling of the tissues or following palpation of the Viscera or abdomen.


Regenerate the Organic Liquids

Restoring the normal physiology of body fluids usually requires modifying the diet and using pharmacopoeia along with acupuncture to stimulate circulation in the Meridians, toning the functions of the Viscera involved in the management of the Liquids and eliminating pathogenic forms.