Edema in Chinese Medicine

Lung, Spleen, and/or Kidney lose transport and transform fluids functions, this leads to water retention.


Yang- Acute onset, starts at the head and face then moves downward.

Yin- slow onset, starts at the feet and ankles, is more in the lower half of the body.


Western Medicine- kidney disorders, endocrine, heart failure, malnutrition.


Traditional Chinese Medicine

Wind invades and causes the Lung to lose its dispersing and descending functions, Yang edema that starts from the eyes, head, and face, may quickly spread to the whole body. Skin has luster, and the edema is not pitting. This more often shows



Principle of Treatment – expel Wind, promote Lung function

Acupuncture points – Shu, Taiyin, BL 13 and LU 5, SJ 5 and LI 4 (induce perspiration), BL 22, *SP 9, Du 26


Spleen deficiency Yang deficiency facial as well as ankle edema, chronic, worse in the afternoon when patient feels tired. This is a Yin edema. Shows Spleen deficiency symptoms.

Principle of Treatment – warm and strengthen Spleen

Acupuncture points – Ren, foot Taiyin, BL 20, 22, Ren 6, 9, ST 36, SP 6, and Moxa


Kidney Yang deficiency long term Spleen Yang deficiency

Kidney can’t control the gates, causes whole body severe edema, abdominal edema, chest fullness, scanty urine, Kidney Yang deficiency symptoms, T- swollen pale with teeth marks and white coat, P- wiry or deep thin

Principle of Treatment – warm and tonify Kidney Yang, transform Qi

Acupuncture points – Ren, Shu, BL 23, Ren 4 (heavy Moxa), BL 22, Ren 9, BL 20, ST 36


Alternative Treatment Methods

auricular- LU SP KI, BL, subcortex

3 edge needle- bleed BL 40, SP 9, BL 23 (chronic)

7 star needle- BL meridian

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