At Herb + Ōhm, we strive to bring ancient wisdom to modern Chicagoans, and part of our approach is to introduce the newest technologies to our patients in order to help them to restore balance in their lives.
In Chinese medicine, we diagnose by finding a pattern of symptoms, and one of those patterns is what we call blood deficiency. When blood deficiency takes place in the body, it sometimes manifests with symptoms that present as a lack of moisture: brittle nails, dry skin, pallid complexion. That’s because blood is the body’s primary form of nourishment and moisture. Often, we find a contributing factor to the symptoms of blood deficiency is dehydration.
Many factors can contribute to chronic dehydration―medications, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption (see our recent blog post here —but a big part of it is also water. When was the last time you thought about how much water you drink each day? If you’re like 75 percent of Americans, the answer is not very often.
In TCM, the organ systems most often associated with blood deficiency are the heart, liver and spleen. A blood deficiency manifests in each of these channels with slightly different symptoms, but some of them also overlap. Additional symptoms of blood deficiency include dizziness, light headedness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, heart palpitations, poor memory, anxiety, insomnia or dream-disturbed sleep, lack of menstrual cycle or amenorrhea, numbness/tingling of limbs, muscle cramps, and floaters in the eyes.
When there is an organ system that is imbalanced or not functioning at maximum efficiency, the functions of this organ system are not only carried out in that organ but also in its entire respective channel, or meridian, in the body. One way to treat these imbalances is by needling points along those respective meridians of the body. These meridians traverse the body, and each one flows into the next meridian making up a whole system.
But acupuncture is not the only way to treat blood deficiency. We also recommend consuming foods that increase blood production, like goji berries and beets (not a coincidence that they’re both red in color). And perhaps the easiest way to treat it is to stay well hydrated by drinking enough water every day. Initially, when we find someone who is dehydrated, we ask them to drink half their weight in water ounces for a week. If problematic symptoms improve, then we know we’re on the right track to restoring balance.
But it can be difficult to know if you’re drinking enough water each day. Luckily, there is a technology that can help. Introducing our latest discovery in hydration: the Hidrate Spark smart water bottle. Hidrate Spark first helps you by calculating a personalized daily water goal. From there, it automatically tracks your water intake and glows periodically throughout the day to remind you to stay hydrated. It also connects via bluetooth to a hydration app and syncs with Fitbit, Apple Watch + more!
Our entire team at Herb + Ōhm uses Hidrate Spark, and we love it! If you’re interested in an easier way to stay hydrated every day, you can get 10% off a Hidrate Spark bottle of your own by clicking here. Share it with your friends, and let us know what you think in the comments!