Psoriasis According to Chinese Medicine (3 of 4: Qi and Blood Stasis)
“The living cancer.” That is one phrase often used to describe psoriasis. The skin under the lesions in this disease has a cell turnover rate that is 7 times faster than normal skin cells. In normal healthy skin, it takes 28 days for a cell to progress from the deeper layers of the epidermis outward to the surface where it then dies and is shed. But in psoriasis, this process is sped up and occurs in only 4 days. These cells then build up on the surface of the skin and scaly plaques are formed.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these plaques develop when the flow of energy (Qi) in the body is imbalanced. One of the most fundamental concepts in TCM is that all living things have Qi (“chee”) – life force a.k.a. vital energy – and the Qi must circulate properly to maintain health. In cases of common psoriasis where there is a long history of the disease, we often see Qi & Blood Stasis.
When there is Qi & Blood Stasis, the lesions typically are darker in color: dull red, purple or even brown. From a little distance they may even look like a bruise. They tend to be thicker with silvery-white scales and some older lesions may resemble oyster shells. In this phase, the old lesions are usually fixed in size and not many new lesions are appearing. The degree of itching can vary from intensely itchy to not itchy at all. In women with Qi & Blood Stasis, accompanying symptoms can include painful periods (often with clots) or heavy periods. The patient’s tongue might be dull purple or dark red or there may even be purple spots. Practitioners will notice that the patient’s pulse is choppy or wiry/choppy, and deep (esp. if the Qi & Blood Stasis has existed for a very long time).
Publish Date: July 7, 2010 *Articles may include updates since original publishing.