Unlocking Vitality: What is blood stagnation?

Unlocking Vitality: What is Blood Stagnation in East Asian Medicine?

Blood Stagnation

When we consult with clients about their health conditions, we often talk about the concept of blood stagnation, which provokes puzzled expressions on clients’ faces. Therefore, providing a greater understanding of this crucial common condition in our blogs is worthwhile.

In the intricate tapestry of East Asian Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of blood stagnation represents a crucial thread in understanding and addressing various health problems. Far beyond a mere physiological occurrence, TCM views blood stagnation as a dynamic imbalance that can manifest in a range of symptoms and contribute to the development of chronic ailments. Let’s delve into this fascinating aspect of TCM and explore its relevance to our overall wellbeing.

Understanding Blood Stagnation

Western Medicine Perspective

Blood stagnation, as viewed through the lens of Western medicine, can be understood as a condition where blood flow becomes compromised, leading to a build-up of blood within the vessels. Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, varicose veins, heart conditions and certain injuries are associated with the term.

Western medicine approaches blood stagnation by addressing its underlying causes, such as prescribing anticoagulant medications to prevent blood clots, performing surgical procedures to remove blockages, or recommending lifestyle changes to improve overall cardiovascular health.

East Asian Medicine perspective

In East Asian Medicine Blood is not only a vital fluid but also a carrier of Qi, the body’s life force. When the flow of Blood becomes sluggish or obstructed, it gives rise to the concept of blood stagnation. This stagnation disrupts the harmonious circulation of Qi and Blood, leading to an array of health issues.

Signs and Symptoms

Blood stagnation is often associated with various signs and symptoms that may seem unrelated at first glance. These can include:

  1. Pain

    • Persistent, fixed, or stabbing pain in a specific area.

  2. Skin Changes

    • Dark discolouration or purplish hue in the skin.
    • Development of varicose veins or spider veins.

  3. Menstrual Irregularities

    • Painful and clotted menstruation.
    • Irregular menstrual cycles.
    • Fibroids, cysts

  4. Emotional Impact

    • Mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, due to stagnant Qi affecting the mind.

  5. Chronic Conditions

    • Contribution to the development or exacerbation of chronic diseases.

Causes of blood stagnation

Several factors contribute to the onset of Blood stagnation:

  1. Trauma

    • Injuries, surgeries, or physical trauma can disrupt the normal flow of Blood.

  2. Emotional Stress

    • Prolonged emotional stress can impede the smooth circulation of Qi and Blood.

  3. Dietary Factors

    • Consuming foods that create excess dampness or phlegm in the body.

  4. Lifestyle Choices

    • Lack of exercise or prolonged periods of inactivity.


Blood stagnation is a fascinating concept that highlights the diversity of approaches in Western and Chinese medicine. While Western medicine focuses on the anatomical and physiological aspects, East Asian medicine delves into the role of energy flow and holistic health. Understanding these perspectives can provide a well-rounded view of blood stagnation and help individuals make informed decisions about their health and treatment options.

Understanding blood stagnation from an East Asian medical perspective is crucial for addressing various health conditions. It plays a role in:

  1. Pain Management

    • Chronic pain conditions often involve blood stagnation. TCM interventions aim to restore the natural flow of blood, alleviating pain.

  2. Gynaecological Issues

    • Menstrual irregularities and conditions like endometriosis can be linked to blood stagnation.

  3. Cardiovascular Health

    • Blood stagnation may contribute to hypertension or other cardiovascular issues.

A holistic approach to restore the balance of Qi and Blood

Therapies include:

  1. Acupuncture

    • Stimulates specific points to promote the smooth flow of Qi and blood.

  2. Herbal Medicine:

    • Prescribes herbs with blood-moving properties to address stagnation.

  3. Dietary Changes

    • Recommends foods that invigorate blood circulation.

  4. Movement Therapies

    • Qi Gong or Tai Chi to promote overall Qi flow.

How we can help at Ondol Clinic

In the realm of East Asian Medicine, understanding blood stagnation offers a profound perspective on the interconnectedness of our bodily systems. By recognising its signs and addressing its root causes through holistic therapies, individuals can take proactive steps toward unlocking vitality and achieving a harmonious balance within the body.

Our experienced health practitioners at Ondol Clinic are adept at diagnosing and addressing blood stagnation. Through personalised treatments, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle guidance, we aim to restore the harmonious flow of Qi and Blood, promoting overall wellbeing.

If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with blood stagnation or seeking holistic healthcare, contact Ondol Clinic today. Our dedicated team is here to guide you on your journey to vitality and optimal health. To make a booking, you can do so online or by giving us a call on 07 3371 0100.


  1. Maciocia, G. (2005). “The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text.” Churchill Livingstone.
  2. Pitchford, P. (2002). “Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.” North Atlantic Books.
  3. Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press.
  4. American Heart Association. (n.d.). Atherosclerosis. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/atherosclerosis

Note: This blog provides general information and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Individuals with health concerns should consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.


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