Body Fluid includes all normal body liquids. It is an important substance for life, and includes the interstitial fluid in the viscera and other organs. Body Fluid is mainly water, and includes some nutrients. The liquids secreted or excreted from the five sensory organs and the nine orifices become urine, sweat, tears, mucus, saliva, etc. Although it is not Blood, Body Fluid is a component of Blood when it flows inside the vessels. Body Fluid outside the vessels, in the viscera and tissues, supplies the very important watery environment which is a fundamental condition of life. According to Qian’s TCM principle, living creatures transfer information through the continuous boundary of water molecules around inorganic ions. In nature, the interconnections within the systems are possible through all life entities and each component. The meridian system of the human body, for example, is the common connection dominated by the water environment.
Water, so abundant in nature, is a fundamental element by which to distinguish living from non-living things. There would be no life without this connection by water. TCM physicians have long realized the role of water in the development of organisms. Water helps transfer matter and information in living things and acts as a carrier of Qi. It is disappointing that many traditional scientists treat “life” as merely the equivalent to living “things,” and only a few scientists realize the difference between these two forms.
The body’s meridian system is a structure of circulating channels. This circulation exists not only in nerves, blood vessels, and lymph nodes but also in microscopic tissue gaps or spaces within the living organism. Although the structure and information transmission mechanism of the water molecule could not be precisely known in ancient Chinese medicine, the principles were established at that time. Because “life” is often mistakenly treated as equivalent to the living creature itself, the special property of water in active lives has not drawn critical attention. For example, CWM observes the body in an anatomical sense that excludes the connection to its continuous water environment.
There are two types of Body Fluid. The lucid, more fluid type that permeates the skin, muscles, body orifices and blood vessels to moisten, lubricate, and nourish, is called Jin (, thin fluid). Jin flows quickly and belongs to Yang. The second type, Ye (, thick fluid), is distributed into the cavities, Marrow, and viscera to nourish and lubricate, and belongs to Yin. Although different in destination and texture, Jin and Ye both come from food and water, and are inseparable and inter-transforming. They are generally considered together and are called Body-Fluid (, Jin-Ye). Pathologically, the “impairment of thin fluid” (, injury of Jin) is less serious while the “loss of thick fluid” (, exhaustion of Ye) is usually more serious