BS (Blood Stasis) Syndrome

BS (Blood Stasis) Syndrome

I receive a lot of push notifications from Google and Pubmed covering a variety of pseudo-medical topics.

There is a phenomenal amount of research coming out of China that I would perhaps classify as basic pseudo-science, not unlike the basic science in reality-based medicine.

What they do is apply modern techniques and measurements to Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine, TCPM,  trying to validate their ancient pseudo-science with modern techniques. I am sure the recent Nobel prize will only lead to further encouragement of this process.

The theory of TCPM, including qi and meridians, with diagnosis based on tongue and pulse evaluation was developed without the benefit of understanding anatomy, physiology, microbiology etc, the basic sciences that are the foundations of medicine. Because of that TCPM is not grounded in reality and this results in a most peculiar literature such as Practical Diagnostic Criterion of Blood Stasis Syndrome: Introduction, Reliability, and Validity.

What, you may ask, is BS?

My first hit on Google says

Simply put, it means the flow of Blood is slowed down and brought to a static state.

We call that clot in medicine. 

Normally, Blood is stored in the Liver


and propelled by the Heart Qi to flow through the body.

And here I though it was ventricular contractions of the heart.

If Blood circulation is Stagnant or slowed down by certain factors, it will lead to retention of Blood in any part of the body or overflow of blood out of the vessels, resulting in Blood Stasis.

As another author writes

Note for students: "The Liver stores Blood … when a person moves, Blood goes to the channels, when at rest it goes to the Liver." (Maciocia, Foundations, p. 78) When you're asleep or resting, the Blood collects and is stored in the Liver. When you're active, the Blood is sent out to nourish and moisten the muscles.

Students of what I do not know, but I would hope they are not involved with patient care. I don't think they are speaking metaphorically, which is really sad and nicely demonstrates how removed from reality the BS in  TCPM is.

In TCPM, BS is bad:

If blood stasis occurs within the body, known as "blood stasis syndrome (BSS)," characteristic symptoms such as pain in a fixed position, nyctalgia, dark-purple coloring of the tongue or face, infraorbital darkness, sublingual varicosis, blood spots under the skin or tongue, or an astringent pulse can manifest. In clinical practice, many diseases include these signs and symptoms, such as ischemic heart disease, cerebral vascular accident, diabetes mellitus, chronic gastritis, chronic renal failure, chronic hepatitis, trauma, and dysmenorrhea

Almost total nonsense. BS is disease as metaphor, although practitioners of BS do not think so although even its practitioners evidently do not know what BS is

Of the 678 respondents, more than half (53%) had difficulties with the diagnosis of BSS because objective measurement methods were not readily available. Most respondents (88%) thought that the development of an objective diagnostic method for BSS was necessary.

Many researchers are trying to shoehorn BS into vascular diseases such as angina and lipid disorders.

It is too bad that I only have access to the abstracts as the original are in Chinese, because I really want to know more about phlegm-stasis cementation syndrome in mini-swine. Who knew that

The interaction of phlegm, blood stasis and toxin syndromes helps promote the progress and development of AS plaques, which is the key pathogenesis of phlegm-stasis cementation syndrome in coronary heart disease.

Like so much of the TCPM  research, time and money being devoted to validate with modernity BS concepts that are fundamentally grounded in fantasy.


The manifestation of blood stasis are numerous.

BS can involve any organ.

Just check out this diagram.

And innumerable herbs are used to treat BS.

Here is my prediction:

Someday someone is going to find a molecule in one of these herbs that is helpful for anticoagulation. I hope it isn't the wingless cockroach. And this serendipitous finding will be used as a validation of the whole concept of BS.

I know.  But I could not resist BS.

Points of Interest 10/26/2015
Points of Interest 10/22/2015

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