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Introduction to TCM Pediatric:  4 Deficiencies

Introduction to TCM Pediatric:  4 Deficiencies

The 4 deficiencies lie within the Yin, Lungs, Spleen and Kidney

Yin & Yang

Qualities of Yin in relation to Yang are those that are cold, dull, fluid and passive motion. As mentioned, children have pure Yang constitution and Yang. Thus, Yin are relatively low due to the immaturity of body and consumption during growth (Yang process).


The study of Chinese medicine pediatrics states that: Children’s exterior defensive mechanism is not secure, which allows for external pathogen to easily affect the exterior or directly attack the lungs.

The exterior defensive mechanism refers to the exterior of the body guarded and governed by the Defensive Qi. This Defensive Qi is, in turn, controlled by the lungs.  The function of the Defensive Qi is to fend off external pathogen thereby allowing for the unobstructed free flow of Qi on our exterior and the proper function of the lungs, that is, to controls a downward depuration and perfusion.

With a deficiency or immaturity of the lungs,[3] external pathogen are able to easily affect the exterior Defensive Qi, inhibiting its proper flow, which in turns results in obstruction and accumulation that exhibit as symptoms like muscular aches, pain, fever. At the same time, causing lung Qi to counter flow upwards, producing symptoms of sneezing and coughing. In addition to this, as the downward depuration and perfusion function is inhibited, fluids are not able to be sent down to the bladder to be excreted. These fluids accumulate in the lungs; either being transformed or congealed into phlegm.

This can be observed in children being susceptible to catching a cold, developing rapidly to cough, asthma, bronchitis and so on.


In TCM, the spleen is seen as the organ in charge of transportation and transformation of food and liquid. Food and liquids we ingest are transformed into nutrients to supplement and nourish our body, and into waste or turbid materials to be excreted out of the body. In other words, a normal spleen function allows for sufficient source of Qi and Blood to be created and distributed for the body.

In children, the already delicate and immature spleen tends to be easily overburdened by the large amount of food required for development. An overburdened spleen will result in a weaker transportation and transformation function of the spleen, resulting in accumulation of stagnant food in the stomach, causing digestive complaints such as vomiting or diarrhea.


Deficiency in kidney leans towards an inherent quality which plays a role in a child’s natural development, as we mentioned about kidney function in TCM back in the previous article, deficiency of kidney may result in bedwetting, teeth failing to grow, delay growth, and sweating.




Dr. Marla Anastasia Sulindro                                  Dr. Teh Liam Joe


Dr. Marla and Dr. Joe offer TCM evaluation and treatments in our clinic. They have extensive experience in treating TCM and work closely with members for holistic solutions. Body & Soul offers a full range of TCM treatmentsClick here to make an appointment.