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In Chinese Medicine, Edema is a sign of organ system deficiency. Dysfunction of lungs, kidneys, and spleen are often pinpointed as the cause of edema. Excess water overflows into muscles and the skin when these organs fail to perform their tasks of converting, transferring, and dispersing fluids.

This dysfunction could be due to external pathogens or to internal injury. Edema can be distinguished into two types: Yin Edema and Yang Edema.

Yang edema: comes about due to external pathogens that invade the body and cause imbalances and organs to dysfunction. This type of Edema usually starts at the top of the body and spreads downward, affecting the entire body. Yang edema is a heat and/or excess condition characterised by glossy, tight, non-pitting skin.

Yin Edema: occurs when Qi is disrupted, resulting in spleen and kidney malfunction, as a result of poor diet, injuries, sexual overindulgence, or prolonged sickness. It usually starts at the bottom of the body and works its way up to affect the entire body. Yin edema is a chronic, cold, deficiency condition characterised by loose, dull, pitted skin.


Acupuncture helps relieve fluid retention in the body as it encourages blood flow, Kidney yang and fluid movement through the body. The flow of blood and fluid through the body lessens the water retention as the water also gets reabsorbed into the vessels and capillaries to go around the body. This reduces the swelling and inflammation caused due to blood and fluid stagnation.

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