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a note on lung qi

"The kidneys receive oxygen from the lungs". This is how one might translate a phrase found in Traditional Chinese medical texts. It describes how the lungs receive qi, or energy, in this case oxygen from the air, and then the kidneys "grasp" it and disseminate it throughout the body. To someone superficially schooled in modern Western physiology this makes no sense. What happens is that the lungs breathe in air, seperate out oxygen, bind it to the blood, and then send it to the heart. The heart pumps it through the body. So what is the TCM description of the relationship between the lungs and kidneys talking about?
One teacher of TCM explained this to me as a description of the way the immune system recognizes oxygen molecules coming in from outside and allows them to enter the body. In TCM the kidney system is responsible for basic immune functioning, amongst other things. This explanation may be true, but didn`t fully click for me. Then I was recently told by my Anatomy and Physiology teacher that the kidneys monitor the oxygen transport capacity of the bood, ie. how many red blood cells are in ciculation to receive oxygen from the lungs. When the number gets too low the kidneys emit a hormone that causes more red blood cells to be produced, and thus allows the oxygen in the lungs to enter the blood. Pretty neat. `The kidneys grasp the lung qi`indeed.