red-blood-cells by rwelte19
red-blood-cells, a photo by rwelte19 on Flickr.

Blood seems to be an appropriate blog topic to start off October; it can help build anticipation for Halloween. In fact, the founders of traditional Chinese medicine were every bit as interested in blood as modern-day vampire trick-or-treaters. When you go for an acupuncture visit, your acupuncturist is always considering your blood as part of your overall health picture.

Have you ever sat down and pondered just what your blood is? Your blood is made up of four things: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Each has a job to do. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells of the body. They are the most numerous cells making up the blood; they create about 40% of total blood volume. White blood cells hunt and destroy invading bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. Platelets are involved in blood clotting. Together, both the white cells and platelets make up only about 5% of the overall blood volume. The remainder of the volume of blood is plasma. Think of plasma as a river of water (literally, because plasma is 95% water!) that carries red and white blood cells, the platelets, and nutrients, proteins, waste products, and hormones to where they are needed. Blood helps maintain the acid/alkaline balance of the body, it assists in regulating body temperature and helps to balance cell salts.

Did you know that:

Blood makes up about 7% of your overall weight.

Our blood is made of about 22 percent solids and 78 percent water.

The kidneys filter over 400 gallons of blood each day.

We may have red colored blood, but that doesn’t mean all organisms do: lobsters have blue blood.

Blood travels in a closed-loop system made of approximately 60,000 miles (yes, that’s not a mistake) of blood vessels.

Both chlorophyll and fresh wheatgrass juice are good for blood health.