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3. Kidneys rule the grasping of qi

One way that qi enters and leaves the body is through normal respiration. The kidneys grasp the qi that is inhaled through the lungs to help regulate respiration. Although respiratory functions mainly depend on the lungs, inhaled qi must flow down and be grasped by kidneys for smooth respiratory movements to occur. Since normal respiration depends on mutual regulation by the kidneys and lungs, sayings such as "the lungs are the master of qi, the kidneys are the root of qi, the lungs exhale qi and the kidneys inhale qi" are commonly used to describe this relationship.

Normal respiration from a TCM perspective
In order for the kidneys to be able to grasp the qi, they must have an abundance of stored kidney essence and their astringent or grasping and holding functions must be intact. When a kidney deficiency develops and there is a failure to grasp the qi, the qi does not flow down to the kidney and leads to symptoms such as difficulty inhaling with longer exhalation times, shortness of breath, wheezing, spontaneous perspiration, and fatigue.