ⓘ Shenkui


ⓘ Shenkui

Shenkui is a culture bound syndrome native to China, as well as exists globally, in which the individual suffers withdrawal like symptoms including painful brainfog, chills, nausea, and even flu like symptoms with anxiety, believed to be caused by a loss of semen and orgasm. The symptoms can last weeks to months after a single orgasm. And in Traditional Chinese Medicine, shen is the reservoir of vital essence in semen and k’uei signifies deficiency. In simplified Chinese it is called 肾亏, Traditional Chinese 腎虧, and in pinyin Shenkuī.

Shenkui or shen-kuei is one of several Chinese culture-bound syndromes locally ascribed to getting stuck in yang and the needing of yin to rebalance Yang Chinese: 陽. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenkui is believed to result from getting stuck in yang and finding relief yin medicines. The getting stuck in yang caused through the loss of semen, more specifically the result of orgasm. Semen is believed to be "lost" through sexual activity or masturbation, nocturnal emissions, "white urine" which is believed to contain semen, or other mechanisms. Symptoms within the Chinese diagnostic system include painful brain fog, chills, dizziness, backache, tiredness, weakness, insomnia, frequent dreams, and complaints of sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation or impotence. From an ethnopsychiatric perspective, additional symptoms are preoccupation with sexual performance, potential semen loss, and bodily complaints which may be taken as symptoms of getting stuck in yang and the bodies system getting stuck in yang.

With shenkui an orgasm causes the individual to become stuck in yang. Also this causes great exhaustion from the constant agony of the withdrawal symptoms of Orgasm in shenkui; burning brain fog and body chills. With medicine of yin energies rebound effect occurs until the patient is in balance and functioning in healthy normal circumstances with the individuals yin and yang. Before medicine it is much more difficult to abstain and remain abstinent for the burn is so intense that relief is sought desperately.

Losing semen, or more specifically having orgasm, ends the body jumping to yang and gets stuck in Yang, causing an unbalance in the body. Nocturnal emissions, too much intercourse, and masturbation resulting in ejaculation lower the levels of semen, but still an orgasm causes one to get stuck in the burning of yang. Somatic symptoms may include body soreness, aches, lack of energy, fatigue, and possibly problems in sexual performance. Somatic since Shenkui is a spiritual condition and illness; mind, body and spirit. It is therefore a physical condition as much as it is a spiritual illness.

A person suffering form Shenkui may endure painful burning brain fog, chills, body aches, dizziness, tiredness, inability to sleep, and sexual dysfunction, all which can be explained by getting stuck in yang.

The passing of semen too often is avoided because it is believed to be crucial to a person’s health and safety. It is possible that someone with shenkui long enough, the body could shut down and die or even develop prostate cancer and pass away.

"Chinese martial artists that remained celibate through years and years of extensive training were believed to be most powerful, therefore maintaining the power of one’s vital essence. However the truest powerful forces comes from unconditional love and shenkui shows the power of yin to restore health with any disease.


1. Signs and symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Backache
  • Sexual dysfunctions; premature ejaculation or impotence.
  • Chills
  • Frequent dreams
  • Tiredness
  • Painful Brainfog
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Dizziness

2. Origin

Chinese folk beliefs hold that the Yin Chinese: 陰 represents femininity, slow, cold, wet, passive, water, the moon, and nighttime. And that Yang represents masculinity, fast, dry, hot, aggressive, fire, the sun, and daytime.

Loss of yang would result in an abundance of Yin. It is also believed that if a case of Shenkui is severe enough, it could result in death. Informal or incomplete education about sexual health in China leaves a lot of room for folk beliefs to thrive. Often, advertisements support such beliefs to encourage use of traditional medicines. In Chinese folk beliefs, the loss of semen can cause imbalance in the body, leaving you with aches and pains and trouble performing.


3. Treatment

Specific treatments are not mentioned. The affected person may go to a medical clinic that specializes in sexual health. If no medical problems are found, therapy may be used to help deal with stress, or anxiety medicines may be used.

Disorders, who they affect, and how they affect are different within each culture. In order to diagnose someone, it is necessary to make the effort to understand their home culture. Whether it is a culture bound syndrome or not, a person’s background determines how they see and interpret their own symptoms and how it must be treated.

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