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Abdominal Pain

abdominal pain and chinese Medicine

A complementary approach, Acupuncture and TCM in managing Abdominal Pain 

(Organ names in Chinese medicine differ from Western medicine's understanding".

Abdominal pain is a common symptom that can have many different causes, including digestive problems, inflammation, infections, and more serious conditions like cancer. Western medicine approaches abdominal pain by trying to diagnose the underlying condition and treating it with medications, surgery, or other interventions. Abdominal pain may stem from serious conditions and these must be rulled out by westen medicine and treated. Some acute abdominal pain may require emergency care and should not be taken lightly. It is imperative to ensure that your condition diagnosed by a Western Medical Doctor. 


Chinese medicine may assist with different types of abdominal pain, however it is essential that you get your condition checked by a GP prior to presenting for Chinese Medicine intervention. Chinese medicine views abdominal pain as a manifestation of imbalances in the body's energy, or Qi, and seeks to restore balance through a holistic approach that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

According to Chinese medical theory, the abdomen is the seat of the body's digestive system and is also home to several important organs, including the stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, and intestines and their respective chinese medicine concepts, which vary from the perspective of western madicine and are observed through the ancient theories of Chinese Medicine.  Each organ is associated with a specific energetic channel group, or meridian, that runs through the abdomen and is connected to other parts of the body. When the flow of energy in these channels is disrupted or blocked, it can lead to abdominal pain and other symptoms.

One of the key concepts in Chinese medicine is the theory of the Five Elements, which describes the relationships between different aspects of nature and the human body. The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and each element is associated with specific organs and meridians. For example, the Wood element is associated with the liver and gallbladder, and the Fire element is associated with the heart and small intestine. By understanding these relationships, Chinese medicine practitioners can identify imbalances and tailor treatments to address them.

Another important concept in Chinese medicine is the theory of Qi and Blood. Qi is the body's vital energy, which flows through the meridians and keeps the body functioning properly. Blood nourishes the body's tissues and organs, and is also an important carrier of Qi. When Qi and Blood are flowing smoothly, the body is healthy and free from pain. However, when there are blockages or imbalances, it can lead to a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain.

Chinese medicine also uses the concepts of Shan Han Lun and Wen Bing to understand and treat abdominal pain. Shan Han Lun is a classic text that describes cold damage diseases, which are caused by exposure to cold and damp conditions. Wen Bing, on the other hand, describes warm diseases, which are caused by pathogenic heat. By identifying the underlying patterns of disharmony, Chinese medicine practitioners can select the appropriate herbs and acupuncture points to restore balance and relieve pain.

In addition to these concepts, Chinese medicine also recognizes the importance of phlegm, heat, cold, wind, and other factors in causing abdominal pain. For example, excessive phlegm in the digestive system can lead to blockages and pain, while heat can cause inflammation and irritation. Chinese medicine practitioners use a variety of diagnostic techniques, including tongue and pulse diagnosis, to identify the underlying causes of abdominal pain and tailor treatments accordingly.

While Chinese medicine does not offer a cure or treatment for any specific Western medical condition, it can be a valuable complement to Western medical care in managing symptoms and promoting overall health and wellbeing. By working together with Western medical practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners can offer a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of abdominal pain and promotes balance and harmony in the body.


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  2. Zhang, W., Gu, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Efficacy of acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine in treating functional abdominal pain syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 26(9), 645–651.

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  4. Chen, J. K., & Chen, T. T. (2009). Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. Art of Medicine Press.

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  6. Ma, X., Tian, Y., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Zhang, Z., Zhang, J., & Wang, L. (2012). A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture versus sham acupuncture for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 32(2), 265–272.

  7. Li, Q., Yue, N., Liu, J., & Wang, Y. (2019). Acupuncture for functional dyspepsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 25(10), 985-994.

The primary objective of Chinese Medicine is to treat the whole person rather than a specific disease or its given name.  It is an adjunct to Western medicine, with a distinct focus on identifying the underlying cause within Chinese medical  theory and using it's principles in a safe and modern clinical setting.

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