Abdominal Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Abdominal Pain" Issue / Symptom Connections

Below you will find various relationships to, and potential clinical treatment approaches for abdominal pain.

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "abdominal pain" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "abdominal pain" - i.e. the "cause(s)".

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Within TCM, "abdominal pain" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: blood stagnation, stomach cold, stomach fire, stomach food stagnation, stomach qi deficiency, and/or stomach rebellious qi.

The above patterns are common examples. In clinical situations, however, there are any number of other possibilities. Many times there will be a layered combination of patterns in an interwoven blend with their symptoms - some being the cause of an issue and the result of another issue. While initially complex, this is illustrative of the the web of relationships that Chinese Medicine is designed to approach.

Related Acupuncture Protocols

When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. To illustrate and guide developing an acupuncture treatment for someone experiencing abdominal pain, this issue is referenced in the following acupuncture protocol section:

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • View KD 11 (Pubic Bone)

        5 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 2.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 12 (Great Manifestation)

        4 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 3.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 13 (Qi Hole)

        3 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 4.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 14 (Fourfold Fullness)

        2 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 5.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 15 (Central Flow)

        1 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 7.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 16 (Huang Shu)

        .5 cun lateral to CV 8.

        Cold a/or Dry effecting the lower abdomen a/or intestines - constipation, abdominal pain, five types of Lin, shan disorder
  • View KD 17 (Shang Bend)

        2 cun above CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 10.

        Local point for abdominal and colon pain and functional issues. Diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain.
  • View KD 18 (Stone Pass)

        3 cun above CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 11.

        Local Point for abdominal and intestinal issues.   Pain, hiccups, vomiting, harmonizes stomach. Fertility issues involving stagnation in the lower warmer. Abdominal pain following childbirth.
  • View KD 19 (Yin Metropolis)

        4 cun above CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 12.

        Local point for abdominal and intestinal pain. Vomiting, reflux, nausea, bloating - harmonizes stomach. Fertility issues, primarily by moving blood stagnation in the lower warmer.
  • View KD 21 (Dark Gate)

        6 cun above CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 14.

        Local point for abdominal and intestinal pain and functional issues. Reflux, vomiting, food stagnation, dystenary - harmonizes stomach. Liver stagnation affecting the breasts - insufficient lactation, breast distention.
  • View LI 9 (Upper Ridge)

        3 cun below LI 11 on the LI 5 to LI 11 line.

        The following relationships exist between the ST and the LI and can be used to treat ST, LI and SI organ problems: SI: LI 8 & ST 39 LI: LI 9 & ST 37 ST: LI 10 & ST 36 Local point for shoulder, elbow, and arm pain. Stagnati…
  • View SP 2 (Great Metropolis)

        On medial side of big toe, sital and inferior to the 1st metatarsaldigital joint in a depression at the juncture of the…

        Generally used to clear damp-heat - gout, painful obstructions. Local point for issues with the big toe. With SP 3 tonify SP organ - abdominal distention, diarrhea and/or heart pain.
  • View SP 3 (Supreme White)

        Proximal and inferior to the head of the 1st metatarsalphalangeal joint in a depression at the junction of the red and …

        SP Qi and Yang Deficiency, especially those with excess pathologies - abdominal a/or epigastric pain, digestive issues, heart pain. Muscle atrophy in the lower legs, heaviness in the body. Main treatment point of Lung Sho pattern (with L…
  • View SP 4 (Yellow Emperor)

        In a depression distal and inferior to the base of the 1st metatarsal bone at the junction of the red and white skin.

        Excess pathologies of the ST and Intestines - severe abdominal a/or epigastric pain, dysentery, food poisoning. Gynecological and Abdominal issues due to stagnation of Qi and Blood - masses, fibroids, cysts, irregular menstruation. With …
  • View SP 5 (Shang Hill)

        In a depression distal and inferior to the medial malleolus midway between the tuberosity of the navicular bone and the…

        Tonifies the spleen and resolves dampness - lethargy, desire to lie down, abdominal distention. Calms the spirit - manic depression, anxiety, excessive thinking. Speech disorders, stiffness at root of tongue.
  • View SP 12 (Surging Gate)

        Superior to the lateral end of the inguinal groove lateral to the pulsating external iliac artery (joins femoral artery…

        Used for a variety of urinary disorders (retention, painful) due to it's functions of draining dampness, clearing heat and regulating urination. Abdominal pain, hernia, hemorrhoids by regulating qi and invigorating blood.
  • View SP 13 (Bowel Abode)

        .7 cun laterosuperior to SP 12 and 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline (between CV 2 and CV 3).

        Abdominal pain, abdominal masses (fibroids, cysts, etc.), hernia, thigh pain - regulates the liver, qi, and alleviates pain.
  • View SP 14 (Abdominal Bind)

        1.3 cun below SP 15 and 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline on the lateral side of rectus abdominus.

        Warms the middle warmer and dissipates cold for lower abdominal pain, diarrhea (from cold), abdominal pain, constipation. Resolves counterflow qi - can be used to subdue fright (i.e. panic attacks) from counterflow qi disrupting the heart…
  • View SP 15 (Great Horizontal)

        4 cun lateral to the center of the umbilicus (CV 8) lateral to rectus abdominus.

        Regulate the Qi of the Intestines - constipation, diarrhea (ST 25 better for diarrhea), abdominal pain and distention.
  • View SP 16 (Abdominal Lament)

        3 cun above SP 15 and 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline (CV 11).

        Aids intestinal issues by clearing heat in the intestines and resolving dampness - as well as generally moving the intestines. Noted for undigested food in the stool. Abdominal pain, dysentery, blood in the stool.
  • View ST 19 (Not Contained)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 14.

        Abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting (rebellious stomach qi). Gastric pain, gall bladder issues. Anorexia, poor appetite.
  • View ST 20 (Assuming Fullness)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 13.

        Abdominal pain, bloating, hiccups, gastric pain, vomiting. Anorexia, poor appetite, diarrhea. Shortness of breath, wheezing.
  • View ST 21 (Beam Gate)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 12.

        Tonifies Middle Warmer, assists CV 12. Epigastric pain, accumulations of food in the abdomen a/or palpable masses, vomiting. Diarrhea, poor appetite, anorexia.
  • View ST 22 (Pass Gate)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 11.

        Abdominal pain, bloating, gurgling in the stomach/intestines (boborygmus). Diarrhea, constipation, poor appetite. Edema. Useful for bedwetting with HT 7 and UB 40 or LU 1 and HT 7 (deadman text).
  • View ST 23 (Supreme Unity)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 10.

        Abdominal pain, epigastric pain, bloating, poor appetite, diarrhea. Shen/Spirit related imbalances related to phlegm - manic depression, irritability, anxiety. Used with ST 24 for manic depression with stiff/thrusting tongue.
  • View ST 26 (Outer Mound)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 7.

        Abdominal pain, bloating, hernias. Menstrual issues - dysmenorrhea (cramps/painful menstruation), amenorrhea (absense of menstruation), irregular cycles.
  • View ST 27 (Great Gigantic)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 5.

        Beneficial for multiple genito-urinary issues in men - impotence (erectile dysfunction), seminal emission, premature ejaculation, difficult urination, etc. Irregular menstruation. Abdominal pain, bloating, hernia. Fear/fright with palpi…
  • View ST 30 (Surging Qi)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 2.

        Upper Sea of Water & Grain Point - excess or deficient conditions of the Stomach - hypogastric pain, bloating, abdominal pain. Regulates the Intestines - borborygmus, hernia - rectal, inguinal. Regulates genitalia - swelling and pain…
  • View ST 34 (Beam Hill)

        With knee flexed, 2 cun above the superior lateral border of the patella on the line connecting with the ASIS.

        Lateral knee issues, swelling, pain, difficult movement. Pain, motor control, circulation issues of the knee and/or lower leg. Excess & Acute issues of the Stomach and chest - acute Stomach pain, GERD, vomiting, acute breast pain.
  • View ST 36 (Leg Three Li)

        3 cun below ST 35, one finger width lateral from the anterior border of the tibia.

        Tonify deficient Qi a/or Blood. Tonify Wei Qi and Qi overall - low immunity, chronic illness, poor digestion, general weakness, particularly with moxibustion, very important acupuncture point for building and maintaining overall health. …
  • View ST 37 (Upper Great Hollow)

        6 cun below ST 35, one finger width lateral from the anterior border of the tibia.

        Generally for excess and more acute disorders of the intestines and digestive system involving dampness and/or heat - diarrhea, dysentary, boborygmus, abdominal pain, bloating, distention, constipation. Sea of Blood Point - if excess the …
  • View ST 39 (Lower Great Hollow)

        9 cun below ST 35, one finger width lateral from the anterior border of the tibia.

        Disorders of the Small Intestine organ - abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentary. SI channel problems - breast issues, mastitis, pain/swelling/numbness along channel. Local point for lower leg issues - pain, numbness, motor control, atrophy.
  • View ST 41 (Ravine Divide)

        On the midpoint of the transverse crease of the ankle, approximately level with the tip of the external malleolus, in a…

        Opposite end of channel issues (i.e. head/face) - swelling, headache, dizziness / vertigo. Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation. Can aid groundedness and focus - ADD/ADHD, mania, restlessness, palpitations, epilepsy. Local point for a…
  • View ST 43 (Sunken Valley)

        In a depression distal to the junction of the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones.

        Similar actions to ST 44 but used less often - will clear heat from the channel and organ. Classically noted for clearing facial pain and/or edema / swelling.  May be used for general edema. Abdominal pain, bloating, borborygmus, frequen…
  • View ST 44 (Inner Court)

        Proximal to the web margin between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones, in a depression distal and lateral to the 2nd meta…

        Ying Spring Point - Clears heat from the channel and organ - febrile disease with absence of sweating.  Useful for issues of the Face & Jaw along with LI 4 - toothache, facial pain, bell's palsy, stroke, sore throat, eye pain. Damp H…
  • View UB 16 (Governing Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 10, level with T6.

        Hot a/or toxic skin conditions (esp. on the back): acne, boils, psoriasis, alopecia. Harmonizes the qi in the chest and abdomen - epigastric pain, abdominal distention, borborygmus. Chest / Cardiac pain - unbinds the chest.
  • View UB 20 (Spleen Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 6, level with T11.

        Main point for all Spleen problems from a TCM perspective of both the physical organ functions and the energetic/psychological relationships. Physical spleen issues - distention, abdominal pain, bloating, poor appetite along with more inv…
  • View UB 21 (Stomach Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with T12.

        Main point for all Stomach related issues in TCM diagnostic terms - harmonizes the stomach, transforms damp and resolves stagnation:  food stagnation, abdominal distention, borborygmus, mouth ulcers, vomiting, belching, nausea, etc. Disso…
  • View UB 22 (Triple Burner Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 5, level with L1.

        As Triple Heater Shu this point effects conditions related to imbalances between the upper and lower parts of the body especially those related to water: edema, bloating, ascites, borborygmus, difficult or painful urination, urinary retent…
  • View UB 25 (Large Intestine Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 3, level with L4.

        Main point for low back pain especially when related to constipation a/or menstruation. Combine with local points such as GV 3, UB 26, Shiqizhui (between L5 and S1), UB 31, UB 32, GB 30 & distal points such as GB 34, GB 39, GB 41, UB 4…

The Tom Tam/Tong Ren Therapy system can be applied via energy healing/medical qi gong methods as well as an acupuncture component. The acupuncture aspect is generally utilized in combination with more standard TCM diagnostic approaches.

For the specific points/areas that would generally be utilized in someone experiencing "abdominal pain", please read "Tam Healing and Tong Ren Therapy for Abdominal Pain ".

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