Chest Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Chest Pain" Issue / Symptom Connections

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

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "chest pain" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "chest 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, "chest pain" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: blood stagnation, liver cold stagnation, liver qi stagnation, phlegm fire, and/or phlegm stagnation.

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.

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 EX Huatuojiaji at T3 (Sides of Spine at T3)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T3

        T3 innervates the lung and lymph systems and is used for a range of immune issues (with T1 and T2), including symptoms such as allergies, asthma, chest pain, cough, voice issues, lyme disease, and frequent infections.  T1, T2 and T3 are us…
  • View HT 1 (Highest Spring)

        In the center of the axilla on the radial side of the axillary artery.

        Regulate Qi flow from the torso to the arm and vice versa - cold, numbness, pain in shoulder a/or arm. Pain in the cardiac region - heart pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, palpitations. Frozen shoulder. Pain a/or distentio…
  • View HT 2 (Cyan Spirit)

        With the elbow flexed, 3 cun above HT 3 on the ulnar side of the biceps brachii in the medial groove.

        Local point - in many classics needling this point is contraindicated.  Moxabustion, however, is applicable. Pain in the shoulder or arm. Pain in the lateral chest and/or hypochondriac regions.
  • View HT 4 (Spirit Pathway)

        1.5 cun above the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, on the HT 3 - HT 7 line.

        Sudden loss of voice. Restless Zang Disorder (fluctuating emotions, mania, depression, anxiety, insomnia), various emotional disturbances. Chest pain that perhaps worsens with emotional distress. Local point for pain in the elbow and/or…
  • View HT 6 (Yin Cleft)

        .5 cun above the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, on the HT 3 - HT 7 line.

        Night sweats, Steaming Bone Disorders, tonify Yin and Blood.  Often used with SI 3 for nightsweats. Acute chest and/or heart pain from Blood stasis.  Palpitations, although HT 5 may be better. Acute emotional disturbances - mania, anxiet…
  • View KD 20 (Open Valley)

        5 cun above CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 13.

        Local point for abdominal and digestive issues. Mania, epilepsy, palpitations, mouth/tongue deviation/swelling - largely through resolving phlegm. Chest pain, coughing, wheezing.
  • View KD 22 (Corridor Walk)

        In the 5th ICS 2 cun lateral to CV 16.

        Local Point, generally useful for cough, chest tension, constricted breathing
  • View KD 23 (Spirit Seal)

        In the 4th ICS 2 cun lateral to CV 17.

        Local Point, generally useful for cough, chest tension, constricted breathing. Vomiting - harmonizes stomach.
  • View SI 19 (Auditory Palace)

        Anterior to the tragus and posterior to the condyloid process of the mandible, in a depression formed when the mouth is…

        Ear problems of any etiology, inflammation, deafness, tinnitus, hearing loss. TMJ, toothache. Calms the spirit - manic behavior, epilepsy, sensation of pressure below the heart.  
  • View SP 21 (Great Embracement)

        On lateral side of the chest and on the mid-axillary line in the 6th inter-costal space. (or) 6 cun below the axilla mi…

        Mentioned classically that when this point is deficient, all the joints are flaccid, and when excess, pain all over the body. Pain of the thoracic region. Descends lung qi - cough, chest oppression, shortness of breath.
  • View UB 14 (Jue Yin Shu (Pericardium Shu))

        1.5 cun lateral to the GV line, level with T4.

        For all heart conditions: palpitations, anxiety, stress, etc. Combine with PC 6 to open the chest (as in the case of plum pit qi).  This chest pain can be psycho-emotional (i.e. liver/heart system related in Chinese Medicine terms), or it …
  • 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 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…

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