Diarrhea

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Diarrhea" Issue / Symptom Connections

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

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "diarrhea" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "diarrhea" - 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, "diarrhea" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: kidney yang deficiency, liver attacking the spleen, spleen qi deficiency, stomach cold, stomach dampness, stomach fire, stomach food stagnation, and/or stomach qi deficiency.

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 diarrhea, 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 EX Huatuojiaji at L3 (Sides of Spine at L3)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of L3

        L3 innverates the prostate in men and the ovaries in women.  In women, then, this point may help with a range of ovarian issues - cancer, fertility and/or menstrual issues, cysts, etc.  In men this point can be very helpful for prostate pr…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at L4 (Sides of Spine at L4)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of L4

        L4 innervates the large intestine and is used for a range of colon issues, distention, diarrrhea, constipation, crohn's, IBS and more.  Also useful for low back and/or sciatic pain, weakness in the lower extremities, etc.  Collections of d…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at T12 (Sides of Spine at T12)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T12

        T12 innervates the transverse colon and is used for colon issues such as constipation, diarrhea, or colon cancer. Used  extensively within the Tam Healing System and Tong Ren Therapy. May be needled and used with tuina and/or tonren thera…
  • View KD 7 (Recover Flow)

        2 cun above KD 3 on the anterior border of the achilles tendon.

        Tonifies KD Yang, especially with respect to water regulation - sweating (too much or too little, spontaneous), swellings, urinary issues. Oedema, especially chronic effecting the abdomen a/or lower legs. Five types of Lin Disorder - res…
  • 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 LI 3 (Third Space)

        On the radial side of the index finger, proximal to the head of the 2nd metacarpal bone.

        Expel wind and heat particularly from the throat, teeth, mouth, face and eyes. Diarrhea.  
  • View LI 11 (Pool at the Bend)

        At the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease midway between LU 5 and the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

        Reduction of high fevers, patients with the 4 bigs, combine with LI 1, LI 2 or LI 4. Damp Heat skin diseases, red, itchy, oozing & inflamed (hives, herpes zoster, acne), may be used with UB 40 for any skin disease. ST Excess Issues, …
  • View LU 5 (Cubit Marsh)

        At the cubital crease on the radial side of the biceps brachii tendon.

        He Sea Point - useful for counterflow Qi/diarrhea, hot skin conditions, phlegm-heat excess. Acute/Chronic or Exterior/Interior Conditions. Upper body edema, enuresis. Local point for the elbow - tendonitis, tennis elbow. Classically no…
  • View PC 3 (Marsh at the Bend)

        On the transverse cubital crease on the ulnar side of the biceps brachii tendon.

        Chronic angina - palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks, sensation of "pounding" heart particularly in the upper abdominal area. Tremors of the hand a/or arm, Parkinson's disease - localized pain in the elbow and arm. Gastrointestinal diso…
  • 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 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 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 25 (Celestial Pivot)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 8.

        All intestinal issues - constipation, diarrhea, dysentary, distention, pain, masses/accumulations of any type. Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, fibroids/cysts, fertility issues and leukorrhea. Connects the Upper and Lower Wa…
  • 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 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 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…
  • View UB 27 (Small Intestine Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with 1st PSF.

        Main point for all Small Intestine related issues. Damp heat effecting the bladder (difficult or painful urination, hematuria, dark urine). Damp heat effecting the intestines (diarrhea, hemorrhoids, dysentary). Other lower warmer discha…
  • View UB 28 (Bladder Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with 2nd PSF.

        Main point for all Bladder issues: from damp heat (painful a/or dark urination), from cold (frequent urination, incontinence). For damp-heat anywhere in the body, combine with SP 9 to expel dampness through urination - diarrhea, constipat…
  • View UB 33 (Central Bone Hole)

        On the sacrum medial and inferior to UB 32, level with the 3rd PSF.

        UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Liao" points and are all useful for local low back a/or sacrum problems and most genital and urinary related disorders. Of these UB 32 is most often used clinically. In women may be…
  • View UB 37 (Gate of Abundance)

        6 cun below UB 36 on a line joining UB 36 and UB 40.

        Strenghtens the spine and alleviates pain - low back pain, sciatic pain, local hamstring, thigh, leg pain. Also used for watery diarrhea.

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 "diarrhea", please read "Tam Healing and Tong Ren Therapy for Diarrhea ".

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