Epigastric Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Epigastric Pain" Issue / Symptom Connections

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

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "epigastric pain" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "epigastric 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, "epigastric pain" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: blood stagnation, liver attacking the spleen, spleen and stomach damp heat, spleen qi deficiency, stomach cold, 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 epigastric 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 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 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 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 24 (Slippery Flesh Gate)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 9.

        Epigastric pain, vomiting (rebellious qi). Similar effects as ST 23 on phlegm related shen issues - manic depression, anxiety, mania. Used with ST 23 for manic depression with stiff/thrusting tongue.
  • 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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