Condition Treated / Pain Conditions


Abdominal Pain Conditions


Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain refers to pain in the lower abdomen, below the epigastric region and above the
upper portion of the pubic bone. It is frequently encountered in cases in internal medicine,
gynecology and surgery, especially pertaining to the digestive system and female system diseases.

Causes and Pathogenesis of the Disease

Invasion of cold evil, or overeating of cold and raw food, injures the middle energizer,
which leads to the accumulation of cold. Sometimes an attack of heat evil occurs by voraciously
eating spicy, hot and greasy food, and then the damp heat and food retention mix together to impede the function of the middle energizer which results in qi dynamics obstruction and pain. Deficiency of the original yang and spleen-yang causes dysfunction in transportation and transformation; or immoderate eating and drinking leads to impairment of the spleen and stomach and causes a disturbance in qi dynamics; then the adverse flow of liver-qi attacks he spleen due to emotional depression, or a traumatic injury gives rise to qi stagnation and blood stasis. Abdominal pain can result from any of the above causes.

Identification of Patterns

Chief symptoms Acute abdominal pain or severe pain with an abrupt onset. Chronic abdominal
pain or lingering, intermittent, and long term pain.
The pattern of accumulation of cold manifests as an abrupt onset of violent abdominal pain
which responds to warmth and gets worse by the cold, abdominal distension and borborygmus, invasion of the cold evil, clear and profuse urine, a pale tongue with a white coating and a deep, tight pulse.

The pattern of collection of damp­ heat manifests as an abdominal pain with an aversion to pressure, distension and fullness, anorexia and a desire to drink, constipation or hesitate bowel movement, a red tongue with a yellowish and sticky coating and a slippery, rapid pulse.

The pattern of qi stagnation and blood stasis is accompanied by distension or pain in the epigastric
and abdominal regions, that wanders or radiates into the lower abdomen, and is alleviated by
belching or flatulence, and presents with a dark, purplish tongue with possible pete?hia and
a wiry, rough pulse.

The pattern of hypoactivity of spleen-yang manifests as intermittent dull pain
relieved by pressure and aggravated by hunger and fatigue, lassitude, aversion to cold, a pale
tongue with a thin and white coating and a deep, thready pulse.


(1) Primary Acupuncture treatment
Principal points Zusanli (ST 36), Zhongwan (CV 12), Tianshu (ST 25), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Guanyuan (CV 4)
Supplementary points Add Shenque (CV 8) and Gongsun (SP 4) to the pattern of accumulation of
pathogenic cold; add Yinlingquan (SP 9) and Neiting (ST 44) to the pattern of damp heat collection;
add Ququan (LR 8) and Xuehai (SP 10) to the pattern of qi stagnation and blood stasis; and add
Pishu (BL 20), Weishu (BL 21) and Zhangmen (LR 13) to the pattern of spleen-yang hypoactivity.
Explanation Zusanli (ST 36), the Lower He-Sea of the stomach, is selected to treat epigastric and
abdominal disorders. Zhongwan (CV 12), the Front-Mu Point of the stomach and the Influential Point of the fu-organs, Tianshu (ST 25), the Front-Mu Point of the large intestine and Guanyuan (CV 4), the Front-Mu Point ofthe small intestine, are used to regulate qi of the fu-organs. Sanyinjiao (SP 6) functions to adjust qi and blood in the three foot-yin channels, promoting qi dynamics, therefore relieving pain.
(2) Alternate methods of Acupuncture treatment
Auricular acupuncture Select 2 to 4 points from Stomach (CO 4), Small Intestine (CO 6), Large
Intestine (CO 7), Liver (CO 12), Spleen (CO 13), Sympathesis (AH 6a), and Shenmen (TF 4) and
treat>with moderate or strong stimulation if pain occurs. The above points can also be used in
ear-pressure with wang bu liu xing (Semen Vaccariae) or with intradermal needles.

(3) Commonly-used patent Chinese herbal products

1. Mu Xiang Shun Qi Wan Actions: Promotes qi, dries the dampness and stops pain. Indications: Abdominal pain due to qi stagnation or food retention.
2. Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan Actions: Promotes digestion, clears heat and resolves dampness.
Indications: Abdominal pain due to food retention.
3. Fu Zi Li Zhong Wan Actions: Warms the middle jiao, dissipates cold, and strengthens the
spleen and stomach. Indications: Abdominal pain due to deficiency and cold in the middle jiao.
4. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Ruan Jiao Nang Actions: Removes wind, dissipates cold, resolves dampness and regulates the middle jiao. Indications: Abdominal pain due to internal retention of

Life style recommendations

1. Keep warm, control food intake and regulate emotions;
2. Take easy-to-digest and well-balanced food and avoid physical exercise immediately after
eating food;
3. Consider acute surgery or gynecology problems for severe pain, tenderness and complication of
fever; and consider pain-related syncope for cold sweats, cold limbs and persistent vomiting. The
above conditions need emergent measures.


Abdominal pain is usually caused by external contraction of pathogenic factors, improper diet,
emotional disturbance and constitutional yang-qi deficiency. It is located in the abdomen and
related to the liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidney, large and small intestine and urinary bladder.
It is also related to the three foot-yin meridians, gallbladder meridian, large intestine
meridian, stomach meridian, Chong meridian, Conception Vessel and Dai meridians. The nature of
abdominal pain can be deficiency, excess, cold and heat. Excessive syndromes are caused by cold retention, damp-heat, food retention, qi stagnation and blood stasis. Deficient syndromes are
caused by deficiency and cold of zang-organs. The basic pathogenesis of abdominal pain includes
obstruction of qi and blood causing pain and malnutrition of zang-fu organs and meridians
causing pain. Before abdominal pain is treated, the nature of pain, locations of the pain,
deficiency and excess, cold and heat, and the related zang-fu organs must be distinguished first.
The treatment principle for abdominal pain is to purge the related organs or meridians, more
specifically, to reduce for excessive syndromes, to reinforce for deficient syndromes, to cold for
heat syndromes and to warm for cold syndromes and also pay attention to the mixed conditions.

Pain Care Acupuncture Clinic is your local acupuncture office in Torrance, CA . specializing in treating injuries and chronic pain. Dr. Ming Chen and Dr. Lu Yang, Both acupuncturists who also the oriental medical doctor ( O.M.D. ) can pinpoint the cause of the injury and suggest the best treatment methods for you. You need our doctor to listen to the whole story and examine you, so that you can get started treating on your injuries or chronic pain and get you on the track toward recovery.

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