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Chronic gastritis can be compared to stomach fullness and epigastralgia in traditional Chinese medicine

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Chronic gastritis can imply a number of chronic gastric mucus inflammation caused by various pathogenic factors. According to the pathological changes, chronic gastritis may be classified into hypertrophic, atrophic, and superficial gastritis. The clinical symptoms of each of these types of gastritis may be different from each other although chronic gastritis manifests itself through common, main symptoms such as belching, vomiting, nausea, dyspepsia, anorexia as well as pain and discomfort in the middle and upper stomach, and recurrent fullness. Chronic gastritis can be compared to stomach fullness and epigastralgia in traditional Chinese medicine. Chronic gastritis can develop from constant emotional upsets, a poor diet, weakness and overstrain from prolonged disease that may lead to qi stagnation and depression of liver, stomach yin insufficiency, asthenia-cold in middle energizer; or by the collaterals being affected by stagnation of blood in the collaterals themselves or a prolonged disease.

Differentiation of Syndrome

  1. Qi stagnation and liver depression and qi stagnation – symptoms include a rapid and taut pulse, red tongue with yellow and thin coating, frequent sighing and belching, migratory pain and epigastralgia affecting the rib-sides.
  1. Asthenia-cold in the abdomen and spleen – symptoms: weak and thin pulse, bulgy and light-colored tongue with slippery, white and thin coating, cold limbs and aversion to cold, loose stool, spiritual lassitude, emaciation, preference for pressure and warmth and a dull stomach ache.
  1. Stomach yin inadequacy – symptoms: thin and taut or rapid and thin pulse, red tongue with scanty coating, dry mouth with urge to drink, hunger with no appetite, heartburn like hunger and Irregular pain in the abdomen.
  1. Stagnation of blood in the collaterals – symptoms: unsmooth pulse, purplish tongue with ecchymoses, sporadic hemtochezia or hematemesis, stabbing epigastralgia with unpressurable and fixed pain.


  1. Ear acupuncture – Recommendation: Subcortical (AT4), Ear Shenmen (TF4), Sympathetic (AH6a), Triple Energizer (CO17), Liver (C012), Spleen (CO13), Abdomen (CO4).

Performance: two to three acupuncture points are needled. The needles stay in place for half an hour and manipulated at times. Electro-acupuncture can be utilized. Vaccaria seed or Wang-buliuhsingsi for ear pressure can be used. To be needled in alternate sequences are both ears.

  1. Body acupuncture – Recommendation: Hsusanli (ST36), Liangmen (ST21), Gongsun (SP4), Neiguan (PC6), Shongwan (CV 12).

Modification: for distention and fullness in the abdomen and epigastrium, Pizhu (BL 20), Burong (ST19) and Shangmen (LR 13), are included; for abdomen heat for stomach heat, Nei- ting (ST 44) is included; for blood stagnation in the collaterals, Gezhu (BL17), Hsuehai (SP10) are included; for stomach yin inadequacy, Sanyinchiao (SP 6) and Taihsi (KI 3) are included; for asthenia-cold in the abdomen and spleen Weizhu (BL 21) and Pizhu (BL 20) are included; for liver qi attacking the abdomen, Ganzhu (BL 18), Chimen (LR14), and Tai-chong (LR 3) are included.

Performance: For asthenia-cold syndrome treatment, moxibustion can be used; for asthenia-cold in the abdomen and spleen as well as stomach yin inadequacy, reinforcing needling procedure can be implemented; for liver qi invading the abdomen and blood stagnation in the collaterals, reinforcing and mild reducing and needling procedures or reducing needling technique is recommended.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a board certified and licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Ni Nan Healing Art Center in Bellmore, NY.

Written by Valerie

August 31st, 2014 at 1:12 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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