Chong Mai Symptoms

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This page is all about Chong Mai Symptoms.

To make more sense of it you may like to read first about the Chong Mai itself, this vital first energy or vessel created when the fertilised egg that grew to be you first put down roots in the the side of your mother's womb.

If you've already read that page, then you might also like to read about what happens when, in Chinese medicine, you get Rebellious Qi of your Chong Mai.

List of Chong Mai symptoms

1. Menses, Fertility and Pregnancy

  • Periods may be irregular, or painful from Blood stasis or Blood Heat
  • Infertility from Blood not nourishing, ie all sorts of menstrual problems in women, and sperm creation in men
  • Pre-menstrual tension from rebellious Qi in Chong Mo
  • Morning sickness during pregnancy from rebellious Qi in Chong Mai
  • Menopausal problems, such as hot flushes, hot face with cold hands and feet

2. Abdominal problems

  • Digestion and appetite upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Distension: digestive problems in the Stomach including fullness, acidity, and in the intestines with distension, blockage of flow of the food, pain and discomfort. 
  • Pain - bursting, distending, need to loosen clothes: pain like this is thought to be because the membranes in the abdomen aren't properly nourished so don't allow their contents, both the organs and their contents, to flow smoothly. This is one of the commonest Chong Mai symptoms.
  • Umbilical area painful
  • Tightness in the epigastrium
  • In the abdomen/epigastrium a sense of urgency or tension pushing upwards towards or into the chest, including fluttering or 'butterflies' in the epigastrium, for example. This 'internal urgency' can come with pain, constipation, anxiety, urine retention, nausea, dizziness and even hernia.

3. Chest problems, including Heart

  • Tension
  • Constriction
  • Anxiety
  • Breathlessness, asthma
  • Sensation of pressure or 'pushing' up from the abdomen
  • Sense of constriction of breathing, with pain
  • Palpitations or irregular heart-beat; heart problems generally and matters 'of the heart'; neurosis;
  • Breasts feel distended and may be swollen. (Just remember, that if you are reading this but don't have knowledge of acupuncture theory, there are other reasons for this condition, as for all the other conditions mentioned!) The breasts contain the same kind of connective tissue or membranes as the abdomen. Since Chong Mo 'rules' these membranes, you could say that it has a major influence on the health of breast tissue. This, together with painful periods, is another of the commonest Chong Mai symptoms.
  • Breast lumps, cysts, nodules
  • Breast milk: until giving birth to your baby, Chong mo, being also the Sea of Blood, is the main vessel that nourishes your baby in the uterus. After birth, the supply switches upwards to the breasts where you could say that what was uterine blood becomes breast milk.
  • Throat feels tight or blocked, as of a lump 
  • Women! Susceptibility to getting sick or catching illnesses during your monthly period, especially from Cold or Heat. This is because Chong Mo 'formed' all the tiny channels that interconnect in your body, and nourishes them with Blood: except during your period, when, having jettisoned a load of it, Blood may be a bit short, so the tiny channels may be a little deficient...

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  • ... what happens then is that the space between your skin and your flesh gets a bit 'empty' and you become more susceptible to external pathogenic factors. So wrap up well during your periods, and don't get cold or exhausted. Of course, this susceptibility might not be in your chest, but could be in your abdomen. So swimming in cold water during your menses is discouraged in Chinese medicine.
  • Various kinds of pain in the heart (the classics say 9 kinds!)

4. Blood Circulation

  • Sense of blood or heat rushing upwards. These kinds of blood circulation problems are common in chong mai symptoms.
  • Face can feel hot, flushed
  • Extremities, including feet and hands, may feel cold
  • Feet may be ice cold, purple in colour
  • Menopausal flushes of heat, with anxiety and palpitations
  • Spontaneous nosebleeds
  • Spontaneous bruising on body and limbs
  • Fungal infections of the big and second toes. (This is because Chong Mo isn't properly carrying Qi and Blood downwards)

5. Mind, Emotions and Personility

  • Anxiety: this anxiety may or may not have a discernible cause. If there is one, you'll worry about it. But this kind of anxiety can occur in happily married people who are not short of adequate resources and who otherwise seem in good health.
  • 'Butterflies' - fluttering in the epigastrium. This one, of the Chong Mai symptoms, can occur almost independently in some people, but often has its root in this syndrome. However, there may be ways to treat it using points that simply help Blood.
  • Habitual attitude of fearfulness. If this was present from birth it makes this more likely to point to suggesting Chong Mai symptoms.
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Palpitations and anxious feelings during menopause: often insomnia too
  • Poor sense of self-worth (see also Gallbladder for example)

6. Head

  • Problems with facial hair, including beards, for both men and women
  • Skin of chin and cheeks is affected, eg with spots at certain stages of the monthly cycle for women
  • Clarity of vision (Chong mo terminates just under the eyes at the first point on the Stomach channel)
  • Phlegm, catarrh in the facial sinuses
  • A sense of heat in the face, often peri or post-menopausal, especially if accompanied by cold in the feet
  • Dry, cracked lips

7. Back

  • Lumbar backache, especially if connected with menses
  • Narrowing of the inter-vertebral discs
  • Stiffness in the spine (but just to remind you again: this, like all the other symptoms mentioned, could be something else!)

8. Lower extremities, ie legs and feet

  • Weakness, especially of the inner - medial - aspect of the legs
  • Restless legs, because Chong mo Blood isn't nourishing the lower extremities
  • Cold, even purple, feet because Chong mo isn't carrying Qi and Blood down to them

9. Skin, Flesh, Muscles and Hair

  • When you see a healthy teenager or young adult, you marvel at the quality of their skin and hair. (Mainly this Chong mo concerns body hair, but includes facial hair.) Their skin and hair are lustrous, flexible, tactile, moist without being oily, well-rounded without being fat, and the skin colour is vibrant.
  • When Chong mo is deficient, the skin becomes dry and bodily hair either doesn't grow as it should or easily breaks off.
  • Spontaneous bruising
  • Blood stasis wherever it occurs
  • Poor muscular development: too thin
  • Long-term aching of muscles including after exercise and perhaps for example from conditions such as fibromyalgia which also has great sensitivity of the skin

10. Pulse

  • Pulse: Deep, Firm. May be Wiry in Middle positions
  • (However, this pulse is what acupuncturists might feel in the case of Rebellious Chong Mai Qi. If there is underlying deficiency causing Chong Mai symptoms, there might be weakness in these middle positions.


When first encountering Chong Mo, many acupuncturists roll their eyes! They've already learned so much about

  • the zang-fu
  • the different acupuncture channels
  • the 8 principles
  • the position and function of all the acupuncture points
  • the 5 Elements, 
  • the theory of bodily fluids, blood and phlegm, 
  • the Three Burning Spaces, 
  • the this and the that, (yes, there's lots more) 
  • and now suddenly there's another huge lump of theory to master, which seems more important than all the rest put together!

So here are you, gentle reader, (I say 'gentle' to try and placate your frustrations) trying to make sense of your symptoms in terms of Chinese medicine, when Chong Mo suddenly seems to pull the rug from a good deal of what you've read on other pages.

Yes, well, it's a problem. But also, sometimes a solution, though please don't rush to diagnose yourself. Get someone else to do it. It's very easy to get confused or, worse, to be absolutely certain that you are right, then to do something rash about it. Do get help!

On this page you've read about Chong Mai symptoms. I have two other pages which help you understand this 'extraordinary' vessel:

Find an Acupuncturist!

If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.

If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.

Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index. 

Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:

Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion

Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine

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