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Nervous Stomach Anxiety? This page is for you! The Chinese get this too, and for the same reasons as you!
But they don't call it 'nervous stomach anxiety'. Those are words we use when we feel anxious in our abdomen, particularly in our upper abdomen, the area above the belly button and below our ribs.
People say they feel one or more of the following -
These symptoms can go on to include:
Anxiety can come with many other possible symptoms, including changes in your
Fundamentally in Chinese medicine, the reason for nervous stomach anxiety occurs because of an imbalance between 'yin' and 'yang'. (Rather than make this page too long, I invite you to click on my page on balancing yin and yang.)
Putting these together you may understand that too much yang, especially when it goes on and on, is exhausting. Your reserves, which you can recover by leading a calm life, with good nutrition and time for rest and sleep, get exhausted by too much yang.
When your yin reserves are exhausted, you are even more susceptible to yang disturbances, you often can't sleep properly and you become more prone to tremble with fear. Eventually, if it gets really bad, you become unable to react properly. In fact, your personality goes to pieces.
You see this in people after extreme situations such as after shocks and explosions, both of which are very yang, or sudden accidents.
You also see it in what happens to people who have had to work for months or even years in positions of responsibility under impossible demands, which exhausts their yin.
You see it, too, in people whose bodies have been wasted by drugs.
War and extreme, prolonged, stress are common causes. Depending on your constitutional strength and your circumstances, there are lots of other causes. They include lack of sleep, perhaps from caring for others including wakeful children, frequent changes of shift pattern, especially between night and day shifts, frequent changes of time zone without time to recover, and so on.
Sometimes, this leads on to either
However, Chinese medicine is much more subtle than that! It explains individual symptoms of nervous stomach anxiety much more specifically. Years of experience and thought that have gone into making Chinese medicine what it is. This means that it can generally suggest a way to deal with the problem.
How it explains your symptoms of nervous stomach anxiety depends on the symptoms you have.
Chinese medicine explains everything in terms of Qi, which translates badly as 'energy'. Once you get the idea of what they mean by it, you'll start to appreciate how Chinese medicine thinks and works.
Let's take some of the nervous stomach anxiety symptoms that you may have. Suppose you get
When you think about it, you may realise you have other symptoms too, such as sweaty palms but cold hands (in spite of being sweaty), tightness in your neck, and so on.
All these are various kinds of excess Yang Qi because they are either
Perhaps you know someone who, in the same situation, could remain calm, unruffled. It could even have been you, were it not for being unable to sleep well since someone rammed your car.
That lack of sleep, plus the shock, has upset the balance of yin and yang in you. Your yin energy has not recovered and your yang energy is slightly out of control, like a bunch of naughty schoolchildren in a classroom when the teacher leaves them alone for a few minutes.
When you lack good sleep, your body can't restore what is meant in Chinese medicine by your 'Blood'. Click the link to find out more, but their concept goes much further than the Western medical concept of the red stuff in our veins that we call 'blood'.
For example, if you've ever seen someone losing blood fast, perhaps from a wound or hemorrhage, you'll recognise how their personality begins to go to pieces, they lose their poise, their character and resilience, all of which, in Chinese medicine, are stored in the Blood (capital B).
In Chinese medicine, the Heart 'rules' the Shen, which (badly) translates as Mind. If our Mind is disturbed, so may be our Heart. That can carry through to our heart, giving us heart flutterings, for example, with anxiety.
But the Heart energy is balanced by the Kidney energy. (Actually, in Chinese medicine, the Heart sends its Qi and Blood downwards, and the Kidneys send their moisture upwards but let's just say they balance one another.)
If the Kidney energy doesn't balance the Heart, the Heart energy may become unstable. That can lead to anxiety, palpitations and flutterings. It can eventually lead to high blood pressure and a range of other symptoms which you can read about here.
Your Heart is also very influenced by your Liver.
Your Liver energy is disturbed when you get frustrated, or have to take too many decisions closely together, or can't get rid of stress and/or anger. Liver Qi stagnation is typical.
All these produce nervous stomach anxiety too.
The Shen - you 'Mind' - 'lives in your Blood'. (Remember, this is Chinese medicine we're talking about! Tell this to a - Western medicine - doctor and s/he'll look at you in a peculiar way!)
It gets 'nervous', and you get flutterings.
At a deeper level, you may have symptoms of one of the most important 'extra-ordinary' vessels, called Chong Mo.
That can certainly lead to flutterings as part of your nervous stomach anxiety.
That set of symptoms often comes with other symptoms, which in women often arrive with painful periods.
But they can come for anyone, male or female.
If you are a tobacco smoker, or other kind of drug taker, using the drug to calm the nervous stomach anxiety, why does it work?
It works, at least in the case of tobacco, by stimulating your Lungs to send energy DOWN.
This is why smokers take their first few puffs deeply. After the drug has taken effect, they ease off and may even forget the cigarette. By then, the tobacco has stimulated the Lungs to send energy downwards, which steadies the various kinds of energy problems mentioned above.
Of course, we all know what the secondary effects of smoking can be.
Eventually, if you do nothing about it and the cause continues, you'll start to get pain, which might - from your Western Doctor's point of view - be caused by a number of conditions, some serious, particularly if they start suddenly.
From the Chinese point of view, acute pain is nearly always of an excess of Yang, and treatment would be to soothe this. There are many things an acupuncturist can do about Excess Yang.
But if the pain is milder or more chronic it may (also) be from deficient Yin. So this would be looked at as well. Bear in mind, that if deficient Yin is the cause, it can take longer to get better, because your body has to be helped to become more resilient, having been 'worn down' by problems over a long period.
You may also have to confront the situation that causes your anxiety.
Always the aim is to balance Yin and Yang.
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.
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:
Still only one comment, though personally I think this is my best book so far.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine!
No comments yet: just published. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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