Stomach Cold Invasion


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Stomach Cold Invasion is what happens when you let your body be 'invaded' by severe Cold.

Symptoms of Stomach Cold Invasion

The kind of pain you get with this occurs in the upper abdomen, in your epigastrium, even a bit under your ribs. It comes on suddenly (seldom gradually).

The pain is severe. It can be cramping or like a heavy weight and is often stabbing. Although caused by cold, some people describe it as burning. You probably stoop forwards and want to hold it. You'll want warmth on the area and you'll probably prefer a hot drink if you want anything - but you may feel too sick to face it.

  • Severe pain in the epigastrium - starts suddenly
  • Coldness: you feel this in your body, arms and legs
  • Nausea
  • You find yourself vomiting easily: usually what comes up are clear fluids. Vomiting often helps the pain.
  • Warmth. You very much like warmth, on your stomach and in general.
  • Cold food and liquids make you feel worse.
  • Warm, even hot, liquids and food are what you want, if anything. You find you don't want cold fluids or food.
  • You probably prefer lying with head elevated or even better, you prefer sitting or very gently walking about. You may prefer to have company rather than to be alone.
  • Pulse: is slow (because of the cold, which slows things down); tight (because of the pain and cold); deep (because the problem is slowing down your metabolism deep inside)
  • Tongue: usually has a thick white coating over it
  • NB these symptoms may seem like some of the symptoms of 'Stomach Deficiency'. However, Stomach deficiency comes into being over time, usually after a poor diet, although it can happen after eating cold food in excess too. Stomach Cold invasion, as described on this page, can lead on to Stomach Deficiency. So, often with this syndrome you also get:
  • Weakness and prostration

What causes Stomach Cold Invasion?

Basically COLD:

  • Cold food or cold drinks in excess. 'Cold' includes chilled and frozen or iced food or drinks.
  • This becomes more likely if it is a cold or freezing day and you aren't wearing enough and then you eat/drink cold things.
  • For some people, the food/drink need not itself be very cold or frozen: but they just eat or drink too much of it. Sometimes beer drinkers get this, even though the beer is not chilled.
  • Note: some people have good circulation and strong stomachs and they may scoff at you if you get this syndrome.

In Chinese medicine, the Cold stops things moving properly. A healthy Stomach should 'descend' what you put in it. So when Cold blocks this movement, the contents of your stomach remain there - not a pleasant feeling - or rebel, causing nausea and vomiting.

Because the Cold blocks the action of your Stomach, the energy the food provides doesn't get to where it is needed, so you feel cold.

Not surprisingly, if you have Stomach Cold Invasion, you prefer:

  • Warmth
  • Warmth on your stomach
  • Warm or hot food or liquids
  • - and it is important to cover yourself against cold conditions

Why did you get this? Well, as explained, you put too much cold stuff inside you. Also, you may be yang deficient, which equates in some ways to have a poor metabolism but goes rather beyond that.

Does this only happen on cold days?

NO! ... it does NOT have to be a cold day for you to suffer from Cold Invading the Stomach. Eating too many ice-creams and drinking too much cold beer or coke, even on a hot day, might bring on the symptoms, especially if you tend to be yang deficient.

So, on very hot days, when you are very thirsty, take care not to drink too much iced or chilled fluid. Preferably sip it so that your mouth warms it up a bit before it reaches your stomach. Better still, have a warm tea first - to warm your tubes!

What to do about it?

  1. Stop eating or drinking cold food/drink
  2. Get warm - cover yourself up, especially your abdomen
  3. A warm bean bag or bottle may help alleviate the pain
  4. Let yourself vomit up what you swallowed: it may help
  5. When ready, make sure you eat or drink only warm things, like tea or a very thin soup. (Better not to take hot coffee unless that's all that's available because although it does warm you it also drains your yang energy. See yang deficiency and coffee.)

For several days afterwards, eat or drink only warm, cooked food. Warming soups may be a good idea.

If it's food, chew it well, and take your time over it! Your Stomach energy has taken a hit, and since you rely on your Stomach for most of your energy, you'll be feeling a bit low.

Take time to make friends with your Stomach again by doing the right things for it! - Good, warm, food and drink.

See an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist: they know exactly the right ways to sort this out for you. See below.

Stomach Syndromes

Here are various Stomach syndromes (which can also combine with other syndromes):


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. But ... there is no paper edition of Yang Deficiency as yet.

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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