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Stomach Qi Stagnation is what happens when you often eat on the go, especially when you're tired or upset or stressed.
Modern life! Aren't we lucky? We have all these wonderful gadgets which save us physical work and inform us about everything. Also we have phones which, and it's only a matter of time, will be wired into our heads. So we'll be thinking about what is going on all the time.
And ... we'll always be at someone's beck and call!
So we shan't have time to sit and vegetate, to chew the cud like cows. We'll be always on the go.
So we'll all have Stomach Qi stagnation. That's very good news for pharmaceutical companies!
Quick, go and buy their shares! They have drugs that ease your pain and inflammation. Even better, once you start taking them, you won't want to stop - they provide relief!
In the UK we get television advertisements for just this kind of problem. Somebody is making good money!
What are the symptoms?
When you have Stomach Qi Stagnation, you won't necessarily have all the following symptoms. As your condition worsens, you'll find your get more of them. So as the condition develops you might find you hardly notice a problem at the beginning.
There are two main causes of this syndrome.
Any strong emotion can affect your digestion. It depends on your particular make-up and background. Some people have 'cast-iron' stomachs and don't seem affected by anything, though even they will succumb eventually if they lead stressful lives.
All these emotions will make things worse if you also have bad dietary habits - see below.
I would say that most patients I see have poor dietary habits. Perhaps those who have retired are able to live so that their days are more steady and calm, with regular meals and time to digest afterwards - but those who still work have poor dietary habits.
So just about everyone else in Edinburgh, where I work, rushes their food. Often they eat
None of this would matter much if they did this only occasionally! Humankind has been evolving for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years.
Our genes must befit us for snatching the occasional snack as we run from hungry crocodiles.
But not all the time; not every day; and not without resting after eating; not in a constant low state of anxiety.
If you take a lot of coffee, that can worsen matters too! Initially it provides some yang energy, so stops you feeling sleepy after your meal. Often it seems to hurry food through your system, so you become dependent on it for regular bowel movements. But is creates a tension in your system, unhelpful for digestion.
When our Stomach Qi stagnates, other things start to be affected.
Any kind of Qi stagnation can eventually lead to Blood stasis, firstly in this case in the Stomach - Stomach Blood stasis.
All that stagnation builds up pressure, and that pressure leads to Heat, meaning Stomach Heat, or worse, Stomach Fire.
As food stops being digested properly, the Spleen is affected, which leads to the formation of Phlegm. You may notice this in people who have to clear their throats before speaking.
Eventually this can produce Stomach Phlegm-Fire.
But even if things don't get this far, you'll feel under par, and start thinking about supplements to keep your energy up.
One habit that helps is to have a good breakfast before going to work.
Also, reduce coffee and similar stimulants.
Best, sit down and eat with good friends or relaxing family, far away in mind from work and life pressures: not so easy, these days!
In the evenings, eat early and then, if hungry, have a small snack (a few nuts, for instance) before going to bed.
Here are various Stomach syndromes (which can also combine with other syndromes):
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.)
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