Gallbladder Deficiency and a Lack of ‘Gall’

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Gallbladder Deficiency isn’t a syndrome that usually arises from external causes. It’s more a constitutional matter, meaning that you develop it either from your genes or in the womb, or from an upbringing that prevents you from asserting yourself.

It may have a nutritional basis if the diet has been very deficient: long-term Blood deficiency also weakens the Gallbladder.

The following symptoms arise because in Chinese medicine, the Gallbladder has a unique and important role in both the physical AND mental health of the individual.

Before reading further, if you haven’t done so already, do first read up about the Gallbladder.


Mental and Emotional Symptoms of Gallbladder deficiency

  • Lack of courage: manifests in various ways, and often goes with a poor self-image. Timidity. This can come close to cowardice, but Gallbladder Deficiency people aren’t necessarily cowardly: they just aren’t as up-front with their opinions as others with stronger Gallbladders.
  • Poor decision-making: not good at choosing the right way forward. This can really hamper an individual’s life. It means they often prevaricate or procrastinate: meantime someone with surer reflexes takes the prize.
  • Lacks initiative: to others, this can blight a life that held great promise.
  • Emotions: easily harbours resentment; partly at others for taking advantage of them; partly at lost opportunities; sometimes at what are perceived as other people having all the luck. This resentment can appear as what others see as a lack of enterprise and even what in Chinese medical terms is perceived as a lack of anger.
  • Lack of assertiveness: even if she learns assertiveness, she may be undermined by people who are faster thinking.
  • Easily startled: surprises can be unwelcome, creating nervousness. 
  • Fear: this summarises the other mental attributes. There is a fearful attitude that colours everything in life. In children there may be fear when going to bed or when approaching anything new or unknown.
  • From the above, easily gets stressed. That can lead to Liver Qi Stagnation, about which I’ve written a book, see below.


Physical Symptoms of Gallbladder deficiency

  • Dizziness: worse on effort, movement or on rising. 
  • Vision impaired: often blurred, or with ‘floaters’, little black specks that are visible when looking at a white backgrounds.
  • Sighing: partly from low levels of energy and partly as a way of dealing with unexpressed emotions. 
  • Sleep wakes too early in the morning, and worries. Dreams are restless


Posture for Gallbladder deficiency
Great posture in men wearing uniform – Photo by Alexandre Lecocq on Unsplash
  • Bad posture: don’t look you in the eye.
  • Tongue: either normal colour or may be paler than normal.
  • Pulse: weak, especially in the middle superficial position on the left wrist.


Acupuncture can treat this when treatment is supported by the right support for the individual. A loving and encouraging environment helps, and with good nutrition and education  makes for a much stronger mentally. 

People like this may need help learning to govern their emotions: exercise, competitive sports and meditation can all help.

Benefits of Competitive Sports for Gallbladder deficiency


Badminton - good for Gallbladder deficiency
Badminton shuttlecock – Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash


Usually, they don’t like competitive sports, because their eye-hand co-ordination is poor (the Gallbladder in Chinese medicine has a major impact on eyesight), because they aren’t good at taking quick decisions, and also because they fear failure. But actually, with encouragement, they can learn to enjoy competitive sports and as they improve it reduces their Gallbladder deficiency! 

However, the competitive sports they might consider should not be those where there is strong physical contact. Better to try badminton, hockey, table tennis or tennis for example than rugby or football, judo or karate.

The main thing is that there should be someone against whom they are playing, to whose actions they have to react quickly. So this excludes skiing and running, for example.




Meditation and Gallbladder deficiency

Meditation has to be practised regularly to achieve results. In time, practising meditation brings many benefits, including self-awareness, courage and objectivity. Even if you do it for just a few minutes daily, but you do it every day, you will see results, often in just a few days. 

Meditation often helps you see yourself more clearly, enabling you to compartmentalise your fears, so control them.

Five Elements Acupuncture

One system of acupuncture recognises that a lack of gall can blight a life. They particular attention to this. See Five Elements Acupuncture.

Acupuncture Points for Gallbladder Deficiency

Acupuncture points that support this include several specific points for the Gallbladder. Also, other points chosen for their effect on the Spirit or for their role in strengthening Blood. They may include points to strengthen your Water element, the Mother element for Wood. Moxa is often great for Gallbladder deficiency: it warms, it strengthens Yang energy, and eventually may help fortify courage! 

Here are some points that might help, along with the other suggestions above. However, there are many other points that an acupuncturist would consider, some of them more appropriate, depending on the circumstances and health of the patient.

  • Gb-40 Qiuxu
  • Gb-41 Zulingqi
  • Bl-19 Danshu
  • Bl-18 Ganshu
  • Bl-47 Hunmen
  • Bl-48 Yanggang


Click to return from Gallbladder deficiency to Gallbladder.

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