Gallbladder Deficiency

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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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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. She or he needs a loving and encouraging environment, and given this with good nutrition and educational help can become 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

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.

Ping Pong

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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. 

Acupuncture Points for Gallbladder Deficiency

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

For the Latest Reviews of 'Qi Stagnation', click here!

NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.

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