Key Learning Points
If you have ever had nervous stomach anxiety this page is for you! The Chinese get it too, and for the same reasons as you!
It may also be for you if you keep asking yourself ‘Why does my Stomach Hurt!’
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 symptoms together with anxiety:
Anxiety can come with many other possible symptoms, including changes in your:
Fundamentally in Chinese medicine, the reason for nervous stomach anxiety is 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 yin 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. Just as your car’s fuel reserves quickly run out if you go everywhere at full revs, foot to the floor!
When your yin reserves are exhausted, you are even more susceptible to yang disturbances, you often can’t sleep properly and may even tremble with fear. Eventually, if it gets really bad, you become unable to react properly. In fact, your personality goes to pieces.
Chinese medicine explains everything in terms of Qi, which translates – badly – as ‘energy’. But 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.
This 5 Element acupuncture theory approaches nervous stomach anxiety in a completely different way. It looks for an underlying mis-function in one of your 12 channel energies. By putting that right, gradually many other problems improve.
Curiously, the mis-functioning channel energy may not be your Stomach energy! it could be any of the twelve. The art of this system comes in the ability to diagnose which channel, and then in how to treat it.
This theory developed alongside the Traditional Chinese medical theories of the last 3000 years.
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 haemorrhage, 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 effect their Mind (or presence of mind) goes as their body goes to pieces.
In Chinese medicine, the Heart ‘rules’ the Shen, which (badly) translates as Mind. If our Mind is disturbed, so may be our Heart energy. That can carry through to our heart organ, giving us heart flutterings, which make us even more anxious.
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 also 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 must take too many decisions closely together, or can’t get rid of stress and/or anger. Liver Qi stagnation is typical.
Then you may also get signs of Liver Yang or even Liver Fire.
All these produce nervous stomach anxiety too.
The Shen – your ‘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!)
If your Blood is deficient, or Stagnant, your Shen-Mind can’t live there comfortably.
It – your ‘Shen-Mind’, 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.
If Nervous Stomach Anxiety is due to Heart and Kidney imbalance
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 a sign of excess of Yang, and treatment would at first 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. (Not to confuse you, but if the pain is generally better for warmth and pressure, it’s more likely to be due to deficiency. On the other hand, if worse for warmth and pressure, it may be due to excess yin. For more on this important distinction, see excess or deficient).
You may also have to confront the situation that causes your anxiety.
Always the aim is to balance Yin and Yang.
Other pages you may like to read:
Stay in Touch!
No spam, only notifications about new articles and updates.
Master Ancient Ways to Deal with Stress.
The Ancient Way to Deal with Burnout and Exhaustion.
Book a Video consultation if you want to know more about your symptoms
Check my collection of books:
Too much food with the Salty taste in Chinese medicine will make you ill. But you need some! Which foods do they mean?
The spicy taste in Chinese medicine adds lightness and energy to your diet, helping your lungs work better. You need some, but not too much!
Foods classified as having a sweet taste in Chinese medicine are vital for health. But too little or too much ‘sweet’ food leads to disease.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Subscribe to the Newsletter
If you are interested in understanding how Traditional Chinese Medicine can improve your life sign up to my newsletter for the latest updates.