When an invading Heat pathogen penetrates to the Qi level, one of the ways your body responds is with what is called Qi level Stomach-Heat. There are other ways it can respond at this Qi level – see list at the bottom of the page – but most of us have a susceptibility to particular patterns of illness. Here it’s your Stomach that feels the pressure.
To get here, the invading pthogen will have overcome your response at the wei level. Usually this manifests as Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat, but to get here either your wei level response would have been too feeble to counter it, or the pathogen didn’t play by the rules and got here directly possibly because you took or did something (OTC medication, for instance) that weakened or suppressed your wei response so the pathogen passed serenely by and you noticed nothing until this Qi level stomach-heat appeared.
Well, you definitely notice symptoms of this Qi level Stomach-heat!
The main symptoms are in heavy type:
If the pathogen also affects your small and large intestines you may get – but see also Qi level Intestines dry-heat:
At this Qi level, the pathogen has not yet penetrated to your ying or nutritive level: it’s held up in the organs it first encounters, being your Lungs (Heat in Chest and Diaphragm), Stomach (this page), Intestines, Gallbladder or as Damp-Heat in Stomach and Spleen. These have the means and capacity (assuming you are in good to moderate health) to throw a fever at it.
This is why we have heat, dryness, a yellow tongue coating, and a rapid, overflowing pulse. And your preference for Cold! Your stools, overheated by the Heat (actually the Heat here is more akin to Fire) have dried out and compacted, making them hard to expel and distending your abdomen. This response by your body is definitely much more intense than the typical symptoms of Stomach Heat, unpleasant though they may be!
Why? Well, partly because typical Stomach Heat symptoms arise from personality traits and heat-forming habits, like eating ‘hot foods‘ and smoking tobacco.
Compare that response with this Qi level stomach-heat response where your body has been attacked by a dangerous pathogen, a situation your body regards as life-or-death: much more serious.
For Qi level Stomach-heat, your acupuncturist might choose points to clear heat from the Stomach like Stomach 45, 44, 43, 42, 36, 34, 25 and 21 and a more general heat-reducing point like Large Intestine 11.
There are several formulae for clearing this Heat, or Fire.
The main one is Bai Hu Tang which contains shi gao (gypsum), which Chinese herbal medicines regards as very cold in action.
Other herbs in the formula aim to moisten and restore yin, or to strengthen the action of the Stomach and its fluids and to protect the Stomach from the intensely cold action of shi gao. For more discussion see next paragraph on helping yourself.
Well, you’re probably feeling too irritable and impatient to want to delve into this yourself so let’s hope someone persuasive can read it for you then coax you into action!
If you lo0ok at the herbal formula in detail you can soon find out what to eat and what not to eat.
It’s OK to eat Cold foods, but Chinese medicine always councils against eating them chilled, cold or iced. Ideally, where possible, cook them and eat them warm. This helps to compensate for the cold nature of the food and – very important – helps to maintain your Stomach’s yang energy.
Yes – I know! You would think that Qi level Stomach-heat would mean that your Stomach has more than enough Heat already. But actually, the Heat here is so extreme that it is classified as Fire, a dangerous pathogen in this situation. Your Stomach needs its yang qualities and energy even when it’s got too much Fire.
Analogy: if you put rocket fuel in your fuel tank, your engine might easily over-heat and over-work, disrupting the engine’s proper steady functioning, but for your car to keep moving it still needs ordinary fuel and oil to keep working. Here, the ‘cold’ food aims to remove the Fire from the rocket fuel. However, other herbs aim to moisten the piston compartments like oil and to maintain the normal firing at the spark-plugs like ordinary engine fuel.
Tempted as you may be with qi level stomach-heat to wear little or nothing to keep cool, Chinese medicine would probably caution you that a light sheet might be beneficial, partly to soak up the perspiration and partly to shield you from cold drafts which, with you perspiring away in a cold room, might enter through your open pores and lead to cold invasion, confusing everybody. (It’s not very likely, but it could happen!) Change the sheet regularly, especially when damp.
It’s quite hard to suppress these symptoms in someone in vigorous health but I suppose, given enough anti-inflammatory medication it could be done.
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