Chinese Herbal and Acupuncture Treatment Protocols for Anorexia Nervosa - Formulas, Protocols, TCM Diagnoses

Anorexia Nervosa - Basics

Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa are plagued by a distorted body image and subsequent obsession with losing weight that leads to compulsive, unhealthy behaviors and emaciation. These include carefully portioning foods, repeatedly weighing oneself, misusing laxatives or diuretics, excessive exercise, unhealthy dieting, self-induced vomiting, and others. Anorexia often coexists with certain psychiatric conditions such as depression, and can lead to physical symptoms including anemia, muscle weakness, brittle hair, osteoporosis, lethargy, low blood pressure and others. Serious complications, such as cardiac arrest, can also arise from anorexia and result in death.

Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia Nervosa - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of anorexia nervosa generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of anorexia nervosa:

Anorexia Nervosa - Tam Healing - Tong Ren Protocols

Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for anorexia nervosa that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.

The following Tam Healing/Tong Ren Therapy Protocols May Be Used With Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa - Questions

Need treatment options for anorexia nervosa and not finding the information you need?

Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia Nervosa - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (4) acupuncture points may be useful for anorexia nervosa. A subset of these could potentially be useful with acupressure stimulation and/or tongren therapy methods as well.

Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)

The following (1) Formula TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Anorexia Nervosa

Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Wan

  • Aucklandia, Amomi & Six Gentlemen Pills
    • A modified version of the base, zhi zhu wan, which is used to treat qi stagnation and food retention from qi deficiency. ┬áThis modification includes herbs which add more movement and damp drying.
    • Distention and fullness in the epigastric area - bloating, indigestion, gastritis, gastric prolapse.
    • Poor appetite (from Spleen Qi Deficiency), anorexia.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Qi
  • Cautions
    • Avoid raw and cold food when taking this formula (and generally for Spleen Qi Deficiency).

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