Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

What Is Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)?


Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) - Basics

Gallstones are tiny, rock-like substances that form in the gall bladder, the organ that stores and releases bile. Formed in the liver, bile aids in the digestion of fats and contains salts, cholesterol, water, fats, proteins and a waste product called bilirubin. When excessive amounts of cholesterol or bilirubin are present in the bile, the liquid can harden, creating gallstones. If any of these stone-like substances break away from the gall bladder and enter one of the tubes that transports bile, inflammation can occur in the gall bladder, liver, or pancreas.

When these tubes, or ducts, become blocked, the result is a gallbladder attack. During an attack, an individual may experience sudden back pain between the shoulder blades, pain under the right shoulder or pain in the upper right side of the abdomen that quickly worsens, lasting from 30 minutes to many hours.

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

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

What Patterns Are Related To Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)?


Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of gallstones (cholelithiasis) 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 gallstones (cholelithiasis):

Liver Blood StagnationLiver FireLiver Qi StagnationLiver and Gallbladder Damp Heat

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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)?


Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following acupuncture treatment protocols may be used with gallstones (cholelithiasis):

Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)?


Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols

Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for gallstones (cholelithiasis) 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 and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with gallstones (cholelithiasis):

3 Points Are Empirically Important For Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

1 TCM Herb Are Potentially Used With Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

The Following (5)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)

Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan (Bupleurum Powder to Spread the Liver)

Clinical Usages

  • Liver qi stagnation signs - hypochondriac tension, abdominal pain, IBS symptoms
  • Alternating chills and fever.

    Clinical Categorization


    • Use with caution with pregnancy.
    • Avoid or use with caution with kidney yin deficiency signs are present.

      Li Dan Wan (Benefit The Gallbladder Pills)

      Clinical Usages

      • A range of gallbladder, liver and related digestive/obstructive issues - clears damp heat from the liver and gall bladder in TCM terms.  Symptoms may include gallstones and/or a range of digestive issues from poor gallbladder function – nausea, vomiting, jaundice. 
      • Hepatitis, particularly acute viral, along with other supportive formulas when arising from damp heat.

        Clinical Categorization


        • Avoid during pregnancy.

          Li Niao Pai Shi Wan (Water Stone Removal Pill)

          Clinical Usages

          •  Useful for a range of calcifications/stones - kidney stones, bladder stones, ureter stones and when the underlying pathology is appropriate gallstones.  Generally involves collections of damp heat in the lower warmer.
          • Besides stones, symptoms may range from small volumes of urination, pain with urination, urgency, itching and/or pain in the groin generally.

            Clinical Categorization

            Ping Gan Liu Qi Yin Wan (Dang Gui And Pinellia Combination)

            Clinical Usages

            • Liver qi stagnation with blood deficiency heat - signs of heat, red eyes, possibly anxiety and/or irritability, etc. along with digestive issues such as gastritis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis, hernia.
            • Lymphedema from stagnation and deficiency.
            • Fibrocystic breasts.

              Clinical Categorization


              • Use with caution with pregnancy.

                Yue Ju Wan (Escape Restraint Pill)

                Clinical Usages

                • An important formula for plum pit qi and related issues arising from qi stagnation (from many factors) - an oppressive sensation in the chest and/or diaphgram, gerd, reflux, indigestion, nausea, belching with a fetid odor.
                • Gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, intercostal neuralgia, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis.
                • Infectious hepatitis.
                • Migraines when the underlying factor is that of stagnation.
                • Besides a range of digestive issues, the formula may be used for a wide range of psychiatric conditions including depression, schizophrenia, panic disorder, etc. when the underlying factor is chiefly stagnation.

                  Clinical Categorization


                    • Generally should be avoided in cases where the issues are arising from predominately deficiency syndromes (weakness, loose stools, no appetite).

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