Theory

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


Constipation - Basics

A person is considered to experience constipation when he or she has less than three bowel movements per week. When a bowel movement does occur, it is often with difficulty and small in size. Constipation can be attributed to poor diet (especially lack of fiber), inactivity, dehydration, certain medications and other factors.

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


Constipation - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of constipation 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 constipation:



Constipation - 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 Constipation


Constipation - 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 constipation 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 Constipation


Constipation - Formulas From Our Store

The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating constipation. For a complete list from our store with more details see our constipation formula section.


Constipation - Questions

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

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



Constipation - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (20) acupuncture points may be useful for constipation. 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.)



Constipation - Related Chinese Herbs

The following (12) chinese herbs may be useful for constipation. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.



The following (11) Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Constipation

Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan

  • Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula
    • Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire.
    • Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed shen.
    • Symptoms of addiction recovery: cravings, anxiety, mood swings etc.
  • Calm The Spirit
  • Sedate and Calm the Spirit

Chen Xiang Hua Qi Wan

  • Aquilaria Qi Transforming Pills
  • For spleen qi deficiency with damp heat accumulation in the lower.  The spleen system is effectively the western version of the digestive system.  The spleen is responsible for extracting the energy from the food and properly breaking the food down.  When the spleen is weak the overall energy tends to drop, the appetite may be poor, and the mood may also be on the down side.  Furthermore, the weakness of the spleen results in the accumulation of byproducts (damp) which tend to accumulate in the lower.

    Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and abdominal distension.  This formula is used to treat belching, acid reflux, poor appetite, abdominal distension, flatulence, constipation, and abdominal cramping and discomfort.

    Tongue: puffy, sticky or greasy coat

    Pulse: slippery, weak

  • Expel Dampness
  • Clear Damp-Heat
  • Cautions
  • Contraindicated during pregnancy

Fang Feng Tong Sheng Wan

  • Ledebouriella Pills to Sagely Unblock
    • High fever with aversion to cold.
    • Thick phlemg that may be both in sinus and chest.
    • Vertigo or dizziness that is caused by excess heat.
    • Rashes, carbuncles, and other types of skin disorders that are caused by heat.
    • Constipation and scanty or dark urine.
  • Release the Exterior
  • Release Exterior-Interior Excess
  • Cautions
    • Contraindicated for pregnancy.
    • Use with caution for patients presenting with loose stools or diarrhea.

Gu Ben Wan

  • Replenish the Root Teapills
    • Dryness from yin deficiency - dry skin, dry eyes, dry cough, dry stools/constipation.
    • Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, possible anxiety.
    • Other yin deficient symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes.
  • Treat Dryness
  • Enrich the Yin and Moisten Dryness
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.
    • Use with caution with patients that present with spleen qi deficiency.

Ma Zi Ren Wan

Mu Xiang Shun Qi Wan

  • Saussurea Qi Promoting Pills
    • Bloating, lower abdominal pain, sluggish bowels.
    • Acid reflux/heartburn, nausea with possible vomitting after meals.
  • Expel Dampness
  • Clear Damp-Heat
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution for preganacy.

Run Chang Wan

  • Lubricate the Intestines Pills
    • Constipation primarily from blood and/or yin deficiency patterns.  
    • Dryness of the skin, nails, and/or hair.
  • Drain Downward
  • Moisten the Intestines and Unblock the Bowels
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid during pregnancy.
    • Use with caution if at all when breastfeeding as rhubarb may contribute to colic and/or diarrhea in infants.

Tong Bian Pian

Xie Xin Wan

  • Drain the Epigastrium Formula
  • Signs of damp-heat with interior clumping which may settle into the abdominal region and/or rise upward to the head.  Fever, irritability, red eyes, constipation, dark urine, flushed face - middle warmer issues - jaundice, dysentery, tongue/mouth ulcers.

    Pulse will be be wiry and rapid and the Tongue will be red, swollen with a yellow greasy tongue coating.

  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity

Yi Zi Wan

  • Decoction B
    • Hemorrhoids and/or constipation from an accumulation of damp-heat and toxins in the lower jiao - possibly bleeding hemorrhoids, pain, rectal prolapse, anal itching.
    • With the right underlying factors may also be useful for vaginal bleeding with abdominal pain, possibly with dark clots.
  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity



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