Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Constipation
What Is Constipation?
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.
What Patterns Are Related To 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:Kidney Yin DeficiencySpleen Blood Deficiency
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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For 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:
Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Constipation?
Constipation - 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 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 and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with constipation:
20 Points Are Empirically Important For Constipation
12 TCM Herbs Are Potentially Used With Constipation
Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Constipation
The Following (13)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Constipation
Bu Nao Wan (Brain Supplementing Pills)
- A range of psychiatric, cognitive decline, trauma issues - benefit and clears the brain, transforms phlegm and tonifies kidney qi and the blood.
- Often used for both general cognitive decline/dementia, disorientation, etc. - but also useful when mixed with more anxiety, insomnia and/or emotional outbursts from confusion.
- Generally, particularly when deficiency and phlegm exist for anxiety, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, manic states.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- Use with caution during pregnancy.
- Use with caution with patients that present with spleen qi deficiency.
Huang Lian Shang Qing Wan (Coptis Clearance Pill)
- Dispels wind heat, clear toxic heat - generally used short-term for inflammatory conditions of the face, mouth, head - sore throat, conjunctivitis, acne, swollen gums.
- Can be a supportive formula for liver fire conditions resulting in headache, tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo.
- A range of yang ming heat issues - constipation, halitosis, gingivitis.
Ma Ying Long (Musk Hemorrhoid Ointment)
- Hemorrhoids and/or constipation from an accumulation of damp-heat and toxins in the lower jiao - possibly bleeding hemorrhoids, pain, rectal prolapse, anal itching. Shrinks swollen tissue, helps to remove decayed tissue and stimulate new growth. Available as a cream and suppositories and may be combined with other oral formulas depending on the needs of the patient.
Ma Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Formula)
Constipation with dry/difficult to expel stools along with frequent urination.
Pulse will be submerged and rapid or floating and choppy and the Tongue will have a dry, yellow coating.
Run Chang Wan (Lubricate the Intestines Pills)
- Constipation primarily from blood and/or yin deficiency patterns.
- Dryness of the skin, nails, and/or hair.
- Avoid during pregnancy.
- Use with caution if at all when breastfeeding as rhubarb may contribute to colic and/or diarrhea in infants.
Tong Bian Wan (Constipation Pills)
- Constipation from heat or fire that has damaged the yin fluids - dry hard pellet like stools, dark urine from dryness, feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen, flatulence (generally with a foul smell).
- Use with caution during pregnancy.
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.
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.
Where Do I Go Next?
Recent Questions From Our Forum...
Have questions about constipation? Or want to discuss treatment techniques? You may reach us and our community of practitioners by using our forums