Abdominal Distentionaccording to TCM

What is Abdominal Distention?

Abdominal distention refers to the sensation of increased pressure within the abdomen, leading to a noticeable enlargement or bloating of the stomach area. This condition can cause discomfort, fullness, and sometimes pain, affecting daily activities and overall well-being.

Abdominal distention encompasses a range of sensations, from slight bloating to severe swelling, and can be associated with various digestive and systemic health issues.

How Does TCM View Abdominal Distention?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches abdominal distention not as a single symptom but as a sign of underlying disharmony within the body’s energy system. TCM practitioners believe that distention arises from imbalances such as Qi stagnation, Phlegm accumulation, Blood Stgantion, Qi Deficiency, and Yang Deficiency, each affecting the body's internal organs differently.

Identifying the specific pattern of disharmony is crucial for effective treatment in TCM, aiming to restore balance and alleviate the symptom.

Root Causes of Abdominal Distention in TCM

TCM identifies several key patterns that can lead to abdominal distention. Qi Stagnation, particularly in the Liver, can cause the abdomen to distend, often accompanied by mood swings and discomfort that fluctuates with emotional states.

Similarly, Phlegm accumulation, resulting from improper diet or metabolic issues, can lead to a sense of fullness and visible swelling. Blood Stagnation, marked by fixed pain and possibly dark, clotted menstrual blood in women, can also manifest as abdominal distention.

Additionally, Qi and Yang Deficiencies—reflecting a lack of vital energy or warmth—can lead to a bloated abdomen, often accompanied by coldness and fatigue.

Explore below more details about what might cause Abdominal distention according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Blood Stasis
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Cold
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Yin Excess
  • Liver
  • Stomach
  • Spleen
  • Kidney
  • Small Intestine
  • Gallbladder
  • Large Intestine
  • Pericardium
  • Bladder
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Stagnation

Qi Stagnation in TCM is like having a traffic jam in your body's energy system. Qi, the vital life force that flows through your body, is supposed to move smoothly to maintain health and balance. But with Qi Stagnation, this flow gets blocked or slowed down, like cars stuck on a highway. This can lead to symptoms like feeling stressed, emotional mood swings, and physical discomfort, often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness, especially in the chest or abdomen. It's as though the body's internal energy circulation is disrupted, causing various issues. TCM sees this as an energy flow problem, different from modern medicine's focus on specific physiological processes.... see more

Qi Stagnation Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Irritability Upper Abdominal Distension Depression Irregular Periods Abdominal Pain Lack Of Appetite Hypochondriac Distention Mood Swings

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Stagnation Abdomen distension, Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention and fullness, Epigastric distension, Epigastrium distension, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Xiao Yao San | Jia Wei Xiao Yao San | Yue Ju Wan | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Yi Guan Jian | Wu Yao Tang | Xia Ru Yong Quan San
Large Intestine Qi Stagnation Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Anxiety, Bitty stools Chai Hu Shu Gan San
Qi And Blood Stagnation Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention and fullness, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Si Wu Tang | Xiao Yao San | Jin Ling Zi San | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang | Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Jing Tang | Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
Small Intestine Qi Pain Abdominal distension, Lower abdominal twisting pain, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain worsened by pressure, Borborygmi, Excessive gas and flatulence, Abdominal pain relieved by flatulence, Testicular pain... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San
Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation Feeling of oppression and fullness of the epigastrium, Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal oppression, Nausea, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Dull shallow face, Irritability, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac distention, Hypochondriac pain... see more Ping Wei San | Dang Gui Shao Yao San
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Epigastric distension, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Stomach Qi Stagnation Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal distension, Belching, Nausea, Vomit, Hiccups, Irritability... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Zuo Jin Wan
Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation Abdominal distension, Lack of appetite, Weak limbs, Lower back pain, Abdominal distention, Irregular periods, Red and white vaginal discharge, Infertility... see more Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang
Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach Abdominal distension, Epigastric distension, Belching, Abdominal distention, Upper abdominal distension, Depression, Irritability, Xerostomia, Lack of appetite, Craving for sour foods, Dry throat, Acid reflux... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Zuo Jin Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Heat

In TCM "Heat" signifies an excess of Yang energy, leading to an imbalance where heat predominates over the body's cool Yin aspects. This condition is metaphorically akin to an internal over-heating. Symptoms indicative of Heat can include feelings of warmth, fever, sweating, irritability, red face, thirst with a preference for cold drinks, and a rapid pulse. The tongue may appear red with a yellow coating. Unlike the common interpretation of heat in terms of temperature, in TCM, it represents a state of hyperactivity or inflammation in the body.... see more

Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Bitter Taste In The Mouth Feeling Hot Thirst Upper Abdominal Fullness Nausea Irritability Feeling Of Heaviness Dry Mouth Without Desire To Drink

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in the Blood Abdominal distention and fullness, Feeling hot, Red skin eruptions, Thirst, Frequent bleeding, Bloody sputum, Hematochezia, Hematuria, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis, Nosebleeds, Excessive menstruation... see more Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Scanty and dark urine, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Damp-Heat in the Stomach Epigastrium fullness, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal fullness, Feeling of heaviness, Face pain, Congested nose, Thick nasal discharge, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea, Feeling hot, Dull yellow complexion, Sticky taste in the mouth... see more Lian Po Yin | Ge Hua Jie Cheng San
Gallbladder Heat Epigastrium fullness, Alternating sensation of hot and cold, Bitter taste in the mouth, Thirst, Dry throat, Hypochondriac pain, Nausea, Upper abdominal fullness... see more Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang
Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation Feeling of oppression and fullness of the epigastrium, Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal oppression, Nausea, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Dull shallow face, Irritability, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac distention, Hypochondriac pain... see more Ping Wei San | Dang Gui Shao Yao San
Greater Yang Accumulation of Blood Hypogastric distention, Lower abdominal distension, Lower abdominal fullness, Hematuria, Restlessness Tao He Cheng Qi Tang
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Epigastric distension, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Heat in Gall Bladder Epigastrium fullness, Mild chills with high fever, Bitter taste in the mouth, Stifling sensation in the chest, Vomiting of sour fluids, Thirst, Hypochondriac pain and discomfort, Nausea, Upper abdominal fullness, Cholecystitis, Icteric hepatitis... see more Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Dampness

"Dampness" in TCM is a concept that describes a pattern of disharmony where the body accumulates excess moisture. Imagine the heavy, sticky feeling you get on a very humid day; that's similar to what dampness feels like internally. It can manifest as a sense of heaviness, bloating, sluggishness, or even a foggy mind. This condition is often thought to arise from environmental factors like living in a damp place, dietary habits that promote moisture in the body, or internal imbalances that hinder the body's ability to process fluids properly. In TCM, dampness can obstruct the normal flow of energy and fluids in the body, leading to various symptoms.... see more

Dampness Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Lack Of Appetite Feeling Of Heaviness Diarrhea Nausea Upper Abdominal Fullness Dry Mouth Without Desire To Drink Generalized Fatigue Shortness Of Breath

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Oedema Abdomen distension, Abdominal edema, Ankle edema, Facial edema, Foot edema, Oedema of hands, Leg edema, Ocular swelling, Abdominal distention... see more Wu Ling San | Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang | Ping Wei San | Wu Pi Yin | Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Shen Qi Wan | Yu Gong San | Zhou Che Wan
Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing Abdominal distention and fullness, Edema of the lower extremities, Cold sensation in legs and back, Abdominal distention, Lumbar pain, Chills, Scanty clear urination, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Cold hands, White and watery sputum, Coughing, Asthma... see more Wu Ling San | Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan
Cold-Damp invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Epigastric coldness, Head and body heaviness, Sweet taste in mouth, Absence of thirst, Diarrhea, General weakness, Generalized fatigue, Nausea, Edema, Dull pale complexion, White vaginal discharge, Upper abdominal fullness... see more Ping Wei San
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Scanty and dark urine, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Damp-Heat in the Stomach Epigastrium fullness, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal fullness, Feeling of heaviness, Face pain, Congested nose, Thick nasal discharge, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea, Feeling hot, Dull yellow complexion, Sticky taste in the mouth... see more Lian Po Yin | Ge Hua Jie Cheng San
Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation Feeling of oppression and fullness of the epigastrium, Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal oppression, Nausea, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Dull shallow face, Irritability, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac distention, Hypochondriac pain... see more Ping Wei San | Dang Gui Shao Yao San
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Stasis

Blood Stasis in TCM is a concept where the blood flow in the body is not as smooth or efficient as it should be. Imagine a river that's supposed to flow freely, but instead, it's getting blocked or moving too slowly in some parts. This can lead to various health issues, like pain that feels sharp or stabbing, dark bruises, and a complexion that looks purplish. TCM believes that good health relies on the smooth and vibrant flow of Qi and blood throughout the body, so when blood gets stuck, it's like a traffic jam in your body, leading to discomfort or health problems.... see more

Blood Stasis Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Irregular Periods Abdominal Masses Menstrual Cramps Dark Menstrual Clots Lower Back Pain Stabbing Fixed Pain Dark Face Purple Lips

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi And Blood Stagnation Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention and fullness, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Si Wu Tang | Xiao Yao San | Jin Ling Zi San | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang | Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Jing Tang | Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
Blood Stagnation Abdominal distention and fullness, Dark face, Purple lips, Stabbing fixed pain, Abdominal masses, Purple nails, Menstrual cramps, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Lumps... see more Tao Hong Si Wu Tang | Shi Xiao San | Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang
Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation Abdominal distension, Lack of appetite, Weak limbs, Lower back pain, Abdominal distention, Irregular periods, Red and white vaginal discharge, Infertility... see more Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang
Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner caused by Cold Lower abdominal distension, Abdominal masses, Lower abdominal pain, Lower back pain, Abnormal uterine bleeding, Menstrual cramps, Dark menstrual clots... see more Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Phlegm

In TCM "Phlegm" as a pattern of disharmony is a complex concept that extends beyond the physical manifestation of mucus. It represents a pathological factor that can disrupt the flow of Qi (vital energy) and blood, leading to various health issues. Phlegm in TCM is seen as a sticky, turbid substance arising from the body's inability to metabolize fluids properly, often due to a dysfunction of the spleen. It's not only associated with respiratory problems like cough and congestion but also with systemic issues. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, mental cloudiness, dizziness, and in some cases, the formation of lumps or masses. Phlegm can even be "invisible," contributing to emotional disturbances like depression or stress. ... see more

Phlegm Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Diarrhea Feeling Of Heaviness Shortness Of Breath Vomiting Clear Liquid Chest Distension Abdominal Edema Ankle Edema Facial Edema

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Oedema Abdomen distension, Abdominal edema, Ankle edema, Facial edema, Foot edema, Oedema of hands, Leg edema, Ocular swelling, Abdominal distention... see more Wu Ling San | Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang | Ping Wei San | Wu Pi Yin | Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Shen Qi Wan | Yu Gong San | Zhou Che Wan
Phlegm-Fluids Abdominal distention and fullness, Abdominal distention, Vomiting clear liquid, Feeling of heaviness, Shortness of breath, Hypochondrial pain that is worse on coughing and breathing, Coughing, Lack of sweating, Absence of thirst, Edema, Chest distension... see more Wu Ling San | Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Er Chen Tang | Wen Dan Tang
Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine Abdominal distention and fullness, Abdominal distention, Vomiting clear liquid, Dry tongue, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Stomach splashing sound, Chest distension, Diarrhea, Weight loss... see more Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Xiao Chai Hu Tang | Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Rebellion

Rebellious Qi in TCM is a bit like having a rebel inside your body. Qi, which is the vital energy flowing through your body, is supposed to move in certain directions to keep everything in balance and working well. But with Rebellious Qi, this energy decides to go the opposite way. Think of it like a river flowing upstream instead of downstream. This can cause various issues like heartburn, coughing, or even headaches. It's as if the body's natural flow is disrupted, creating a kind of internal chaos. TCM focuses on correcting this flow, restoring order and balance.... see more

Qi Rebellion Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Irritability Hypochondriac Distention Upper Abdominal Distension Hiccups Sighing Nausea Or Vomiting Belching Abdominal Pain

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen Abdominal distension, Irritability, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Dry stools, Excessive gas and flatulence, Generalized fatigue... see more Xiao Yao San | Tong Xie Yao Fang
Rebellious Liver Qi Epigastric distension, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Hiccups, Sighing, Nausea or vomiting, Belching, Stomach churning, Irritability, Breast engorgement, Headaches, Dizziness... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Ni San
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach Epigastric distension, Irritability, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal oppression, Acid reflux, Hiccups, Belching, Nausea or vomiting, Sighing, Weak limbs... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang | Si Mo Tang | Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang | Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Deficiency

Yang deficiency in TCM refers to a state where the body's Yang energy, which is responsible for warmth, activity, and function, is weakened or diminished. This pattern of disharmony often arises from chronic illness, aging, or inherent constitutional weakness. Symptoms of Yang deficiency are typically associated with cold and sluggishness, such as a feeling of coldness, cold extremities, pale complexion, low energy or fatigue, and a desire for warmth. Digestive issues like poor appetite, loose stools, and water retention can also be indicative of Yang deficiency.... see more

Yang Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Chills Shortness Of Breath Diarrhea Edema Of The Lower Extremities Cold Sensation In Legs And Back Lumbar Pain Scanty Clear Urination Palpitations

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing Abdominal distention and fullness, Edema of the lower extremities, Cold sensation in legs and back, Abdominal distention, Lumbar pain, Chills, Scanty clear urination, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Cold hands, White and watery sputum, Coughing, Asthma... see more Wu Ling San | Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan
Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency Slight abdominal distention, Lower back pain, Weak and cold knees, Back cold sensation, Chills, Weak legs, Bright pale face, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, Oligospermia, Watery ejaculate, Low sex drive, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Clear urination, Nocturia, Apathy, Leg edema, Female infertility, Diarrhea, Depression, Lack of appetite, Desire to lie down... see more Li Zhong Wan
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Abdominal distention and fullness, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Cold extremities, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Deficiency

Qi Deficiency in TCM is like running low on battery power. Qi is the vital energy that powers every function in your body. When there's a Qi Deficiency, it means your body doesn't have enough of this essential energy. This can make you feel tired all the time, weak, or even cause shortness of breath. It's similar to how you feel when you haven't had enough sleep or nutritious food. Your body just doesn't have the energy it needs to perform at its best. Unlike modern medicine, which often focuses on specific physical causes for fatigue and weakness, TCM views Qi Deficiency as an overall energy depletion that affects your entire well-being, and it seeks to replenish and balance this vital energy.... see more

Qi Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Dizziness Blurry Vision Lack Of Appetite Generalized Fatigue Eye Floaters Nervousness Timidity Easily Startled

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Deficiency Abdomen distension, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Nervousness, Timidity, Easily startled, Lack of bravery, Indecision, Sighing, Vivid dreaming, Depression, Irritability, Hypochondriac distention, Irregular periods, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Abdominal distention... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Si Wu Tang | Xiao Yao San
Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency Abdominal distension, Dizziness, Unsteadiness, Blurry vision, Deafness, Tinnitus, Shortness of breath, Weak voice, Pale face, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea... see more Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Cold

In TCM "Cold" as a pattern of disharmony refers to a specific type of imbalance within the body's systems, often linked to a deficiency or weakness. It's not about feeling physically cold or having a common cold, but rather a metaphorical description of certain symptoms and underlying conditions. When a TCM practitioner says someone suffers from "Cold," it usually implies that the body's Yang energy, which is warm and active, is insufficient or overpowered by Yin energy, which is cool and passive. Symptoms of Cold in TCM can include a general feeling of coldness, cold limbs, pale complexion, low energy, slow metabolism, and a preference for warmth. ... see more

Cold Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Lack Of Appetite Epigastric Coldness Head And Body Heaviness Sweet Taste In Mouth Absence Of Thirst Diarrhea General Weakness Generalized Fatigue

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Cold-Damp invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Epigastric coldness, Head and body heaviness, Sweet taste in mouth, Absence of thirst, Diarrhea, General weakness, Generalized fatigue, Nausea, Edema, Dull pale complexion, White vaginal discharge, Upper abdominal fullness... see more Ping Wei San
Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner caused by Cold Lower abdominal distension, Abdominal masses, Lower abdominal pain, Lower back pain, Abnormal uterine bleeding, Menstrual cramps, Dark menstrual clots... see more Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Deficiency

Blood Deficiency in TCM is like when your body's tank runs low on the vital energy that blood provides. It's not exactly the same as anemia in modern medicine, which is about having too few red blood cells. Instead, Blood Deficiency in TCM is about your body not having enough of the life-giving qualities that blood brings, like nourishment and moisture. This can make you feel tired, look pale, and even feel dizzy or have blurry vision. It's like a garden not getting enough water to stay lush and vibrant. TCM sees this as an imbalance where the body isn't being nourished as it should be, impacting overall health and well-being.... see more

Blood Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation Abdominal distension, Lack of appetite, Weak limbs, Lower back pain, Abdominal distention, Irregular periods, Red and white vaginal discharge, Infertility... see more Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yin Excess

Yin Excess in TCM is a pattern of disharmony characterized by an overabundance of Yin energy, leading to symptoms of dampness and coldness in the body. This condition often results from an imbalance where the cooling, moistening aspects of Yin overshadow the warm, active qualities of Yang energy. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, lethargy, cold sensations, pale complexion, and possibly edema or fluid retention. Digestive issues such as poor appetite, bloating, and loose stools may also be present, reflecting the impact of excess Yin on the body's metabolic processes. Treatment in TCM for Yin Excess focuses on reducing the excess Yin and stimulating Yang energy to restore balance. ... see more

Yin Excess Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Yin Excess Abdominal distention and fullness, Absence of thirst, Slow and forceful movement, Epigastric pain worsen by pressure, Polyuria, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Nausea, Excessive vaginal discharge, Lack of appetite, Pain relieved by heat, Chills, Cold extremities, Pale urine... see more Wu Ling San | Wu Pi Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Liver

In TCM the Liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. It plays a key role in regulating mood, storing blood, supporting digestion, and ensuring the health of tendons and eyes. When the Liver malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues such as irritability, mood swings, menstrual irregularities, eye problems, and muscular stiffness or pain. A malfunctioning Liver in TCM reflects not only physical disturbances but also emotional and mental disharmony, emphasizing the holistic approach of TCM in addressing health and wellness.... see more

Liver Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Irritability Hypochondriac Distention Upper Abdominal Distension Sighing Depression Lack Of Appetite Belching Dizziness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Deficiency Abdomen distension, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Nervousness, Timidity, Easily startled, Lack of bravery, Indecision, Sighing, Vivid dreaming, Depression, Irritability, Hypochondriac distention, Irregular periods, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Abdominal distention... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Si Wu Tang | Xiao Yao San
Liver Qi Stagnation Abdomen distension, Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention and fullness, Epigastric distension, Epigastrium distension, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Xiao Yao San | Jia Wei Xiao Yao San | Yue Ju Wan | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Yi Guan Jian | Wu Yao Tang | Xia Ru Yong Quan San
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen Abdominal distension, Irritability, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Dry stools, Excessive gas and flatulence, Generalized fatigue... see more Xiao Yao San | Tong Xie Yao Fang
Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation Feeling of oppression and fullness of the epigastrium, Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal oppression, Nausea, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Dull shallow face, Irritability, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac distention, Hypochondriac pain... see more Ping Wei San | Dang Gui Shao Yao San
Rebellious Liver Qi Epigastric distension, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Hiccups, Sighing, Nausea or vomiting, Belching, Stomach churning, Irritability, Breast engorgement, Headaches, Dizziness... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Ni San
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach Epigastric distension, Irritability, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal oppression, Acid reflux, Hiccups, Belching, Nausea or vomiting, Sighing, Weak limbs... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang | Si Mo Tang | Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang | Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Epigastric distension, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach Abdominal distension, Epigastric distension, Belching, Abdominal distention, Upper abdominal distension, Depression, Irritability, Xerostomia, Lack of appetite, Craving for sour foods, Dry throat, Acid reflux... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Zuo Jin Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Stomach

In TCM the Stomach is regarded as the "sea of nourishment," pivotal for digesting food and transforming it into Qi and blood. It works closely with the Spleen to distribute these essential nutrients throughout the body. When the Stomach is out of balance or malfunctions in TCM, it often leads to digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a feeling of fullness. There may also be issues like acid reflux or a sour taste in the mouth. Emotionally, an imbalanced Stomach can contribute to excessive worry and overthinking, reflecting the TCM belief that physical and emotional well-being are deeply interconnected.... see more

Stomach Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Belching Upper Abdominal Distension Irritability Upper Abdominal Pain Lack Of Appetite Acid Reflux Dizziness Diarrhea

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine Abdominal distention and fullness, Abdominal distention, Vomiting clear liquid, Dry tongue, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Stomach splashing sound, Chest distension, Diarrhea, Weight loss... see more Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Xiao Chai Hu Tang | Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang
Damp-Heat in the Stomach Epigastrium fullness, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal fullness, Feeling of heaviness, Face pain, Congested nose, Thick nasal discharge, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea, Feeling hot, Dull yellow complexion, Sticky taste in the mouth... see more Lian Po Yin | Ge Hua Jie Cheng San
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach Epigastric distension, Irritability, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal oppression, Acid reflux, Hiccups, Belching, Nausea or vomiting, Sighing, Weak limbs... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang | Si Mo Tang | Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang | Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang
Stomach Qi Stagnation Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal pain, Upper abdominal distension, Belching, Nausea, Vomit, Hiccups, Irritability... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Zuo Jin Wan
Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach Abdominal distension, Epigastric distension, Belching, Abdominal distention, Upper abdominal distension, Depression, Irritability, Xerostomia, Lack of appetite, Craving for sour foods, Dry throat, Acid reflux... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang | Zuo Jin Wan
Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency Abdominal distension, Dizziness, Unsteadiness, Blurry vision, Deafness, Tinnitus, Shortness of breath, Weak voice, Pale face, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea... see more Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Spleen

In TCM the Spleen plays a vital role in digestion and transformation, converting food into energy and nutrients, and overseeing the distribution of Qi and Blood. It's also crucial in maintaining the health of muscles and limbs and ensuring the blood remains within the vessels. When the Spleen malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a variety of issues such as digestive disorders, fatigue, weak muscles, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness. It can also cause a pale complexion, poor appetite, and a tendency to bruise easily. Emotionally, a Spleen imbalance is often associated with excessive worry or overthinking, reflecting its role in the interplay between physical and mental health.... see more

Spleen Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Lack Of Appetite Diarrhea Generalized Fatigue Shortness Of Breath Pale Face General Weakness Nausea Upper Abdominal Fullness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Cold-Damp invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Epigastric coldness, Head and body heaviness, Sweet taste in mouth, Absence of thirst, Diarrhea, General weakness, Generalized fatigue, Nausea, Edema, Dull pale complexion, White vaginal discharge, Upper abdominal fullness... see more Ping Wei San
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Abdominal and epigastric fullness, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Scanty and dark urine, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation Feeling of oppression and fullness of the epigastrium, Epigastric distension, Upper abdominal oppression, Nausea, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Dull shallow face, Irritability, Upper abdominal distension, Hypochondriac distention, Hypochondriac pain... see more Ping Wei San | Dang Gui Shao Yao San
Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency Slight abdominal distention, Lower back pain, Weak and cold knees, Back cold sensation, Chills, Weak legs, Bright pale face, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, Oligospermia, Watery ejaculate, Low sex drive, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Clear urination, Nocturia, Apathy, Leg edema, Female infertility, Diarrhea, Depression, Lack of appetite, Desire to lie down... see more Li Zhong Wan
Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency Abdominal distension, Dizziness, Unsteadiness, Blurry vision, Deafness, Tinnitus, Shortness of breath, Weak voice, Pale face, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea... see more Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Abdominal distention and fullness, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Cold extremities, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Detailed description of the cause

Kidney

In TCM the Kidneys are regarded as the body's most fundamental reservoir of Essence, known as Jing, which influences growth, reproduction, and aging. They are not just organs for filtering blood, but a holistic system governing vital life forces. When the Kidneys malfunction in TCM, it can manifest as a variety of health issues, such as chronic fatigue, reproductive problems, imbalances in fluid metabolism leading to edema or dryness, lower back pain, and a sense of fear or insecurity.... see more

Kidney Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Chills Shortness Of Breath Diarrhea Edema Of The Lower Extremities Cold Sensation In Legs And Back Lumbar Pain Scanty Clear Urination Palpitations

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing Abdominal distention and fullness, Edema of the lower extremities, Cold sensation in legs and back, Abdominal distention, Lumbar pain, Chills, Scanty clear urination, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Cold hands, White and watery sputum, Coughing, Asthma... see more Wu Ling San | Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan
Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency Slight abdominal distention, Lower back pain, Weak and cold knees, Back cold sensation, Chills, Weak legs, Bright pale face, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, Oligospermia, Watery ejaculate, Low sex drive, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Clear urination, Nocturia, Apathy, Leg edema, Female infertility, Diarrhea, Depression, Lack of appetite, Desire to lie down... see more Li Zhong Wan
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Abdominal distention and fullness, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Cold extremities, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Detailed description of the cause

Small Intestine

In TCM the Small Intestine plays a critical role in receiving partially digested food from the Stomach and further separating the clear from the turbid, essentially distinguishing nutrients from waste. This process is vital for proper absorption and assimilation of food. The Small Intestine is also associated with clarity of judgment and decision-making. When it malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, poor appetite, or irregular bowel movements. Additionally, a malfunctioning Small Intestine may manifest as mental confusion or difficulty in making decisions, reflecting its role in discernment and clarity in both physical and mental realms. ... see more

Small Intestine Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Lower Abdominal Twisting Pain Abdominal Pain Worsened By Pressure Borborygmi Excessive Gas And Flatulence Abdominal Pain Relieved By Flatulence Testicular Pain Vomiting Clear Liquid Dry Tongue

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Small Intestine Qi Pain Abdominal distension, Lower abdominal twisting pain, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain worsened by pressure, Borborygmi, Excessive gas and flatulence, Abdominal pain relieved by flatulence, Testicular pain... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San
Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine Abdominal distention and fullness, Abdominal distention, Vomiting clear liquid, Dry tongue, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Stomach splashing sound, Chest distension, Diarrhea, Weight loss... see more Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Xiao Chai Hu Tang | Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang | Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Gallbladder

In TCM the Gallbladder has a unique role in storing and excreting bile, but more importantly, it's seen as crucial for decision-making and courage. It's closely connected to the Liver, assisting in the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy) and supporting the Liver's role in maintaining emotional balance. When the Gallbladder malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to physical symptoms like gallstones, jaundice, or a bitter taste in the mouth. There might also be digestive disturbances, particularly related to fat metabolism. On an emotional level, a Gallbladder disorder can manifest as indecisiveness, timidity, or a tendency to easily succumb to stress. These symptoms highlight the TCM view of the Gallbladder as integral to both physical processes and emotional resilience.... see more

Gallbladder Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Common Symptoms: Bitter Taste In The Mouth Thirst Nausea Upper Abdominal Fullness Alternating Sensation Of Hot And Cold Dry Throat Hypochondriac Pain Mild Chills With High Fever

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Gallbladder Heat Epigastrium fullness, Alternating sensation of hot and cold, Bitter taste in the mouth, Thirst, Dry throat, Hypochondriac pain, Nausea, Upper abdominal fullness... see more Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang
Heat in Gall Bladder Epigastrium fullness, Mild chills with high fever, Bitter taste in the mouth, Stifling sensation in the chest, Vomiting of sour fluids, Thirst, Hypochondriac pain and discomfort, Nausea, Upper abdominal fullness, Cholecystitis, Icteric hepatitis... see more Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Large Intestine

In TCM the Large Intestine is primarily seen as responsible for the absorption of fluids and the excretion of waste. It is closely related to the Lung in terms of energy flow and function, reflecting the interconnectedness of organ systems in TCM. When the Large Intestine malfunctions, it can lead to issues such as constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, and an inability to let go of emotional waste, like holding onto grief or stress. This is in line with the TCM view that the physical and emotional aspects of health are deeply connected. An imbalanced Large Intestine can also manifest as skin problems, signifying the organ’s role in eliminating toxins and maintaining balance in the body’s internal environment.... see more

Large Intestine Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Large Intestine Qi Stagnation Abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Anxiety, Bitty stools Chai Hu Shu Gan San
Detailed description of the cause

Pericardium

In TCM the Pericardium is more than a physical membrane protecting the heart; it's considered an organ system that acts as the "Heart's protector." It plays a crucial role in safeguarding the heart from external pathogenic factors and emotional disturbances. The Pericardium is also involved in regulating blood circulation and influencing emotional well-being, especially in terms of relationships and intimacy. When the Pericardium malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to symptoms that mirror heart issues, such as chest pain or palpitations, but often with an emotional component like difficulty in forming emotional connections or excessive vulnerability to external stressors. Additionally, a disturbed Pericardium can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety, and in severe cases, mental confusion, reflecting its integral role in both physical heart protection and emotional balance.... see more

Pericardium Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen Abdominal distension, Irritability, Abdominal distention, Abdominal pain, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Dry stools, Excessive gas and flatulence, Generalized fatigue... see more Xiao Yao San | Tong Xie Yao Fang
Detailed description of the cause

Bladder

In TCM the Bladder plays a crucial role beyond its basic function of storing and excreting urine. It is intimately connected with the Kidney system, helping to regulate the body's water balance and being a key component in the processing and elimination of fluids. The Bladder also influences the lower part of the body and the back. When it malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to urinary issues like frequent urination, incontinence, or painful urination. Additionally, there may be problems related to its meridian pathway, such as lower back pain, stiffness, or weakness in the legs. The Bladder’s condition in TCM can also reflect emotional states, with imbalances potentially leading to feelings of fear or anxiety.... see more

Bladder Patterns That Can Lead to Abdominal Distention

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Greater Yang Accumulation of Blood Hypogastric distention, Lower abdominal distension, Lower abdominal fullness, Hematuria, Restlessness Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

TCM Herbal Formulas for Abdominal Distention

To address the complex nature of abdominal distention, TCM utilizes a variety of herbal formulas tailored to the underlying pattern of disharmony. For Qi Stagnation, Xiao Yao San helps to soothe Liver Qi and alleviate emotional stress, thereby reducing distention.

In cases of Phlegm dampness, Wu Ling San promotes urination and leaches out excess Dampness, relieving swelling. When Blood Stagnation is the culprit, Tao Hong Si Wu Tang invigorates blood circulation and disperses stasis.

For individuals suffering from Qi Deficiency, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang strengthens the body’s vital energy, and for those with Yang Deficiency, formulas like Wu Ling San warm the body and dispel cold, addressing the root causes of abdominal distention.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address abdominal distention, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Blood Stasis
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Cold
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Yin Excess
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that promote qi movement
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness
  • Formulas for a rebellious qi
  • Formulas that tonify blood
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness
  • Formulas that warm yang and tonify
  • Formulas that drive out excess water
  • Formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm
  • Formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach
  • Formulas that tonify
  • Formulas that clear heat
  • Formulas that dispel phlegm
  • Formulas that expel parasites
  • Formulas that harmonize stomach-Intestines
  • Formulas that clear nutritive-level heat
  • Formulas that clear heat and expel dampness
  • Formulas that reduce food stagnation with tonification
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold
  • Formulas that clear liver-Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Qi Stagnation

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Liver Qi Stagnation, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Small Intestine Qi Pain
Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Stagnation, Qi And Blood Stagnation
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach, Stomach Qi Stagnation
Zuo Jin Wan Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach, Stomach Qi Stagnation
Ping Wei San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation
Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Stagnation
Yue Ju Wan Liver Qi Stagnation
Yi Guan Jian Liver Qi Stagnation
Wu Yao Tang Liver Qi Stagnation
Xia Ru Yong Quan San Liver Qi Stagnation
Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation
Jin Ling Zi San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Lian Po Yin Damp-Heat invading the Spleen, Damp-Heat in the Stomach
Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang Gallbladder Heat, Heat in Gall Bladder
Ping Wei San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation
Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang Heat in the Blood
Ge Hua Jie Cheng San Damp-Heat in the Stomach
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation
Tao He Cheng Qi Tang Greater Yang Accumulation of Blood
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Dampness

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ping Wei San Oedema, Cold-Damp invading the Spleen, Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation... see more
Wu Ling San Oedema, Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing
Lian Po Yin Damp-Heat invading the Spleen, Damp-Heat in the Stomach
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema
Wu Pi Yin Oedema
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema
Shen Qi Wan Oedema
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema
Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing
Ge Hua Jie Cheng San Damp-Heat in the Stomach
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Blood Stasis

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation, Blood Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation, Blood Stagnation
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Blood Stagnation, Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner caused by Cold
Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation
Jin Ling Zi San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Shi Xiao San Blood Stagnation

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Phlegm

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema, Phlegm-Fluids, Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine
Wu Ling San Oedema, Phlegm-Fluids
Ping Wei San Oedema
Wu Pi Yin Oedema
Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema
Shen Qi Wan Oedema
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema
Er Chen Tang Phlegm-Fluids
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm-Fluids
Xiao Chai Hu Tang Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine
Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Qi Rebellion

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiao Yao San Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Rebellious Liver Qi
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach
Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach
Tong Xie Yao Fang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen
Si Ni San Rebellious Liver Qi
Si Mo Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach
Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach
Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Yang Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wu Ling San Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing, Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency
Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing
Li Zhong Wan Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Qi Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Deficiency
Si Wu Tang Liver Qi Deficiency
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Liver Qi Deficiency
Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Cold

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ping Wei San Cold-Damp invading the Spleen
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner caused by Cold

All Formulas Recommended for Abdominal Distention Caused by Yin Excess

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wu Ling San Yin Excess
Wu Pi Yin Yin Excess

All "formulas that promote qi movement" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Liver Qi Stagnation, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Small Intestine Qi Pain, Rebellious Liver Qi... see more
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach, Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, Stomach Qi Stagnation... see more
Yue Ju Wan Liver Qi Stagnation
Wu Yao Tang Liver Qi Stagnation
Jin Ling Zi San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Si Mo Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

All "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation, Blood Stagnation
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Blood Stagnation, Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner caused by Cold
Shi Xiao San Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Obstruction Of the Spleen By Dampness with Liver Qi Stagnation
Tao He Cheng Qi Tang Greater Yang Accumulation of Blood
Xia Ru Yong Quan San Liver Qi Stagnation

All "formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen, Qi And Blood Stagnation... see more
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Stagnation
Tong Xie Yao Fang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen
Si Ni San Rebellious Liver Qi

All "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wu Ling San Oedema, Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing, Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency, Phlegm-Fluids, Yin Excess... see more
Wu Pi Yin Oedema, Yin Excess
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema

All "formulas that tonify blood" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Si Wu Tang Liver Qi Deficiency, Qi And Blood Stagnation
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Blood Stagnation, Qi And Blood Stagnation

All "formulas that warm and transform water and dampness" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema, Phlegm-Fluids, Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema

All "formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang Gallbladder Heat, Heat in Gall Bladder
Xiao Chai Hu Tang Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine

All "formulas for a rebellious qi" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine, Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach... see more
Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach
Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

All "formulas that warm yang and tonify" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Shen Qi Wan Oedema
Ji Sheng Shen Qi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

All "formulas that drive out excess water" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema

All "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm" recommended for abdominal distention

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Er Chen Tang Phlegm-Fluids
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm-Fluids

Acupoints for Abdominal Distention

TCM also incorporates acupuncture as a method to relieve abdominal distention, selecting acupoints that harmonize the Stomach and Spleen, invigorate Qi, and promote the elimination of Phlegm and Dampness.

Points such as Chongyang ST-42 and Daju ST-27 regulate digestive Qi and resolve dampness, while Guanmen ST-22 and Jiexi ST-41 focus on invigorating stomach Qi and clearing Heat. Additionally, Spleen Channel points like Dadu SP-2 and Diji SP-8 are vital for strengthening the Spleen, regulating Qi, and supporting digestion, providing a holistic approach to treating abdominal distention and its underlying causes.

Explore below some acupoints used to address abdominal distention, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Stomach Channel
  • Spleen Channel
  • Bladder Channel
  • Directing Vessel
  • Liver Channel
  • Kidney Channel
  • Gall Bladder Channel
  • Large Intestine Channel
  • Extra Points: Chest and Abdomen (EX-CA)
  • Governing Vessel
  • Pericardium Channel
Burong ST-19

Burong ST-19

2 cun below the sternocostal angel and 6 cun above the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Chengman ST-20

Chengman ST-20

5 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline, or 1 cun below Burong ST-19.

Liangmen ST-21

Liangmen ST-21

4 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Guanmen ST-22

Guanmen ST-22

3 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Tianshu ST-25

Tianshu ST-25

2 cun lateral to the center of the umbilicus.

Wailing ST-26

Wailing ST-26

1 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Daju ST-27

Daju ST-27

2 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Shuidao ST-28

Shuidao ST-28

3 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to anterior midline.

Qichong ST-30

Qichong ST-30

5 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline, superior to the inguinal groove, on the medial side of the femoral artery, nerve and vein.

Yinshi ST-33

Yinshi ST-33

3 cun above the upper-lateral border of the patella, on a line between the lateral patellar border and the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS).

Shangjuxu ST-37

Shangjuxu ST-37

6 cun below Dubi ST-35, on finger-breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia.

Jiexi ST-41

Jiexi ST-41

At the junction of the dorsum of the foot and leg, between the tendons of extensor digitorum and the extensor hallucis longus muscle. Approximately at the level of the tip of the external malleolus.

Chongyang ST-42

Chongyang ST-42

Distal to Jiexi ST-41, at the highest point of the dorsum of foot, between the tendons of the extensor hallucis longus and the extensor digitorum longus, directly lateral to the point where the dorsalis pedis artery may be palpated. The point is bordered proximally by the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones and distally by the 2nd and 3rd cuneiform bones.

Xiangu ST-43

Xiangu ST-43

On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones, at the level of the junction of the shafts and the heads of these metatarsal bones.

Neiting ST-44

Neiting ST-44

Between the 2nd and the 3rd toes, proximal to the interdigital fold.

Yinbai SP-1

Yinbai SP-1

On the medial side of the big toe, about 0.1 cun posterior to the corner of the nail.

Dadu SP-2

Dadu SP-2

On the medial aspect of the big toe, at the junction of the shaft and the base of the proximal phalanx, distal to the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint.

Taibai SP-3

Taibai SP-3

Proximal and inferior to the head of the 1st metatarsal bone, at the border of the red and white skin.

Gongsun SP-4

Gongsun SP-4

In the depression distal and inferior to the base of the 1st metatarsal bone, at the border of the red and white skin.

Shangqiu SP-5

Shangqiu SP-5

In the depression distal and inferior to the medial malleolus, midway between the navicular bone tubercle and the tip of the medial malleolus.

Sanyinjiao SP-6

Sanyinjiao SP-6

3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the tibia, on the line drawn from the medial malleolus to Yinlingquan SP-9.

Diji SP-8

Diji SP-8

3 cun below the medial condyle of the tibia, on the line connecting Yinlingquan SP-9 and the the medial malleolus.

Yinlingquan SP-9

Yinlingquan SP-9

On the lower border of the medial condyle of the tibia, in the depression between the posterior border of the tibia and gastrocnemius muscle.

Xuehai SP-10

Xuehai SP-10

When knee is flexed, Xuehai SP-10 is 2 cun above the medial upper border of the patella, in a depression on the vastus medialis muscle.

Fujie SP-14

Fujie SP-14

On the mamillary line which is 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline. 3 cun above Fushe SP-13, 1.3 cun below Daheng SP-15, on the lateral side of rectus abdominis muscle.

Shidou SP-17

Shidou SP-17

6 cun lateral to the anterior midline, 2 cun lateral to the mamillary line, in the 5th intercostal space.

Luoque BL-8

Luoque BL-8

1.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline and 5.5 cun superior to the anterior hairline. Or 0.5 cun posterior to Baihui Du-20 at the vertex.

Dushu BL-16

Dushu BL-16

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 6th thoracic vertebra (T6).

Pishu BL-20

Pishu BL-20

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 11th thoracic vertebra (T11).

Weishu BL-21

Weishu BL-21

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12).

Dachangshu BL-25

Dachangshu BL-25

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 4th lumber vertebra (L4).

Guanyuanshu BL-26

Guanyuanshu BL-26

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 5th lumber vertebra (L5).

Zhonglushu BL-29

Zhonglushu BL-29

At the level of the 3rd posterior sacral foramen, 1.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline.

Zhongliao BL-33

Zhongliao BL-33

In the 3rd posterior sacral foramen, between the posterior superior iliac spine and the midline.

Yixi BL-45

Yixi BL-45

3 cun (about 4 finger-breadths) lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 6th thoracic vertebra (T6).

Yanggang BL-48

Yanggang BL-48

3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 10th thoracic vertebra (T10).

Guanyuan REN-4

Guanyuan REN-4

On the midline of the abdomen, 3 cun below the umbilicus.

Xiawan REN-10

Xiawan REN-10

On the midline of the abdomen, 2 cun above the umbilicus and 6 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Jianli REN-11

Jianli REN-11

On the midline of the abdomen, 3 cun above the umbilicus and 5 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Zhongwan REN-12

Zhongwan REN-12

On the midline of the abdomen, 4 cun above the umbilicus and 4 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Shangwan REN-13

Shangwan REN-13

On the midline of the abdomen, 5 cun above the umbilicus and 3 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Juque REN-14

Juque REN-14

On the midline of the abdomen, 6 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Taichong LIV-3

Taichong LIV-3

On the dorsum of the foot, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones, in the depression proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joints and the proximal angle between the two bones.

Zhongfeng LIV-4

Zhongfeng LIV-4

1 cun anterior to the tip of medial malleolus, in the depression on the medial side of the tendon of the tibialis anterior.

Ligou LIV-5

Ligou LIV-5

5 cun above the tip of the medial malleolus, on the medial aspect and posterior to the medial crest of the tibia.

Zuwuli LIV-10

Zuwuli LIV-10

3 cun inferior to Qichong ST-30 which is on the upper border of the symphysis and 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline. The point is also on the lateral border of adductor longus muscle.

Zhangmen LIV-13

Zhangmen LIV-13

On the lateral side of the abdomen, below the free end of the 11th rib.

Qimen LIV-14

Qimen LIV-14

On the mammillary line, two ribs below the nipple, in the 6th intercostal space, 4 cun lateral to the midline. Please note that there is an alternative location for LIV-14 at the lower edge of the ribcage in line with the nipple or, in women, 4 cun from the midline. In fact, one could look upon these as two separate points. The one in the intercostal space is used more for Channel problems. While the one at the lower edge of the ribcage is used more for Organ problems.

Yingu KID-10

Yingu KID-10

On the medial side of the popliteal fossa, level with Weizhong BL-40, between the tendons of semitendinosus and semimenbranosus muscle when the knee is flexed.

Huangshu KID-16

Huangshu KID-16

0.5 cun lateral to the center of the umbilicus.

Yindu KID-19

Yindu KID-19

4 cun above the umbilicus, 0.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Futonggu KID-20

Futonggu KID-20

5 cun above the umbilicus, 0.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Youmen KID-21

Youmen KID-21

6 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun below the sternocostal angle, 0.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Riyue GB-24

Riyue GB-24

On the mamillary line which is 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline, in the 7th intercostal space, 1 intercostal space below Qimen LIV-14.

Jingmen GB-25

Jingmen GB-25

On the lateral side of the abdomen, on the lower border of the free end of the 12th rib.

Yanglingquan GB-34

Yanglingquan GB-34

In the depression anterior and inferior to the head of the fibula.

Wenliu LI-7

Wenliu LI-7

When a fist is made, with the ulnar side downward and elbow flexed, the point is 5 cun above Yangxi LI-5 at the wrist crease, 1 cun distal to the midpoint of the line joining Yangxi LI-5 and Quchi LI-11.

Xialian LI-8

Xialian LI-8

When a fist is made, with the ulnar side downward and elbow flexed, the point is 4 cun distal to Quchi LI-11 of the line joining Yangxi LI-5 and Quchi LI-11.

Quchi LI-11

Quchi LI-11

When the elbow is flexed, Quchi LI-11 is in the depression at the lateral end of the cubital crease, midway between Chize LU-5 and the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

Qizhongsibian EX-CA

Qizhongsibian EX-CA

This is a group of 4 points, 1 cun lateral, superior and inferior to the center of the umbilicus. The superior point corresponds to Shuifen REN-9, while the inferior one corresponds to Yinjiao REN-7.

Tituo EX-CA

Tituo EX-CA

4 cun lateral to the anterior midline and 2 cun superior to the upper border of the pubic symphysis.

Zhiyang DU-9

Zhiyang DU-9

On the back midline, in the depression below the spinous process of the 7th thoracic vertebra (T7).

Neiguan P-6

Neiguan P-6

2 cun above Daling P-7 on the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis muscle.