Armpit Swellingaccording to TCM

What is Armpit Swelling?

Armpit swelling encompasses a condition characterized by an increase in size or puffiness in the axillary region, known in medical terms as axilla swelling, axillary puffiness, underarm edema, or axillary swelling. This condition can emerge from a variety of causes, including but not limited to infections, allergic reactions, or as a sign of more severe underlying health concerns such as lymphatic blockages or breast cancer. Accompanying symptoms might include pain, tenderness, or the presence of lumps, highlighting the importance of professional medical consultation to pinpoint the root cause.

How does TCM View Armpit Swelling?

In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), armpit swelling is interpreted through a holistic lens, attributing its emergence to imbalances in the body's fundamental elements such as Qi (energy), Blood, and the presence of pathological factors like Dampness or Heat. TCM practitioners assess such swelling in conjunction with the individual's overall health status, viewing it as a symptom of an underlying imbalance.

Central to TCM treatment is the identification of the specific imbalance pattern, be it Qi Stagnation, Blood Stasis, Dampness accumulation, or Heat, to tailor an effective therapeutic strategy. This method underscores the significance of a dual-focused approach that aims to alleviate the symptom while targeting its root cause, thereby restoring the body's natural equilibrium.

Acupoints for Armpit Swelling

In addressing armpit swelling, TCM underscores the utilization of specific acupoints along the Bladder, Gall Bladder, and Pericardium channels, chosen for their distinct therapeutic impacts on the body's Qi, Blood, and overall energy flow. Chengjin BL-56, situated on the calf, is revered for its capability to clear channel obstructions and relax sinews, offering relief for underarm swelling by enhancing the Qi and Blood circulation across the body. Another pivotal point, Diwuhui GB-42, located between the toes, is instrumental in dispelling Liver Qi Stagnation and expelling Heat from the Gall Bladder channel.

This acupoint is particularly beneficial when armpit swelling is tied to emotional stress or internal Heat accumulation. Tianchi P-1, near the chest, excels in opening the chest and quelling Rebellious Qi, proving valuable for swellings linked to the breasts or lymph nodes within the armpit, promoting the expelling of Dampness and Heat that might be contributing to the swelling. Through acupuncture or acupressure, stimulating these acupoints can significantly alleviate armpit swelling by addressing the underlying TCM disharmony patterns, offering an effective complementary treatment avenue.

Explore below some acupoints used to address armpit swelling, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Bladder Channel
  • Gall Bladder Channel
  • Pericardium Channel
Chengjin BL-56

Chengjin BL-56

5 cun inferior to Weizhong BL-40 which is the midpoint of the popliteal crease. In the center of the belly of gastrocnemius muscle, midway between Heyang BL-55 and Chengshan BL-57.

Diwuhui GB-42

Diwuhui GB-42

Between the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, on the medial side of the tendon of extensor digitorum longus muscle of the little toe.

Tianchi P-1

Tianchi P-1

1 cun lateral to the nipple, in the 4th intercostal space.