Rectal Prolapseaccording to TCM

What is Rectal Prolapse?

Rectal prolapse is a medical condition where part of the rectum slips outside the anus. This can range from a small bulge during bowel movements to a complete prolapse where a section of the rectum is visible outside the body. It can cause discomfort, bleeding, and difficulty with bowel movements.

While it can occur at any age, it's more common in older adults, especially women. Various factors contribute to rectal prolapse, including chronic constipation, nerve damage, and weakened pelvic floor muscles.

How Does TCM View Rectal Prolapse?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views rectal prolapse as a symptom of underlying disharmonies within the body’s energy systems. Unlike Western medicine, which primarily focuses on anatomical and physiological factors, TCM considers rectal prolapse a manifestation of systemic imbalances.

These may include weakened Qi (vital energy), an imbalance in Yin and Yang, or dysfunction of the Spleen and Kidney systems. In TCM, identifying and correcting these imbalances is crucial for effectively treating rectal prolapse.

Causes of Rectal Prolapse According to TCM

In TCM, rectal prolapse is often associated with patterns of Qi Deficiency or Qi Sinking, particularly in the Spleen and Kidney systems. Qi Deficiency can lead to a weakening of the muscles and connective tissues that support the rectum, contributing to prolapse.

Additionally, chronic conditions like Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine can exacerbate the problem by increasing pressure in the lower abdomen. TCM treatments focus on strengthening the Qi, nourishing the Yin, and resolving any Damp-Heat to address the root causes of rectal prolapse.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Rectal Prolapse

TCM employs a range of formulas and herbs to treat rectal prolapse, depending on the underlying pattern. Formulas like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, which contains Prepared rehmannia, are used for patterns of Yang Deficiency, to nourish Yin and strengthen Kidney Yang.

For Qi Deficiency and Qi Sinking, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang with Milkvetch Roots is recommended to tonify Qi and address issues of Qi Sinking. Each formula is chosen based on the individual's specific TCM diagnosis, reflecting the personalized approach of TCM treatment.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address rectal prolapse, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that release the exterior and clear the interior
  • Formulas that stop bleeding
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold

Acupoints for Rectal Prolapse

TCM acupoint therapy plays a significant role in treating rectal prolapse. Acupoints such as Baihuanshu BL-30 and Chengshan BL-57 in the Bladder Channel are effective for strengthening the lower back and treating hemorrhoids, both of which are beneficial for rectal prolapse. Huiyang BL-35 is another important point for clearing Damp-Heat and regulating the Lower Burner.

Additionally, Changqiang Du-1 in the Governing Vessel and Huiyin REN-1 in the Directing Vessel are used for their regulating and strengthening effects on the lower orifices. These acupoints form part of a comprehensive strategy to address the physical and energetic aspects of rectal prolapse in TCM.

Explore below some acupoints used to address rectal prolapse, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Bladder Channel
  • Governing Vessel
  • Directing Vessel
  • Extra Points: Upper Extremities (EX-UE)
Dachangshu BL-25

Dachangshu BL-25

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

Baihuanshu BL-30

Baihuanshu BL-30

At the level of the 4th posterior sacral foramen, 1.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline.

Huiyang BL-35

Huiyang BL-35

On either side of the coccyx tip, 0.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline.

Chengshan BL-57

Chengshan BL-57

Directly below the belly of the gastrocnemius muscle and between the two heads of the muscle, on the line connecting Weizhong BL-40 and Kunlun BL-60, about 8 cun below Weizhong BL-40.

Changqiang Du-1

Changqiang Du-1

Midway between the tip of the coccyx and the anus.

Jizhong DU-6

Jizhong DU-6

On the back midline, in the depression below the spinous process of the 11th thoracic vertebra (T11).

Huiyin REN-1

Huiyin REN-1

In the center of the perineum.

Shenque REN-8

Shenque REN-8

In the center of the umbilicus.

Erbai Ex-UE-2

Erbai Ex-UE-2

A pair of points on the palmar aspect of the forearm, 4 cun proximal to the wrist joint space (most distal wrist crease), on either side of the tendon of the flexor carpi radialis muscle.

TCM Herbs for Rectal Prolapse

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address rectal prolapse, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Herbs that stabilize and bind
  • Herbs that regulate qi
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Herbs that drain dampness
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Herbs that stop bleeding

"Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior" recommended for rectal prolapse

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Kudzu Roots (Ge Gen) Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang
Bugbane Rhizomes (Sheng Ma) Not applicable
Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) Not applicable
Greater Burdock Roots (Niu Bang Gen) Not applicable

"Herbs that stabilize and bind" recommended for rectal prolapse

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Red Halloysite (Chi Shi Zhi) Not applicable
Chinese Gall (Wu Bei Zi) Not applicable
Pomegranate Peel (Shi Liu Pi) Not applicable

"Herbs that regulate Qi" recommended for rectal prolapse

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke) Not applicable
Immature Bitter Oranges (Zhi Shi) Not applicable

"Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency" recommended for rectal prolapse

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang
Maltose (Yi Tang) Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang