Stomach Prolapseaccording to TCM

What is Stomach Prolapse?

Stomach prolapse, known in the medical community as gastroptosis, occurs when the Stomach descends lower than its normal position in the abdominal cavity. This condition may lead to various symptoms, including discomfort, fullness after eating a small amount of food, and sometimes, more severe digestive issues.

The terminology surrounding this condition includes gastric prolapse, gastric ptosis, and dropped stomach. While often considered from a physical standpoint in Western medicine, the perspective broadens significantly when viewed through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

How does TCM View Stomach Prolapse?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stomach prolapse is seen not just as a physical displacement but as a manifestation of underlying disharmony within the body's energy system or Qi.

TCM interprets this condition as primarily a result of Qi Sinking or Collapse. This perspective allows for a holistic approach to treatment, focusing on restoring balance and strengthening the Qi to address the root cause of the prolapse, rather than just the symptoms.

Root Causes of Stomach Prolapse in TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine identifies several patterns that may contribute to stomach prolapse, with the general Qi Sinking or Qi Collapsing being a primary cause. It reflects a significant Deficiency and weakness in the body's vital energy, leading to the inability to hold organs in their proper place.

Another related pattern is Spleen Qi Sinking, which specifically points to the weakening of the Spleen's energy system, critical for digestion and the maintenance of physical structure. These patterns illustrate the importance of Qi's strength and stability in preventing and treating conditions like stomach prolapse.

Explore below more details about what might cause Stomach prolapse according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Qi Sinking
  • Spleen
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Sinking

Qi Sinking is a pattern of disharmony in TCM where the body's energy, or Qi, is thought to "sink" or drop down. Imagine a balloon slowly deflating and falling; that's similar to what happens with Qi Sinking. This can lead to feelings of heaviness, fatigue, and even physical symptoms like prolapse of organs or frequent urination. It's as if the body's energy, which usually supports and holds things in place, isn't able to do its job properly. TCM views this as an imbalance where the uplifting and supporting qualities of Qi are weakened.... see more

Qi Sinking Patterns That Can Lead to Stomach Prolapse

Common Symptoms: Uterine Prolapse Prolapsed Bladder Anus Prolapse Hemorrhoids Generalized Fatigue Lack Of Appetite Diarrhea Depression

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking Stomach prolapse, Uterine prolapse, Prolapsed bladder, Nephroptosis, Anus prolapse, Bearing down sensation in abdomen, Hemorrhoids, Chronic diarrhea, Frequent and urgent urination, Urinary incontinence, Generalized fatigue, Low energy, Intestines prolapse, Vaginal prolapse... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Du Shen Tang
Spleen Qi Sinking Stomach prolapse, Lack of appetite, Slight abdominal distension after eating Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang
Detailed description of the cause


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 Stomach Prolapse

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Spleen Qi Sinking Stomach prolapse, Lack of appetite, Slight abdominal distension after eating Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

TCM Herbal Formulas for Stomach Prolapse

To counteract the effects of Qi Sinking and Spleen Qi Deficiency, TCM relies on formulas designed to tonify and lift Qi. One such formula is Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, which incorporates Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) among its key ingredients.

This formula is specifically tailored to enhance Qi, lift the body's sagging energy, and thereby address the underlying causes of stomach prolapse. By strengthening the Qi and Spleen, TCM aims to restore the stomach to its proper position and alleviate the associated symptoms.

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

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Qi Sinking
  • Formulas that vent membrane source
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness
  • Formulas for a rebellious qi
  • Formulas that rescue devastated yang

All Formulas Recommended for Stomach Prolapse Caused by Qi Sinking

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking, Spleen Qi Sinking
Du Shen Tang Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Acupoints for Stomach Prolapse

TCM also recommends specific acupoints to treat stomach prolapse, focusing on those that can benefit the abdomen and strengthen Qi. The point Weishang EX-CA, located on the Spleen Channel near the umbilicus, is used to directly benefit the abdominal area.

Baihui DU-20, at the vertex of the head, is another crucial point for expelling Interior Wind and raising Yang, which can indirectly support the treatment of prolapse by strengthening the body's overall energy. Lastly, Pishu BL-20, associated with the Spleen, is essential for tonifying the Spleen Qi and Yang, addressing the root causes of stomach prolapse from a TCM perspective.

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

  • By Meridian
  • Extra Points: Chest and Abdomen (EX-CA)
  • Governing Vessel
  • Bladder Channel
Weishang EX-CA

Weishang EX-CA

This point is on the Spleen Channel, 4 cun lateral and 2 cun superior to the umbilicus.

Baihui DU-20

Baihui DU-20

At the vertex, at the junction of a line connecting the apex of the ears and the midline, in the depression 7 cun above the posterior hairline and 5 cun behind the anterior hairline.

Pishu BL-20

Pishu BL-20

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