Autonomic dystonia according to Chinese Medicine

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In Chinese Medicine, autonomic dystonia can be associated with three so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here autonomic dystonia can be caused by three different patterns.

To understand whether someone's autonomic dystonia might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from autonomic dystonia alone. For instance when autonomic dystonia is caused by the pattern Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat, patients also experience symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, dizziness or vertigo, dream disturbed sleep with strange or unusual dreams and palpitations. Similarly, patients with Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with yellow coating.

We've listed below a description of the three patterns associated with autonomic dystonia so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below four formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with autonomic dystonia, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with autonomic dystonia

The Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat

Autonomic dystonia might be due to Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, dizziness or vertigo, dream disturbed sleep with strange or unusual dreams and palpitations. Similarly, patients with Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with yellow coating.

Read more about Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat here

The Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Bladder Deficiency with Cold

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Sang Piao Xiao San

Symptoms: Dizziness Incontinence Forgetfulness Disorientation Lower back pain Feeling of cold Frequent urination White urethral discharge Urine the color of rice water (grey and cloudy)

Autonomic dystonia might be due to Bladder Deficiency with Cold if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as urine the color of rice water (grey and cloudy), disorientation, forgetfulness and incontinence. Similarly, patients with Bladder Deficiency with Cold typically exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Bladder Deficiency with Cold here

The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine

Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Jiao Tai Wan

Symptoms: Anxiety Insomnia Irritability Restlnessness Coolness of the lower limbs Severe and continuous palpitations

Autonomic dystonia might be due to Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as irritability, restlnessness, severe and continuous palpitations and coolness of the lower limbs. Similarly, patients with Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Read more about Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency here

The four herbal formulas that might help with autonomic dystonia

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with autonomic dystonia?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat, a pattern sometimes associated with autonomic dystonia. If it looks like you might suffer from Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Sang Piao Xiao San

Source date: 1116 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Regulates and tonifies the Heart and Kidneys. Stabilizes the Essence. Stops leakage.

Why might Sang Piao Xiao San help with autonomic dystonia?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Bladder Deficiency with Cold, a pattern sometimes associated with autonomic dystonia. If it looks like you might suffer from Bladder Deficiency with Cold, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Sang Piao Xiao San here

Jiao Tai Wan

Source date: 1522 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Restores the functional communication between the Heart and the Kidneys.

Why might Jiao Tai Wan help with autonomic dystonia?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with autonomic dystonia. If it looks like you might suffer from Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Jiao Tai Wan here

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach). Tonifies Qi. Relieves spasmodic pain.

Why might Xiao Jian Zhong Tang help with autonomic dystonia?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with autonomic dystonia. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Xiao Jian Zhong Tang here