Pericardium Qi Stagnation

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 心包气滞      Pinyin name: Xīn Bāo Qì Zhì

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Qi Stagnation

Causes

Precursor patterns: Liver Qi Stagnation

Common causes: Emotional stress

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Depression Weak Limbs Cold limbs Throat lumps Palpitations and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Slightly pale purple color tongue

Treatment

Treatment principle: Regulate the Pericardium and Heart Qi, calm the Mind, move Qi in the chest

Common formulas: Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Pathology

Pericardium is located in the center of the chest and it plays the connecting role for both the Heart and the Lung's Qi and Blood. Therefore, sighing and slightly shortness of breath are due to the chest Qi Stagnation of the Lung Channel.  On the other hand, the Pericardium Channel's Qi Stagnation gives rise to the distension, pain and tightness of the chest. The Qi here is called Gathering Qi (宗气 Zong Qi). 

Emotional stress can cause chest Qi Stagnation and as vicious circle, worsen the emotional conditions. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Pericardium Qi Stagnation can derive from Liver Qi Stagnation

Emotional stress: Emotional stress such as sadness, grief, worry and guilt obstructs Qi in the chest and cause Qi Stagnation here.

Diagnosing Pericardium Qi Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong) or empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Slightly pale purple color tongue

Main symptoms: Depression Weak Limbs Cold limbs Throat lumps Palpitations Irritability Poor appetite Chest fullness Mild chest pain Frequent sighing Stifling sensation in the chest

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the feeling of chest distension and palpitations.

Treating Pericardium Qi Stagnation

Treatment principle

Regulate the Pericardium and Heart Qi, calm the Mind, move Qi in the chest

Herbal formulas used to treat Pericardium Qi Stagnation

Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm. Clears Phlegm.

Formula summary

Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.

Besides Pericardium Qi Stagnation, Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is also used to treat Stomach Qi Stagnation or Heart Qi Stagnation.

Read more about Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Consequence patterns

Liver Qi Stagnation

The Liver and Pericardium channel are related within the Terminal Yin (Jue Yin) channels. Therefore Pericardium Qi Stagnation may cause Liver Qi Stagnation or vice versa. 

Blood Stagnation

Prolonged Pericardium Qi Stagnation can cause Blood Stagnation. This situation tend to happen more if both the Heart and the Pericardium's Qi is stagnant.  

Pericardium Blood Stagnation

Prolonged Pericardium Qi Stagnation can always cause Blood Stagnation in the same Organ.