The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 气滞
Pinyin name: Qì Zhì
Associated TCM concepts: Qi
If the flow of Qi is impeded in any way, it becomes stuck or stagnant. This can be likened to a traffic jam on the freeway. That's why, unlike in the cases of Qi Deficiency or Qi Sinking, tonification is contraindicated: it would be like adding more cars to the traffic jam. Instead, Qi moving or regulating therapy is required.
Qi Stagnation can lead to an impairment of any of the Organs. When Qi is stagnant in the limbs or in the Channels of the body, aches and pains may result. The Liver is the main Organ affected by Qi Stagnation. However other Organs often also suffer from it, for example the Heart, Lungs, Stomach or Intestines.
In a Qi Stagnation condition, the person is usually not tired as in Qi Deficiency, but tend to experience a range of emotional symptoms: the feeling of being 'stuck', being frustrated, easily irritated, etc. The feeling of distension (i.e. feeling 'bloated'), which can affect the throat, chest, epigastrium, or abdomen, is the most characteristic and important of the symptoms of Qi Stagnation.
Stagnant Qi is an Excess condition. When Qi is Stagnant it can lead to other types of Stagnation such as Blood, Fluids or food Stagnation. Likewise, poor Blood or Body Fluids circulation can result in Qi condensing and stagnating, resulting in lumps, physical masses or tumors.
Please keep in mind that a Western Medicine condition can be caused by several Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony and vice versa. As such a patient suffering from one of the conditions below will not necessarily be suffering from Qi Stagnation, it is just one pattern that's commonly associated with the condition. Click on a condition to learn what other patterns it's associated with.
Late menstruation Chronic gastritis Peptic ulcers Irritable bowel syndrome Chronic hepatitis Intercostal neuralgia Migraine Epilepsy Depression Biliary tract infections Gallstones Globus hystericus Cerebral thrombosis
Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin) or wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thin white coating
Tongue color: Red sides
Possible symptoms: Anxiety Belching Vomiting Depression Moving pain Mood swings Acid reflux Indigestion Late period Irritability Poor appetite Scanty periods Clots in blood Abdominal pain Frequent sighing Feeling of distension Fixed pain in the hypochondria Premenstrual breast distension Mild coughing with copious sputum Premenstrual abdominal distension Stifling sensation in the chest and abdomen
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners.
In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors. Here patients with Qi Stagnation will tend to exhibit tight (Jin) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red sides tongue with thin white coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Qi Stagnation might experience symptoms like moving pain, depression, irritability and mood swings (full list here above).
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.
Xiao Yao San is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that harmonize Liver-Spleen.
Source date: 1602
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.
Chai Hu Shu Gan San is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1602, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.
Source date: 1481 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Promotes the movement of Qi. Releases all types of Stagnation (Qi, Blood, Phlegm, Fire, Food and Dampness).
Yue Ju Wan is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) and Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1481 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.
Typical symptoms for late menstruation caused by Qi Stagnation: Depression Late period Irritability Scanty periods Clots in blood Abdominal pain Premenstrual breast distension Premenstrual abdominal distension
Qi Stagnation here mainly refers to Liver Qi Stagnation which is often caused by long-term emotional stress like worry or fear. If untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to Blood Stagnation and thus the Directing (Ren Mai 任脉) and Penetrating Vessels become blocked and periods come behind schedule.
Heart or Spleen Qi Deficiency can also be caused by these emotions and be responsible for delayed periods. Take the Spleen as example, its function is to transform and transport food and...Read more about late menstruation