Frequent sighing according to Chinese Medicine

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Frequent sighing can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like frequent sighing here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here frequent sighing is often associated with depression, palpitations and shortness of breath in the pattern “Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause frequent sighing.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of frequent sighing we’ve identified five herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat frequent sighing.

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause frequent sighing

In Chinese Medicine frequent sighing is a symptom for 5 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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

Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

In addition to frequent sighing, other symptoms associated with Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency include depression, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency is often treated with Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Si Jun Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi".

Read more about Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency here

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

Heart Vessel obstructed

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Knotted (Jie), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to frequent sighing, other symptoms associated with Heart Vessel obstructed include depression, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Heart Vessel obstructed is often treated with Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Invigorates the Blood".

Read more about Heart Vessel obstructed here

Korean Mint (Huo Xiang) is the king ingredient for Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

Pulse type(s): Soggy (Ru)

In addition to frequent sighing, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include dizziness, poor appetite and fatigue.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Heat is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Intermenstrual Bleeding or Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Damp-Heat is often treated with Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Korean Mint - Huo Xiang - as a key herb). Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

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

Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to frequent sighing, other symptoms associated with Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach include irritability, weak limbs and hypochondrial distention.

Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach is often treated with Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Inula Flowers - Xuan Fu Hua - as a key herb). Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang belongs to the category of "formulas for a rebellious qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Regulates the downward flow of Stomach Qi".

Read more about Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach here

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

Spleen Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to frequent sighing, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency include depression, poor appetite and sticky vaginal discharge.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Spleen Deficiency is often treated with Wan Dai Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Atractylodes Rhizomes - Bai Zhu - as a key herb). Wan Dai Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies the Middle Burner".

Read more about Spleen Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with frequent sighing

Bao Yuan Tang

Source date: 1624

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Qi and warms the Yang.

Why might Bao Yuan Tang help with frequent sighing?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency' of which frequent sighing is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lung And Heart Qi Deficiency include depression, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Read more about Bao Yuan Tang here

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with frequent sighing?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Deficiency' of which frequent sighing is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

Dang Gui Si Ni Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Channels. Disperses Cold. Nourishes the Blood. Unblocks the Blood vessels.

Why might Dang Gui Si Ni Tang help with frequent sighing?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Vessel obstructed' of which frequent sighing is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heart Vessel Obstructed include depression, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Read more about Dang Gui Si Ni Tang here

Xiao Yao San

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.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with frequent sighing?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which frequent sighing is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang

Source date: 1706 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Augments the Qi. Warms the Middle Burner. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup.

Why might Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang help with frequent sighing?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach' of which frequent sighing is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Rebellious Liver Qi Invading The Stomach include irritability, weak limbs and hypochondrial distention.

Read more about Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang here

Acupuncture points used for frequent sighing

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat frequent sighing

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with frequent sighing?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frequent sighing as a symptom, like Bao Yuan Tang or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with frequent sighing?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frequent sighing as a symptom, like Dang Gui Si Ni Tang or Xiao Yao San for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with frequent sighing?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frequent sighing as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Bao Yuan Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with frequent sighing?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frequent sighing as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Jia Wei Xiao Yao San for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Spleen and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

Why might Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with frequent sighing?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frequent sighing as a symptom, like Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang or Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang for instance.

Fresh Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.

Read more about Fresh Ginger here