Jumpiness according to Chinese Medicine

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Jumpiness 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 jumpiness 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 jumpiness is often associated with palpitations, insomnia and poor memory in the pattern “Heart Blood Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause jumpiness.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of jumpiness we’ve identified three 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 jumpiness.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause jumpiness

In Chinese Medicine jumpiness is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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

Heart Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Thin

Heart Blood Deficiency hurts the Mind (神 Shen) and it causes insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, anxiety, poor memory, dizziness and tendency to be scared. It can be caused by Deficient Spleen Qi that fails to produce Blood, long-term anxiety and worry, a severe blood loss and excessive workload.

In addition to jumpiness, other symptoms associated with Heart Blood Deficiency include palpitations, insomnia and poor memory.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Heart Blood Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Postpartum Depression.

Heart Blood Deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Heart Blood Deficiency here

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

Heart Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Fine (Xi), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

This pattern developed from Heart Blood Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as the latter one, such as insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, easily to be scared, poor memory and anxiety, but it also has additional empty Heat symptoms. It can be caused by Kidney Yin Deficiency or other factors such as bad diet, overwork or long term exposure to stress or hot environment.

In addition to jumpiness, other symptoms associated with Heart Yin Deficiency include palpitations, insomnia and poor memory.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Heart Yin Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Absence Of Menstruation or Postpartum Depression.

Heart Yin Deficiency is often treated with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, a herbal formula made of 14 herbs (including Unprepared Rehmannia - Di Huang - as a key herb). Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney".

Read more about Heart Yin Deficiency here

Three herbal formulas that might help with jumpiness

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Why might Si Wu Tang help with jumpiness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' of which jumpiness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heart Blood Deficiency include palpitations, insomnia and poor memory.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

Source date: 16th century

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney. Clears away pathogenic Heat, clears Deficient Heat. Sedative.

Why might Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan help with jumpiness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Yin Deficiency' of which jumpiness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heart Yin Deficiency include palpitations, insomnia and poor memory.

Read more about Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan here

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Why might Gui Pi Tang help with jumpiness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' of which jumpiness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heart Blood Deficiency include palpitations, insomnia and poor memory.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat jumpiness

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with jumpiness?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat jumpiness as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Gui Pi Tang 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 Chinese Senega Root (Yuan Zhi) help with jumpiness?

Because Chinese Senega Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat jumpiness as a symptom, like Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan or Gui Pi Tang for instance.

Chinese Senega Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Calms the spirit. Expels Phlegm from the Heart orifices. Expels Phlegm from the Lungs. Diminishes abscesses.

Read more about Chinese Senega Roots here

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with jumpiness?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat jumpiness as a symptom, like Gui Pi Tang or Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan 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 Jujube Seed (Suan Zao Ren) help with jumpiness?

Because Jujube Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat jumpiness as a symptom, like Gui Pi Tang or Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan for instance.

Jujube Seeds is a Neutral herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Nourishes the Heart Yin and calms the spirit. Contains Fluid leakage.

Read more about Jujube Seeds here

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with jumpiness?

Because it is a key herb in Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' (a pattern with jumpiness as a symptom)

Milkvetch Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema.

Read more about Milkvetch Roots here