Pain relieved with heat according to Chinese Medicine

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Pain relieved with heat 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 pain relieved with heat 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 pain relieved with heat is often associated with scanty periods, late period and sore back in the pattern “Cold in the Uterus”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause pain relieved with heat.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of pain relieved with heat we’ve identified four 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 pain relieved with heat.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause pain relieved with heat

In Chinese Medicine pain relieved with heat is a symptom for 3 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the king ingredient for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for Cold in the Uterus

Cold in the Uterus

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Soggy (Ru)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

There are two types of cold patterns: Full Cold or Empty Cold. Full cold refers to actual Cold Evil invading the Uterus and Dampness Stagnation often come along with this Full pattern. Empty cold is the result of Yang Deficiency, especially the Spleen and Kidney Yang.

In addition to pain relieved with heat, other symptoms associated with Cold in the Uterus include scanty periods, late period and sore back.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Cold in the Uterus is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps or Late Menstruation.

Cold in the Uterus is often treated with Wen Jing Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Cinnamon Twigs - Gui Zhi - as a key herb). Wen Jing 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: "Warms the Uterus and vessels".

Read more about Cold in the Uterus here

Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) is the king ingredient for Xiao Yao San, a formula used for Qi and Blood Stagnation

Qi and Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red), Red, Red sides

In addition to pain relieved with heat, other symptoms associated with Qi and Blood Stagnation include scanty periods, dizziness and lower abdominal pain.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Qi and Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Absence Of Menstruation or Menopausal Syndrome.

Qi and Blood Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Qi and Blood Stagnation here

Dong Quai (Dang Gui) is the king ingredient for Sheng Yu Tang, a formula used for Blood and Qi Deficiency

Blood and Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to pain relieved with heat, other symptoms associated with Blood and Qi Deficiency include scanty periods, dizziness and sore back.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Blood and Qi Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Low Breast Milk Supply, Menstrual Cramps or Absence Of Menstruation.

Blood and Qi Deficiency is often treated with Sheng Yu Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Dong Quai - Dang Gui - as a key herb). Sheng Yu 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: "Tonifies Qi and Blood".

Read more about Blood and Qi Deficiency here

Four herbal formulas that might help with pain relieved with heat

Da Ying Jian

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Expels Cold.

Why might Da Ying Jian help with pain relieved with heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold in the Uterus' of which pain relieved with heat is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Cold in the Uterus can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Da Ying Jian here

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Why might Wen Jing Tang help with pain relieved with heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi and Blood Stagnation' of which pain relieved with heat is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Qi and Blood Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Wen Jing Tang here

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 pain relieved with heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood and Qi Deficiency' of which pain relieved with heat is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Blood and Qi Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Source date: 1830 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Expels Cold and warm the menstruation Blood. Stops pain. Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood stagnation.

Why might Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang help with pain relieved with heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold in the Uterus' of which pain relieved with heat is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Cold in the Uterus can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat pain relieved with heat

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with pain relieved with heat?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pain relieved with heat as a symptom, like Da Ying Jian or Wen Jing 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 Szechuan Lovage Root (Chuan Xiong) help with pain relieved with heat?

Because Szechuan Lovage Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pain relieved with heat as a symptom, like Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang or Wen Jing Tang for instance.

Szechuan Lovage Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Gallbladder, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches.

Read more about Szechuan Lovage Roots here

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with pain relieved with heat?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pain relieved with heat as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Wen Jing Tang 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 Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) help with pain relieved with heat?

Because Cinnamon Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pain relieved with heat as a symptom, like Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang or Da Ying Jian for instance.

Cinnamon Bark is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Bark here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with pain relieved with heat?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pain relieved with heat as a symptom, like Da Ying Jian or Si Wu Tang for instance.

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Conditions associated with pain relieved with heat

Menstrual cramps Late menstruation