Stabbing pain according to Chinese Medicine

Stabbing pain 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 stabbing pain 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 stabbing pain is often associated with blotchy skin, dark face and purple lips in the pattern “Blood Stagnation”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of stabbing pain 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 stabbing pain.

Blood Stagnation, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause stabbing pain

In Chinese Medicine stabbing pain is a symptom for the pattern "Blood Stagnation". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) is the king ingredient for Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Blood Stagnation

Blood Stagnation

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

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Blood Stagnation, like the name indicates, is when Blood flow becomes Stagnant. It can happen in the whole body or in specific Organs. It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the body.

In addition to stabbing pain, other symptoms associated with Blood Stagnation include blotchy skin, dark face and purple lips.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Scanty Menstruation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

Blood Stagnation is often treated with Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Tao He Cheng Qi 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: "Dispels Heat and".

Read more about Blood Stagnation here

Five herbal formulas that might help with stabbing pain

Dan Shen Yin

Source date: 1801 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Invigorates the Blood and removes Blood Stagnation . Promote Qi movement . Relieves pain .

Why might Dan Shen Yin help with stabbing pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which boring fixed stabbing pain is a symptom.

Read more about Dan Shen Yin here

Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dispels Heat and. Eliminates Blood Stagnation.

Why might Tao He Cheng Qi Tang help with stabbing pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which boring fixed stabbing pain is a symptom.

Read more about Tao He Cheng Qi Tang here

Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Clears Stagnant Heat in the intestines. Reduces swelling and disperses lumps.

Why might Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang help with stabbing pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which boring fixed stabbing pain is a symptom.

Read more about Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang here

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.

Why might Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan help with stabbing pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which boring fixed stabbing pain is a symptom.

Read more about Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan here

Di Dang Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Breaks up and dispels Blood Stagnation .

Why might Di Dang Tang help with stabbing pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which boring fixed stabbing pain is a symptom.

Read more about Di Dang Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat stabbing pain

Why might Peach Kernel (Tao Ren) help with stabbing pain?

Because Peach Kernel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Tao He Cheng Qi Tang or Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Peach Kernels is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood and breaks up Stasis. Moistens the Intestines. Relieves coughing.

Read more about Peach Kernels here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with stabbing pain?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Tao He Cheng Qi Tang or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

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

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 Szechuan Lovage Root (Chuan Xiong) help with stabbing pain?

Because Szechuan Lovage Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang or Ge Xia Zhu Yu 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 Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with stabbing pain?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

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

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 Safflower (Hong Hua) help with stabbing pain?

Because Safflower is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang or Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Safflowers is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Stagnant Blood and regulates menses. Relieves pain caused by Blood Stasis.

Read more about Safflowers here