Stabbing pain according to Chinese Medicine

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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 abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period 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 two 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), Wiry (Xian), Firm (Lao)

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 abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period.

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

Two herbal formulas that might help with stabbing pain

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 stabbing pain is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Blood Stagnation include abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period.

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 stabbing pain is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Blood Stagnation include abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period.

Read more about Da Huang Mu Dan Pi 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 Da Huang Mu Dan Pi 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 Rhubarb (Da Huang) help with stabbing pain?

Because Rhubarb is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang or Tao He Cheng Qi Tang for instance.

Rhubarb is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Sunlight Yang stage. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis.

Read more about Rhubarb here

Why might Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with stabbing pain?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with stabbing pain?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Tao He Cheng Qi Tang for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Mirabilite (Mang Xiao) help with stabbing pain?

Because Mirabilite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stabbing pain as a symptom, like Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang or Tao He Cheng Qi Tang for instance.

Mirabilites is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Salty. It targets the Stomach and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Purges Stagnation in the Intestines caused by Heat and Dryness, Cools Heat and abates swelling

Read more about Mirabilites here

Other symptoms often associated with stabbing pain

Abdominal masses Purple nails Painful period Dark clots in menstrual blood Lumps Purple lips