The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is often associated with nausea, vomiting and palpitations in the pattern “Damp-Cold Phlegm”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium.
In Chinese Medicine stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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.
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
Damp-Cold Phlegm is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".
The Triple Burner is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Triple Burner in Chinese Medicine
In addition to stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner include nausea, vomiting and coughing of copious thin and white sputum.
Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner is often treated with Liu Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Liu 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".
Source date: 1148 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Cold Phlegm' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.
Source date: 1107
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach. Clears Phlegm and mucus. Promotes appetite.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.
Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.
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.
Because it is a key herb in Liu Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner' (a pattern with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom)
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).