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.
Stuffiness of chest and diaphragm 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 stuffiness of chest and diaphragm 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 stuffiness of chest and diaphragm is often associated with difficulty swallowing, feeling of a lump in the throat which comes and goes and irritability in the pattern “Qi-Phlegm”.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of stuffiness of chest and diaphragm we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.
In Chinese Medicine stuffiness of chest and diaphragm is a symptom for the pattern "Qi-Phlegm". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
Also often called "plum-stone" or "plum-pit" syndrome, the main characteristic of Qi-Phlegm is a feeling of swelling in the throat and a swallowing difficulty. It typically originates from emotional problems and it appears and disappears according to mood swings.
In addition to stuffiness of chest and diaphragm, other symptoms associated with Qi-Phlegm include difficulty swallowing, feeling of a lump in the throat which comes and goes and irritability.
Qi-Phlegm is often treated with Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that promote qi movement", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm. Clears Phlegm.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi-Phlegm' of which stuffiness of chest and diaphragm is a symptom.
Other symptoms characteristic of Qi-Phlegm include difficulty swallowing, feeling of a lump in the throat which comes and goes and irritability.
Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.
Its main actions are: Moves Rebellious Qi downward, dries Dampness and relieves Food Stagnation. Transforms Phlegm and redirects Rebellious Qi of the Lung.