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Acupuncture treatment for Pi Syndrome in Shang Han Lun

Updated: Jan 12, 2023


In Shang Hang Lun or Discussion on Cold Damage, Pi (痞) or glomus refers to the condition featured with distention or fullness, pain and other discomforts in the stomach and chest region.

There are 11 different patterns in Pi disease, which covers the common conditions of digestive system disorders with the characteristic of the spleen and stomach qi dynamic dysregulation i.e. the stomach of the rebellion qi and sunken spleen qi. According to Shang Han Lun, a patient may present pi-disease when the cold pathogen invades from Taiyang because of the wrong use of purging methods. The presence also correlates to the constitution of qi xu (deficiency) in the middle jiao. If the ascending-descending dynamic is disturbed in pi disease, water or phlegm may retain in the middle jiao and chest.

The commonly used points include Gongsun-SP4, Neiguan-PC6, Pishu-BL20, Zusanli-ST36, Yinlingquan-SP9, Zhongwan-RN12, etc. to supplement the middle qi and balance the ascending-descending dynamic of the spleen and stomach.

Nowadays, pi disease can be seen in the following conditions: (1) Digestive System Diseases: acute and chronic gastritis, bile reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, cholecystitis, etc; (2) Cardiovascular System Diseases: hypertension, myocarditis, arrhythmia, etc; (3) Kidney Diseases: nephropathy and chronic renal failure etc; and (4) Others: pregnant vomiting and Meniere’s syndrome etc.

11 Pi Patterns of pi Disease

11 Patterns of pi Disease

1. Cold pi

Gui Zhi Ren Shen Tang (Cinnamon Twig and Ginseng Decoction) is used (O.C. 163).

Points: Zhongwan-RN12, Pishu-BL20, Neiguan-PC6, Zhubin-KI9

2. Exterior Yang Xu

Fu Zi Xie Xin Tang (Prepared Aconite Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium)

Points: Guanyuan-RN4, Qihai-RN6, Dazhui-DU14

3. Heat Pi

Da Huang Huang Lian Xie Xin Tang (Rhubarb and Scute Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium)

Points: Juque-RN14, Shaochong-HT9, Zhongchong-PC9

4. Shaoyang Pi

Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang (Pinelliae Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium)

Points: Neiguan-PC6, Gongshun-SP4, Pishu-BL20, Xiangu-ST43

5. Water Pi in Middle Jiao

Sheng Jiang Xie Xin Tan (Ginger Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium)

Points: Zhongwan-RN12, Pishu-BL20, Zusanli-ST36, Xiangu-ST43

6. Sanjiao Water Retention

Wu Ling San (Five Poria Powder)

Points: Jinggu-BL64, Taixi-KI3, Zhongzhu-SJ3, Pangguangshu-BL28

7. Water Pi in Chest

Shi Zao Tang (Ten Jujube Decoction)

Points: Zhongwan-RN12, Tianshu-ST25, Zhangmen-LR13, Yinlingquan-SP9

8. Chest Phlegm Pi

Gua Di San (Melon Pedicle Powder)

Points: Zhiyang-DU9, Tiantu-RN22, Danzhong-RN17, Fenglong-ST40

9. Rebelling Phlegm Pi

Xuan Fu Hua Dai Zhe Shi Tang (Inula and Hematite Decoction)

Points: Gongshun-SP4, Huangshu-KI16, Zhongwan-RN12, Taichong-LR3

10. Xu (Deficiency) pi

Gan Cao Xie Xin Tang (Glycyrrhizae Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium)

Points: Zusanli-ST36, Xiangu-ST43, Jianli-RN11, Neiting-ST44

11. Lower Jiao Xu Li after Pi Disease

Chi Shi Zhi Yu Yu Liang Tang (Halloysit and Limonite Decoction)

Points: Guanyuan-RN4, Zhongji-RN3, Shenshu-BL23, Tianshu-ST25


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