As far back as March when I wrote the post on nearly fainting in Qi Gong class (and even before that), I had sensed there was something wrong with my digestive system; not serious, just poor function. I had terrible distension, borborygmus (gurgling noise in the stomach), loss of appetite, a sense of burping up the contents of my stomach, food not being digested, and a host of other symptoms. Not to mention acne, sharp costal pain, restless sleep, heaviness in the chest, and sighing frequently. (Sorry to the squeamish for the details.)
Now I challenge any allopathic doctor to look at those symptoms and diagnose me and provide a solution. I’m no expert in allopathic medicine, but I don’t think there is any. And I tried taking different vitamins and both probiotics and prebiotics, but nothing seemed to work.
So embracing everything I talk about here and am learning, I looked to TCM. I had a number of TCM doctors/teachers check my tongue and my pulse and give me their diagnosis. All pretty much said: Liver Qi stagnation, dampness, and spleen deficiency; liver Yang hyperactivity was also mentioned.
Now what did I do? Not being patient or confident enough for food therapy, I decided to do the Liver Cleanse. And I felt worse for it 🙁
So I went back to one of the TCM doctors/teachers and begged her to treat me. After 2 sessions of acupuncture and moxibustion, I was mildly better. But she decided what I really needed was a Chinese herbal patent medicine called Xiao Yao Wan.
Xiao Yao Wan/San is typically prescribed for Liver Qi stagnation, with associated symptoms of feelings of tightness around the hypochondrium, irregular menstruation and/or PMS, anxiety/stress (which was very much the case for me earlier this spring), dizziness, and loss of appetite, sharp/stabbing costal pain, etc. This formula helps to restore Qi flow, balance the hormonal system, strengthen the stomach and spleen, and improve mood. (More info: ActiveHerb and ChineseHerbs)
When we first learned about this patent medicine in class, I thought to myself, ‘OMG that describes my symptoms exactly!’ So when the doctor gave the formula to me, it made perfect sense. When I looked at the pills, they reminded me of some I’d been prescribed by my previous TCM doctor, too.
Xiao Yao Wan worked wonders! I took 2 bottles and feel hundreds of times better. My liver pulse and spleen pulse are showing strength again. My digestive systems functions like it should: I can sense the digestion working properly, breaking down the food, and passing through the system in a timely manner. The ‘women’s symptoms’ are improved as well, I’m sleeping better, more cheerful, acne nearly cleared up, no more pain in my ribs. Pretty fricken amazing what 2 weeks on those pills did for me.
So the TCM doctor was pleased with my improvement, especially the strength in my pulse. But she told me, your stomach/spleen is still a little bit weak, so next we will work on improving that. And like any female, Capricorn, Type-A personality, who thinks too much, my stomach/spleen/pancreas needs all the help it can get. So no arguments from me. Now I’m taking Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan.