Feeling of Distension, Oppression, Fullness & Stuffiness
A feeling of distension (zhang 胀) indicates stagnation of Qi. This type of sensation will be seldom referred to as ‘distension’ by Western patients: more often than not patients will call it a feeling of ‘bloating’, ‘bursting’, ‘being blown-up’, etc.
A feeling of distension is both subjective and objective. The patient feels bloated subjectively, and distension is also objective in that it can be seen and palpated. On palpation it feel like an over-inflated balloon, it resists on palpation and ‘rebounds’.
A feeling of distension indicates Qi stagnation: it is the cardinal symptom of Qi stagnation which usually affects the Liver. Remember, however, that it affects also other organs: in the context of digestive disorders, it affects the Stomach, Intestines and Spleen. Note that Qi stagnation does not always derive from anger (whether repressed or not) but it may derive from worry, shame and guilt.
A feeling of oppression (men 闷 ) denotes Phlegm or also more severe stagnation of Qi. The translation of this term cannot adequately convey the image evoked by its Chinese character: this depicts a heart constrained by a door and, besides the physical sensation, it also implies a certain mental anguish associated with this feeling. A Chinese patient who says he/she has men is probably depressed. Yu men 郁 闷 = depressed…Read more.
Formula in a Nutshell: Move Qi and resolve Dampness in the Middle Burner, tonify Spleen-Qi. Digestive problems from Qi stagnation and Dampness in the Middle Burner with Spleen-Qi deficiency.
Pattern: Stomach-Qi and Spleen-Qi deficiency, Stomach-Yin deficiency, Dampness and stagnation of Qi in the Middle Burner.
Action: Tonify Qi, strengthen the Spleen, nourish Stomach-Yin, resolve Dampness and move Qi in the Centre.
Formula in a Nutshell: Move Qi and resolve Dampness in the Lower Burner, tonify Spleen-Qi. Digestive problems of the Lower Burner, irritable bowel syndrome. Smooth Passage™ differs from Break into a Smile™ and Soothe the Centre™ in that it is directed at the Lower Burner and therefore the Intestines.
Pattern: Spleen and Liver not harmonized, Spleen-Qi deficiency, Liver-Qi stagnation, Dampness in Intestine.
Action: Tonify Spleen-Qi, move Qi, pacify the Liver, harmonize Liver and Spleen, resolve Dampness from the Intestines, move the stools, stop diarrhea.