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HEARTBURN and Chinese Medicine

Heartburn is the burning pain one can get in the upper and mid-chest when stomach acid backs up and irritates the sensitive tissue of the esophagus. It has nothing to do with the heart, but is usually caused by fatty and or acidic foods and can be made worse by lying down immediately after meals. Stress may also be a contributing factor. Many sufferers are in the habit of taking anti-acids to ease the occasional heartburn. Though if it occurs on a regular basis, heartburn may be a symptom of acid reflux, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or other pathologies and should be checked by a medical practitioner.

In Chinese Medicine, heartburn belongs to the group of symptoms where the energy, the ‘Qi’, flows against its intended direction within the body. Nausea, hiccups, and belching are other examples, but also certain types of headache or bursts of anger where you can almost feel the heat rushing up to your head.

This ‘rebellious’/counterflow Qi is usually dealt with by acupuncture points and herbs that promote movement of Qi, and taking care of any underlying pathologies that facilitate rebellious Qi

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