Atlanta Acupuncture Center

275 Carpenter Drive, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA. 30328

Tel: 404250-9903; E-mail:


Stomach & TCM

Li Hua, L. Ac. TCMD


The stomach is located in the epigastrium. It connects with the esophagus above, and with the small intestine below. Food enters the mouth, passes through the esophagus, and is received by the stomach where it is decomposed and transmitted down to the small intestine. Its essential substances are transported and transformed by the spleen to supply the whole body. So the stomach and the spleen act in conjunction and are the main organs carrying out the functions of digestion and absorption. Together they are known as the í░acquired foundationí▒. There is Chinese old saying: í░Illness goes into the body through the mouthí▒.  The mouth is the first gate of the digestion system. The stomach seems like a big furnace. After the food is digested, the stomach can transfer automatically various nutrition to different places where they are needed, which make our life regenerate.

Besides the external and pathogenic reasons, people get diseases, usually by food entering the stomach. Not like tigers that only eat meats, not like giant pandas that only eat bamboo, not like cows that only eat grass, Human beings eat everything, such as animals, seafood, vegetables, fruits, crops, fungus (mushroom, earth-wood) etc. Cold food, hot food, smoking and drinking alcohol, etc., all these are the stimulation to the stomach and may cause problems. Human beings get Qi (vital energy) from parents before born; after born, the vital energy is mainly from foods and drinks (also the air we breath). If the stomach does not function well or gets diseases, the vital energy will be influenced, the other organs will be affected, for example, if the stomach has a problem, the sleep will be not good, the energy and immunity will be low, the lung and the kidney will be weak, because the stomach generates the lung and control the kidney according to the traditional Chinese meditation theory. Traditional Chinese medicine also thinks the whole body connects each other and work together. If one part of the body has a problem, the rest of the body will lose its balance.

Additionally, peopleí»s life is busy and can be changed variously. No matter they are babies, children or adults, their stomachs may have light or serious problems. For instance, eating some hard digested or irritant foods such as milk, beef, alcohol, drugs, etc. or there is not time to eat and drink on time, day after day, year after year, the stomach will get problems, such as stomachache, hyperacidity, food reflux, feeling gassy, stomach distention, or belching.  When the stomach has a problem, I suggest to see a doctor as soon as possible and not to wait for getting serious stomach disease. When it is a light stomach problem, acupuncture or Chinese herbs is one of the best solutions. If the stomach problem gets serious, I suggest using the combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine. It is better not to use drugs for long term because drug is a kind of stimulation to the stomach and also adds more work to the liver and the kidney.

I also advise people to do prevention job before getting the stomach problems. As you know, stress and worry also can increase the stomach acid. I would like to give you a simple Chinese family herbal recipe. You may try to use this Chinese herb- Tangerine peel. You can get this herb at home without spending extra a penny. After eating your tangerine, you can put the tangerine peel in a well dry ventilated place till well dry. Before you take hot bath, put your dry tangerine peel in the tub with hot water for 3-5 minutes, then you soak your whole body in it. This herb can help your body blood circulation and its special natural fragrant can make you relax better. The dry tangerine peel also can be used in your cooking, which can make the food smell more delicious and also can help digestion better. Many people like to drink milk that is full of nutrition. But some people could not drink milk due to the food allergy.  I suggest you may try to warm the milk a little bit and eat together with some starches. Also I suggest you may eat turnips or radish when you eat beef because turnips and radishes have the function to digest beef better.