Food Stagnation



  • stress
  • sudden and excessive emotions
  • over- eating
  • eating in a hurry
  • worrying while eating

Note: To understand the term "Qi", thus to get a better grasp about the following pathology, we encourage our readers to review the short material "What is Qi" in the Vitality chapter.

The Qi of the Stomach may stagnate for various reasons but the major ones are stress and emotions. Whenever there is sudden and extreme emotion the energy of the Stomach (and not only) ceases to flow. Whenever we are under stress the Qi of the Liver stagnates, which often gets transferred to the Spleen/Stomach partnership (the Liver belongs to element Wood, the Spleen/Stomach to element Earth; the root of the tree (Wood) disrupts the Earth, i.e. Wood overacts Earth).  The emotions that particularly affect the Stomach are worry and excessive thinking.

Food retention is a pathology that unfortunately is very common for the contemporary person and happens when one over-eats. It can also happen when one eats in a hurry or when one worries while eating. (1)

If you want to learn more about the Stomach and its functions from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine go to "The Stomach in Chinese medicine" in the Physiology chapter.




  • fullness and distention in the epigastrium
  • nausea
  • sour regurgitation
  • foul breath


Symptoms of “stagnated Stomach” are fullness and distention of the epigastrium. As the food is not being processed and stuck in the Stomach vomiting will bring about relief. Nausea and sour regurgitation are also present; the breath is foul. If the pathology is not relieved until bedtime one will have difficulties sleeping and experience insomnia.




The treatment principles of this pathology is to move the Stomach Qi by stimulating its descending quality and remove the food retention from the Stomach. If you want to read the rest of the article and learn the foods and acupressure points that are healing for this condition (as well as watch the instructional acupressure point location videos) you can do so by subscribing to the Customized options of this project. To learn the other benefits you will get as a subscriber click here.




(1) Maciocia, Giovanni (1989). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Nanjing: Harcourt Publishers Limited


Related Articles:

Heat and Fire in the Stomach

Cold in the Stomach

Rebellious Stomach Qi

Herbs that relieve food stagnation

The Spleen and the emotion pensiveness

The Spleen, the season late summer, and foods during late summer that benefit the Spleen

Herbs that treat dampness and benefit dampness in the Spleen

Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness

Spleen Qi deficiency

Herbs that tonify Qi and benefit Spleen Qi deficiency

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