Text: Qiu Yufeng (TCM physician), “Ming Pao”
(Hong Kong News) Before the occurrence of myocardial infarction, some patients will repeatedly experience chest tightness and heavy pressure, which can radiate to the jaw, shoulders, back, and upper limbs, and even cause breathing difficulties. The symptoms are aggravated during physical labor or strenuous exercise.
This symptom is angina pectoris, which is called “chest obstruction” or “chest obstruction and heartache” in traditional Chinese medicine.
Determine treatment strategy based on physical constitution
A more detailed record of chest arthralgia is Zhang Zhongjing’s “Synopsis of the Golden Chamber” of the Han Dynasty. It is believed that “yang is weak and yin is stringy, which means chest arthralgia and pain.” It points out that the decline of yang qi will cause excessive yin and cold to suffocate the movement of qi and blood, which will lead to “wheezing and coughing”. Symptoms include salivation, chest and back pain, shortness of breath”, “air congestion in the chest”, “not being able to lie down, heartache all over the back”, “fullness in the chest, chest and heart thrusting downwards”.
For the treatment of chest paralysis, “Synopsis of the Golden Chamber” proposes to warm yang and dispel cold,
The idea of moving qi and resolving phlegm and turbidity is still of guiding significance today.
Yang deficiency, phlegm obstruction, qi stagnation, and blood stasis are common clinical causes of chest obstruction.
When qi and blood are not flowing smoothly, or the accumulation of cold yin and phlegm blocks chest yang, it will lead to blockage and pain.
Produces chest tightness, suffocation, fatigue, difficulty breathing and other discomforts,
It may only appear during physical labor, but may also be seen during daily rest.
In terms of treatment, methods can be used to warm yang and dispel cold, resolve phlegm, circulate qi, activate blood circulation and remove blood stasis, which can help promote blood circulation and dredge meridians, warm meridians and relieve paralysis. According to clinical syndrome differentiation, people with different physical constitutions have different treatment strategies.
◆Yang deficiency and cold weather are common in the elderly
It is common in the elderly. Due to insufficient yang energy, yin and cold condense, and the cold main force is withdrawn, making the blood vessels weak and easy to block the movement of qi and blood, causing stasis. If the coronary arteries are relatively narrow, the imbalance of yang deficiency and excess cold will more easily block blood flow.
Common symptoms of patients include aversion to cold, cold limbs, pale complexion, shortness of breath, and frequent heart palpitations (similar to arrhythmia in Western medicine). When heartache attacks, they suddenly feel heartache like angina, pain that penetrates the shoulders and back, which is easily induced when the weather is cold or after feeling wind chill. . In terms of treatment, it is necessary to warm the yang, dispel the cold, and unblock the heart yang. Commonly used Chinese medicines such as cinnamon twig, sage, and asarum are pungent and warm in nature and have the effect of tonifying yang and unblocking the heart.
◆Phlegm-damp accumulation, excess cholesterol, and dyslipidemia
It is more common in adults who have improper diet and are overweight. Clinically, these patients often have excessive cholesterol and abnormal blood lipids. They are prone to atherosclerosis and plaque formation, which narrows blood vessels and blocks blood circulation. A lifestyle that is addicted to fat, sweet, and flavorful food and lacks physical exercise can easily lead to disorders such as accumulation of phlegm and dampness, deficiency of qi, and poor transportation of the spleen and stomach.
When phlegm invades the heart and chest, qi movement is blocked, and heart yang is blocked, symptoms of chest obstruction will appear. As phlegm and dampness continue to accumulate, the symptoms of chest tightness and tightness of breath may appear repeatedly, and chest paralysis attacks will become more frequent and severe. In addition to chest pain, other symptoms of patients include excessive phlegm, body weight, obesity, swollen and enlarged tongue, and thick and greasy tongue coating.
In terms of treatment, it is advisable to use warm drugs to relieve yang and relieve turbidity, relieve phlegm and relieve paralysis. Commonly used traditional Chinese medicines include Trichosanthes trichosanthes, Pinellia ternata, and Acorus calamus.
◆The feeling of stagnation and depression can extend to the armpits
It is more common in people who are emotionally unhappy and often depressed. Sluggish emotions will lead to liver failure and impede the normal rise and fall of Qi. When Qi is stagnant and blood vessels are not flowing smoothly, chest pain, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing will occur.
The syndrome is chest paralysis caused by qi stagnation. Patients often feel a dull tightness and pain in the chest, and the feeling of suffocation can even extend to the armpits and flanks. The symptoms can be aggravated when they are depressed. In addition, patients may also experience bloating, loss of appetite, and frequent whining and sighing.
In terms of treatment, it is necessary to soothe the liver and regulate qi, activate blood circulation and unblock meridians, so as to smooth the flow of qi and promote smooth blood circulation. Commonly used traditional Chinese medicines include Magnolia officinalis, Citrus aurantium, Bupleurum, etc.
◆Blood stasis and accumulation, aggravated by excitement and fatigue at night
It is more common in people who work too hard or have a history of injury or illness. Due to the lingering blood stasis due to injury, or the depletion of qi and blood due to exertion, the blood will not flow smoothly and cause stasis. Chest paralysis caused by heart and blood stasis is characterized by fixed-positioned pain in the chest and chest, with a stabbing pain that can penetrate the shoulders and back, and is aggravated by emotion, fatigue, or at night.
Other symptoms of patients include dark purple lips and tongue with ecchymosis, dark and rough skin, dark purple tongue, and ecchymosis and petechiae on the tongue surface or bottom.
To treat chest paralysis caused by blood stasis, it is necessary to activate blood circulation, remove blood stasis, warm the meridians and unblock the meridians. Commonly used traditional Chinese medicines include peach kernel, safflower, and salvia miltiorrhiza.
Avoid overeating, keep warm and protect yourself from cold
The consequences of chest paralysis can be serious or minor, and patients must not take it lightly. Once you find chest pain or difficulty breathing during exercise or physical exertion, it is recommended to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
For patients with coronary artery stenosis or atherosclerosis who are not in immediate danger and do not need to undergo surgery such as “Tongbozai” immediately, on the one hand, they should actively control the “three highs”, on the other hand, they should adjust their physique and adhere to health regimen. At least the condition should be stabilized. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that there are many causes of chest obstruction, and clinically, yang deficiency and phlegm are the most common causes.
Don’t be overly superstitious and delay your condition
Some Chinese patent medicines, such as Panax notoginseng (Tianqi), Dilong, Salvia miltiorrhiza, etc., or Western anticoagulant drugs (Boxue Pills) that claim to have the effect of activating blood circulation and removing blood stasis and “opening blood vessels” may not be effective for all patients with chest pain. It is effective for patients, but the public must not be overly superstitious to avoid delaying the disease. To effectively improve the condition of chest paralysis, it is necessary to differentiate and treat the syndrome and use medicine according to the syndrome.
To prevent or improve the condition of chest paralysis, in addition to the commonplace advice of avoiding overeating, limiting fatty and oily food, exercising moderately, getting enough sleep, quitting smoking and drinking, relaxing and reducing stress, maintaining a proper weight, and controlling the “three highs”, The health-preserving advice that is more characteristic of traditional Chinese medicine is to pay attention to keeping warm and preventing cold, especially for the elderly who have insufficient yang energy and the overall function of the body has declined.
You should avoid eating cold and raw foods
They should avoid being exposed to wind and cold, and should avoid eating cold foods and drinks to keep their bodies warm, their yang energy sufficient, and their physical and mental functions active, which can help prevent chest yang blockage caused by cold condensation of the heart and pulse.