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Is hernia a case of prolapse?


Hi, I am a relatively new student in TCM and have this question: is inguinal hernia due to Spleen-qi deficiency? There are signs of Spleen-qi deficiency - tiredness, loose stools, poor appetite, weak limbs, pale tongue and complexion. And there is the hernia. At first I associated it with the function of the Spleen to raise qi and considered it a synonym of “prolapse” but then I read further and it seems it may not be the case. I would appreciate anything you’d share.
Thank you


Inguinal hernia is, to my own interpretation, more related to the jing and essence during development. For the majority of cases the root cause is a hole in the muscle wall of the groin either at birth or during early development. A number of dietary and lifestyle factors can be an influence as to whether an inguinal hernia actually develops or not. So spleen qi deficiency can certainly be a factor as to why the hernia develops but it is not necessarily the cause.

In this case if you feel like spleen qi deficiency is the predominant pattern you should treat as such. As a rule of thumb points that function to lift sinking qi, such as DU/GV 20 are usually relevant for most types of hernia.

As a student always keep in mind there is no universal cause for any specific Western diagnosis/disease/symptoms and that you need to evaluate each patient on an individual basis.


Thank you. I do have difficulties in shifting my perspective to an individual approach - in theory it is more than natural that every case is different and a result of unique interaction of palpable or subtle influences and even the same complaints may be due to different disbalances. And I can more or less figure out a general pattern for each individual case. But when it comes to treating a specific symptom, as is the hernia in this case, it is easy for me to slip into more western mindset and look for “The Solution”.
So thanks for the reminder. I guess I should focus on the general pattern for a core improvement and add in a few points targeting the symptom for faster relief of the main complaint.


Also an acupuncture student here…we learn hernia is a condition in the TCM categorie “shan disorder” …maybe that will help you.


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