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  • Writer's pictureRichard Lai

#21: 3 Empty Large Intestine Patterns



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In this episode we take a deep dive into THREE different EMPTY Large Intestine Patterns:

  1. Large Intestine Dry

  2. Large Intestine Cold

  3. Collapse of the Large Intestine


One of the key concepts in acupuncture is understanding the body's organ systems and the patterns that can arise within them. In this episode we discuss the following patterns:


Large Intestine Dry: This pattern is characterized by dry stools, constipation, and difficulty passing gas. It may also be accompanied by a feeling of fullness or bloating in the abdomen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this pattern is associated with a deficiency of moisture in the large intestine. This can be caused by a lack of fluids in the diet, dehydration, or a weakness in the spleen and stomach, which are responsible for regulating moisture in the body.


Large Intestine Cold: This pattern is characterized by coldness in the abdomen, diarrhea, and loose stools. In TCM, this pattern is associated with a cold invasion in the large intestine, which can be caused by a diet that is too cold or raw, exposure to cold weather, or a weakness in the kidney and spleen.


Collapse of the Large Intestine: This pattern is characterized by a feeling of fullness or bloating in the abdomen, a distended belly, and difficulty passing gas. It may also be accompanied by constipation or diarrhea. In TCM, this pattern is associated with a collapse of the qi (energy) in the large intestine, which can be caused by a chronic illness, an emotional disorder, or a weakness in the spleen and kidney.


Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for these patterns by helping to regulate the body's organ systems and restore balance. Points that may be used to treat these patterns include the Large Intestine 4 (LI4) for constipation and dry stools, the Large Intestine 20 (LI20) for bloating and gas, and the Large Intestine 11 (LI11) for diarrhea.


It's important to note that these patterns are not mutually exclusive and can often occur in combination. It's also important to work with a licensed acupuncturist to properly diagnose and treat any large intestine patterns. By understanding these patterns and utilizing the appropriate acupuncture points, you can effectively prepare for your acupuncture board exam and provide the best possible care for your patients.


For the Acupuncture Board Exam

Here are the other ones you should be familiar with and be able to perform differential diagnosis for:

  1. Yin/Yang Theory

  2. Five Elements Theory (Wu Xing)

  3. Eight Principles

  4. Qi, Blood, Body Fluids Theory

  5. Channel Theory

  6. Organ Theory

  7. Six Stages Theory

  8. Four Levels Theory

  9. Triple Burner THeory

  10. Etiology Theory like External / Internal or Miscellaneous Causes of

God Bless and Happy Studying


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