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Hiccups, Hiccoughs and Shi Di

For the vast majority of people, hiccups and hiccoughs are infrequent and short-lived, but still annoying. For a small number of people, they can develop into something chronic that never completely goes away. This can greatly interfere with daily life and cause distress to the patient.

Western medicine is still grappling with what causes hiccups, but Chinese medicine does offer ideas and treatment options, including herbs like Shi Di.

How Chinese Medicine Explains Hiccups and Hiccoughs

Western physicians explain hiccups and hiccoughs as the result of diaphragm irritation, which can result in spasms. Research is still ongoing into the exact causes, but Chinese medicine has a different perspective.

Chinese medicine conceptualizes many disease states as a result of weak, unregulated, or disrupted energy flow through the body. Other pathologies may be attributed to “heat,” “wind,” or “dampness,” which describes the nature of the condition’s symptoms and presentation.

For hiccups, Chinese medicine attributes the cause to either yin or yang deficiency in the stomach (poor energy flow), or heat or cold in the stomach. To determine which is behind a particular patient’s hiccups, the patient is examined and their symptoms are considered to make a more precise diagnosis. If yin or yang deficiency is suspected, then energy may not be descending through the stomach like it should, instead reversing and ascending – which can result in nausea and vomiting.

Shi Di: A Chinese Medicinal Herb That Can Help with Hiccups

For many people experiencing hiccups, Chinese medicine practitioners recommend herbal formulations that include Shi Di. Shi Di is the persimmon fruit and is a slightly astringent botanical that’s long been used for hiccups. It’s also been used to treat stomach dysfunction in Chinese medicine for centuries. It works by descending the patient’s qi, facilitating energy flows in the right direction. This can calm the organs involved in hiccup and hiccough episodes and reduce their severity. Have a conversation with your Houston practitioner today to understand the ways they can be of assistance.

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