Western medicine understanding
Most women will experience heart burn at some stage of their pregnancy. Although well known for occurring in later pregnancy, it may in fact appear at any time, with symptoms ranging from mild discomfort through tot severe pain with vomiting. Heart burn is often responsible for women limiting their food intake and losing much-needed sleep.
The increased levels of hormones progesterone and oestrogen that are produced in pregnancy have the effect of relaxing the smooth muscle tissue in the body. In the digestive tract this can lead to general indigestion and more especially to heart burn.
Chinese medicine understanding
The primary function of the stomach in Chinese medicine s to receive food and to carry out” rotting and ripening”, in other words digestion. The spleen can then “transform and transport” the digested food, extracting the grain(gu) qi and sending it upwards for the production of qi, while the stomach sends the digested food downwards to the small intestine. Both the receiving of food and drink and the sending down of digested food to the small intestine are manifestations of the stomach’s strong physiological descending function. Interference with this descending function and the resulting upward rebellion seen in heartburn can be differentiated to the following patterns: stomach fire, food stagnation. Commonly used points include ST44 Neiting, ST36 Zusanli and PC6 Neiguan.