Running Piglet Qi

February 15, 2024

This is a bit of an odd name to describe a diagnostic phenomenon in East Asian medicine, but it captures a common symptom patients present with in the clinic.

Running Piglet Qi is the name for that sense of uprising or rising anxiety you can feel in your chest. There can be an energetic sense of uprushing from right under the solar plexus up into the chest and it can be accompanied by feelings of heart palpitations, flutterings, and even intense anxiety or fear. How unpleasant, right? Texts in East Asian medicine (EAM) describe it as a sense of “internal urgency”.

Understanding Running Piglet Qi

Without getting into too much East Asian medicine theory, Running Piglet Qi can be understood as a kind of counterflow qi. A big component of EAM is making sure what’s supposed to go down goes down, what’s supposed to go up goes up, and what’s supposed to move freely is able to move freely.

Stomach and Liver Qi

Stomach Qi is supposed to go down. When it goes up you get acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and certain allergic symptoms or issues with the sinuses. When it can’t really go down, there’s constipation. The Liver Qi needs to move freely, all around – robustly, but not chaotically. When it’s not able to move freely, there are migraines, hypochondriac pain, breast distention, PMS, eye twitching, irritability, and PMS.

There are a couple of different presentations of Running Piglet Qi in the clinic. But the important thing to know is that acupuncture and especially herbal medicine can very much help with this. It’s a very uncomfortable to live with, and it can be effectively addressed.