Recently a friend told me that her two-month-old son was diagnosed with acid reflux and a milk protein allergy. He was started on Zantac, and needed to be propped up at an angle at all times. When I explained to her the possible benefit of essential oils and aromatherapy, her response was "Sure, why not?" I made a blend for her baby boy with cardamom, black pepper, sweet orange, and tea tree. I instructed her to massage the oils over his navel, and also over his Stomach Qi line, which is along the front of the shins.
The ancient Chinese medical classic the Nan-Ching emphasizes the importance of Stomach Qi to one’s pulse and well-being; a weakness of Stomach Qi signifies disease, and an absence implies death. The natural state of Stomach Qi is reflected by the quality of wave-like flow through the radial artery. The movement of Stomach Qi may also change in character in relation to the season
The Japanese Master Nagano found that treatment along a specific line on the stomach meridian, or energy channel (specifically between the indicated points Stomach 36 and Stomach 41), can help to tonify one's Stomach Qi. Palpating down the lateral edge of the tibia, one may feel tender or firm bumps. During an acupuncture treatment, a needle may be inserted at these points, and moxa or heat stimulation may also be applied.
Treatment of Stomach Qi may help for a variety of conditions, including the following:
Digestive Concerns, including lack of appetite, weight loss, nausea
Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Low Energy, including with jet lag or with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Vascular Compression to the upper thigh
Knee Pain, especially when related to fluid in the knee, shin splints, and patellar ligament strain. Treating Stomach Qi can be very helpful for runners who have shin splints and feel lack of energy.
Facial Pain, including Bell's palsy
A couple of days later, I received a photo of a sleepy little boy. My friend told me that when she used the essential oils over the Stomach Qi line, her son would get very quiet, and look like he was in a "blissful, relaxed state." Several weeks later, he began to laugh and giggle during his massage. His symptoms have improved, and while he is still on the medication who is to say which one helps more. While baby Zantac may soothe his symptoms, it's undeniable that an essential oils massage puts a smile on his face!
References: Matsumoto, Kiiko, and Euler, David. Kiiko Matsumoto's Clinical Strategies: In the Spirit of Master Nagano Vol. 1. Natick, MA Kiiko Matsumomot International 2007.