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Anxiety and Insomnia Presenting with Loose Stools


  • The client is a 31-year old male suffering from severe anxiety, insomnia and loose stools.
  • He reports that he has had trouble with anxiety and insomnia for many years but has recently developed the loose stools as a result of stress related to a change in his current circumstances.
  • His feelings of anxiety are also more intense, and are accompanied by feelings of depression and worry, and a lack of appetite.
  • The client also tends to spend long periods of time working at the computer and has ongoing pain in his left shoulder, between the shoulder blades for many years.
  • He injured his low back working as a CNA about 8 years ago.
  • The low back pain does not tend to bother him anymore, and the shoulder pain is secondary to the emotional issues he is seeking treatment for.


  • The initial postural and range-of-motion assessment reveals anterior rotation in the right hip.
  • Soft tissue manipulation reveals extreme rigidness in the scalenes, SCM, and posterior neck muscles.
  • Left side rhomboids are extremely tight and inflamed.
  • Erector spinae group is tight on the left side, particularly between T5 and T10.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine pattern of disharmony is characteristic of KD and SP Qi deficiency, HT Yin deficiency, and LV Yang rising.



The client comes in for five 60-minute treatments total, focused predominantly on the anxiety, insomnia and loose stool issues as opposed to back pain.

Spacing between each appointment is as follows:

  • 1 day (between Session 1 and 2)
  • 2 days (between Session 2 and 3)
  • 1 week (between Session 3 and 4)
  • 4 days (between Session 4 and 5).

Kneading and grasping the shoulders, focusing on GB21, and at BL23 in the low back, is also performed. Pushing technique is performed along the yin meridians of the anterior arm and yang meridians of the posterior arm. Acupressure points of focus include:

  • GV20, GV16, GB20, GB21, Anmian (sleep point),
  • SI11/SI9/BL42, BL15 left (shoulder pain),
  • HT7 (tonify HT yin), KD6/LU7 (sleep couple points),
  • KD1 (calming), KD6 (tonify KD yin and yang),
  • SP4/PC6 (emotion couple points),
  • ST36 (energy flow and stabilize digestion),
  • SP6 (tonify SP Qi and stabilize digestion).

Moxibustion is applied to SP6 and ST36 for loose stools.


  • Following the first session, the client reported feeling very tired, much less anxious, and hungry.
  • He slept for about 8 hours the night following the treatment.
  • After the second session, the client reports feeling tired in the afternoons, little to no anxiety, and normal appetite.
  • His bowel movements are becoming more stable with less trouble with loose stools.
  • Anxiety levels remain low for the remainder of the treatments, with improved sleep quality and appetite.