Running Piglet and inguinal mass

Zhang Zhong-Jing, 150-219 A.D.

Third century physician and medical theorist Zhang Zhong-Jing gave a description of Running Piglet in the Essentials from the Golden Cabinet, one of the most important classical treatises on the etiology and treatment of diseases. “Running Piglet disorder arises from the lower abdomen; it rushes up to the throat with such ferocity that the patient feels he is close to death, It attacks and then remits. It is brought about by fear and fright.” This is a description of how pent-up emotional energy is violently discharged from the groin and shoots upwards along the Conception Channel. It is a form of panic attack.

Patient was a 35 year old female with a history of depression since childhood and severe depression during the previous year. She was under the regular care of a psychiatrist and taking a daily dose of 10mg Lexapro.

Patient experienced periodic episodes of Running Piglet which was assoicated with an inguinal mass on her left side, one inch long about the size of a finger just medial to the ASIS. It was rubbery to the touch. There was vague discomfort but no pain. Patient received acupuncture and herbal treatments once a week for eight weeks. After just one treatment patient felt much more balanced emotionally and with her psychiatrist's approval stopped taking Lexapro. She continued to feel better in the succeeding weeks and there was no recurrence of Running Piglet. However, the inguinal mass was stubborn.

A dramatic event happened at the patient's seventh visit. Initial examination showed that the mass was still there. After acupuncture, needles were removed and the patient felt for the mass with her hand. A puzzled look came over her face. The rubbery finger-like mass had disappeared.

Patient continued her recovery by taking significant steps to move forward in her life. Follow-up eight months later showed no return of the mass.

(Also see 'inguinal mass' about a related case.)