Acupuncture for digestive problems works.
Chronic heartburn and acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies have unfortunately become commonplace.
Luckily, digestive disorders respond very well to acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. When combined with diet and lifestyle modifications, most people can experience a permanent, medication-free relief of their symptoms.
Certain acupuncture points have been shown to alter acid secretion and control GI muscle contraction via the somatosympathetic pathway making acupuncture beneficial in treating GERD, functional dyspepsia, IBS and general GI symptoms.
Constipation & Diarrhea
Constipation and diarrhea, while very common, are one of the least talked about physical complaints. An acupuncturist always begins their initial consultation with a whole-body review because stool consistency and frequency is a very important part of general health.
Acid Reflux or GERD
While the practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have been using acupuncture to treat digestive disorders for thousands of years, a study in the August 2006 issue of Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology indicates that stimulation of certain acupuncture points inhibits the esophageal sphincter relaxation by as much as 40%.
Colitis & Crohn’s Disease
Traditional Chinese Medicine views inflammatory bowel disease in a different light than Western medicine. The causes can be constitutional deficiencies, an infection or invasion by an outside pathogen, or dietary. An accurate diagnosis relies upon the various symptoms related to digestion as well as the body as a whole. The compilation of concerns will show a pattern of disharmony. Treatment is then applied accordingly, usually with great success.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort accompanied by alterations in bowel function, diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both. Because the exact cause of IBS is not certain, western treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms.
Chinese medicine offers a different approach. A complete health history can reveal many seemingly unrelated symptoms that to an acupuncturist clearly identify one or two predominant patterns of disease. Certain acupuncture points stimulate GI motility while others relax muscle contractions helping with everything from constipation to gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea.