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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diet is an important part of our health. Everything we eat affects our body in different ways. If we overeat or choose poor quality food it may start to cause health problems such as fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, heartburn, bloating, belching, gas, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea.
Because we are what we eat, we believe that digestion is the cornerstone of overall health and poor digestion is more often than not the root cause of many other health problems. Digestive disorders can also lead to or cause other health issues.
With a combination of acupuncture, herbs/supplements, and dietary changes, we will provide a targeted treatment plan to correct underlying problems in the digestive system, encourage healing, and maintain a healthy gut. From our conveniently located Jesup office, we have found acupuncture to be an effective means by which we can improve digestion by reducing inflammation and improving gastric motility.
How Does Acupuncture for Digestion Work
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the stomach and spleen as a cooking pot that breaks down the food that is eaten and turns it into energy and nutrients for the body. The stomach is the cooking pot and the spleen is the digestive fire that warms it up. The stomach cooks and breaks down the food, sending the pure part of food to the spleen to be distributed to the rest of the body and eliminating the waste as feces and urine. It is important to maintain this digestive fire and too many cold and raw foods can put out the digestive fire, weakening and slowing the digestive system or over-consumption of spicy, hot or rich foods over heat the digestive fire.
Digestive Problems Treated with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture treatment as effective for some Common digestive problems such as:
Ulcerative colitis: Some studies show acupuncture can provide relief from many inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. According to a research study “Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis” by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2006 states “Acupuncture has traditionally been used in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in China and is increasingly applied in Western countries. The colitis activity index decreased from 8.0 to 4.2 points and in control group from 6.5 to 4.8 points”.
Constipation: Can be treated often in just one treatment by stimulating the digestive system. But many patients suffering from chronic constipation may require a long term result by clearing excess accumulation or stagnation.
Diarrhea: May be a chronic or occasional problem that acupuncture can treat. In Traditional Chinese medicine this is an accumulation of cold or dampness in the digestive system. A treatment of clearing, warming and strengthening the digestive tract is an effective treatment for diarrhea.
Diverticulitis: Is treated by determining each patients symptoms after an exam. Most treatments include clearing heat from inflammation and promoting healing of the digestive tract. Each patients symptoms can differ slightly and the treatment is modified to suit each individual.
Gas: An accumulation of gas or bloating can be a combination of stagnation, weakened digestive system and unbalanced food choices. Treatments help with the digestive process of breaking down foods without the accumulation of gas or bloating.
Indigestion: A recent clinical study on “The treatment of gastroesophageal reflux by acupuncture” published by NCBI in 2010 shows that acupuncture can effectively inhibit the intra-esophageal acid and bile reflux in GERD patients to alleviate symptoms. Acupuncture may restore stomach acidity to normal levels and regulate the small and large intestine function.
Ulcers: Are commonly due to long term digestive problems that eventually lead to acid erosion of the stomach lining. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be a powerful combination to promote healing and decreasing the accumulation of stomach acid.
Many other stomach issues such as upset stomach or sour stomach are also treated effectively with acupuncture. These problems are associated with heat, dampness or over indulgence in improperly balanced foods for your weakened digestive state. Acupuncture can assist with boosting your metabolism, regulating the digestive process, increasing the gastrointestinal muscle contraction and relaxation and reduce acid secretion.
Acupuncture also supports healthy weight loss
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, obesity and weight gain are the result of imbalances in the digestive system. The American lifestyle of overwork, too much stress and too little exercise, sugar-saturated, processed foods full of the wrong kinds of fats contribute heavily to an impaired digestive system and a very sluggish metabolism. Acupuncture can help by strengthening the digestive system and curbing the appetite.
Combining regular acupuncture treatments with herbal solutions will help support the body through dieting, and once balance is regained, the changes will help the patient maintain a lower body weight by keeping the digestive system strong and clean.
Improve your health by improving your digestion. Call us today!