Gastrointestinal problems can be both debilitating and difficult to talk about. While nausea and heartburn make enjoying food difficult, issues such as diarrhea and gas can take away your social life.
Thankfully, acupuncture is successfully used for nausea and vomiting, such as that caused by medications and surgery; stomach ulcers; poor digestion; irritable bowel syndrome; diarrhea; and constipation. While conventional treatments often have side effects and only mask symptoms, acupuncture can address the issue at its underlying cause.
Acupuncture works through mechanisms including regulation of the nervous system. For example, the popular acupoint ST-36 (Zusanli) can restore normal muscle contraction throughout the digestive tract by regulating function of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve serves all of your digestive system, controlling muscle contraction and the release of stomach acid and enzymes. Additionally, use of electroacupuncture at Foot-Yangming-Meridian can boost blood flow to the stomach and increase muscle contractions. Acupuncture may also protect the digestive tract lining by stimulating the production of protective substances.
One example of the gastrointestinal conditions that acupuncture can help is diarrhea-predominant IBS. A clinical study found that acupuncture for IBS significantly improved symptoms and quality of life scores compared to the placebo group. Chinese medicine usually classifies this problem as a form of functional diarrhea caused by Spleen (Pi) deficiency and Liver (Gan) stagnation, with difficult intestinal motility. The Large Intestine and Stomach meridians are often treated, too. This illustrates the holistic nature of Chinese medicine, where the energy flow between and within organs and their meridian channels is the top priority.
In another trial, electroacupuncture successfully restored the colon’s ability to contract after surgery. Patients receiving acupuncture were released from hospital two days sooner, and saw restored function after three days and 14 hours compared to five days and two hours. This is despite the power of the drugs given during surgery, which paralyze the digestive system and typically indicate laxative medications.
At Life Balance Clinic, Dr Dekhtyar and his team leave no stone unturned when searching for the underlying causes of gastrointestinal problems. Afterwards, he tailors an effective treatment plan using acupuncture and other Chinese remedies.
To learn more about how we can treat gastrointestinal problems, contact us today at 847-724-1777.