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3 Ways Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Can Help Digestive Issues

3 Ways Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Can Help Digestive Issues.jpg

Ongoing digestive issues can hinder enjoyment in your everyday life. If you are having chronic digestive issues, using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can help to regulate your digestion. These methods are an all-natural and highly effective way to bring your body into balance.

Both Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine work by facilitating the flow of energy throughout the body and creating balance in the middle jiao where your digestive organs reside. The theory in Chinese Medicine is that stress and how we hold stress is the main reason for issues with the digestive system.  Enduring stress can then cause the digestive organs to disfunction.  

1. Balancing the nervous system

Acupuncture can help balance the nervous system to reduce stress. This in turn can improve one’s digestive function. Often the GI tract or “gut” is referred to as our second brain. There is a connection between the central nervous system and GI tract via the vagus nerve, which is the longest cranial nerve in the body. Signals from the brain influence the microorganisms in your gut and likewise, messages from the gut can influence your brain. Studies have shown that acupuncture has a direct positive effect on the vagus nerve, which is why it can simultaneously help to calm the nervous system and aid in digestion.

2. Stress Reduction 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD or IBS) is when a person suffers from conditions that cause the digestive system to become inflamed. IBD/IBS is caused mostly by stress and diet.  Acupuncture can help to alleviate and reduce pain and inflammation caused by digestive issues.  In recent decades, acupuncture has been increasingly embraced as a potential treatment for IBD/IBS by using a technique where acupoints on the body’s surface are mechanically stimulated. This triggers nerve signaling that affects the function of other parts of the body, including organs.  I have noticed that most clients have noticed a wonderful relaxation in their digestive organs once they start acupuncture. Acupuncturists believe each individual has their signature concern, based on how their body holds stress. Each individual’s treatment is based on their own body’s individual symptoms and needs. 

3. Chinese herbs

Traditional Chinese Medicine is often used for digestive issues, either alone or in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. They are taken internally and work to adjust digestion like food supplements or diet modification. Everything from your diet to your metabolism, to your food choices effect your body’s digestive processes.   Chinese herbs are food, but this is not food that you normally eat.  Herbs are how we can affect the digestive landscape, and many can heal without changing eating or drinking habits. Individual diets play a major role in digestive issues, and herbs serve a potent and directed approach toward healing and balance. The digestive concerns that are often treated successfully with Chinese medicine are IBD/IBS, acid reflux, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

By taking into account a person's constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan is designed specifically for the individual to bring all digestive organs into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system. A variety of integrative health techniques would be encouraged in treatment, including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations, and energetic exercises to restore digestive health.

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