Could Acupuncture Help Digestion?
In a word,YES!
Acupuncture could be used to treat most gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux, bloating, and
indigestion very effectively. If you or someone you know is experiencing indigestion, irritable bowels, constipation, bloating or pain (in the stomach or intestines)problems, acupuncture can be a tremendous resource for feeling better now and maintaining those improvements over the long term. Acupuncture improves the body functions of digestion, absorption and metabolism. Acupuncture reduces ulcers and neutralizes excessive stomach acid & relieve heartburn. Acupuncture calms abdominal distention and helps the body balance as to reduce or completely eliminate IBS symptoms.
According to Chinese Medicine, the Stomach is a major organ in our body. It is so essential that there is a tradition of acupuncture that focuses primarily on the Stomach (and its ‘sister organ’ the Spleen). If the Stomach can not function to its fullest capacity, then a person is not able to be fully nourished in their Body, Mind or Spirit. Also TCM states that the stomach receives food, while the spleen transports, distributes and transforms nutrients. They both share the work and coordinate to fulfill the task of the digestion and absorption of food. When the function of the spleen in transporting and transforming the nutrients is in disorder, symptoms such as poor digestion, poor appetite, abdominal distension, weakness of the limbs and weight loss may occur.
The small intestine receives the food content that has been partially digested by the stomach and then completes the digestion and absorbs it. In the light of modern medicine, most of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the food are absorbed by duodenum and jejunum, while the bile salts and vitamin B12 are absorbed by ileum. Water and electrolytes are also exchanged in the small intestine. The endocrine function of the pancreas also contains various digestive enzymes important to digestive function.
So what does that all mean for your acupuncture treatments? Acupuncture stimulates energy to the liver, gall bladder, stomach and spleen (the four main channels for digestion) along with the small intestine, large intestine and even lung or heart channels (depending on the particular patient). Acupuncture isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. Needles can be placed at specific points to maximize the effectiveness for the patient, and those “patterns” will somewhat change from session to session based on exactly how the patient responds to the treatment.
Did you know that the stomach functions the best when we put warm food into it? Iced beverages and cold foods, like frozen desserts, actually stress the stomach. Food that is too spicy can also put stress on the stomach over time. Our eating habits over our lifetime can eventually contribute to the weakening of our stomach as we are aging. Registered TCM acupuncturist is trained to help you to identify what is actually stressing your stomach so that lifestyle changes can be suggested.
Keep your Stomach in mind when you eat your meals.It doesn’t like being overly stuffed. That burdens the Stomach. So, eat slower…take smaller portions…don’t drink cold beverages with your meal (sip on room temperature water instead). Everyone can do this. Support your Stomach and it will support you!