Acupuncture and Digestive Problems
What can acupuncture help ?
Digestive disorders feature prominently in traditional Chinese medical practice in modern China. A range of different symptoms are treated, including the following:
These symptoms may occur daily, for periods of a week or a month followed by long gaps, or only very occasionally. Sometimes they can occur when you are very stressed, or only when you eat certain foods. They may cause distress, discomfort and anxiety.
The traditional Chinese medicine view
In Chinese medicine, the qi (vital energy) of the Stomach and ‘Spleen’ (this equates to the whole digestive function) controls the smooth passage of food through your digestive tract and ensures that food and fluids are properly absorbed and processed for use by the body.
In digestive disorders, because the qi is disturbed, obstructed or weak, food moves through the digestive tract either too fast or too slowly, producing the characteristic symptoms of this condition.
An holistic approach
Chinese medicine takes an holistic approach to digestive problems. This means that I look at all aspects of your life in order to understand the origins of your problem and how it affects you. As well as the specific symptoms that you experience, I will also ask about:
To help me understand your condition better, I will also examine your tongue and feel the pulse at your wrist.
All this information will enable me to make a diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment for you.
How acupuncture can help?
Acupuncture, in conjunction with dietary and lifestyle changes, can help to regulate and smooth your digestive function. Weekly treatment will be necessary to begin with, but once things start to improve, treatments can become less frequent.
If you have had the condition for a long time, that is, years rather than months, it may take time for your digestion to repair itself and return to normal function. If you have only had the condition for a few months, then you can expect to see a return to normality quite quickly.
Dietary and lifestyle changes are important and will help you to manage the condition and ensure permanent change.
Digestion: foundation of a healthy life
In Chinese medicine, a good digestion is thought to be the foundation of a healthy life. The food we eat is a key element providing energy for the body. It helps to form the qi, the life force for our daily living. The digestive system is vital to health and well-being.
Regular eating and a regular lifestyle are essential to a well functioning digestive system. ‘Regular eating’ usually means not just eating at regular and sensible times, but also eating a balanced, nutritious diet that is appropriate for the season and your individual constitution. For some people, diet and nutrition are key factors in their recovery from illness, not just for digestive problems, but also for seemingly unrelated illnesses.
I will suggest how you might benefit your recovery specifically, and your health in general, by eating the foods that are right for you. We will discuss the best and most appropriate way for you to implement any changes I have suggested and, if appropriate, I will produce a diet sheet for you to use as reference.
tiredness and lethargy
flatulence or ‘wind’
foul smelling stool
the history of your problem
your medical history