Gastrointestinal Disorders and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is highly effective at treating many types of gastrointestinal disorders. Learn how you can receive digestive support with acupuncture. The following is a list of the commonly treated disorders:
- Acid reflux and GERD
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory disorders such as chronic gastritis, atrophic gastritis, chronic enteritis, and gastroenteritis
- Ulcers, such as peptic, duodenal, and gastric ulcers
- Bacterial infections such as shigella or e coli
- Inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis
- Abdominal cramping and pain
TCM philosophy and understanding of the digestive system:
The importance of a strong digestive system is firmly rooted in the philosophy and teachings of TCM. As the center (earth element) around which the other organs revolve, the digestive system represents the primary place of concern for the maintenance of health, well being, and longevity. It is where the assimilation of nutrients occurs which allows for growth and development, where blood is formed, and where Qi (vital life force) is generated. A healthy digestive system is paramount, and any imbalances must be resolved to prevent the development of disorders and disease.
The ancient and classic text, The Treatise of the Spleen and Stomach, the importance of a healthy digestive system is emphasized. An entire school of thought developed based on the teachings of this text which stresses how critical it is to maintain an efficient digestive system in order to have good health. With good digestion, there is plenty of energy and the body is in good working order. If the system if not functionally optimally, imbalances in the distribution of Qi can lead to problems.
When the food we eat is not properly transformed and transported, the formation of dampness, phlegm, and stagnant food can occur. These accumulations are the root cause of disorders and can be caused by a number of factors such as: Overeating, not chewing thoroughly, eating too fast, drinking too much cold fluids with food, and stressful eating environments. Certain foods can also cause dampness to develop such as: Excess sweets, dairy, wheat, fats, alcohol, and processed foods.
Most of the scientific research conducted on the physiological effects have been done in China at leading research institutes and in hospitals. The following lists some of the results they have discovered:
- Serum Gastrin levels increased to assist with digestive processes
- Increase excretory rate of D-Xylose, needed for the absorption function of the intestines
- Increase T-lymphocytes levels, which improve immune functions
- Increase levels of Immunoglobulins, which improve the immune response