Digestion is Complicated
Digestion is a complex task performed by the body. For all we have learned over the years regarding digestion, there is still so much we don’t understand. It was only recently that modern medicine was able to dramatically change the way we view food, confirming that everything we consume can potentially have a life-altering effect on the body and mind.
Digestive disorders are rampant in the United States and surveys estimate that nearly 70 million people are affected by some sort of digestive disorder. This could be anything from gallstones to acid reflux to pancreatitis. For many, these disorders are extremely debilitating. But for every person dealing with a debilitating digestive disorder, there are thousands more that just assume everything they are experiencing is “normal.”
Acupuncture and Digestive Disorders
Acupuncture is one incredibly effective way people can deal with their digestive disorders, safely, naturally, and without harmful side effects. Acupuncture comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) which is a centuries-old medical system. The protocols within this system utilize many different modalities to diagnose and treat imbalances in the body. Acupuncture helps with digestion because it treats the person holistically, meaning all parts are considered with treatment.
Studies have shown acupuncture can stimulate peristalsis in the intestinal tract. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine determined electroacupuncture as a safe and effective treatment for chronic functional constipation. The study showed each participant increased the number of consistent bowel movements with the assistance
of electroacupuncture treatments all without any adverse side effects.
Nausea and vomiting are frequent problems associated with digestion. Acupuncture and even acupressure are wonderful tools for calming the upset stomach. One acupressure point on the underside of the forearm has been studied extensively just for this function. In most cases, nausea and vomiting are greatly decreased or stopped altogether.
Bloating is another common problem associated with the digestive tract. This can be caused by eating too much food or improper digestion. Acupuncture treatments help the digestive process of breaking down foods without the excess gas that frequently causes bloating.
Diarrhea isn’t just a problem that occurs when somebody is suffering from the stomach flu. It is more common than many people think. Acupuncture treatments can help resolve diarrhea by clearing either excess heat or excess dampness from the digestive tract while strengthening it.
Probiotics stimulate the growth of microorganisms, such as beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Having the right gut bacteria is linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, and healthier skin. There is now substantial evidence that probiotics can provide benefits by improving and modulating immune function, regulating inflammation, and cell-to-cell signaling. Certain probiotics have even been shown to decrease airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation by inducing regulatory mechanisms.
A great way to nourish a healthy gut is to consume foods filled with beneficial bacteria, rather than adding supplemental pills. This includes cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir; fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut; miso, tempeh, natto, and other fermented soy products; as well as kombucha (a type of fermented tea).
Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume but may cause bacteria-host interactions and unwanted side effects in rare cases.
If you or someone you love is suffering from digestive complications, come on in! Acupuncture may be able to help. Give us a call to set up your appointment today, let’s get to the bottom of what’s causing the digestive issues.