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12 Feb 2014

ACUPUNCTURE AND GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS

Because the typical American diet is not really that balanced or healthy, a large amount of digestive problems are recorded consistently every year. The use of standard medications sometimes may not resolve these problems and some people look for other ways, sometimes unconventional ways to find treatment. One of the more unconventional forms of treatment is acupuncture that is used as a solution for various kinds of disorders that conventional medicine cannot satisfactorily address.

Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese medicinal art of using needles introduced at acupuncture points or acupoints in the body to treat an ailment. It began in China around 5,000 years ago and works to establish energy balance and good blood flow to attain homeostasis, normalize bodily functions and promote vitality, relaxation and comfort enabling the body to be in overall good health.

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM considers the spleen as the main organ that governs gastrointestinal function. TCM sees the spleen as the conveyor of food in the body and also governs the removal of waste in the body. To have a well functioning gastrointestinal function, the body should have a balance of energy between the stomach and spleen since an imbalance between the two will cause one or both to dysfunction. A dysfunction of one or both these organs may also affect the function of the liver and cause the liver energy to also become imbalanced.

Acupuncture helps to reestablish energy balance and proper blood flow in the gastrointestinal system. This is accomplished by determining the acupuncture points that lead to the liver, stomach and spleen meridians and insert these points with filiform needles to enable blood and energy (chi) to flow freely and provide proper energy and blood to these organs. The needles help stimulate gastrointestinal muscle contraction that regulates the production of gastric acid and allow the stomach and spleen to lessen the stress and pressure in the gastrointestinal system to help relax and relieve other digestive symptoms.

Acupuncture to treat digestive disorders is often combined with Chinese herbal medicine, although acupuncture as a stand alone treatment can suffice to treat the problem. You need to go to a qualified herbologist when dealing with herbs as there are herbs that neutralize the effects of acupuncture or if you are taking medications may react negatively with them causing you more problems.

Here are some of the digestive disorders which can be treated with acupuncture:

Ulcers
Inflammatory disorders( ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
Gastritis
Hiatal hernia
Heartburn
Gastrointestinal bleeding and infections
Bacterial infections

Medications carry substances that negatively react to the body causing side effects. Prolonged use of certain medications can even permanently impair the liver and kidney. Since acupuncture does not use any prescription drugs in its treatment, it makes it a better and safer alternative to pharmaceutical medications.

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