Everyone experiences digestive upset at some time and many people experience it regularly. In America, it is easiest to point our finger at a combination of a high-sugar and high-fat diet, stress, and large portion sizes. If we eat this way repeatedly, more serious conditions develop other than just an over-full or indigestion feeling. Chronic heartburn and acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies have become very common. These digestive symptoms can make us miserable and completely deprive us of the previous enjoyment eating provided It exemplifies the concept that you can have too much of a good thing and reinforces the Taoist proverb, “moderation is the key to longevity.”
While we are overwhelmed with over the counter medications to treat uncomfortable digestive symptoms, there are often more serious underlying mechanisms causing the continued distress. A stomach can consistently produce too much acid, the motility of the digestive tract can become chronically hyper or lazy and pain from unidentifiable sources can be difficult to alleviate. * Certain acupuncture points have been shown to alter acid secretion, stimulate GI muscle contraction, cause GI muscle relaxation and inhibit gastric acid secretion via the somatosympathetic pathway making acupuncture beneficial in treating GERD, functional dyspepsia, IBS and general GI symptoms. In clinical practice, digestive disorders respond very well to acupuncture and when combined with diet and lifestyle modifications most people can experience a permanent, medication-free relief of their symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine is sometimes used for a short period of time to alleviate certain conditions.
- Takahashi T. Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006 May;41(5):408-17. Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders.