Acupuncture is a treatment option that can be helpful in providing relief from the symptoms of many gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Digestive health is critical for every bodily function and acupuncture works to provide energetic balance to the entire body, with an emphasis on specific areas, including those related to the gastrointestinal tract. Acupuncture is a natural treatment for gastrointestinal disorders since it helps to relieve stress and anxiety; reduce inflammation; and stimulate the immune system.
Reasons for Acupuncture
Different acupuncture techniques can connect with the chemical environment in the digestive tract as well as the walls of the colon and intestines. Acupuncture stimulates immune responses, influences pain perception, and alters the production rate of digestive secretions. Acupuncture can help return an upset digestive system to proper balance by stimulating or inhibiting gastric and intestinal contractions and stimulating secretions of the digestive cells. Acupuncture is commonly used as a treatment for:
- Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS)
- Crohn's disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Celiac disease
As a result of acupuncture treatment, ulcer and IBS symptoms may be eased as the body more effectively regulates conditions in the digestive tract. Acupuncture treatments may also help to decrease the intra-abdominal pressure that often causes the cramping and bloating caused by many GI disorders. It also strengthens the spleen and stomach, relieving the symptoms of bloating and gas.
The Acupuncture Method
Since there are many different digestive issues and disorders, different acupuncture points may be used to treat various GI disorders. Acupuncture works by giving a mild stimulation to the body, which in turn encourages a response. Fine needles are inserted into the skin on certain areas of the body, to stimulate the brain to promote nutrient absorption or to stimulate the digestive system to eliminate food waste. The brain can also be stimulated to regulate the immune system response to foods, helping to minimize food allergy symptoms. Depending on the condition, needles may be placed at various points or locations to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. Several treatment sessions may be necessary before patients experience results.
Acupuncture may be used as a preventative or therapeutic form of treatment and it may be used in combination with other treatments, including diet modifications, or by itself. It is a natural, safe and painless treatment option for GI disorders that can help to restore the balance of the digestive system and promote overall health.