Modern living imposes emotional and physical stresses on a daily basis. In the absence of regular physical exertion to counteract sustained levels of stress, stress chemicals stay in the body, draining energy and hampering digestion. Because the digestive process is not essential to an individual’s immediate survival, it shuts down during periods of severe tension. Poor eating habits, dieting, overuse of laxatives, medications, reduced water/fluid intake, and restricted posture/continual sitting/spinal misalignment can also compromise digestive function.
Common digestive problems include abdominal/epigastric pain, bloating, gas and flatulence, belching, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation, gastric/duodenal ulcers, nausea, and reduced appetite. Depending on a patient’s presentation, acupuncture points can be used to either increase gastrointestinal motility and peristalsis or gastrointestinal relaxation. Acupuncture can also mediate the body’s fight or flight response to encourage the rest and digest function of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Chinese herbal formulas are an important component in Chinese medicine and frequently used, along with acupuncture, to correct patterns of imbalance in the digestive system. If a condition is chronic and complex, an individualized approach to treatment may be beneficial. We can provide customized acupuncture and herbal treatments for patients wanting to restore their digestive health.