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Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness

Acupuncture for Acid Reflux

Acupuncture for Acid Reflux

If you are trying to control your heartburn and GERD by popping fistfuls of antacids or other medications, you are most likely not succeeding. But the relief you are looking for can be easily achieved with proper diet and acupuncture.

Many people suffer from occasional Gastrointestinal issues, especially after eating spicy, fatty or fried foods. The burning feeling in the neck, throat, chest and even heart feels painful but the good news is that something can be done about it.

What is GERD?

GERD is short for gastro-esophageal reflux disease is the result of acid reflux. With this disease, your esophagus becomes swollen and painful due to the acid that your stomach is kicking back up towards your throat.

When you have GERD, the sphincter muscle relaxes to the point that the acid from the stomach travels back up your esophagus. This means that the acid that is digesting the food in your stomach is able to head back up your esophagus, and it starts to eat at the lining of your esophageal walls.

Roughly 25 to 40 percent of the adults in the U.S. suffer from some variety of GERD, with as much as 10 percent of the population experiencing it on a regular basis.

Causes of GERD

The cause of acid reflux, or gastro-esophageal flux disease (GERD), is unknown to doctors at this time.But natural health practitioners believe GERD is lifestyle related and can be caused by being overweight, smoking, diet rich in fatty foods, spicy greasy food, caffeinated drinks and certain medications.

Doctors usually prescribe medications to counter the symptoms. Unfortunately, these medications can end up causing some nasty side effects. Several studies looked at acupuncture being able to relieve the symptoms of GERD because it alters the secretion of acids, affecting gastrointestinal movement.

The Evidence of Acupuncture's Effect on Acid Reflux and GERD

A study conducted by the American Journal of Physiology reported that stimulating specific acupuncture points can aid in the relaxation of esophageal sphincter by over 40 percent. This study showed that electrical acupuncture is able to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux which is considered transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESRs).

By applying only mild stimulation to an acupoint on the wrist known as Neiguan, researchers were able to reduce the frequency of TLESRs from six to 3.5 an hour in research subjects. Sham stimulation of a hip point produced no comparable change.

Another study examined the results of adding acupuncture treatments vs. a double dose of standard GERD medication in patients who hadnít found complete relief using a single dose of a proton pump inhibitor. At the end of the study, patients who received the acupuncture treatment in addition to a single dose of GERD medication had significant decrease in both day and nighttime heartburn and acid regurgitation compared with their initial heartburn.

Patients who were given a double dose of medication did not show any significant changes in heartburn compared with the beginning of the study.

Contact Laurie to treat your acid reflux with acupuncture in Santa Monica.

Related: Reflux, IBS, Digestion

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Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness

Laurel Binder, Doctor of Acupuncture (RILB)

3029 Wilshire Blvd Suite 201

Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 564-4325

 

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