Although acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal art that dates back “…at least 2,500 years,” it is still used today to successfully treat a range of diseases and ailments. Clinical studies by the National Institutes of Health conclude that acupuncture is effective in relieving nausea and vomiting in patients who have completed chemotherapy or an operation. Other conditions alleviated by acupuncture include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which you might know as “heartburn,” is caused by stomach acid regurgitating into the esophagus. It can be acute or chronic, in which case the long-term effects include damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract lining. According to the Acupuncture Massage College, GERD can cause:
GERD can be genetic, but can also be caused by:
Acupuncture naturally treats GERD
Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize acupuncture as a treatment for GERD. Acupuncture practitioners believe when “…the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and spleen… function improperly, the digestive system becomes imbalanced and acid reflux and heartburn occurs.”
The University of Wisconsin’s Department of Family Medicine reveals that a clinical study found that the use of acupuncture in conjunction with protein pump inhibitors to treat GERD is far more effective than a double dose treatment of protein pump inhibitors alone.
Acupuncture treatment actually lowers stomach acid production, reports the University of Michigan, Department of Family Medicine – this lessens the amount of acid regurgitating into the esophagus.
The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine reports that “…a number of studies [suggests] that acupuncture can directly affect the production and release of a number of chemical substances in the body, including serotonin.
” One of serotonin’s functions is to stimulate smooth muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract – surprisingly, “…80% of the body’s total serotonin is in the intestinal tract….” Irregular smooth muscle contractions can result in abnormal peristaltic movement which can cause or increase the severity of GERD since the regurgitated acid can take longer to be cleared from the esophagus. Thus, acupuncture’s regulatory effects on serotonin could be one of the mechanisms by which it treats GERD.
Compared with other pharmaceuticals and allopathic treatments, acupuncture is relatively safe with virtually no side effects either long-term or short-term. If you are suffering from GERD, you should consider adding acupuncture to your treatment.
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Acupuncture for GERD