IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a medical condition that often does not get talked about due to its somewhat “embarrassing” nature. However, IBS is a serious condition that effects many individuals world-wide and greatly impacts the ability of those who suffer from the syndrome to enjoy many parts of life that most take for granted. This increasingly common disorder effects the large intestine and causes a large variety of uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, symptoms, but is most commonly associated with abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, as well as bouts of constipation. Although IBS differs from similar inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, in that it does not effect the bowel tissue, or raise the risk of colorectal cancer–it remains an issue that often leaves the patient in pain, and feeling uncomfortable for long periods of time.
There are some pharmaceutical treatments available, but relaxation therapy and acupuncture are quickly taking hold as viable treatments for IBS. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization as well as National Institutes of Consensus Panel have showed drastic improvements for individuals suffering from common symptoms of IBS such as:
Though doctors and researchers are not sure why people contract IBS, acupuncture has been proven to relieve what experts feel could aggravate patient’s symptoms, such as:
Acupuncture for IBS
Traditional Chinese medicinal practices have used acupuncture to treat issues with the GI tract for thousands of years. A basic acupuncture for IBS procedure can include your acupuncturist targeting pressure points along the meridians of the stomach and abdomen. This practice is believed to remove dampness and heat from the affected area, in turn relieving symptoms.
Because stress and anxiety play a major role in triggering IBS symptoms, your acupuncturist can perform procedures which relax the body and mind resulting in a calming of the GI tract. Many practitioners of acupuncture believe the body and its systems are a superhighway through which our emotions travel, if there is a “blockage” in one of these areas, irritation and sickness can result. It is believed that stress, anxiety, and depression can cause these blockages.
The practice of acupuncture releases the body’s natural pain-killer, endorphins. Endorphins can create a sense of peace and euphoria which allows the body to get into a relaxed state resulting in reduction of anxiety and stress. In addition to the release of endorphins, acupuncture increases blood flow to affected areas promoting healing.
Most patients benefit greatly from an herbal treatment formula that the acupuncturist will create. In addition, suggested dietary adjustments will provide great relief.
Acupuncture can be used to treat many afflictions and help relieve symptoms of sometimes debilitating illness. It is important to speak with your acupuncturist to find out what acupuncture can do for you.
For more information, please contact Laurel at Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness to best to treat your IBS.
Related: Reflux, Digestion