Acupuncture For Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a widespread condition. 18% of the population of Canada is suffering from this syndrome. It takes approximately four years to get an accurate diagnosis, according to the Gastrointestinal Society. The treatment and diagnosis in western medicine are lacking, and many who suffer from IBS seek a solution with acupuncture and natural medicine, which can provide an effective solution.
Diagnosis of IBS in acupuncture
Chinese Medicine has good results in treating IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you are suffering from these symptoms and not diagnosed yet, you don’t need a final medical diagnosis to start the treatment. However, it’s good to go through the medical diagnosis process to eliminate more serious conditions.
The western name “Irritable bowel” suggests a combination of emotion and the bowels. This body-mind approach is not far from the holistic Chinese Medicine perspective. In Chinese medicine, we perceive the organs as having functions different from what we know in modern physiology. Each organ is connected to different kinds of “Qi” (pronounced Chi) which refers to energy in the body and connected to other emotions.
Different Causes of IBS
There are several different kinds of causes of IBS in Chinese Medicine. The most common cause is described as “liver invading the digestive system.” In acupuncture, the liver is in charge of the free flow of energy in the body. Anger and frustration are known to stagnate the liver. When the energy- Qi of your liver is blocked, it will interfere with other organs’ functioning. When your liver is not balanced, it can “invade or attack” the digestive system.
In Chinese medicine, the digestive system’s main organs are the spleen and stomach, related to the large and small intestine. The various organs involved can be determined partially by the different symptoms present. When the IBS is related to the liver invading the spleen, we will see the difficulty indigestion, gas, intestinal pain, lack of energy, overweight, diarrhea and constipation. When it is a case of liver invading the stomach – we will see Gerd, heartburn, pain and acidity in the stomach, as well as belching and burping.
There are various conditions that the acupuncturists need to consider in the diagnosis that is a little too complicated to explain, like dampness or dryness, cold or heat in the organs and more. Diagnosis of IBS in Chinese Medicine considers various symptoms and tongue and pulse diagnosis.
Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Balance Method Acupuncture is very effective in treating IBS. When you arrive at the clinic for the first time, the diagnosis is made, as explained above. After examining the symptoms, a pulse and tongue diagnosis is made as well as a meridian diagnosis.
It is basically to see where the pain or discomfort is precise, which is most often in the abdomen area/ These considerations determine the appropriate combination of acupuncture points for your treatment. Each treatment aims to find and work with them the exact acupuncture points that wing balance your body and mind.
In most cases, after the acupuncture treatment, your pain and discomfort will be reduced or alleviated. It is recommended to start with two acupuncture sessions per week until your digestive system is brought back to balance. Acupuncture is not only meant to reduce your symptoms but to heal the root cause of the IBS. It will bring balance to the physical, mental and emotional aspects. Learn more about Balance Method Acupuncture here
Nutrition for IBS
While nutrition is an integral part of treating IBS, it is worth mentioning that it is unnecessary to stay on a strict diet for life because of acupuncture. Each person has different nutritional needs, and after the Chinese Medicine diagnosis, a personal recommendation for diet will be given. When there are sensitivities to certain kinds of food like wheat or dairy, it is recommended to avoid them. Later, after the balance is brought back to the digestive system, the diet can be less strict. A healthy, balanced and nutritious diet is best.
In some cases, Chinese Herbal therapy is recommended with acupuncture treatment to help treat your digestive system. Herbal medicine for IBS is prescribed by the acupuncturist personally after the diagnosis. Various herbs that may help one person may aggravate the condition for another. This is why a thorough diagnosis is essential.