IBS OR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME NATURAL TREATMENT
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition. In Canada it is estimated that 18% of the population are suffering from symptoms. It takes approximately four years to get a accurate diagnosis, according to the Gastrointestinal Society.The treatment and diagnosis in western medicine is lacking and many who suffer from IBS are seeking a solution with acupuncture and natural medicine, which can provide an effective solution.
Diagnosis of IBS in acupuncture
In Chinese Medicine and with acupuncture, the diagnosis and treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and its symptoms has been known for many years. You don’t actually 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 an emotion and the bowels. This is not far from the holistic Chinese Medicine perspective. In Chinese medicine we perceive the organs as having functions that are 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 is also connected to different 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 of your liver is blocked it will interfere with the functioning of other organs. When your liver is not balanced it can “invade or attack” the digestive system. This is when liver energy is spent to compensate for the stagnation.
In Chinese medicine the digestive system’s main organs are the spleen and stomach, and they are connected to the large and small intestine. The different 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 difficulty in digestion, gas, intestinal pain, lack of energy, overweight, diarrhea and constipation. When it is a case of liver invading the stomach – we will see Gerd, heart burn, pain and acidity in the stomach as well as belching and burping.
There are different conditions that the acupuncturists need to consider in the diagnosis that are a little too complicated to explain, like dampness or dryness, cold or heat in the organs and more. Diagnosis of IBS in Chinese Medicine is made with the considerations of the different symptoms, and tongue and pulse diagnosis.
Balance Method Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Balance Method Acupuncture is very effective to treat IBS. When you arrive to the clinic for the first time the diagnosis is made, as explained above. After examining the symptoms, a pulse and tongue diagnosis is done as well as a meridian diagnosis.
It is basically to see where the pain or discomfort is exactly, which is most often in abdomen area/ These considerations determine the appropriate combination of acupuncture points for your treatment. Each treatment aims to to find and work with the the exact points that will bring balance to 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 session per week, until your digestive system is brought back to balance. The 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 important part of treating IBS, it is worth while to mention that because of the acupuncture treatment, it is not necessary to stay on a strict diet for life. 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 the acupuncture treatment, to aid in treating your digestive system. Herbal medicine for IBS is prescribed by the acupuncturist personally after the diagnosis. Different herbs that may help one person may aggravate the condition for another. This is why a thorough diagnosis is important.