Treating Constipation Naturally
Many people suffer chronically from constipation. According to Chinese medicine, a healthy person needs to have at least one bowel movement a day. Constipation is typically defined as less than one bowel movement a day, difficulty in passing a stool or dryness or pain. Many people have “gotten used” to constipation or poor bowel function, but constipation has an important meaning as far as our health goes. Treating constipation naturally is good to way to treat the issue from the source and improve overall health.
Apart from the physical discomfort that constipation creates, the waste matter that the body naturally produces is not eliminated. Instead, toxins and the unnecessary substances stay in the colon and are reabsorbed back into the blood stream.
The phenomenon of constipation is aggravated in many cases after taking a constipation remedy or natural laxatives. It seems at first that these substances solve the problem, but after prolonged use they can result in a lazy bowel syndrome, which is where the bowel does not create peristalsis.
Peristalsis is the healthy movement of contraction of the muscles in the digestive tract, which creates the movement from the intestines toward the rectum. When the cause of the constipation is a lazy bowel syndrome, it makes for a more difficult healing.
This article will aim to provide you the tools to choose the best, natural treatment for your constipation. If you suffer from constipation, and you are sick of using laxatives and having pain and discomfort, this is the best article for you.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is a condition of defecation scarcity or difficulty in passing a stool. Western medicine defines constipation when the patient reports less than 3 discharges per week. According to Chinese medicine normal discharges are 1-2 per day. Therefore, in order to lead a healthy life a person should typically have a bowel movement once a day.
Often patients come to me for alternative medicine with different complaints like migraines, obesity, skin problems and more. When during a discussion it turns out they have constipation, I often explain to them that healing cannot be complete without addressing the constipation first.
Think, what happens to a kitchen sink when it is clogged and all the food leftovers stay in it with the water? What happens the next day? What happens two days later? And after a week? The matter starts to putrify, leading to other problems. This is what happens in the digestive track during constipation. The body absorbs toxins from the excrement, which causes many side effects in the body.
Studies found a direct link between antigens and toxins secreted from the bowel during constipation, and the development of illnesses. These include diabetes, meningitis, acute muscle weakness, thyroid gland disease, ulcerative colitis and other diseases.
Effective Methods for Constipation in Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine provides very effective ways for treating constipation naturally. Natural treatment for constipation is good in the acute condition that includes an immediate improvement in defecation, immediate relief of pain and reducing mental stress.
In addition and equally important; natural constipation treatment is also effective in treating chronic constipation: to strengthen and balance the bowel, improve peristalsis, treat the various components of the digestive system and attend to the emotional and mental condition that leads to constipation. First it is necessary to diagnose what the cause of the constipation is.
Possible Causes of Constipation:
- Poor nutrition
- Insufficient hydration
- Inactivity / Sedentary lifestyle
- Emotional or mental cause (read more below)
- Energetic imbalance
- A disease in other organs besides the bowels
- There are a number of methods that give better results to treat constipation. In many cases it is recommended to combine two methods or more in order to maximize results. We will review the main methods for constipation therapy in alternative medicine:
Acupuncture to Treat Constipation
Acupuncture is most effective for constipation treatment. The results are sometimes immediate, and the impact is significant in the long run. It is recommended to go through at least 8 acupuncture sessions and follow up with maintenance treatment if needed. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s energy channels, helping to moisten the colon. It also improves peristalsis and opens excrement congestion in the colon. In extreme cases of lazy bowel, it is possible to use special acupuncture techniques or electro acupuncture. Electro acupuncture is electric stimulation of the muscles in order to improve bowel movement. Sometimes during the acupuncture treatment for constipation, we can start hearing bowel sounds that indicate the return of peristalsis.
The Diagnosis of Constipation in Chinese Medicine
A great deal of importance is given in Chinese medicine to correctly diagnose the source of the problem and to treat the root cause. A Chinese medicine diagnosis includes assessing the tongue, reading the pulse and asking questions.
The inner source of constipation, according to Chinese medicine, can differ from one person to another.
Different Cause for Constipation in Acupuncture:
Dryness in the colon
Excess of heat in the colon
Qi deficiency in the colon.
However, there are causes that are not directly connected to the Colon
Lung weakness that causes constipation
Qi deficiency of the spleen.
Blood deficiency of the Liver
Yin deficiency (liquids) in the kidneys.
Stagnation of QI of the liver and more
The diagnosis will determine the acupuncture points, the medicinal herbs and the nutrition that will be administered to the person. In Chinese medicine we understand there is no one single treatment that is good to treat all the sources of the problem. It is different for every individual depending on their constitution and condition. The treatment that helps the one might not help the other, or even aggravate his or her condition. This means that treating the source that created the constipation is not a laxative which only treats the symptoms.
The medicinal herbs used in Chinese medicine which are given after diagnosis, are herbs that would not cause damage to the colon. Laxative herbs that are bought in pharmacies, even the natural ones, might cause damage in the long run. This can include lazy bowel (a loss of peristalsis) and so they need to be used with caution.
Case study for Constipation Treatment with Acupuncture
Katy, 30 years old, came to me with a complaint about constipation. She was only having one bowel movement a week and had being experiencing weight gain. Apart from these phenomena, Katy suffered from headaches. Katy described herself as tense and nervous, she said she had constipation for a number of years and that she recently was trying to refrain from taking laxatives.
She saw though that she was in some way dependent on laxatives, as without taking them she was barely was able to pass a stool. Katy decided to seek the help of Chinese medicine after a friend of hers recommended me to her.
Katy received Balance Method Acupuncture twice a week and took Chinese medicinal herbs for constipation to remove the heat and dryness from the colon. This helped to lessen her lazy bowel condition. Later on, Katy received nutritional recommendations according to the diagnosis which included drinking lots of water.
Three weeks later she started seeing a change in defecation frequency to twice a week. The therapy lasted for another few weeks during which Katy came to a state of having a bowel movement almost every day. The headaches became less and less, and Katy reported a better mood, a feeling of ease and of course weight loss.
Recall Healing for Constipation
In Recall Healing we work on the emotional source in the subconscious that causes constipation. This is an excellent way for treating constipation naturally and is non invasive. Recall Healing treatment for constipation is done through conversation. A treatment lasts about an hour and a half and usually it takes between 3-5 sessions for healing.
The emotional sources of constipation can be many and we will provide a few examples here, but it is important to understand that in order to cure the emotional sources of constipation using the Recall Healing method, we need to find the exact causes and the way that they personally manifest in the life of the person.
The factors that created the disease may be found in the life of the person in his early childhood and genetic lineage. So merely reading the biological conflict is not enough to penetrate the subconscious and bring about healing.
Emotional Conflicts That are Linked to Constipation
• Conflict in marking my place, my territory. The reason for that is that in nature, excrement is used to mark the territory of the animals.
• Identity- The rectum area is also linked to identity, this is the place where “I” can sit, live, reside, discharge.
• Letting go – Constipation can also be related to an inability to let go of the past, to let go of the dead or experiences that happened to the person.
Every person will live such experiences during his life and might experience some of the conflicts mentioned here, or others that are linked to constipation without having the disease. The disease is caused when the conflicts are too difficult or prolonged, and the person does not find a solution. According to Recall Healing, when a person does not find a solution to a biological conflict, the brain suppresses the conflict to the subconscious and the body and creates an illness.
In Recall Healing therapy for constipation we bring the subconscious up into the consciousness of the person. When the consciousness of the person is precisely directed to the right places through conversation, it resolves the conflict that existed in the past and releases the body of the need to hold on to it. The release in many cases comes soon and the person will experience a change in bowel movement.
Particularly in chronic conditions, where there is already a deeper damage to the balance of the body, it is recommended to combine the Recall Healing treatment with acupuncture and nutritional recommendations. Even though Recall Healing treatment for constipation is very effective, it is not for everyone. Recall Healing treatment is for people who agree to touch sensitive places and to open into their past.
Case study of Recall Healing Consultation for Constipation
Samantha, 50 years old, arrived at my clinic after suffering from ongoing bouts of constipation during the past four years. Over the the last year, the condition has become worse. Samantha uses nutritional fibers and different remedies with no significant improvement. Sometimes she has to use an enema in order to discharge.
Samantha was asked to fill out a special questionnaire for a Recall Healing treatment before coming in. Following the questionnaire, it turned out that when Samantha was 45, her mother died after a prolonged illness. Samantha still seemed emotional when talking about her mother. She described the six months that her mother was dying in the hospital as the worst time in her life.
Samantha is an only child and she visited her mother as best as she could when she was in hospital, and later resigned her job in order to support her. Despite that, she still experiences feelings of guilt that she did not do enough and that she didn’t suggest alternative treatment methods for her mother.
Recall Healing subconscious conflict
According to Recall Healing, one of the causes of constipation is the inability to let go of things you lost or people dear to you. Samantha said she took things from her mother’s house to her house and that she often wears her jewelry.Samantha has gone through a special emotional process of letting go of her mother, and a small number of acupuncture sessions to treat her lazy bowel syndrome, following all the laxatives she has taken over the past years. After a few weeks, her bowel movement returned to once a day.
Naturopathy and Nutrition for Treating Constipation naturally
Naturopathy and nutritional advice as constipation treatments are very important. In many cases, many patients say that nutrition has both a positive and a negative effect on constipation. In addition to nutrition, extensive hyrdration also helps constipation in many cases. Naturopathy treatment for constipation is effective because of the direct connection of nutrition and medicinal herbs. Nutrition is important for the healing of constipation and is also important for prevention.
Many people find it difficult to constantly make sure their nutrition is right and so it is recommended to combine with medicinal herbs, with acupuncture or any of the methods mentioned here. When the digestive system returns to balance, we can “cheat” every once in a while and eat things that are a bit hard on the system without experiencing constipation.
In Naturopathy treatment, apart from nutritional advice, it is also possible to get minerals and vitamin supplements to account for body deficiencies due to the ongoing absorption problems.
Reflexology to Treat Constipation
Another good method for treating constipation naturally is reflexology. Reflexology involves working on the feet and is very effective in balancing the bowel, and renewing peristalsis. Sometimes bowel movement can be felt during the therapy itself. In reflexology we can connect the bowel area to the leg and also to other areas that affect constipation such as the liver, stomach, kidneys and so on. Reflexology treatment is relatively pleasant. However, the impact of the treatment is not always as useful as acupuncture therapy. Therefore, it is recommended to combine reflexology with one of the other methods.
Abdominal Massage as Constipation Therapy
Sometimes for people who suffer from constipation we will find something that resembles hard lumps in the bowel which indicates excrement stagnation. In an acute condition it is a phenomenon that can cause bowel obstructionand medical emergency.
Through touch techniques such as Tui na which is part of Chinese medicine, shiatsu or medical massage, we can do bowel massage that improves the success of each of the constipation treatments presented here. If we are dealing with constipated babies, sometimes a massage done by the mother to the baby is sufficient. With adults it is advisable to combine the massage with one of the methods mentioned above.
Warning! Laxatives as Constipation Treatment
In many cases people would arrive to the clinic with a history of taking laxative remedies for years as constipation treatment or as an attempt to lose weight. This phenomenon as mentioned, damages the bowel muscles and the peristalsis of the bowel.
Today there are many products on the market, some through prescription and some in the various pharmacy chains. Products such as Senna and Aloe Vera, various powders, different kinds of tea, etc, are considered natural. These products can empty the bowel and help in the short run, but cause enormous damage in the long run. The bowel gets used to not working at full power due to the activity of those substances. This causes a condition of lazy bowel to develop.
The bowel will simply stop creating peristalsis – an action of contracting the bowel muscles which creates movement of the excrement in the bowel. A lazy bowel is a bowel whose muscles have degenerated. It is much harder to treat a patient whose bowel is lazy, and so it is highly recommended not to unnecessarily take laxatives except for a single use on occasions. The same rule says about enemas that are meant to empty the bowel. If you are having a reoccurring issue with constipation you should seek further professional help.
In spite of what is said, it is possible to treat conditions of lazy bowel and constipation. Treating constipation natural with alternative medicine and methods can be very effective. Recovery just may take a bit longer than without the condition.
Weight Loss and Constipation
A woman who wishes to lose weight must get her bowel activity back to normal without using laxatives. In addition, bowel diarrhea does not result in weight loss. To lose weight through diarrhea – it does not really work in the long run. Diarrhea causes a loss of important minerals and fluid from the body and creates a dysfunction of the digestive system that would eventually lead to weight gain. For weight loss, there are treatments in alternative medicine that do not unnecessarily damage the body.
Constipation Tips – treating constipation naturally:
- Consuming nutritional fibers – oatmeal, Bran flakes, brown rice, lentils, plums, citruses, okra, cabbage, carrot and beet.
- Avoid overeating. Also limit intake ofbananas, they may cause constipation.
- It is important to know that in an acute condition of constipation, fibers might aggravate a bloated stomach without treatment.
- Good hydration – drink lots or water. At least 2 litres a day. Especially in the beginning of the day to create a bowel movement. Any other drink that is not water does not count. Drinking warm water can be particularly effective in stimulation the bowels.
- Physical activity – jumping on a trampoline, yoga, running, doing athletic activity promotes natural bowel movements.
- Massage – try to give yourself a lower abdomen or a massage around the umbilicus in a big clockwise movement.
- Eating flax seeds – to eat freshly ground flax seeds. Possibly with a glass of water or on a fresh salad.
- Prunes – can be effective in promotion bowel movement
- Morning bowel movement – Try to pass first thing in the morning – the time of the colon according to Chinese medicine is between 5am -7am in the morning. So this is the recommended time according to Chinese medicine for defecation but a little bit later is also fine.
It is important to note that effectively treating constipation naturally with alternative medicine is to treat the source that created it. Simply treating the symptoms to relieve pains and sensitivities is not holistic. It is not just about using “laxatives”, the idea is to find the imbalance in the body and treat it. Conditions that don’t seem to be directly related to constipation are often resolved when treating in such a way. Patients see a reductions in headaches, weigh gain, fatigue, stress, sleep problems and more..
There is no need to suffer! There is hope and treatment is advisable, the longer the condition lasts the more is remains in the body. So better early than later.
We hope that after reading this article you know more about the natural treatment for constipation and other digestive problems. We wish you a quick recovery, easy discharges and a beautiful, healthy life.
Rebalance Acupuncture Edmonton