Amanda Cox | Acupuncture Melbourne

Gastro-Intestinal Disorders

Gastro Intestinal Disorders and Acupuncture
Gastro Intestinal disorders encompass Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chron's disease, ulcerative cholitis, gastritis, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and dyspepsia. In simple terms, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees the digestion as being affected by temperature, diet, irregular eating and stress. For example, if you eat food that is too hot or spicy it may lead to heat in the intestines and stomach casing diarrhoea or acid reflux. Foods that are too cold can knot the stomach energy and cause stomach ache or constipation. Eating at irregular times or eating late in the evening can cause the digestive system to become weakened and lead to bloating, sluggishness and weight gain.

TCM treatment for GI disorders includes dietary advice to help strengthen or correct the digestion, alongside acupuncture and sometimes also herbal treatment.

Acupuncture may help in the treatment of GI tract disorders, by:

  • Inhibiting gastric and duodenal motility (Chang 2001; Takahashi 2006; Sehn 2006; Yao 2006; Noguchi 2008).

  • Altering acid secretion (Takahashi 2006).

  • Improving delayed gastric emptying (Xu 2006).

  • Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra 2003).

  • Providing pain relief (Pomeranz 1987).

  • Regulating the motility of the digestive tract (Yin 2010, Chen 2008).

  • Raising the sensory threshold of the gut. (Xu 2009, Ma 2009, Tian 2008, Tian 2006, Xing 2004).

  • Stimulating areas in the brain that are involved in gastric perception (Zeng 2009).

  • Increasing vasoactive intestinal peptide and nitric oxide in plasma, gastric mucosal and bulb tissues (Shen 2006).

  • Decreasing permeability of intestinal mucosa in patients with acute pancreatitis, and reducing accumulation of endogenous inflammatory mediators in intestinal mucosa (Wang 2007).

Acupuncture can be safely and effectively combined with Western biomedicine, and other treatments such as relaxation exercises, herbal medicine and psychotherapy.