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
Inhibiting gastric and duodenal
motility (Chang 2001; Takahashi 2006; Sehn 2006; Yao
2006; Noguchi 2008).
Altering acid secretion (Takahashi
Improving delayed gastric emptying (Xu
Reducing inflammation, by promoting
release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra
Providing pain relief (Pomeranz
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
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.