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- Dr. Riley Smith, LAc, DACM2404 Broadway
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Digestion is an incredibly complex task the body performs on a daily basis. For as many foods there are, there are equally as many effects they can have on the body. So much so that nearly 70 million people in the US along are effected by a digestive disorder of some kind or another.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a proven and effective way people can treat digestive disorders. TCM is an ancient modality for treating digestive issues and one of the tools within TCM, acupuncture, is an ideal way to do so.
As an acupuncturist, I can help with digestion because I treat the body holistically meaning that all body systems are taken into consideration. Not just the stomach or intestinal tract on its own. We acupuncturists don’t compartmentalize the body. Just as it has been proven in Western medicine that the gut and brain are connected. I treat everything as one cohesive unit. Since the mind and the body are connected often psychological issues effect the gut and vice versa.
Countless studies have shown that acupuncture stimulates peristalsis- the actual movement of the intestinal tract. Ideal for people with chronic constipation, often in as few a two treatments patients often find relief.
Nausea and vomiting are another frequent complaint I see in my practice. Even acupressure can be helpful to calm an upset stomach. One point, located on the underside of the wrist/forearm has been studied widely for this function. Often the nausea and vomiting are decreased or even stopped altogether.
Bloating is also very common. It can be caused by overeating or, on a more chronic level, by improper digestion. Acupuncture treatments help the body to break down foods without the gas that is often the cause of excess bloating.
Diarrhea can be due to more than a stomach virus or bad food. It is actually much more common than most people realize. Treatments can help to alleviate diarrhea be clearing the excess liquid from the digestive tract and calming gut motility.
If you or someone you know deals with frequent digestive issues by all means reach out to me!
Did you know that 74% of Americans have digestive disorders? These range from excess gas, pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or some mix of all. The reasons why are varied but most come down to stress, lifestyle and food choices. The majority of patients actually don’t even report it to their doctors because they think its “normal”. Next to sports injury, digestive disorders are the most common complaint I treat in my San Diego acupuncture practice.
Chinese medicine has always considered gut health to be linked with overall body health. In fact, health stats in the gut. Modern medicine has proven that the gut is literally the “second brain” of the body. Called the enteric nervous system, the gut is composed of over 100 million nerve cells that line the tracks. And this is all linked directly to the brain!
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses a host of modalities to treat gut issues. Below are some of the major herbs used within formulas to treat a host of problems:
Dandelion – Pu Gong Ying
Usually used for diuretic properties, it can also be used to treat digestive issues. It works by promoting healthy gut motility (peristalsis) and actually restores potassium instead of robbing it from the body- a common problem with pharmaceutical diuretics.
Hawthorn Berry – Shan Zha
Think food coma. This awesome herb is used to keep food moving through the digestive tract after large meals or for constipation. It is great for foods that hare hard for many patients to digest such as fats and meats.
Orange Peel – Chen Pi
Killer herb for nausea, vomiting, belching and bloating. Its bitter nature is also effective in treating loose stools.
Ginger – Sheng Jiang
Many people already know of ginger as digestive herb. Its actually a warming spice that benefits the circulatory system. A natural go-to for heartburn and nausea, it also helps to treat gas in the GI tract.
Not traditionally used in TCM, its still one of the best herbs available for digestive issues. It can be used for stomach ache, indigestion, diarrhea and heartburn. Its also helpful in treating IBS.
Herbs are medicine and should be prescribed by a licensed herbalist- which I am! Chinese herbal medicine is a large part of my Banker’s Hill acupuncture practice. Feel free to reach out or go ahead and schedule an herbal consultation on my website by clicking the “Book Now” button.