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Some Things to Know About Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine And IBS

Acupuncture, often combined with the use of Chinese dietary and herbal therapy is one form of alternative medicine that maintains or restores health by boosting and balancing the circulation of vital energy throughout the body. The result is the normal functioning of the organs, glands, vessels, nerves, and muscles of the body.

Acupuncture for IBS

The World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel have stated that acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment for several conditions associated with IBS. These include:

-Muscle cramping
-Stomach pain

Also, these two organizations have deemed acupuncture to be an effective way to reduce stress and other related issues that often trigger the symptoms of IBS. These triggers can include:

-Premenstrual syndrome
-Menstrual cramps

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very old form of traditional Chinese medicine healing art. It is a form of treatment given to patients by trained practitioners, who balances the vital energy of the body known as chi through the activation of areas known as acupuncture points along the main energy channels called primary meridians. These are the channels where chi travels or flows. When these meridians are stimulated they help normalize the mental and physical processes of a person. Acupuncture can either sedate or stimulate acupuncture points in order to generate a proper healing response.

The view of traditional Chinese medicine about the human body is that imbalances in the natural flow of chi may result in pain and illnesses that can be spiritual, emotional or physical in nature. With the help of acupuncture as well as dietary and herbal therapy, these illnesses and pain are resolved and health balance is restored once more.

Acupuncture can help boost the flow of chi or it can clear out the blockages in the energy channels through the use of extremely thin, sterile needles inserted at predetermined acupoints in the body.

There are literally over two thousand acupoints scattered all over the body and each one of them corresponds to a certain organ/organ system. Certain sensations may be felt when a needle is inserted into the skin. They may include that of heaviness, warmth, aching, or tingling; some people may feel nothing at all. Depending on the nature of the condition, about one to twenty needles may be inserted in one session alone. There are acupuncturists who may use moxibustion along with acupuncture to heighten the effect of the treatment. A treatment procedure may last as short as 5 minutes while some procedures may last a full hour.

The number of sessions needed depends on the illness being treated and how well the patient responds to the treatment. For the relief of pain, six sessions may be required to get the full benefits of the treatment.

Clinical Studies Pertaining to IBS and Acupuncture

There is at least one study that researched acupuncture’s effectiveness for the treatment of IBS versus relaxation therapy. The study revealed that even though both relaxation therapy and acupuncture equally improved symptoms (especially with regards to stomach pain) in both groups, the four-week trial study showed that only the group treated with acupuncture had a substantial lowering of stress. The conductors of the study concluded that acupuncture is a valid and much more effective form of treatment for IBS, especially for the resolution of stress and pain, than relaxation therapy.

Even if it has been proven that acupuncture unquestionably can resolve symptoms of IBS especially pain, Western conventional medicine still has no explanation how acupuncture therapy truly works. One idea Western medicine has about the workings of acupuncture is that this procedure stimulates the nervous system which leads to the production and release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins. These are chemicals that prevent pain brain signals from reaching the spinal cord and the brain.

How acupuncture does this is still a mystery especially to scientists and doctors who cannot accept the idea, let alone, the existence of chi. But if you have been experiencing pain, diarrhea, or constipation caused by IBS, you wouldn’t care how the treatment works.

On a lot of the really good treatments for IBS (acupuncture, Tai Chi, meditation, etc.), there are a few that actually have valid explanations of how it works. One may be intrigued or may not really be interested why these therapies produce such impressive results. It is just how it is. Doctors have no idea why IBS arises and many of them dismiss the condition outright as being a psychosomatic problem. Their findings about IBS do not even come close to understanding the real cause of this problem which explains why there is no cure for IBS yet. The most important thing for an acupuncturist is that acupuncture can treat and prevent an IBS attack. Still it would really help a lot if someone can explain how acupuncture works and why IBS develops.

Precautions when using Acupuncture

If you are seriously considering getting acupuncture treatment for your IBS symptoms listed below are some precautionary measures you need to remember before you go through with treatment:

1. If you have breast implants or any kind of implant in your body, make sure you tell your acupuncturist about them to avoid them being inserted with needles.

2. If you have diabetes, then acupuncture needle insertion in your limbs should be done with extreme caution. The needles can cause infection in a patient suffering from diabetic neuropathy. You need to talk to your doctor for any concerns you may have.

3. If you are pregnant, the activation of certain acupuncture points, especially on points on or near the stomach, can induce premature labor and uterine contractions that may result in miscarriage. You need to tell your acupuncturist that you are pregnant or if you think you are.

4. If you are currently taking warfarin (Coumadin) or any anticoagulant drug or you have an uncontrolled bleeding disorder, then you need to tell your acupuncturist about it before he/she administers the treatment. The needles have a tendency to draw blood.

Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville , FL 32217
Phone: (904) 260-2598

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