According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive disorders. These digestive disorders can present with a range of symptoms including: upper or lower abdominal pain or cramping, bloating, intestinal gas, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness, chronic constipation or diarrhea, blood in the stool, a feeling of incompletely emptying the bowels, difficulty in passing stool, acid reflux (also known as heartburn), and food sensitivities or allergies.

These disorders can lead to systemic imbalances that begin to show up with signs like fatigue, joint pain and systemic inflammation, anemia, frequent colds and flus, allergies, skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis or other dermatitis, and more. In my experience, the vast majority of digestive disorders are treatable with acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

And medical research conducted over the past 10 years shows that acupuncture is effective for treating digestive disorders from IBS to Crohn’s Disease to ulcerative colitis to GERD.

So how can acupuncture help digestion?  Digestive symptoms usually indicate an overall health imbalance.  Frequently they are the result of chronically high stress levels or years of improper dietary habits that put a strain on the digestive system and gradually become full-blown digestive disorders. They then begin a vicious cycle.

One cycle occurs when a chronic digestive disorder results in inflammation and digestion becomes less effective.  If you have intestinal inflammation you likely have some degree of “Leaky-gut syndrome,” where large food particles and foreign material leaks through the intestinal lining and your body is forced to mount an immune reaction which leads to more inflammation and more food sensitivities.

Another vicious cycle begins when all of that irritation in your gut results in a reduced ability to properly break down food, which in turn means your body isn’t as able to absorb and utilize nutrients properly, which eventually leads to some degree of malnutrition.   If you’re either not giving your body the right sources of nutrients or your body cannot properly absorb nutrients because of a digestive disorder, the eventual malnutrition (and the probable inflammation and over-stressed immune system) leads to a whole host of other problems system-wide, including the inability to repair and defend itself, keep you happy and healthy, and least of all- regulate digestive function. And we’re back to the beginning of the vicious cycle.

Acupuncture to the rescue! Specific acupuncture points on the body are well-known to reduce abdominal pain, bloating and intestinal inflammation, increase gastrointestinal strength, regulate stomach acid secretion, stop chronic diarrhea, or increase bowel movements in the case of chronic constipation.  It basically regulates overall digestive function- and it does so with zero negative side effects.  I may suggest supplemental support that and will guide you towards dietary and lifestyle changes that are critical in stopping the vicious cycle.  Over time, the acupuncture treatments combined with your body’s increased ability to receive and absorb nutrients, will assist your system in re-balancing itself and repairing the damage in your gut.

Acupuncture is an extremely safe, highly effective approach to regaining and maintaining optimum digestive health and restoring strength and harmony to your body.