IBS and Acupuncture

By S Reynolds

ibs-symptoms-in-womenAcupuncture is becoming one of the more popular alternative and complimentary therapies used by IBS sufferers to help alleviate symptoms. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that is designed to restore health by improving and bringing balance to qi - the body's natural energy flow. Acupuncture works to restore the proper function of organs, muscles, glands, nerves and vessels.

 

How can acupuncture improve IBS symptoms? Acupuncture is recognized as being an effective therapy for treating the following conditions which are often symptoms of IBS:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

In addition, acupuncture effectively reduces stress and other negative issues that often cause IBS symptoms to occur. Some of these include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Menstrual cramps

As was previously mentioned, acupuncture is based on improving and brining balance to qi that flows through all of the 14 unseen channels in the body known as meridians. A person with IBS usually has a deficiency of qi in the spleen, lung, liver, kidney and large intestine meridians, so these are the areas that will likely be targeted during an acupuncture session. That being said, you need to understand that each person is treated differently depending on where their discomfort is located.

In order to help improve the qi flow within the targeted meridians, tiny, solid, disposable needles are individually inserted into specific acupoints within the body. How deep the needles are inserted depends on the thickness of the muscle. Acupoints (trigger points), are precise points of the body where the meridians surface has deeply penetrated into the tissues and organs.

The insertion of the needle is usually painless and is a sensation often described as a mosquito bite. Most people only feel a slight achy or numbing feeling in the targeted area.

After the needle has been inserted, they may be twirled or connected to an electrical current to help stimulate the targeted meridian. Needles may be left in between 20 - 60 minutes. All sensations that are experienced during an acupuncture session disappear with the removal of the needles.

Aside from acupuncture needles, another popular technique that acupuncturists use for IBS is moxibustion. This is a method in which mugwort herb is burned over precise acupoints. Moxibustion is used because it is believed to penetrate deeper into the body than the needles.

Although Chinese medicine believes that acupuncture is successful at relieving symptoms due to reestablishing balance to qi, Western medicine believe that acupuncture treatment causes inflammation in the body, which causes it to release natural pain killing hormones - endorphins. Despite what the actual truth may be, it is clear that for many IBS sufferers, acupuncture has provided them relief from abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

Acupuncture is a safe alternative treatment for most people, but you should discuss acupuncture treatment with your doctor first before engaging in the therapy. You should also know that it often takes several acupuncture sessions before a person begins to feel relief from their symptoms. Finally, make sure you seek treatment from a qualified and experienced acupuncturist.

If you are looking for more information on IBS and acupuncture please visit NaturalIrritableBowelSyndromeRelief.com

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