*April is IBS Awareness Month
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 10 to 15% of the population (National Institute of Health). The symptoms of IBS include pain, bloating and discomfort in the abdomen that improves after a bowel movement. IBS patients often suffer from constipation or diarrhea.
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome vary and are not always well understood. Often, stress and food intolerance are major factors that contribute to IBS.
Acupuncture is not only a powerful tool to treat abdominal pain, but it can also help you improve your digestion and bowel function.
During the first treatment it’s important to learn as much as possible about the underlying challenges and issues. Evaluation includes a thorough interview, pulse taking and sometimes ALCAT testing. Chinese pulses give us information about the health and function of each of the 12 meridians. ALCAT testing helps us identify which food intolerances are contributing to the IBS.
With abdominal palpation, I am able to identify and localize the parts of the gut that are inflamed and contributing to IBS. The acupuncture treatment helps to restore a balanced flow of energy and blood throughout the abdomen, which helps to resolve the inflammation. Typically, after the acupuncture treatment, the tenderness we originally found has significantly diminished.
Additionally, lifestyle changes are often recommended. This can include a diet that limits specific foods. Sometimes, I introduce a rotation diet where different foods are consumed on different days. Exercise and stress management often play an important role in recovery from IBS.
Digestion and bowel elimination are important comer stones to our health. Acupuncture can support you to get back on track.
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The contents of this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Always consult a physician before choosing a course of treatment.
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