The digestive system runs downwards through almost the entire body. Its tissues, glands and organs work closely together and with other organs throughout the body.
Problems in any part of the system can have negative consequences for the individual’s overall health.
What Digestive Health Means
Digestive health refers to efficiently processing nutrients and eliminating undigested material from the body. To do this, the digestive organs, which include the stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and intestines, must be functioning properly. Digestive health requires a nutritious and balanced diet, physical activity and maintenance of appropriate weight.
Factors that undermine digestive health include poor nutrition and eating habits, lack of activity, smoking and stress. Symptoms of digestive ill-health include indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. Approximately 40% of people are experiencing at least one of these at any given time. Pharmacy remedies provide a short term relief, but quite often the symptoms return, and in some cases they become chronic. Digestive health problems are often warning signs of a serious illness elsewhere in the body.
Effects of Acupuncture on Digestive Health
The holistic approach of Chinese medicine is perhaps one of the reasons for acupuncture being so effective in regaining and maintaining digestive health. In addition to the needle treatment, the acupuncturist seeks to understand your lifestyle habits that impact your physical health.
Chinese medicine views the body as having 12 primary meridians and 8 extraordinary meridians. Energy or Qi must flow freely along these meridians to maintain a healthy balance within in the body’s systems. Acupuncture is the practice of promoting the flow of Qi by stimulating specific sets of 362 acupuncture points along the meridians.
To treat digestive problems, the acupuncturist may select points on the torso, and points that may seem unrelated to your digestive system (on the arms and legs, for instance). This is done in an effort to remove blockages along the meridians allowing health-giving Qi to flow. This promotes the smooth downward movement that is necessary in the digestive tract.
Chronic heartburn and other problems affecting the upper parts of the digestive system respond very well to acupuncture. Acupuncture enhances digestion and helps control secretion of stomach acids, thereby causing less acid to back-up into the esophagus. Furthermore, acupuncture lessens the perception of pain in the esophagus and GI tract.
Acupuncture helps the body to absorb nutrients and then to assimilate them. It also enhances the elimination of waste products. In so doing, acupuncture plays a role in stemming the occurrence of digestion related issues such as anemia, loose bowels, constipation, bloating and excess weight. There might be a reduction in the instances of gallstones, kidney stones, autoimmune disorders and chronic inflammation.
Acupuncture can be an excellent choice to naturally treat digestive disorders and maintaining digestive health.