Why is acupuncture a winner for the treatment of IBS? Because it works! The fact is, IBS has been treated with acupuncture for years. Numerous studies done using acupuncture to treat IBS showed that those receiving acupuncture had significant improvements as compared with the control groups studied.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder with symptoms that can impact every aspect of a person’s life. The nature of the symptoms can be socially isolating; abdominal pain, inflammation, constipation one day, and possible diarrhea, bloating can make daily life miserable. Unfortunately, IBS is common in our general population. The exact causes and manner of development of IBS are unknown. It is a complex functional motor and sensory disorder. IBS symptoms may result from a disturbance in the way the gut, brain, and nervous system interact. Anxiety and Stress does not cause IBS, however, because of the connection between the brain and the gut, stress can worsen or trigger symptoms.
Current western treatment of IBS is aimed at symptomatic improvement, with no specific treatment protocol for cure.
Both the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel and the World Health Organization, using different criteria, have identified many different conditions as appropriate for acupuncture treatments, including several that directly pertain to IBS: These organizations have concluded that:
- Acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for pain and stress symptoms associated with IBS, and that its benefits exceed those of standard relaxation treatment.
- Acupuncture treatments can reduce inflammation.
- Acupuncture can increase gastrointestinal muscle contraction and relaxation, and reduce gastric acid secretion, making acupuncture beneficial in treating general gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, muscle cramping, constipation and diarrhea.
- Acupuncture can nourish and strengthen related organs, minimize symptoms and contribute to medication-free digestive system health maintenance.
Let’s look closer at acupuncture as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine in the treatment of IBS:
All Chinese medicine involves balancing Yin and Yang energy. Western medicine refers to this as the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity. An example of this view, IBS can be a manifestation of the sympathetic nervous system dominance. In other words, it is a stress/lifestyle related condition. IBS, however, is not a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. Therefore, there are many treatment protocols within Traditional Chinese Medicine to effectively address the patterns of symptoms in IBS patients. In many cases, diet, lifestyle, and herbal medicine are used in concert with acupuncture to rebalance the nervous system and reduce inflammation in the gut.
Current Western Medical Treatment of IBS is aimed at symptomatic improvement, with no specific treatment protocol for cure. Traditional Chinese Medicine works by not only treating the symptoms, but also, rebalancing the whole system to work better. Don’t you want your body to work better if you have IBS? No one wants to suffer forever!
Are you unsure as to how to take the next step into acupuncture treatment? Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with western medicine to help improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from IBS.
If you have been diagnosed with this disorder visit us to discuss your treatment or you can discuss an integrative approach with your healthcare professional. In many cases, acupuncture can minimize or eliminate the need for prescription medication. IBS awareness and education can help more people seek help for this disorder so that Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not have to be suffered privately. !
Be a winner and make IBS the loser! Remember, acupuncture needles don’t hurt, IBS does!