Blogs and News Articles Related to Acupuncture, Health, and Wellness in the Denver/ Lakewood Area!
Tummy Troubles and Acupuncture
Why do acupuncturists ask so much about bowels? These questions can be uncomfortable especially for a first time patients, and especially if their reason for coming in isn’t even related to digestive function!
Our digestion issues are not usually something we discuss openly with our friends and family, and in many cases it may feel like taboo to discuss something that feels so personal with someone your close to but even worse with a stranger. I felt the same way before starting acupuncture school. But I have learned how important digestion and the digestive system is in understanding our bodies.
The digestive system gives us a huge insight into the body as a whole. It has been called the second brain because of its complex nervous system. We know how important it is to take care of our actual brain, but we don’t always care for our second brain in the same way! This can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, blasting, acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, and more. In Traditional Chinese Medicine all of these occur because of different issues with the Spleen and Stomach organs. It can be due to deficiency, stagnation, or rebellion.
Some people experience just a mild type of any of these symptoms, while others deal with severe digestive issues. The later is what usually sends people to me, but even people with mild digestive symptoms can experience great relief in their everyday life with acupuncture focused on digestion, because the gut plays such a huge role in the functioning of our whole body.
Why is digestion so important in TCM?
In TCM the Stomach and Spleen reside in the Middle Burner which is at the center of all the channel pathways for the other organs, so when there are issues in the Spleen or Stomach other organs will begin to be affected. A good way to think about this is if there is a kink in your hose, water can flow freely without the kink (healthy digestive system), but the bigger the kink gets, the less water and pressure can go through (mild digestive issues) until no water is coming out (severe digestive issues).
The Spleen and Stomach are also the organs that are the root of Post-heaven Qi- which means they are the source of all the Qi produced after birth. This concept makes sense when you think where does our energy come from… the food, vitamins and water that nourish our bodies.
If the Stomach and Spleen perform at their fullest capacity, then our bodies are not going to be able to receive all the nourishment of our food. You can eat all the right things, but if our bodies are not digesting properly we don’t receive the full benefit of that food. This nourishment is not only needed to help our physical body function, but it is also needed to nourish our mental and spirit levels. We already said that our gut is our second brain, so it also plays a role in receiving and processing emotions and information.
Symptoms and their TCM disharmony:
In general the things that can affect the Spleen and Stomach are the nature of the food you eat, the regularity of meals, and the environment they are eaten in, and emotional strain. The main diagnosis involved when looking at digestion are listed below with their symptoms next to them:
-Qi deficiency: dull pain improved by eating, poor appetite, loose stools
-Qi Stagnation: epigastric or abdominal distention, constipation
-Oi rebellion: hiccup, belching, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea
Your symptoms and diagnosis may fit into one of these categories or it may be a mix of more than one of these. When receiving a treatment for digestive issues we will take a closer look into these symptoms and more to find the root cause. In your treatment we will also go through what food is best for you and your digestive issues, because obviously diet plays a major role in the function of our digestive systems.
.This image shows a very powerful digestion treatment. Ren 6 the point below the navel tonifies Qi and can be used for diarrhea and constipation. Ren 12 the point above the navel is the Front-Mu of the Stomach and regulates the Stomach Qi, and also tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. It can be used for almost any digestive issue including nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, diarrhea, and indigestion. St 25 the points on both sides of the navel is the Front Mu of the Large Intestine, and thus it regulates the function of the intestines, and can be used for food stagnation, as well as constipationa and diarrhea. Together these points are called the Four Doors. All our important digestion points on their own, but the combination can treat most digestive disorders, strengthen post-heaven Qi, and benefit metabolism. This combination is also a great treatment for emotions, which takes us back to the gut as the second brain!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.