Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 30 million North Americans currently meet the criteria for an IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) diagnosis. If we add in the fact that some people never report their IBS symptoms, that number likely increases exponentially. As one of the earliest healing practices, acupuncture is widely recognized as an effective treatment for digestive orders and conditions like IBS, especially when administered by a trained and licensed healer. Acupuncture is a natural, safe and chemical-free alternative to typical medical treatment and often brings relief to people who suffer with IBS.

Typically characterized by unusual bowel movements, cramping or abnormal abdominal pain and a wide variety of other symptoms, IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder. Since it was first classified as mucous colitis in 1892, IBS has also been referred to as irritable colon, nervous colon or spastic colon.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The exact causes of this gastrointestinal disorder are not known. It is believed to be caused by a combination of problems, including:

  • – Increased or decreased mobility in the colon
  • – Brain-gut signal problems
  • – Mental health issues
  • – Gastroenteritis
  • – Food sensitivities
  • – Genetics

The link between irritable bowel syndrome and mental health problems is still unclear, but those with psychological problems like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder often experience irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, researchers are also unsure why some people who have gastroenteritis develop IBS and others do not.

Signs and Symptoms of Acupuncture-Treatable IBS

The symptoms of IBS may vary from person to person and range from mild to chronic to severe. While the actual cause of IBS remains unclear, many nutritionists and physicians report occurrences can begin following an intestinal infection as well as several other triggers, such as stress or nervous conditions. Acupuncture is a recognized method of treatment for the symptoms of IBS and has been endorsed by Europe’s World Health Organization. The major signs of IBS include fullness, gas, pain and bloating for no less than three days per month during a three-month period, but other symptoms include:

  • – Reduced or eliminated pain following a bowel movement
  • – A change in the frequency of bowel movements
  • – Diarrhea, constipation or both
  • – Urgent and/or uncontrollable urges for bowel movements
  • – Bowel movements that vary in size or consistency
  • – Cramping during bowel movements
  • – Need to strain during bowel movements
  • – Mucous present in stool
  • – Loss of appetite
  • – A sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation

Treatment by Acupuncture

The Acupuncture & Nutrition Clinic treats IBS by stimulating a variety of acupuncture points known to ease the symptoms of IBS and help balance digestive functions. The acupuncture system at the Acupuncture & Nutrition Clinic offers a natural holistic approach developed to target the IBS on a person-by-person basis. A large part of treatment includes diagnostic evaluations and assessments that shine a light on each individual’s symptoms followed by treatments that are custom-designed for each patient’s needs.

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