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What are the effects of acupuncture on digestive problems, such as Irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea and also more serious conditions like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease?


Millions of peoples in the UK and round the world complain in silence from digestive problems such as  irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea  and constipation. Furthermore, other serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease may also suffer. It has been reported that Chinese acupuncture can offer significant help and relief for almost all digestive problems.
The explanation of digestive problems in Chinese Medicine:

According to the history of Chinese medicine, it has been found that the digestive disorders were reported in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where acupuncture was used for treatment  of most digestive problems.  The Chinese Medicine theory stated that the cause of most digestive disorders is due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. In fact the spleen plays a major role in the health and vitality of the body, taking the control in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength.ts main function is to change the digested food in stomach  to more usable nutrients and vital energy (qi).
In the consideration of an individual's body constitution and varied symptoms, the treatment can be planned and designed specifically for the individual to bring their "middle" back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system. A combination of acupuncture and lifestyle/dietary recommendations with energetic exercises are usually necessary to balance the digestive health.

The causes of Digestive problems in Western Medicine:

Normally the digestive tract of a healthy human has hundreds of bacteria live in harmony which are known as bacterial flora. There are certain modern lifestyle can upset this important balance which lead to  digestive diseases. For example, surgery and administration of anaesthetics, painkillers and other synthetic drug, ,irregular and poor quality meals, stress, trauma can all affect the stability of microflora in the gut and, in turn can seriously impaired the strength of the immune system.
In Western Medicine it is known that an imbalance of intestinal floras is often the starting point for disease. People who complain from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis), IBS (irritable colon syndrome), candidiasis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, allergies, digestive pain, poor resistance to infection, chronic constipation or diarrhoea may all have an imbalance of gut flora in common. Painkillers, antacids, steroids are all widely available but these may, sometimes, do nothing at all to these unpleasant conditions.
The gatro-intestinal tract plays host to a vast quantity of active micro-organism. These bacteria, which are thought to weigh around 3-4LBs in total, are varied population but can be split into main two categories. Bifido bacteria are generally regarded as a beneficial strain of bacteria. They are an acid-producing, lacto-fermenting strain with natural antibiotic and anti-tumour tendencies. They assist the body by stimulating peristalsis (intestine movements), promoting the synthesis of certain vitamins and encouraging the absorption of some important minerals. Bifidus, also inhibits the overgrowth of undesirable pathogens, limiting production of the not so friendly Bacteroids bacteria which are putrefactive – gas forming and toxin producing. But where health is maintained, these groups live in balanced harmony.

It is really sad to see that the level of erroneous over-use of antibiotics and at the number of supposedly highly qualified practitioners who either do not know or have forgotten that antibiotics don’t work against viruses, colds and influenzas can be miserable but, given adequate rest and an increase fluid intake, they are likely to get better on their own. At the same time, the immune system’s highly sophisticated ‘memory’ will record information about the recent virus so that, next time it strikes the host human being, the viral invaders will be dealt with before any symptoms can manifest themselves. It is common to hear of patients who take frequent and repeated courses of antibiotics. They recover from one illness only to go down with another almost as soon as the current course of antibiotics is finished. Each time this occurs, more damage is done to the ecology of the gut and to the immune system.
The effects of STRESS & TRAUMA are manifested by physiological changes within the body including reduced peristaltic action and reduction in the secretion of gastric acids and enzymes. Such changes have a tendency to encourage the multiplication of the less favourable bacteria.

How Acupuncture can help and treat most digestive problems in combination with a healthy diet and detoxification program?

The optimum health of the body is very dependent upon a healthy diet, healthy ecological balance in the gastrointestinal tract. The acupuncture can help by releasing the good feeling hormones (such as endorphins and cortisol) and suppressing the bad hormones (such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Restoring the bacterial gut flora has, therefore, been priority with those practitioners who appreciate the vital part this action plays in boosting immunity.

What is detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins from the body or neutralizing or transforming them, and clearing excess mucus and congestion. Many of these toxins come from our diet, drug use, and environmental exposure, both acute and chronic. Internally, fats, especially oxidized fats and cholesterol, free radicals, and other irritating molecules act as toxins. Functionally, poor digestion, colon sluggishness and dysfunction, reduced liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract, and skin all add to increased toxicity. Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce intake of toxins and improve elimination. Avoidance of chemicals, from food or other sources, refined food, suga r, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and many drugs helps minimize the toxin load. Drinking extra water (purified) and increasing fibres by including more fruits and vegetables in the diet are steps in the detoxification process. Moving from a more to a less congesting diet will help us to move along the detox road.

Why it is essential to detoxify the body?

We detoxify/cleanse for many reasons, mainly to do with health, vitality, and rejuvenation--to clear symptoms, treat disease, and prevent further problems. A cleansing program is ideal for helping us to re-evaluate our lives, to make changes, or to clear harmful toxin from the body. I cleanse because it makes me feel more productive, creative, and open to subtle and spiritual energies. Many people detox/cleanse--or, more commonly, fast on water and fruits (or) vegetables. It really does help move our energies from our lower centres of digestion and elimination up into our heart, mind, and consciousness centres. Fasting will be discussed more later. Detoxification can be helpful for weight loss, though it is not a primary reduction plan; I think it is more important as a transition. However, anyone eating 4,000 calories a day of a fatty, sweet, and poorly balanced diet who begins to eat 2,000-2,500 calories of more wholesome foods will definitely experience detoxification, weight loss, and improved health.  We also cleanse/detoxify to rest our overloaded organs of digestion and our liver, gallbladder, and kidneys and allow them to catch up on past work. Most often our energy is increased steadier. There are many reasons why we may want to cleanse.

Who is best suited for detoxification?

Almost everyone needs to detox, cleanse themselves, and rest their body functions at times. Cleansing or detoxification is one part of the trilogy of nutritional action, the others being building, or toning, and balance, or maintenance. With a regular, balanced diet, devoid of excesses, we will need less intensive detoxification. Our body has a daily elimination cycle, mostly carried out at night and in the early morning, up until breakfast. However, when we eat a congesting diet higher in fats, meats, dairy products, refined foods, and chemicals, detoxification becomes more necessary. Who needs to detoxify and when is based in part on individual lifestyle and needs. More common toxicity symptoms include headache, fatigue, mucus problems, aches and pains, digestive problems, "allergy" symptoms, and sensitivity to environmental agents such as chemicals, perfumes, and synthetics. People who experience these and others on the list may benefit from diet changes or avoidance of the drug or agent that may be influencing the symptom.

HOW DO WE DETOXIFY / CLEANSE?

I have touched on ways to detoxify throughout this section; the remainder is a discussion diet control and fasting.  The elimination of impurities "or TOXINS" could be achieved by the following two procedures:
A. DIET CONTROL
The first is to eat a non-toxic diet. If we do this regularly, we have less need for cleansing. If we have not been eating this way, we should detoxify first and then make permanent changes.

THE NON-TOXIC DIET- Eat organic foods whenever possible; Drink filtered water; Rotate foods especially common allergens, such as milk products, eggs, wheat, and yeast foods; Practice food combining; Eat a natural, seasonal cuisine; Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and, for omnivorous, some low-fat dairy products, and fresh fish (not shellfish) and organic poultry; Cook in iron, stainless steel, glass, or porcelain.
HEALTHY DIET PROCEDURE:
Some foodstuff can be harmful to the organs of the body (such as the liver, which is the centre of metabolism) and within the context of Chinese medicine, these organs (specially the liver) should have the full amount of energy flowing without impairment by these food Stuff. It is advisable to start by the followings:
- DON'T EAT red meat(Beef and Lamb), butEATwhite meat (Chicken, Turkey or Fish).
DON'T EAT white breadbut EAT brown bread.
DON'T DRINKcoffee or tea but DRINK camomile tea or herbal tea.
DON'T EAT fat (including all fatty meal and pastry) butEAT as much as you  like of green vegetable and fruit (Except Banana, gapes, melon and water melon)
DON'T EAT sweets (Including biscuits and chocolates).
DON’T DRINK alcohol (particularly during the course of treatment).
DON’T EAT full Fat Cheese, Butter and Cream but DRINK semi or skimmed milk.
B. FASTING FOR AT LEAST 2 DAYS PER Week or more, depend on the severity of the illness) FOR ABOUT 3-8 WEEKS:
The optimum health of the body is very dependent upon a healthy diet, healthy ecological balance in the gastrointestinal tract. The acupuncture can help by releasing the good feeling hormones (such as endorphins and cortisol) and suppressing the bad hormones (such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Restoring the bacterial gut flora has, therefore, been priority with those practitioners who appreciate the vital part this action plays in boosting the immunity. :
The fasting includes the followings:
No food or drink to take in that fasting day for 10-12 hours (e.g. from 7 am to 5 or 7 p.m.) except the followings:eating 2-3 types of either fruit ( one of them preferably apple with The skin) or 2-3 types of vegetable (one of them is preferably carrot), drink water (with no limit). (DON’T MIX BETWEEN FRUITS & VEG). You have to end the fast after the 10 or 12 hours (e.g. after 5 or 7 p.m.) by:
eatingone hand-size, medium thickness of steak of chicken or turkey or fish (grilled or steamed) with one small jacket potato and good amount of green vegetable and 1-2 brown toast(s). drink water (with no limit), camomile tea or herbal tea (2-3 cups).

If you suffer from digestive problems or from other gatrointestinal signs and symptoms, acupuncture may be what you’ve been looking for to ease your problems and to restore your health and vitality. Please call us today.