Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment with acupuncture
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the gastrointestinal system. It is also referred to as mucus colitis or spastic colon with symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, and constant cycles of constipation and diarrhea. Symptoms of IBS usually reduce after a bowel movement but recur after eating. The symptoms may vary depending on the each individual although, stress is a major factor that directly affects the syndrome. Lesser symptoms include bloating, flatulence and nausea. There is no known cause for IBS but people suffering from the syndrome are helped by medication and diet regulation.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where the energy flow of the body (referred to as Chi) is restored to it’s original state. This is said to improve the functionality of organs and get rid of ailments. In traditional Chinese perspectives, disease is thought to be a result of imbalanced energy flow within the body. To rectify this, acupuncture practitioners work with patients to amend the energy flow and return it to its natural state.
Can it help IBS?
The short answer is yes, acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of IBS effectively, Acupuncture is known to relieve many of the most common IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. Since stress levels play a major role in the persistence of IBS, acupuncture can greatly reduce stress and other problems such as anxiety, insomnia, PMS and menstrual cramps. IBS is 3 times more common among women than men.
Is it acupuncture effective?
Recent studies have compared more modern methods of treating IBS, like relaxation therapy, against acupuncture. Although both studies did show a significant relief in pain for the patient, acupuncture had long lasting effects. Additionally, patients that had undergone acupuncture had significant reduction in stress levels for a long period of time. This wasn’t the case with the patients that underwent relaxation therapy.
How it works
This is the strange part about acupuncture – no one knows how it works. Western scientists theorize that the insertion of needles at certain points, releases more endorphins and thus, dulls the pain. To back this theory, various research studies have been conducted and their results are quite intriguing. The research revealed that acupuncture had made major changes to the brain. It had changed the blood flow to the brain along with the conduction of electromagnetic signals. The blood flow was redirected to the thalamus, which is responsible for relaying sensory signals like pain. Acupuncture also changed the way the brain released neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and serotonin.
Those who do not believe in Chinese medicine have yet to find a reason for the success of acupuncture. Strangely, many of IBS’s main curing methods like meditation, acupuncture and tai chi have no] underlying explanations as to why they work so well. Western medicine does not offer a solid treatment plan for IBS at all. Just know that the main aim is to solve the problem and acupuncture does that.
For more information about how acupuncture and other treatments can help you, please contact Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist, Steve Drugan,B.S., L.Ac., at 614.218.6287 or click here. Taking new patients in and around Columbus, Ohio.