Between 60 and 70 million people in the United States suffer from digestive disorders. Whether you’re struggling with acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, or other gastrointestinal issues, the impact on your day-to-day life and overall well-being can be overwhelming. While conventional treatments offer relief for many, there's an alternative and time-tested approach that's gaining recognition in the realm of integrative medicine: acupuncture.
Acupuncture, a key treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine, is known for its holistic approach to health and well-being. The practice of inserting very fine needles into key acupuncture points in your body alleviates symptoms and addresses the root causes of your health issues, including digestive disorders.
At Minnesota Integrative Medicine & Acupuncture in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Kierstin Beaman, DACM, uses acupuncture to help you manage digestive disorders. Here’s what she wants you to know about these conditions and how acupuncture can enhance your overall digestive health.
The term “digestive disorder” refers to a wide range of conditions, from minor discomfort to debilitating ailments. Common digestive problems include:
IBS can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, making it a chronic and challenging condition.
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where acid from your stomach moves up the gastrointestinal tract, results in heartburn and discomfort, often triggered by certain foods and lifestyle factors.
Chronic constipation can lead to pain, discomfort, and a sense of sluggishness.
Conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis lead to chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, causing various symptoms and complications.
Acupuncture works on the premise of restoring balance and harmony within the body. Traditional Chinese medicine, particularly acupuncture, seeks to correct imbalances in the body's vital energy. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, Dr. Beaman resolves these imbalances and promotes natural healing.
Research supports the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating digestive disorders. Physiologically, acupuncture stimulates the natural healing process and corrects nerve signaling problems that lead to pain as well as other symptoms. The treatment also enhances circulation to sensitive areas of your gut to promote healing.
Here are other ways in which acupuncture heals digestive disorders:
Stress is a significant contributor to digestive problems. It may not cause disease, but it can make symptoms worse. Acupuncture sessions promote relaxation and reduce stress by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals. Lowering stress levels helps ease digestive symptoms and promotes digestive well-being.
Acupuncture influences gut motility — the movement of food through the digestive system. This is critical when it comes to addressing issues like constipation and IBS. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, Dr. Beaman also stimulates the rhythmic contractions of the digestive tract, facilitating a more regular and efficient digestive process.
For those with inflammatory conditions like IBD, acupuncture may help reduce inflammation. Studies suggest that acupuncture may modulate the immune system, potentially decreasing the inflammatory response in the digestive tract.
Digestive disorders interfere with the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients. Acupuncture improves blood flow to the digestive organs, helping to enhance nutrient absorption and promote better overall health.
Acupuncture is part of a comprehensive treatment plan for digestive disorders. Dr. Beaman works together with other specialists to help you manage your condition.
Acupuncture can help you improve your digestive health. At Minnesota Integrative Medicine & Acupuncture, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a higher quality of life. Call the office at 651-272-7998, or book an appointment online.