Constipation and Holistic Treatment
At Meridian Health Clinic we use both Eastern and Western methods to find the root cause of constipation, diarrhea and IBS. Finding the underlying cause of constipation may require lab testing with a respected company like Genova Diagnostics to check for any gut infections including: SIBO, yeast overgrowth, parasites or biliary insufficiency.
In basic terms, constipation means infrequent or dry stools, or it may refer to difficult passage of stool with straining. Constipation may include abdominal pain during bowel movements, the inability to have a bowel movement after straining for 10+ minutes, or no bowel movements for greater than 3 days. The primary causes of constipation include: diets lacking in adequate fiber, absence of physical activity, excess stress, travel, low fluid intake, or the delay in going to the bathroom when the need begins. Other causes common causes are IBS, gut infections, pregnancy, hypothyroid conditions, depression, some neurological diseases, or western medications.
Although common, constipation is a complaint that is too often not discussed. As regular bowel movements are essential to complete health, an acupuncturist will begin an initial consultation with a whole-body review, included elimination habits. Irregular bowel movements can cause poor food absorption, fatigue, poor complexion, frequent break-outs, abdominal pain, low appetite and more. Improper elimination is often a symptom of a deeper imbalance in the body and should be given notice and consideration.
Can Acupuncture Regulate Bowel Function?
Yes, specific acupuncture points directly effect GI motility and function. Acupuncture treatment will either be used to relax an overactive colon or be used to stimulate peristalsis in under-active cases. Within the concepts and theories of Chinese medicine, there is a more complete method of interpreting digestive disorders. When someone has very dry and difficult to pass stool, herbs will be given to moisten the intestines and long-term treatment will focus on re-establishing a less dry digestive environment. When someone has chronic, explosive diarrhea that burns and causes pain, acupuncture will help calm the large intestine and herbs will be given to remove toxins such as bacteria or virus and to clear heat from the digestive system. Likewise, when someone experiences chronic watery painless diarrhea, acupuncture will be used to strengthen the digestive system and herbs will be given to warm the digestion so that food is transformed into usable energy more efficiently.
All of these treatment scenarios will likely include diet and lifestyle modification. Often bowel movements can be improved with different food choices and better eating habits such as chewing thoroughly, taking time to eat, etc. Your acupuncturist will listen to your diet habits and discuss with you changes that will benefit your specific intestinal issues.