Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Acupuncture
Many patients living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seek alternative treatments to help manage symptoms and reduce incidence of flareups. The condition, although very common, can be painful. And, as a chronic condition, patients must learn methods for the long-term management of IBS. Many sufferers turn to acupuncture to manage their condition.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. For most people, IBS symptoms are relatively mild. Many patients describe them as more annoying than painful. Others, though, experience pain and other more severe reactions.
No one knows exactly what causes IBS. However, scientists have found a few risk factors that may indicate a person is more likely to develop the condition. These include:
- Differences in the microflora, or bacteria, found in your gut
- Inflammation in the intestines
- Nerve abnormalities in the digestive system
- Severe bacterial or viral infection, such as gastroenteritis (diarrhea)
- Stronger than normal muscular contractions in the intestine
Please note you can have all of these risk factors and still not have IBS. You can also have none of them and still be diagnosed.
What Are the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The most common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain and cramping, which is usually relieved when the patient has a bowel movement
- Excess gas and bloating
- Diarrhea and/or constipation, possibly cycling between the two
- Visible mucus in the stool
Patients often report experiencing more severe symptoms during times of stress or after eating particular types of foods.
How Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Acupuncture helps return the body to a state of health by balancing the patient’s qi (pronounced chee). This is the ancient life force that moves through each of your major organs. When the qi becomes out of balance, illness follows.
For patients living with irritable bowel syndrome, treatment may include:
- Inserting acupuncture needles at the appropriate meridians (i.e. those benefitting the liver and the spleen)
- Moxibustion therapy at the appropriate acupoints
- Herbal medicines to support spleen and bowel
Patients are also encouraged to follow holistic (i.e. total body) practices that support overall health and wellness. This includes regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes per day) and a healthful diet.
What To Expect During Your First Appointment with Accurate Acupuncture
Expect your first appointment with Accurate Acupuncture to last between 60 and 90 minutes. We begin by taking your complete medical history, which helps determine the best course of treatment for your unique issues.
Some patients worry that the treatment will hurt. It doesn’t. The needles used are extremely thin; most patients don’t even feel them. At some acupoints, though, you may experience a sensation many compare to a feeling of electricity.
To make an appointment with Accurate Acupuncture, call 928.274.1980. Or, simply fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.